Do you want to speed up your WordPress website? Page speed is a ranking criterion for search engines such as Google since it influences the entire user experience. WordPress is an excellent content management system and blogging platform. However, one flaw is that it might be somewhat extremely slow with the default settings. The WordPress website offers a variety of tools and features that affect page performance. You can end up with a slow site if you don’t make certain modifications and improvements.

Given the importance of website load speed in everything from SEO and Google rankings to overall user experience and traffic, it should be the priority of every professional website owner. Everything from traffic to bounce rate to conversions, user acceptance, and, ultimately, income is influenced by page loading speed. As a result, we’ve put up comprehensive information on how to speed up WordPress.

webpage performance test
webpage performance test

In this complete guide to increasing the speed of the WordPress sites, we’ll go through the most useful strategies for reducing load time and improving performance. We will discuss why page loading speed is important, what elements impact your WordPress site’s performance, and how to assess it. Following that, we listed the finest ways for making your site as quick as possible. They range from simple to complicated measures, so even people with high skill levels will find something to apply.

Why did Fast Websites win?

The first question that may come to mind is, “Why should I worry about website speed?” To begin, consider why attempting to speed up your WordPress site is so important in the first place. It should be alright as long as your site loads in a few seconds, right? The answer, though, may surprise you.

When a visitor lands on your site for the first time, you just have a few seconds to catch their attention. The second delay in website response affected user engagement, lost revenue, and clicks. Most consumers will not wait for a webpage to fully load. Therefore you can know more about how to speed up WordPress sites for better performance.

Customer Experience

If you’ve ever used a slow-loading website, you understand how annoying it can be. It’s irritating, and your visitors will be irritated if they have to wait for your material to display.

So, at the most basic level, one major issue with a slow WordPress website is that it generates a truly bad user experience for your visitors, which you should always want to prevent.

Here are some notable point

40% of customers abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load.

79% of shoppers who are dissatisfied with a website’s performance are less likely to return.

One second delay reduces conversions by 7%.

Google ranking for speed

Google ranks sites based on site performance in both desktop and mobile results. It will also begin integrating Core Web Vitals data, which include a speed statistic, shortly. Site performance is especially crucial in competitive niches with many strong sites when it might be the difference between two equally powerful sites.

The issue is particularly common with mobile traffic, which has slower Internet connections than desktop machines. Furthermore, Google has stated that website loading time will undoubtedly become a ranking criterion for their mobile index.

How to measure website speed

Before you consider various means for speeding up your website, take a step back and analyze the present condition. This might helps you determine how much work you need to put into optimizing your website.

Testing your website before optimization allows you a standard against which to measure future test results. A speed test tool is the simplest method to assess the performance of your WordPress site. All you have to do with such a tool is input the URL of the page you want to test, and the tool will provide you with a slew of data to evaluate its performance.

There are several free internet tools available for testing website speed and performance. Regularly checking the speed of your WordPress website with the same tool provides you with an objective statistic for determining how successful your efforts to accelerate your site and enhance its performance are.

free online speed test tools are:

WebPageTest – offers a lot of testing variables to collect more useful data.

Fast or Slow – tests from multiple locations all around the world to assess global load times.

GTmetrix – is quite flexible if you register for a free account.

Google PageSpeed Insights – provides real-world speed data from Google, along with testing from Lighthouse.

How to Speed up WordPress

After reviewing your site speed, we may draw some conclusions about what makes a WordPress website fast or sluggish. These WordPress speed-up techniques are not included in any specific pattern. We’ve recently compiled all we’ve learned about how to speed up WordPress page loading and put it all in one place. I promise that implementing a handful will help your WordPress site speed up.

Optimize image (size and dimensions)

Images frequently take up the majority of a page. This is understandable given that they require more space than text or CSS. Large photos may greatly increase the size of a website, slowing down the loading time. Photos accounted for around 45 percent of the overall page size on average. As a result, to speed up WordPress, you must understand how to make them as tiny as possible without sacrificing quality, a process known as compression.

Image optimizers allow you to minimize the file size of your photographs while maintaining their quality.

That’s a good thing because large.png files are a major source of poor load times. Image optimization is simply the compression of images to make them fit for the web. You have the option of optimizing them locally or via a plugin.

When you utilize photos in your material, keep in mind that WordPress generates them in a variety of sizes. In this manner, you may specify the size of the image that will be shown. Posting a full-size image and then compressing it to 300 pixels is a recipe for a sluggish website. Unfortunately, this happens much too frequently, so make sure you use the correct picture size for your postings.

image optimization
optimize image size

Manually optimizing each image may be time laborious. Fortunately, there is a fantastic free plugin that will automatically optimize all of your photos when you submit them to WordPress.

