The popularity of WordPress has grown tremendously over the past few years, with many real estate agents using this dynamic content management system for their business websites because of its ease of use and affordability. But if you’re using a WordPress site for real estate purposes, you may have noticed at some point that it may often run a bit slower than you’d prefer.
To help with faster loading times, following some of these tips will help with speeding up your real estate WordPress site:
Install an effective caching plugin
As perhaps the easiest and best way to speed up a WordPress site, a cache plugin takes just seconds to install and will likely reduce load times from seconds to milliseconds. Most WordPress sites use W3 Total Cache.
Always make sure you’re running the latest version of WordPress
WordPress is constantly making security and maintenance updates, but will always notify you when you need to download the latest version. Right now, WordPress 3.4.1 is the current version, which was released on June 27, 2012.
Optimize images properly
Of course having great looking pictures is vital for a real estate website, so excluding them is not an option. So when you upload images to your site, make sure you do one of two things. First, make sure the file size is within reason, as larger images will dramatically slow down a website. However, if the image you upload does have a larger file size, install the WP-SmushIt Plugin for free, which will reduce the file size of an image, while not reducing the quality one bit.
Add LazyLoad to your WordPress site
Although I typically don’t use this feature, installing the jQuery Image Lazy Load plugin can really speed up page loads. How it works is that when a page is clicked on by a user, only the images above the fold will load. As the user scrolls down the page, the remaining images will load just before they come into view on your screen. This can be especially useful on real estate websites with lots of home and condo listings with images.
Turn off pingbacks and trackbacks
WordPress will automatically notify your site when another blog site outfitted with pingbacks and trackbacks mentions your URL. In turning this feature off, WordPress won’t have to update data on your posts and pages, ultimately speeding up the site.
Joe Heath is a graduate of Indiana University and also holds a Graduate Certificate in Real Estate Development from Drexel University. After working in the market research sector and authoring published Market Snapshots for Hanley Wood Market Intelligence, Joe now works as a Web Marketing Specialist and is a managing partner at Real Estate Web Creation, LLC.