If you are looking for ways to speed up the performance of a WordPress site, then you are at the right place. Today I’m going to share how to increase WordPress website speed. By following this step-by-step guide, you can speed up your WordPress site even if you’re not a WordPress specialist or a techie. Let’s dive in…
Do you want to speed up your WordPress site?
Website loading speed is a very important aspect of any blog or website. If your site takes longer to load, the result:
- Visitors will immediately exit from your site.
- Fewer page views.
- Loss in conversions.
- Create a bad user experience.
- And many more which I will tell you later in the article.
In addition, Google uses the page speed as a ranking factor, which means faster loading website gets better rank in the search result.
Why is Website Loading Speed Important?
Website speed greatly affects your website traffic, page views, bounce rate, conversions, sale and reputation.
And as I said already, Page Speed is a Google ranking factor. When Google ranks a page, it uses a number of factors, one of which is page speed.
If your website loads fast, then it will rank well in the search engine. Because Google likes fast loading site more. As a result, when your site ranks in the search engine result page, then obviously you will get more traffic.
Website loading does not only increase your website traffic and ranking. It provides a good user experience to your visitors. And a good user experience increases the number of visitors to your site and helps in becoming a reputed brand.
Now that you know why it’s important to make sure your site loads fast.
Why Your WordPress Website Loads Slow
When you check your website speed, it recommends you to fix a lot of things. Some of them are technical that most bloggers do not understand.
Here I am going to tell you about some reasons that cause your website to slow down.
- Web hosting – If you do not select the right host for your site, it greatly influences your site load time.
- Caching – If your site is unable to create a cache properly, your site may be slow down.
- Page Size – This issue is mostly due to the images. When you add the image to your page without optimizing, your page size increases and causes your site to slow down.
- External Script – This problem is usually caused by ads, fonts loaders, etc. and affects your site performance badly.
These are some of the basic reasons that can slow down your WordPress site.
You Should Do These 2 Quick Things Before Making WordPress Site Faster
If you are ready to speed up your WordPress site, then first you need to do things:
Test Your Site Speed & Performance
There are lots of tools in the market to check website loading speed. But I recommend you use PageSpeed Insights, Pingdom and GTmetrix tools.
Just, you have to visit the Pagespeed insights site then enter your blog URL and click the Analyze button. This will take some time to analyze your website and gives a great overview.
GTMetrix – GTMetrix is also a great tool that helps to check website load time and performance. It analyzes your website loading speed and shows the errors that you should fix. Apart from this, if you register it, you can also check your website load time on the basis of the server region.
Pingdom – Like GTMetrix, Pingdom is another great tool. Just, enter your URL. It gives a very good overview of the website speed. It also tells which elements in your page are taking longer to load.
KeyCDN Website Speed Test – KeyCDN is a free website speed checker tool that tells what needs to be improved. You can analyze your website speed from 14 different locations.
WebPageTest – This allows you to test website speed from different locations and different browsers.
Sucuri Load Time Tester – Sucuri is a popular security company. Also, you can take advantage of its Load Time Tester tool and find out why the loading speed of the website is slow.
Backup Your Website
Before tampering with anything on the site, it is very important to create full back up. If your site breaks even by mistake, you can restore your site to the working version again.
Keep reading to know how to increase your site speed…
How to Speed Up a
If you publish quality content on your site or blog but your website does not load faster then you can not get a good result.
Here are some things you can do it to speed up WordPress.
Invest in Right Web Hosting
This is the most important and first aspect to increase website loading speed.
There are many hosting companies that promise to provide fast loading to your WordPress website but after buying the hosting from them, you feel that they have cheated and your hosting expenses have gone waste.
I recommend Bluehost which offers good service at a low price. Apart from this, you get free Domain for one year. It is also recommended by official wordpress.org.
Here I have listed Best WordPress Hosting Services that you can use.
In addition, if you have a doubt on a hosting company, you can use Pickuphost to check the hosting speed. You just have to select your hosting name from the drop-down menu. Then select your server location and click on the Speed test button.
Use Lightweight and Fast loading Theme
This is the second most important aspect to speed up your WordPress site. There are many such WordPress themes that come with beautiful and impressive-looking, but their coding is very bad and it badly affects your website loading speed and performance. So always select a simple and well-coded theme for your site.
Delete Unwanted Plugins/Media/Theme
Plugins provide power to your WordPress site, but if you install the wrong plugin (poorly coded), they can cause performance issues.