Here are some of the most common picture file types and their applications:

JPEG – Lossy compression, which means the image loses some information to be smaller. JPEGs are ideal for sharing images.

PNG – employs lossless compression to save all of the information in a picture, assuring the best resolution. For images and drawings, PNG is the preferred format.

WebP — Because it combines lossy and lossless compression, this file format is gaining popularity. You may provide a high-resolution image that is smaller than a JPEG or PNG file by utilizing WebP.

Update WordPress and all plugins

By upgrading your WordPress site, you ensure that it always includes the most recent speed and security enhancements. Security and speed are inextricably linked; if a WordPress site is insecure, it may be delayed or even inoperable. Each CMS version includes new features, bug fixes, and other improvements. They improve the efficiency of your website and keep it from slowing down too much.

You also ensure that any known vulnerabilities are resolved by using the most recent version of WordPress, your themes, and plugins. Nothing can block you down more than a hacked website. Fortunately, auto-updates for WordPress core, plugins, and themes can be simply activated from the dashboard. Update WordPress Themes and plugins to the latest version for better security.

Update WordPress Core

Auto-updates for minor upgrades are only available for WordPress core, which we suggest for most users. Major upgrades may include substantial changes that are incompatible with your WordPress site.

Update WordPress Plugins

Log in to the dashboard and navigate to Plugins -> Installed Plugins to update a plugin. Locate the plugin you want to update and click Update Now. Alternatively, in the Automatic Updates column, choose Enable auto-updates.

Always ensure that you are using the most recent version of WordPress and that your site requires all of the plugins that you have installed and are active. If you’re not careful, outdated or poorly coded plugins and old versions of WordPress may slow down your website and may even cause security or compatibility concerns.

Use a fast WordPress Theme

The WordPress theme you pick might have an impact on the performance of your website. It is critical to select a well-optimized theme to speed up your WordPress site. Your theme, as the core of your site’s front-end content, plays a significant role in front-end optimization.

optimized wordpress theme astra
optimized theme

When selecting a fast WordPress theme, keep the following characteristics in mind:

Code optimized: To avoid performance or security difficulties, the theme’s coding should adhere to World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and WordPress standards. To swiftly evaluate a theme’s code, use tools like the HTML Markup Validation Service and the free plugin Theme Check.

Lightweight: A lightweight theme includes only the elements that are required. Its code should be clean, and the JavaScript and CSS files should be no more than 100 KB. The majority of WordPress themes come within this category.

Compatibility: Unfortunately, not all WordPress themes work well across several browsers. Using a cross-browser compatible theme allows you to provide the greatest possible experience for every user.

Responsiveness: A mobile responsive theme can adjust to mobile devices without slowing down. With mobile devices accounting for more than half of all online traffic, responsiveness is critical for ensuring accessibility and attracting visitors.

AMP-ready: WordPress sites run quicker on mobile devices thanks to the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) technology. Using an AMP-ready theme may greatly enhance the performance of your mobile site.

Try to pick a theme that has only what you require. Better still, acquire a lightweight theme and supplement functionality using plugins. This allows you to keep things lean and lightweight. Your loading time will appreciate it. This occasionally necessitates rebuilding your site with a different theme, but thankfully, this is only necessary once!

website speed performance
website performance

Some light themes that are good starting points for any WordPress or WooCommerce project are GeneratePress and Astra.

Use a caching plugin

Caching is the technique of temporarily caching a portion of a page to provide it to your visitors more rapidly. Caching allows you to conserve server bandwidth while also reducing page load times. It’s one of the greatest strategies to speed up your WordPress website’s page load time.

Most decent hosting companies provide cache services in some form or another, but if you’re still using a host that doesn’t, there are a plethora of third-party plugins available.

Choose a caching plugin for your WordPress site that is straightforward to install and gives performance gains with basic settings. If you know, you should enter the advanced settings to have access to extra speed improvements.

WordPress plugins are quite useful, but some of the greatest fall into the caching category since they significantly enhance page load speed, and best of all, all of them on WordPress.org are free and simple to install on your site.

When you make changes to your WordPress website, your content may not instantly update on the front end. To see the changes, users will frequently need to clear the cache. Web caching, on the other hand, speeds up WordPress websites.

