Building a website that not only looks great, but also performs well can be quite a challenge. When using Elementor, a popular page builder for WordPress, you have a wealth of tools and features at your disposal. However, without proper optimization, you may notice your website suffering from slow load times, which can lead to poor user experience and decreased search engine rankings. Here’s how you can optimize your Elementor website for better performance, with a focus on the settings in the advanced section.
Minify and Combine CSS and JS Files
- Navigate to your WordPress dashboard and find ‘Elementor’ on the left-hand side menu.
- Hover over ‘Elementor’ and click on ‘Settings’.
- In the settings window, switch to the ‘Advanced’ tab.
- Here, you’ll find the options to ‘Optimized DOM Output’, ‘Load Font Awesome 4 Support’, ‘Improved Asset Loading’, ‘CSS Print Method’ and ‘CSS & JS Minify’.
- Set ‘Optimized DOM Output’ to ‘Enable’, this reduces the amount of code generated by Elementor.
- If you don’t use Font Awesome 4 icons, set ‘Load Font Awesome 4 Support’ to ‘No’.
- Set ‘Improved Asset Loading’ to ‘Enable’, which optimizes the way scripts are loaded, improving load times.
- Set ‘CSS Print Method’ to ‘Internal Embedding’ to reduce the number of HTTP requests.
- ‘CSS & JS Minify’ should be set to ‘Yes’ to reduce the file sizes of your CSS and JS files.
Use a Caching Plugin
Caching plugins can drastically improve your Elementor website’s loading speed by temporarily storing data from previous visits. When a visitor comes back to your site, the stored data is used, reducing the amount of data that needs to be processed. Some popular caching plugins compatible with Elementor include W3 Total Cache, WP Super Cache, and WP Rocket.
Large, high-resolution images can significantly slow down your website. To optimize your images:
- Resize them before uploading. Aim for a width of around 1200 pixels for large images, and proportionally less for smaller ones.
- Compress your images using tools like TinyPNG or ShortPixel.
- Use the correct image format. JPEG is great for photos while PNG should be used for images with transparent backgrounds.
Fonts can also impact your site’s performance. Here’s how to optimize them:
- Limit the number of different fonts used on your website.
- If using Google Fonts, limit the number of font weights used.
- Where possible, host the fonts locally instead of loading them from an external source.
Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
A CDN can significantly improve your site’s load times for visitors from different geographical locations. It works by storing copies of your website on servers around the world, so visitors can load the site from the server nearest to them. Popular CDNs include Cloudflare and StackPath.
Optimize Your Database
Over time, your WordPress database can accumulate unused data, slowing down your website. Use a database optimization plugin like WP-Optimize or WP-Sweep to clean up your database by deleting things like spam comments, revisions, and drafts.
Choose a Quality Hosting Provider
Lastly, your hosting provider plays a crucial role in your website’s performance. Not all hosting is created equal. Shared hosting might be cheaper, but it often results in slower load times compared to VPS or managed WordPress hosting. Some reputable hosting providers include SiteGround, WP Engine, and Kinsta.
Remember, website optimization is an ongoing process, not a one-time task. Regularly monitoring your website’s performance and making the necessary adjustments will ensure that your Elementor site remains speedy, user-friendly, and ready to convert visitors into customers.