Custom WordPress Development: How to Create a High-Performance Website, Tips, Tricks and Best Practices

by Kosish Bhandari

In web design, creativity, and brand expression come to those who dare to think outside the box. And WordPress is unequivocally a titan when it comes to web design—there are about 830 million WordPress websites globally, representing 43% of all websites. From big brands to simple blogs, it’s an excellent  CMS (Content Management System) and everyone’s choice for building websites. However, most business owners fail to take the proper precautions to build a high-performance WordPress website and thus end up with a sluggish one. On the flip side, brands can improve SEO rankings, boost user experience (UX), and have a superior-looking website by ditching the premade WordPress themes and adopting custom WordPress development. Here, we will explain what custom WordPress development is as well as tip-top tips on how to create a high-performance, fast-loading WordPress website. 

First Off, Why Does Website Performance Matter?

Web performance is a crucial ranking factor in Google’s search algorithm and affects visitor behavior and conversions. According to a study by Google on the correlation between the bounce rate and page load speed, the probability of a bounce rate increases with the page loading time. 

And if visitors leave your website without interacting (tapping, clicking, or scrolling), there is no way they’ll convert into leads or sales. Thus, a poorly performing website ranks poorly on Google and affects your business’s capacity to generate revenue.

Enter Custom WordPress Development

Custom WordPress development is the process of building custom WordPress websites using the web builder’s framework to fit your business’s needs while avoiding the limitations of traditional WordPress premade templates. 

Usually, creating a WordPress website entails taking a ready-made template and using it as is or refining it with a library of plugins. However, this web development method is unsuitable because the website becomes slower, buggier, and user-unfriendly with time.

Made for Speed: Simple Ways to Improve Speed and Performance

Every single second counts when it comes to page load time, and in case you are wondering how to fix a slow WordPress site, start from the most obvious problems and work your way through complex ones. Also, consider  working with a digital transformation partner in your content management system development journey— it is worth the weight in gold.

Have a look at the following tips and best practices to help you create a high-performing WordPress website.  

1. Optimize Images for Speed

Everyone loves visuals such as images, GIFs, and videos. In any case, they are the reason behind many successful eCommerce websites. However, the downside of visuals is that they are usually large files and tend to slow down your website and hurt user experience. 

Consider compressing all visuals on your website using lossless compression. Images used on your WordPress website can be compressed by up to 50% without impacting the quality. This can cut 1 to 2 seconds of your page’s loading time, boosting performance. 

You can also reduce the image size by using the HTML responsive image attributes that adjust image size based on user display properties. Other than compressing your files, you can consider lazy loading to speed up your pages. 

Removing plugin into the system

2. Audit Your Plugins (And Remove Unnecessary Ones)

Plugins are like mini-software on your website; thus, having too many plugins running at once on your website negatively affects performance. In addition, outdated, duplicate, or poorly-designed plugins result in slow website loading and security vulnerabilities. 

To boost your website’s performance, conduct an audit of all your necessary plugins and deactivate the unnecessary ones. Test your website after every deactivation and delete the (obsolete) plugins you are sure you’ll never use again. Also, you may want to deactivate your plugins one by one to check how each of the remaining plugins affects site speed.

This will help you evaluate a plugin’s impact on the speed of your website so that you can make an informed decision on whether the plugin’s functionality is worth any downtime. 

3. Use High-Quality Plugins

After cutting back on unnecessary plugins, ensure that all the remaining plugins are high-quality. An excellent way to determine whether your plugins are performance-friendly is by checking recommendation lists that factor in how well each plugin is built and maintained.

Here, you may need to work with custom software development to help you develop industry-standard plugins. Usually, such plugins are coded in a way that they only utilize the server resources they need when they need them. Moreover, these plugins are lightweight, occupy less storage space, and are updated from time to time to keep up with WordPress core updates.

Also, before installing new plugins, evaluate feedback and reviews on performance, and run performance tests after installation to ensure that the website’s speed is not affected.

4. Minify CSS, JavaScript, and HTML

Too many JavaScript, CSS, and HTML files lead to a large number of HTTP requests when your website users want to access particular files, which slows down a website’s loading speed.

Work with a digital transformation partner to help you speed up your website by minifying CSS, JavaScript, and other source code files. Minification of code optimizes the backend of your website to be a lean, mean machine. It entails reducing the file size of JavaScript, CSS, and HTML files and works to remove unnecessary characters such as line breaks, comments, and spaces. 