As a result, WordPress caching plugins can assist you in better managing your cache. The appropriate tool and parameters can considerably improve the speed of your site. LiteSpeed Cache is one of the most popular WordPress caching plugins.

using caching plugin
using caching plugin

Please keep in mind that page caching is frequently used to mask performance concerns caused by poor hosting, sluggish plugins or themes, or even a large database. It is recommended to take care of all of them initially so that your site is speedy without having to rely on page caching. WooCommerce shop owners are well aware of this

Delete unused plugins

A WordPress plugin helps to enhance the features and functionality of your site. Some plugins, however, might be resource-intensive. You should avoid having too many WordPress plugins, and you should delete any that you no longer need.

Deactivating a plugin is insufficient since it is still linked to your WordPress site. Unused plugins must be removed from WordPress.

Fortunately, most plugins are straightforward to remove. Navigate to Plugins from your dashboard, find the inactive plugin, and click Remove.

Inactive plugins may leave certain database queries and WordPress configuration behind, necessitating further actions to entirely remove them. This is a typical problem with security or caching plugins.

Check the plugin’s official documentation for instructions on how to properly uninstall it before removing a deactivated plugin. Yoast SEO, for example, provides a detailed tutorial on how to entirely delete their plugin.

If the plugin doesn’t come with a detailed removal instruction, you’ll have to manually delete the residual settings and database files.

Install only the plugins that are required. Before installing any plugin, consider whether it is necessary for your website. Your WordPress site will be lighter and quicker if you use fewer plugins.

Performance improves when there are fewer plugins. However, the quality of the plugin is as crucial. A single low-quality plugin might create catastrophic performance problems. As a result, thorough research must be conducted ahead of time.

Minify CSS and Javascript

Minifying CSS, HTML, and JavaScript files mean removing unnecessary characters to reduce the file sizes. You can speed up WordPress with smaller files because data transfers between servers and browsers will be quicker.

There are two primary methods for minifying a JavaScript, HTML, or CSS file:

Make use of an internet tool. Minifier.org is a website that allows you to automatically minify the content of JavaScript, CSS, and HTML files. Simply overwrite the original files with the minified ones.

Set up a minifying plugin. Fast Velocity Minify is one of several plugins that allow you to minify HTML, JavaScript, and CSS files. In the plugin’s options, select the file types you wish to minify.

minify css and js
minify CSS and js

File minification is one of the most simple and efficient strategies to improve website speed. It frequently reduces file sizes by 40-60%. Caching plugins such as LiteSpeed, W3 Total Cache, and Autoptimize also support minification.

Enable GZIP Compression

GZIP compression is a method in which the server sends compressed files to the browser, which are then unzipped once the download is finished. This can result in a 70 percent or greater reduction in the file size of your website.

After all, a WordPress website is nothing more than a collection of files. Compression works best with repeating data, in which code is abundant. As a result, website files are ideal candidates for compression. Most WordPress performance plugins, including WP Rocket, can activate Gzip compression for you. You may also use the Enable Gzip Compression plugin on its own.

As a result, they are smaller and hence faster to download. Furthermore, because all current browsers can decode compressed files, this approach is a good alternative for speeding up WordPress. Many servers support gzip server-side with no additional setup needed, so check with your host first. Don’t worry if gzip isn’t already enabled for you; it’s simple to set up. You may either use a caching plugin that accomplishes it automatically or add the following code to your root directory .htaccess file.

enable GZIP compression
enable GZIP compression

If you don’t want to utilize a plugin, you may activate Gzip compression by manually adding this code snippet to your file.

Leverage browser caching

Browsing caching allows you to instruct a visitor’s browser to save static files on their local machine. The visitor’s browser will load those files from the local cache rather than your server on subsequent visits, which speeds up load times.

You have two options for controlling browser caching behavior:

Cache-control

headers that expire

These allow you to instruct visitors’ browsers on how long to keep specific sorts of files in the browser cache. “Store PNG pictures for 30 days after that it will re-downloading them,” for example.

Both produce the same result, but cache-control is the newer and more versatile approach. You can utilize either, as long as the storage lengths match.

There are two methods for including cache-control or expired headers:

  • Plugin 
  • Code

Many WordPress speed plugins, such as WP Rocket, already have functionality for implementing browser caching for you. You might also use the Add Expires Headers plugin on its own.

If you’re experienced with programming, you may also do this by modifying your site’s.htaccess (if using Apache) or Nginx config file (if using Nginx).

Use a CDN

A CDN is a network of geographically scattered servers that collaborate to accelerate the delivery of websites to consumers’ browsers. It takes all of your WordPress website’s static files, such as CSS, Javascript, and photos, and allows users to download them as quickly as possible by providing the files on servers as close to them as feasible.

It’s ideal for a global WordPress site with target audiences scattered around the world. A CDN reduces latency and increases page speed by shortening the distance between the user and the server. When a visitor accesses the website, the content is loaded from the server nearest to them, decreasing the number of external HTTP requests.

