Automating WordPress Optimization
It’s no secret - today, internet users expect websites to have rapid loading times. Therefore, it stands to reason that a website’s speed plays a pivotal role in retaining users, and having them come back time and time again. Odds are that your WordPress website is not an exception to the rule.
WP Speed of Light is a WordPress plugin that allows you to optimize your website’s loading times. The latest addition to the JoomUnited Family is the WP Speed of Light Pro Addon, but what is its role?
As the name implies, the new WordPress addon is a companion to WP Speed of Light whose goal is to minimize the burden of upkeep on your website. To this end, the plugin adopts routines and other automated tasks to ensure that your website remains optimized.
The first introduction to the new Pro Addon is a new minimization tool - a process that reduces the quantity and sizes of resources that are served to your users’ browsers. Thus, under the minify & group resources tab in the speed optimization page, it is now possible to group fonts and Google fonts into a single file, eliminating the need for multiple requests.
Another new possibility that comes with the WP Speed of Light Pro Addon is file exclusion from caching. Indeed, from the same tab, it is also possible to enable advanced file exclusion, which, when enabled, scans the directories that you choose for files.
The resulting list allows you to toggle the exclusion of individual files. Alternatively, you can select a number of files and toggle their state in bulk. As a result, the excluded files will never be cached, ensuring that changes are delivered to your WordPress users right away at the expense of each page’s loading time.
Sometimes, you might know in advance that certain parts of a page will be required, even if they haven’t loaded yet. Alternatively, based on analytics you might learn that a large proportion of users landing on the homepage often visit another particular page. In these cases, you might want to pre-emptively load some content, ensuring that your WordPress users enjoy a smooth experience.
This exercise of loading content in advance is called preloading, and is available from the advanced optimization tab. The first type of preloading is called cache preloading, which is refers to images or other elements that are not readily-visible on the screen. The second type is DNS pre-fetching. This type of preloading refers to external websites, or outgoing links from your WordPress website.
In both cases, applying preloading is as simple as toggling the switches in this page. Then, you can enter the content, pages or domains to load in advance. To conclude, save the settings.
Cleaning Up the Database
You never actually see the database, but its effects are practically everywhere on your WordPress website - from posts to pages, and everything in-between. Out of sight, it is easy to forget that databases need their own upkeep. For this reason, the WP Speed of Light Pro Addon allows you to schedule database clean-ups, ensuring that your backend never goes neglected.
Automated database cleaning can be enabled from the database cleanup page. First of all, enable automatic cleanups. Secondly, you can choose the interval down to the minute. If your WordPress website does not require frequent clean-ups, you can switch to hourly or daily clean-ups instead. Finally, press the clean and save button to affirm the changes.
Lastly, WP Speed of Light Pro Addon allows a larger degree of freedom when it comes to managing cache. In fact, the configuration page allows you to disable optimization - including caching - for certain user roles.
This functionality is useful if, for example, your editors frequently change your website. In such cases, it would be beneficial for them not to cache content so that they always experience the website in its updated form.
Another newly-introduced feature to deal with caching is cache exclusion based on rules. Indeed, the speed optimization page allows you to choose individual or sets of pages that should never be cached.
If you want to disable a set of pages, for example a category of articles, all you need to do is append an asterisk (*) to that category. Once you’re done, simply save changes and get back to creating great content!
WordPress websites are meant for content creation. Nevertheless, as websites grow, so does the extra workload. WP Speed of Light Pro Addon takes on the most tedious of tasks, and instead allows you to focus on what matters most - creating captivating content.
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