Plugins work as an app on your WordPress site, which increases site functionality. But if you use more plugins or poorly coded plugins on your site then it greatly affects your website loading speed. Therefore, delete unwanted plugins on your site that are useless.
- Top 13 Must have WordPress Plugins on every Blog
- 22 Best SEO Plugins for WordPress To get Higher Ranking
Furthermore, delete unwanted media and inactive themes that are useless on your site because unwanted media takes extra space on your WordPress site and increase your WordPress database size.
Note: Inactive plugins and themes can create security vulnerabilities and can also affect your WordPress site performance.
Avoid Using Sliders for Better Speed
Sliders ruin your website speed. Apart from this creates bad user experiences for mobile users. There is no real value of having sliders on the website. So you should delete them. And choose themes that do not force you to use sliders on your homepage.
Compress Images Size
You can greatly reduce web page size by compressing images and get better speed and performance. There are many image optimization plugins available in the WordPress repository, in which you have to choose the best image optimization plugin.
When you install an image optimizer plugin on your site and upload images to your website, the plugin automatically reduces the size of images by compressing and make your site faster.
If you use images from photo stock website, most of the images are quite large. These images take longer to load and decrease your site speed. Therefore, before you upload, resize the image and make it as small as possible.
Remove Query Strings from Static Resources
Query strings in static resources play an important role in slowing down your website. This can cause caching issues on your site.
Some proxy caching servers and even some CDNs cannot cache static assets with query strings, resulting in you missed the opportunity to increase website speed.
However, there are several methods to remove query strings from static resources that I have described in this article – How To Remove Query Strings from Static Resources
Enable GZIP Compression
You can download a good plugin from WordPress.org to compress your WordPress site’s resources. Although there are two most popular caching plugins that allow you to enable GZIP compression – WP Rocket and W3 Total Cache.
Use Content Delivery Networks (CDN)
Content Delivery Networks serve content based on users’ geographic location. When you use a CDN service, it creates a static cache of your site and stores on own servers. Now when a user accesses your site, content delivery network redirects them to the nearest server.
For example, if your server is in India and a visitor accesses your site from the US then CDN will redirect that visitor to US server.
Benefits of CDN service:
- Make your WordPress site faster.
- Protects Your Site From Crash.
- Improved User Experience.
- Reduces your server overload.
- Saves bandwidth.
More resources on CDN:
- What is CDN and why use CDN in our blog
- How to Setup Cloudflare CDN for WordPress Blog
- How to improve website loading speed using Cloudflare CDN
Use Latest PHP Version
Latest PHP Version also speed up your WordPress site and make more secure. It comes with many improvements that directly benefit to your website.
WordPress.org always recommends users to use the latest version of PHP for better security and performance. You can upgrade it in a minute by going to web hosting cPanel. If you have trouble upgrading to Latest PHP Version, you can contact the hosting provider.
Use an Effective WordPress Caching Plugin
WordPress cache plugins generate static HTML files for your site and when a user accesses a page on your site, it replaces heavier PHP scripts with static HTML files which makes your site faster.
The Cache plugin helps you get rid of slow loading and improve user experience and the search rankings. If you use shared hosting for your WordPress blog, then I recommend you use WP Super Cache plugin. This helps to speed up your WordPress site with very little configuration.
Caching plugin helps to :
- Dramatically improves site speed and performance.
- Reduces load on your hosting server.
- Helps improve rankings (The faster your site loads, the more Google will like it).
- Increases user experience.
Optimize Your Database
WordPress sites use databases to store all information in it. If you do not optimize the WordPress site’s database timely, it can affect your website load time.
There are too many plugins available in WordPress to optimize the database. I use WP-optimize or WP sweep plugin to optimize my blog’s database. Furthermore, do not forget to remove the unwanted table from your database.
- How to Optimize WordPress Database To Get Better Performance
- How to Delete Unused Database Tables in WordPress
Use LazyLoad for Images
Compared to anything other things, the image takes a lot of time to load and if you add many images to your article, it increases your page load time. In this situation, lazyload plugins help to improve your site performance and web page loading speed.
Lazy loading only loads images that will appear on the user’s screen. In simple words, when a user scrolls your website page, your website loads images. It significantly improves the loading speed of your website and also saves bandwidth.
Disable Hot Linking
Hotlinking can slow down your site even after image compression. There are lots of bloggers who know very well about Image Hotlinking, but they do not care. They copy and paste the image URL of your site to own site. As a result when a visitor browses the hot-linked image site, then this (hot-linked image) is loaded with the original server.
