Hummingbird Performance Caching Review
No matter what kind of business you have, a website is the perfect way to keep in touch with your customers and share information.For this reason, any site should be able to load at precisely three seconds or less. Because who wants to wait around? If visitors begin to feel that they are having trouble browsing your site more and more often, they’ll most likely stop using it – even if they initially enjoyed it.
Fortunately, Hummingbird (a free speed optimization plugin for WordPress) offers all performance-oriented tools in one convenient package. For example, you can use it to enable features like caching and GZIP compression that can significantly improve WordPress site performance.
In this article, we will briefly explain the importance of website speed. Next, we’ll go over four ways Hummingbird can improve your WordPress site performance. Let’s go!
The Importance of a Fast Website
It affects nearly every aspect of your site’s performance, including page load times, visitor satisfaction, and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). For example, if pages are delayed, visitors will be more likely to leave your site. This is especially true for mobile users who tend to expect top-notch speeds.
Moreover, search engines consider site speed when deciding how to rank web pages. SEO optimization is essential , as research shows that the top three search results receive almost two-thirds of organic search traffic . In other words, the higher your site appears in search results, the more people will see it and click on it.
Factors That Make Your Site Run Fast
There is no doubt that keeping an eye on the performance of your WordPress site is a must. You can easily check page speeds using an online solution like Pingdom Tools. However, if it’s not as fast as it could be, you might be wondering why.
Many factors can affect the speed of your WordPress site. Some of the most important elements are:
- Your web host. Not every web host is created the same. It is very important to choose carefully and use a provider that takes security and speed optimization seriously.
- Memory. A site’s memory plays a role in the speeds it can reach. The more memory and other resources available, the less likely your site will be overloaded (especially when facing high traffic levels).
- The theme of your site. The speed of your site can also be limited by its theme. The more ‘heavy’ a theme is or the more redundant code it has, the slower it will likely run. When creating or updating your site, you will want to find a theme that is optimized for performance.
- Your plugins. There is a common myth that having too many plugins on your site can cause it to run slowly. This is not necessarily true. However, plugins that are poorly coded or contain too much functionality can hurt your load times.
Reviewing your themes, plugins, and hosting plan can do a lot to ensure your WordPress site performance is at its best. Even with all these factors taken into account, your site may still not run as smoothly as you would like. Fortunately, there are many other ways to increase speeds on any WordPress website.
4 Ways to Improve Your Site with the Hummingbird Addon
There are many tools you can use to speed up your site. Most solutions target a specific optimization strategy that can be useful but causes you to install lots of extra plugins on your site if you want the best possible speeds.
This plugin allows you to increase your site’s speeds in a variety of easy ways, without the need for additional tools or a lot of technical knowledge. Let’s take a look at four optimizations that can help you achieve it.
Every time someone visits your site, their browser must send a request to your site’s server. The server then sends back all the information needed to view your pages. If there is a lot of data, the server is receiving too many requests, or the visitor is away, this may take longer than necessary.
WordPress caching is one way to solve this problem by saving some of your site’s data in a more convenient location. That way, it can be accessed and retrieved faster. Overall, enabling caching on your site is a smart way to improve performance.
The Hummingbird plugin lets you take advantage of this by providing a variety of different cache types:
You can enable page caching, browser caching, and more via the aptly named Caching tab in your WordPress backend . For more details on what these options are and how they work, check out this helpful guide , which you can read about how to configure caching settings in the plugin .
2. GZIP Compression
You are probably familiar with the .zip extension , which is a way to compress large files to make them easier to store and move . GZIP is a similar but more powerful compression method. It can make your site’s files smaller and load faster without losing the necessary data in the process.
The details of how GZIP compression works are somewhat complex. Fortunately, like many speed optimization techniques, it is not necessary to understand all the technical details to use it on your site.
You can go to Hummingbird > GZIP Compression to enable three different types with the Hummingbird plugin :
Select the type of server your site is hosted on and hit the Apply Rules button. The plugin will do the rest. You can also do some manual tweaks if you want.
In a way, minification is similar to GZIP compression. This is another way to help your site run faster by removing unnecessary data from your code. The less information that needs to be passed between the server and the browser, the less time your pages will take to load.
Through Hummingbird, the minification engine you can access the Asset Optimization tab in WordPress:
The plugin will scan your site’s files and let you optimize which one you like. In fact, if you’re familiar with CSS, you can move certain ‘behind the scenes’ code files into your site footer from here. This can help speed up WordPress pages even more.
4. Performance Scans
No matter what performance optimization techniques you apply, you’ll want to keep an eye on your site and continue to fine-tune it over time. One way to do this is to run periodic performance scans, which you can do on your Hummingbird dashboard:
The results of these scans can help you identify files that could slow down your site. What’s more, you can click Improve next to each item rated yellow or red and get some tips on how to increase that score.
Final Thoughts on WordPress Site Performance
While it’s important to keep your site up and running, it can be difficult to manage each of the many techniques required to make this happen. Using an ‘all in one’ free speed optimization plugin can help you perform the most vital steps quickly and easily.
For example, Hummingbird allows you to optimize your site’s performance by:
- GZIP compression.
- Performance scans.
Have questions about how to maintain top speed on your WordPress site? Let us know in the comments section below!