Web page speed on your WordPress website is a key factor in improving the visitor experience. Your customers don’t like waiting for content to appear. In fact, a two-second delay in web page load time can increase bounce rates by 103%.
Every second counts when it comes to satisfying your visitors. Query strings in static resources can slow down your website. So, one solution is to remove them to increase your page speed. Let’s walk through how you can make this simple change to your WordPress website.
What are the Query Strings in WordPress?
Query strings aren’t part of the hierarchical path structure to load your web page, and because the query string data is exposed, hackers can compromise your website.
Plus, query strings prevent servers from caching your website. As a result, your page speed slows down. By removing the query string, you improve caching and decrease the page load time.
How to Test Your Website Load Time
Google considers page loading speed when ranking your website. If you suspect (or are just curious) about your website’s speed, there’s an easy way to check it.
Visit free website performance tools, like PageSpeed Insights, Pingdom, or GTmetrix. On the homepage, add your website address in the empty URL box and press the button next to it to start the test.
Each tool gives you an analysis of your WordPress website. You’ll see a performance score, the actual load time, and recommendations to improve your page speed. For instance, one of the suggestions may be to remove query strings from static resources.
When performing your test, don’t be alarmed if your website doesn’t get a perfect score. Your website might contain third-party URLs with query strings. That’s okay. The goal is to remove query strings from static resources loaded from your domain.
How to Remove Query Strings From Static Resources
You can remove query strings from static resources in several ways. Two of the most common methods are by adding a specific code in your functions.php file or by using WordPress plugins.
Let’s start with the code method. Go to Appearance > Theme Editor in your WordPress dashboard. Then, follow these steps.
Choose your specific theme in the right-hand corner.
Select the theme functions (functions.php) under Theme Files on the right-hand side.
Copy and paste this code at the end of the functions.php file.
It’s difficult to manage every optimization technique for your WordPress website. Luckily, you don't have to with Hummingbird. This plugin scans your website to find out what’s slowing it down and then provides you with a detailed performance report.
Install and activate the plugin.
Go to the Hummingbird tab on the left side of your dashboard.
Click Advanced Tools.
Under the General tab, click the slider next to Remove query strings from my assets. (It will change from white to blue.)
For your WordPress website, page speed is critical to getting high rankings on search engines and enhancing the visitor experience. A simple fix of removing the query strings from static resources is worth the effort to improve your website.
Originally published Sep 11, 2019 3:07:25 PM, updated November 20 2019