WordPress is a very popular CMS which has been loved by more than million webmasters. Despite the fact that WordPress is a very easy to use CMS, it has some dark sides too. One of the biggest weaknesses of WordPress is it’s slower than other platforms. However, if you follow our guidelines then you will be able to speed up your WordPress site.
Having a slow page loading speed may cause your users to leave and never come back to your site again. Why take the risk? Speed up WordPress site and make the users load your page faster then before.
By optimizing the loading speed, you can convert more of your new users into recurring user and subscribers too. As a result, you can easily make a user base for your Website and make your brand stronger and cash in the benefits. Speed up WordPress site with these easy but effective techniques.
Choose a good web hosting
One of the biggest factors which influence your page loading speed is having a good hosting. Most of the times people chooses cheap web hosting which affects their page loading speed. It is highly advised to use a better web hosting as having a fast speed will help you to rank higher on Google. Usually, web hosting providers provide several services like shared, VPS & dedicated servers.
Choose a lightweight or optimized WordPress Theme
Your WordPress theme plays a vital role in your page speed score. Not all WordPress themes are created equally, thus, they all have different types of page speed. It is advised to use a WordPress theme which is lightweight and works perfectly to meet your demand. There are several types of framework available and so does WordPress themes. Before making a purchasing decision, you need to check their demo pages speed score on the Google speed test tool.
Use advanced Caching system with a caching plugin
Caching is a complex process which can be simplified by using a caching plugin like W3 Total Cache (Free and Premium). There are several other caching plugins like WP Super Cache, Wp Rocket. W3 Total Cache can do seriously awesome stuff like caching, minifying, CDN integration and other stuff.
Please note that configuring a caching plugin requires you to know the functions properly, otherwise, it may cause troubles to your site. By configuring your caching plugin, you can easily boost your WordPress’s site speed.
Minify JS, CSS and HTML
If you check your website’s speed via the google speed test tool, then you will see that google recommends minifying the JS, CSS & HTML files. It means that you need to reduce the CSS, JS and HTML calls. There are some plugins if you don’t know how to manually minify JS & CSS files. You can use AssetMinify (Free) to minify the CSS & JS files.
Use a content delivery network (CDN)
If you are really serious about your WordPress site’s page loading speed then you need to use a CDN. Nowadays Content delivery networks are becoming very popular. If you see your Google analytical report, you will notice that most of your users are scattered all over the world. Most of your website’s users are located far from where your website is hosted. CDN companies will store your website’s file in their several data centers and serve the users from the closest data center. This process will significantly increase your WordPress site’s page loading speed. Most of CDN services are paid, but you can use Jetpack’s photon service for you. We strongly recommend you to use MaxCDN.
gzip is a compression system which works with almost all modern browser. It can compress your HTML & CSS file which will reduce the file sizes to 50%-70% of the original file size. It’s very easy to enable the gzip compression in WordPress. We have written a detailed article on how to enable gzip compression in WordPress. If you don’t have time and just want to speed up your WordPress site right now you need to put the code below in your .htaccess file. After doing that, you can check whether you have successfully activated in or not via this tool.
This technique significantly increased our page speed score.
Leverage Browser Caching
This is another easy to do stuff which will reduce the page loading time. Leverage browser caching means that some of the common files from your website will be stored locally on visitors browser. As a result, any returning visitor will be able to load your website very quickly. You need to put the code on your websites .htaccess file. Put the code and save the file to put this into action. After inserting this code on your website’s .htaccess file, you need to check your loading speed on google speed test tool. You will see that your page loading score will be better than before.
Optimize and resize images properly
All WordPress theme uses different image resolution and thus, you need to use properly resized images to have faster loading. If you install a new theme then you need to regenerate all the thumbnails by plugins like this: Regenerate Thumbnails. It is suggested to use a lossless photo compression to remove the unnecessary information from the image. You can use WordPress plugins or photo compression software like JpegMini to do lossless compression on your images. See these Best WordPress Plugins To Optimize Images For Fast Loading Speed.
It is highly recommended to delete and compress obsoleted data from databases. There are many unwanted post revisions stored in your database, which you don’t need anymore. You need to clear and delete the spam comments, fake users, and drafts which won’t be used in future. There are several plugins which will help you to optimize your database. Please note that you need to take a backup before doing any database optimization on your WordPress site. If you want to set a number of revisions then you can use Revision Control. We have mentioned two plugins in the list below to optimize your WordPress site to make it faster.
Delete Unused Themes and Plugins
Always try to delete the unused themes and plugins from your site. Despite the fact that there are thousands of plugins for WordPress, over using it will drastically reduce your page speed. Thus, you need to use the plugins which are important and useful for your site. No matter whether you have inactive plugins, those will increase your page loading time. If you don’t need a plugin then you need to delete that plugin. You can check which plugin is slowing down your WordPress site via this plugin: P3 . It’s a fantastic plugin which will tell you about the impact of every plugin in the site speed.
Same thing goes for the themes also; any unused themes should be deleted from your site. However, you can keep one or two lightweight themes for backup usage.
Disable Hotlinking Your Images
Even though disabling hotlinking won’t directly affect your page loading speed, but it will stop people from stealing your resource. People won’t be able to hotlink your images and that will reduce the server load. Thus, your server will respond more quickly and your page loading speed will increase too. Follow this link to learn on how to disable hotlinking your images. However, you can use plugins like this too.
Remove Unnecessary Widgets and Ads
Same thing goes for the ads also. It’s totally OK to monetize your website but that should be in minimal and efficient ways. Otherwise, your ads won’t stand out and fail because of the clutter of ads.
Turn Off Pingbacks and Trackbacks
If you are using WordPress for a while then you already know about the pingbacks and trackbacks. They are methods used by WordPress to inform other blogs that your blog posts link to. This might be interesting for a while but this will reduce your page loading speed. You can turn them off by going to the Discussion and then Settings. Note that, your backlinks won’t be deleted.
Show Less posts per page and use Pagebreaks in long posts
By default, WordPress shows 10 posts on one single page. You can reduce the number of posts per page from Settings > Reading. You need to reduce the number to 6 or 8. Another important thing is that you need to show the excerpt on the feed but not whole posts. If your theme can’t do that by default you can use Advanced Excerpt.
Pagebreak is another crucial, but often overlooked way to reduce the page loading time. There are times when we write really big posts or use numerous images in a post which takes forever to load it. You can easily use pagebreak and divide the images into several pages. It’s a very simple way to reduce the page loading time. By the way did we mention that it increases your page views?
Speed up WordPress site by adding lazyload. LazyLoad is a process which will only load the images from above the fold. This will not only make your WordPress site faster but it will use less bandwidth. The images will be loaded once the user scrolls or views. It’s a great WordPress optimization technique to easily speed up your site. There are plugins to add lazy load function to your site.