Suppose when a high traffic site hotlinking your images, all image requests will be processed by your server, which can slow down your site.
If you want to see your Hotlink image, just type in the Google search box,
inurl: yoursite.com -site: yoursite.com
However, this Command will also show some incorrect results, but there will be many websites or blogs that have hotlink your images. Here’s a guide – How to Prevent Image Hotlinking in WordPress (4 Easy Methods)
Use the Autoptimize Plugin
Autoptimize improves page load speed by minifying and combine the CSS & JS files of your WordPress site. This is a very good plugin to speed up a WordPress site and makes your work easier and saves your time. You can follow this guide to configure it on your site – Autoptimize Plugin Settings
Keep Your WordPress Site Up-to-Date
It is very important, WordPress is updated frequently. Not every update gives you only new features but also fixes security issues and bugs.
So it is very important that you keep your site, plugin and theme updated. If you do not do this, it can cause your site to slow down and security vulnerabilities.
Reduce Post Number on Homepage
Your homepage is one of the most important pages of your website as most visitors land here.
Whatever theme you choose, make sure your homepage is very clean and minimal. Many features not only distract readers, but they also increase your page load speed.
If you use high-quality featured images for your post, then the users will need more time to load your homepage.
As you can see, I also use five posts for my blog’s homepage. If you want to reduce the number of posts on your homepage, just click on Settings >> Reading option. Here you will see an option “Blog pages show at most”. In it, you can enter any number, I recommend showing you 5 posts on the homepage.
Use Excerpts on Homepage and Archives
By default, WordPress homepage and archives page displays full content. So your homepage, categories, tag and other archives pages load slowly.
It also affects the user experience. If you are using a default theme, which is showing full content instead of showing the content in the excerpt, you can easily fix it by using the Advanced Excerpt plugin.
Reduce the Number of Ads
If you have lots of ads on your site, it will badly affect your page speed. Also, it is not good for user experience.
I do not say that you do not use ads on your site, you serve them in the right place and do not serve more ads on your site.
Break Comments in Pages
If your site is receiving a lot of comments, then it’s a great deal. But do you know this affects your site performance?
But do not worry, you can fix it easily by breaking the comment in pages. Just, login in your WordPress site. Then click on Settings >> Discussion and check “Break comments in pages” option.
9 Top Plugins To Speed Up WordPress
W3 Total Cache
W3 Total Cache is the most popular caching plugin available in the market. By perfect tuning, it can make your site blazing fast. Also improves overall site performance by 10x.
W3 Total Cache comes with dozens of settings such as Page Cache, Database Cache, Object caching, Minify, Browser cache etc. It is a better choice for advanced users.
WP Super Cache
It is the second best WordPress cache plugin which is the perfect choice for shared hosting.
This plugin generates static HTML files from your WordPress blog and when a visitor visits your site, it serves static HTML files instead of heavier WordPress PHP scripts.
WP Fastest Cache
WP Fastest Cache is also a very popular WordPress cache plugin. Its setting is also very easy and fast. There are many options in it, which make your website load faster.
It is available in both versions FREE & PREMIUM. You can also speed up your WordPress site using its free version.
Fast Velocity Minify
Fast Velocity Minify reduces web page size by minifying CSS and JS files from your website, which improves website loading speed.
This is very necessary plugin to increase WordPress website loading speed. If you do not remove the query strings from your site, they can cause caching issues. Some proxy caching servers and CDNs are unable to cache your site due to query strings and this directly affects your website loading speed.
All WordPress sites use databases and store all the information in it. So it is very important to optimize your WordPress site database timely.
You can optimize your WordPress Database with 1-click using WP-Optimize plugin.
It is an Image optimizer plugin and is very popular in WordPress.org. When you upload images to your site, it automatically compresses the image size. This reduces the size of your page and makes your blog or website load faster than before.
EWWW Image Optimizer
Like WP Smush, EWWW Image Optimizer is also a very popular image optimizer plugin. In this, you can also select a compression level. Apart from this, you can convert your uploaded images to the best file format.
Here I have told you the best way to make WordPress site faster. If you follow this article to speed up your WordPress site, then I promise that you will get better results.
And one thing, your website loading speed should be within 3 seconds to get a good rank in the search result and for better user experience. Fast loading website achieves a high ranking in SERPs.
If I have missed any strategy to improve WordPress website loading speed, let me know by leaving a comment below.
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