10 Ways to Speed Up Your WordPress Website

speed up your wordpress website

Do you know that your website loads slowly on users’ browsers? If yes, it is a worrying situation for the site.  You must speed up your WordPress Website for better performance. 

Because a slow website leads to a bad user experience. It also causes a lower conversion rate, higher bounce rate, and poor search rankings. 

That’s why you shouldn’t focus only on the content and design of your WordPress Website. You also invest in the best proper hacks to make your WordPress website faster.

Speed Up Your WordPress Website

Your website should load in under 2/3 seconds.  On mobile, the website must load in under 3 seconds. Most importantly, if you run an e-commerce website, it must load within 3 seconds.

In this article, we are talking about the importance of a faster website. Also, you will learn 10 helpful ways to speed up your WordPress website.

Why is WordPress Site Speed Important? 

If your website is slow, it will lose the interest of your visitors. They can go to your competitor’s site if it loads at a fast speed. They will annoy if they have to wait to open your site. 

So, you shouldn’t take for granted the user experience of the site. It is more important for SEO rankings. 

These are the most important factors that you should consider to speed up your WordPress Website. These factors apply to both mediums- desktop and mobile devices:

Bounce Rate

If your site opens in 2 seconds, it lowers the bounce rate up to 6%.  Loading more than 2 seconds means a higher bounce rate which can be up to 38%. Today, most users open sites on their mobiles. So, loading more than 3 seconds on mobiles means you lose 53% of mobile users. 

Conversion Rate

If the page takes more time to load than 1 second, you may lose conversion rate by 7%.  That’s why most online shopping websites have 10% conversion rate because they load faster in half of 1 second. 

Search Rankings

Site speed is the most important matter for SEO ranking on Google and other search engines.  They consider faster websites to rank at the top in their search results. Otherwise, they push down slower loading websites at the bottom of the search pages.

1

WordPress Hosting Should be fast

Faster WordPress hosting saves half of the loading time and helps your site for better performance. You could think about shared or managed WordPress hosting services.

Shared hosting services provide unlimited offers like space, emails, bandwidth, etc. But on shared hosting providers, you share your websites with other customers’ websites.  So, if those customers’ get more traffic that will lead to the poor performance of the entire server. As a result, your website will slow down again.

Another con of shared hosting services is they can’t offer the best loading times during peak traffic hours. Also, they can’t give assurance of 99% uptime.

However, you can choose shared hosting services like Hostinger or Bluehost. These options come with the best offers for your WordPress Website.

We’re suggesting that you should go for managed WordPress hosting services. These hosting services offer advanced security configurations. Also, you get automatic backups and WordPress updates. Some services give a free SSL certificate and 99.9% uptime. 

These are best managed WordPress Hosting Services:

  • WPEngine
  • Flywheel
  • Kinsta
  • SiteGround
  • A2 Hosting
  • Hostgator
  • GreenGeeks
  • DreamHost
  • Liquid Web
  • Cloudways
  • Inmotion Hosting
  • Media Temple 
  • Nexcess
  • WPX
  • Presslabs 
  • Pressable 
2

Use Content Delivery Network (CDN)

Users open your site from different locations. Different locations mean different loading times of your site.  This fact can have a major impact on the loading time of your site.  Because the location of your web hosting server could be far away or different from users’ locations. 

For an instant, If your web hosting servers are in India, Indian visitors can have faster loading of your site. But the USA or Canada visitors may face slower speed.

To avoid this issue, you should use the Content Delivery Network (CDN). CDN keeps the faster speed of your WordPress site for global visitors. 

The CDN is a network of all servers from the entire world. CDN stores cached content on each server.  Visitors can see this cached content from their closest location than from the main server.  

You can use one of the best CDN Services as follows:

  • Cloudflare
  • BunnyCDN
  • Stackpath
  • KeyCDN
  • Fastly
  • CDN77
  • Microsoft Azure CDN
  • Akamai
  • Amazon CloudFront
  • Imperva Cloud Application Security
  • Google Cloud CDN
  • Rackspace CDN
  • G-Core Labs CDN
3

Use Caching Plugin

To provide the content to your visitors, your server retrieves this content from querying your PHP files and MySQL database.  Then your server delivers this content into the finished HTML format to users’ browsers. 

It is a daunting task and takes more time.  This process takes more resources. As a result, your site slows down when more users visit it at the same time. 

To prevent this process, you can use the caching plugin. Page Caching can store finished HTML content into a cache.  It severs this cached version to every visitor. The catching plugin makes your WordPress website faster without doing any daunting process for the entire page generation.  

There are many best caching plugins as follows:

  • WP Super Cache
  • WP Fastest Cache
  • WP Rocket
  • Cache Enabler 
  • Hyper Cache
  • Comet Cache 
  • W3 Total Cache 

Hosting services like Bluehost and SiteGround comes with their pre-installed caching offers such as SG Optimizer and Bluehost caching. 

Many Managed hosting services offer built-in caching plugins.  To get a boosted performance of your site, you can use caching plugins with Sucuri or Cloudflare. 

4

Image Optimization

Images help to increase users’ attention to your website. Colorful images boost engagement and bring your website to the top of the search engine page. 

But non-optimized images can make your website slower. Images with huge size files eat half of the webpage leading to a lower load time of the site. 

You should optimize images by reducing their sizes.  For resizing and compressing images, you can use the best photo editing software available on online platforms.

You can resize the dimensions of the image per its display width.  After resizing its dimensions, you can compress this image to decrease its original file size. 