This significantly reduces the amount of data being transferred (HTTP requests), which enables files to run quicker and the pages to load faster. 

5.  Cache Your Website

Caching is one of the most important and easiest ways to speed up a WordPress website. Since WordPress CMS is dynamic, each time a user requests a webpage, the PHP on your WordPress server retrieves all the relevant data from your WordPress database, assembles it into an HTML file, and sends it to the client. 

Whenever someone tries to access a non-cached website, it will repeat all the processes and fetch all the data from your WordPress database, which puts a great deal of load on your server, making the site super slow. 

 Thankfully, you can leverage caching to improve the speed and performance of your WordPress website by up to 2-5x. A caching plugin simplifies the entire process by storing the final view of your website for future users. 

This means your site does not have to generate a page view for every subsequent visit. As a result, your web pages load much faster directly from the cache.

6. Use a CDN

Real-world distance is another common cause of poor performance on websites. Your pages tend to load slower on devices farther away from your web server’s physical location. This particularly impacts international users and users in remote areas. A Content Delivery Network (CDN) can eliminate this effect and boost your website’s performance.

A CDN  is a global connection of servers that store a copy of your website’s CSS, JavaScript, and other associated files. A CDN is particularly important if your website serves an international audience.

When a visitor requests a page on your website, the server closest to the visitor delivers these files to them, which reduces loading time. A CDN is also important for sites that experience substantial traffic spikes, as the CDN servers will absorb most of the traffic.

7. Choose a Reliable Web Hosting Provider: Opt for Custom WordPress Development

Quality web hosting is the foundation of a high-performance WordPress website. Thus, choosing a plan and a hosting provider that meets your resources and performance requirements is critical.

Most WordPress hosting providers offer dedicated, shared, and managed WordPress hosting plans. Shared hosting is a relatively cheaper plan that offers “unlimited” bandwidth, space, emails, domains, and more. 

However, the disadvantage of this offer is that shared hosting environments tend to deliver poorer performance since you are sharing the same server space with countless other websites, and there is no telling how much resources others are using. In addition, the host servers may not be well-optimized.

If you have a big website with a lot of content and high traffic levels, consider using a managed, dedicated, or VPS hosting plan from a reliable provider. These plans usually allocate enough high-quality server resources to handle increased traffic and are often optimized for speed.

Testing website performance in a laptop

8. Test Your Website

To create a high-performance website, you’ll need to understand where it stands performance-wise in the first place. There is no comprehensive metric that sums this up since performance varies with each user’s internet connection strength, geographic region, and whether their browser caches your site.

Page speed may also vary across your website’s pages, depending on the content of each. Often your website homepage is the best for determining load speed, but you also need to test any other high-traffic pages. 

Also, the best practice in eCommerce website development is to test the website and any new features during the development phase. You don’t want to launch your website and then find out from a customer that a section of it is not working correctly. 

9. Go Headless

headless WordPress website is one that mainly uses WordPress as the CMS but uses other frontend tools to render content to the user. While there are many benefits of a headless WordPress website (including security and flexibility), the best part is that headless WordPress websites are incredibly smooth and responsive, with millisecond load times and prefetched delivery on the edge.

Consider Working With a Custom WordPress Website Developer

Custom WordPress development services build websites that are unique to your brand. From logos to color schemes, images to fonts, and everything in between, a custom design will help your brand tell its story clearly and succinctly.

 Custom software developers will work closely with brand decision-makers to create a custom eCommerce website  that fits your needs while articulating your brand’s voice. The result is a one-of-a-kind website that is tailored to your business, giving you a platform for achieving your brand goals. 

Are you still wondering whether hiring a custom software development firm is worth the hassle? The answer is simple. If you plan to build any meaningful web presence—anything larger than a brochure-style site or a single landing page—working with a custom WordPress developer is the way to go.

Who We Are

At  Practical Logix we are a leading digital transformation services company in America and around the world. We offer world-class advice, strategy, and design services for mobile, web, and wearables products. Our team focuses on developing a deep understanding of your users—their pain points, values, capabilities, and even limitations—to build digital solutions that set up your business for success. 

Leveraging industry-standard Usability, Design, and Team Collaboration to bring your clients the best experience. Moreover, we deploy statistical optimization via A/B testing on a sample of real users to ensure all your pages are optimized for the best possible User Experience.

For more information on how we can help you fine-tune your WordPress website to perform better, feel free to Contact Us today, and we will be more than willing to assist.


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