You can reduce the original file size of photos without losing their quality by using image optimization plugins and tools as follows:

  • WP Smush
  • ShortPixel 
  • Optimole
  • Imagify
  • BIRME
  • Kraken 
  • EWW Image Optimizer 

Lazy loading is another best option for optimizing images for your WordPress website.  You can use LazyLoad plugin hosted by WP Smush.  

5

Optimize CSS and JavaScript Files

If you reduce the size of CSS and JavaScript files, your site speeds up faster up to 5x. 

There are two types to minify CSS files as follows:

  1. Reduce the number of small HTTP requests by merging independent CSS files. One wide-spread HTTP request is better than several small HTTP requests.
  2. You can minify CSS code by removing unnecessary characters and whitespace.

You can use a free plugin named Autoptimize to optimize CSS files. 

You must also minify and combine JavaScript files like CSS files. WP Rocket and Autopitiomize are the best plugins to minify CSS and JavaScript files. 

To prevent blocking loading above-the-fold content, you can also postpone JavaScript loading. To do this, you can use Async JavaScript Plugin. 

6

GZIP Compression

You compress data on your local PC to save disc space. GZIP compression is a similar process that can be used to speed up your WordPress Website.

GZIP Compression reduces 70% of files from the server. Also, it decreases unnecessary bandwidth usage.  So when users visit your website, users’ browsers have to unzip it. 

Most WordPress Plugins come with the GZIP Compression function as follows:

  • WP Rocket
  • Enable GZIP Compression
  • PageSpeed Ninja

You can enable GZIP Compression without using plugin by adding the code in your site’s .htaccess file as follows:

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/plain

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/xml

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/css

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xml

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xhtml+xml

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/rss+xml

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/javascript

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-javascript

7

Fast Plugins 

Slower WordPress plugins help to slow down your site. Each plugin comes with elements like HTTP requests, file sizes, and database queries. Such elements make a huge impact on your page load speed.

Don’t install more plugins if your website takes more load time.  You must install those plugins which have useful features for your website.

What’s more, you should install plugins from creditable developers. Such developers come with well-coded plugins.

Some plugins are not updated and are inactive. You must avoid these not-so-current plugins.

We are suggesting some faster plugins that give a standard user experience, good performance, and easy-to-use features.

• Elementor 

• SeedProd

• WPForms

• Shared Counts

• MonsterInsights

• All in One SEO 

• WP Rocket

• WP Super Cache

• W3 Total Cache

• WP Super Minify

• WP Optimize

• WP Smush

8

Avoid From Heavy WordPress Themes 

Most WordPress themes offer interesting features for your website. They can attract you, and you install too many themes. But too many themes mean slow loading speed. 

You should load lightweight WordPress themes which provide lower page sizes. Such themes come with helpful functions like social icons, widgets, sliders, etc.

Here are some lightweight WordPress Themes as follows:

• Astra

• Schema

• StudioPress

• Neve

• OceanWP

• Divi

• Elementor Hello

• TheSkin

• Page Builder Framework

• Airi

• Suki

• BuddyX

• EcoCoded

• Zakra

• Blocksy

You can test the load time of WordPress themes by using their demo sites. GT Metrix is the best tool that allows testing themes’ loading time by submitting their demo sites.

9

Browser Caching

You can process browser caching to add commands to the user’s browser so that you can store static files on the user’s local PC.  Then, that user’s browser loads files from the local cache instead of your server.  Your website’s load time will speed up more than 2x times.

Most WordPress plugins have enabled browser caching to save your time. But you can process browser caching via editing the Nginx config file or .htaccess file. Both files need Nginx and Apache to edit them.

You can control browser caching by two types:

  • Expires Headers
  • Cache-Control 

Apache cache-control (.htaccess):

<filesMatch “. (ico|pdf|flv|jpg|jpeg|png|gif|svg|js|css|swf)$”>

        Header set Cache-Control “max-age=84600, public”

</filesMatch>

Apache expires headers (.htaccess):

## START ADD EXPIRES HEADERS ##

<IfModule mod_expires.c>

ExpiresActive On

ExpiresByType image/jpg “access 1 year”

ExpiresByType image/jpeg “access 1 year”

ExpiresByType image/gif “access 1 year”

ExpiresByType image/png “access 1 year”

ExpiresByType image/svg “access 1 year”

ExpiresByType text/css “access 1 month”

ExpiresByType application/pdf “access 1 month”

ExpiresByType application/javascript “access 1 month”

ExpiresByType application/x-javascript “access 1 month”

ExpiresByType application/x-shockwave-flash “access 1 month”

ExpiresByType image/x-icon “access 1 year”

ExpiresDefault “access 2 days”

</IfModule>

## END ADD EXPIRES HEADERS ##

Nginx cache-control:

location ~* \. (js|css|png|jpg|jpeg|gif|svg|ico)$ {

 expires 30d;

 add_header Cache-Control “public, no-transform”;

}  

Nginx expires headers:

location ~*  \. (jpg|jpeg|gif|png|svg)$ {

        expires 365d;

    }

    location ~*  \. (pdf|css|html|js|swf)$ {

        expires 2d;

    }

10

Split long-form articles into pages 

Though Long-form articles are becoming a hot trend in the internet world, these posts can affect the loading time of your site.

If these posts are with countless images, your website automatically slows down. To avoid it, you should split these long-form articles into different pages.

You can add <!––nextpage––> when you split the article into the next page every time.  You can avoid uploading numerous images to your articles if they are not necessary.

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