CDN optimize
CDN optimize

Some good CDNs for WordPress users include:

KeyCDN

Stackpath (formerly MaxCDN)

BunnyCDN

Cloudflare

Minimize external scripts and HTTP Request

The number of HTTP requests on your web page, how many of them involve redirects, and how many DNS lookups the browser requires to get all the resources are all common indicators.

Combining similar files is a simple approach to decreasing the number of HTTP requests. For example, your website should only have one CSS style sheet. Additionally, all custom scripts should be consolidated into a single file. The page load time decreases as the number of HTTP requests decreases. If you’re going to utilize a minified plugin, be sure it can combine comparable files.

You can reduce the amount of DNS lookups in your HTTP requests to improve performance. The browser must do a DNS query every time it sees a resource hosted on a new domain name to obtain the appropriate IP address. You can decrease DNS lookups by storing all of your resources on a single domain. The amount of DNS lookups are already reduced if you use a CDN to serve your static files.

minimize external script
minimize external script

For static resources, you should also reduce the number of redirects. When the original location of a resource refers to a new location, a redirect occurs, requiring the browser to perform a new request to obtain the resource.

Use Lazy Loading

The process of downloading the complete version of an image only when it reaches the browser’s viewport while the viewer is scrolling down the page is known as lazy loading. This picture optimization technique saves both the website owner and the viewer valuable bandwidth. It also speeds up page loading by delaying the download of a large chunk of the payload.

While you can enable lazy loading with plugins, it’s worth mentioning that WordPress is considering making it a core feature.

Host video Offsite

Keeping with the media theme, videos are also a concern. Ask yourself if you need a video on your landing page before you add one. Although WordPress is capable of hosting and playing videos, it is not a good idea to do so.

First and foremost, it consumes bandwidth, which is critical if you have a limited hosting account. Second, it will significantly increase the size of your WordPress site, making backups more difficult.

Most importantly, there is a slew of ultrafast video hosting providers that can almost certainly outperform your server. Plus, with auto embeds, including videos in your article is as simple as copying the YouTube, Vimeo, or DailyMotion link and pasting it into the WordPress editor.

Furthermore, if you use an external video host, you’ll have to make seven additional calls just to see the video. Use a video on your landing page only if it’s really necessary.

Optimize the WordPress database

A database stores everything of your website’s information, from articles and pages to theme and plugin settings. WordPress’s default database is MySQL.

Your WordPress database may gradually acquire useless information, bloating your website. Post revisions, removed comments, obsolete plugin settings, and unused tags are examples of unnecessary data. This bloat might slow down the loading performance of your site.

A bloated database, if left alone, will make it more difficult for servers to obtain specific information rapidly. This situation will have an impact on the site’s performance, slowing it down overall. In general, the larger and more complex your database, the longer these searches will take, reducing site speed and wasting server resources. But don’t worry, you can optimize your database size and obtain quicker loading with frequent cleanups.

Fortunately, plugins like WP-Optimize can assist you in cleaning up your WordPress database by eliminating useless post revisions and drafts, orphaned plugin settings, spam comments, and so on.

However, before streamlining your database, make a backup; you never know when a random file will come in handy.

Use a reliable host

Choosing a reputable host to house your site is one of the most fundamental steps to improving site performance. Sure, there are several low-cost options available. Remember that hosting is one of those situations where you get what you pay for. Because we’ve already shown that speed is important, this isn’t the place to cut corners.

When a visitor arrives at a page on your website, their browser sends a request to your server. The time it takes for the server to react has a significant impact on how long they must wait. Regardless of how efficient your website is, the performance of the web server has a significant impact on how quickly a visitor’s request is handle. Before you choose a host, you need first to determine the sort of hosting that you require.

If you want to publish popular material or manage a high-traffic website, putting your WordPress site on shared hosting will put you at a disadvantage.

The stress of your site falling after a major feature is enough to cause a few gray hairs: don’t be a victim, invest in good hosting.

use reliable host
use reliable host

WordPress hosting alternatives, particularly if you’re just starting. Your site will operate on a server that has been properly optimized for WordPress. You won’t have to deal with any of the technical aspects of maintaining a website. Furthermore, the cost of managed WordPress hosting is decreasing, as are the expenses of establishing a managed platform yourself.

Conclusion

The speed of a website is a key aspect of its success. It has an impact on the bounce rate, conversions, search rankings, and much more. Even a few seconds may make a significant impact. A sluggish WordPress website will irritate visitors and harm search engine results. A fast website is vital for a positive user experience and search engine optimization. Boost website for better performance.

We hope this post has assisted you in implementing the best practices for speeding up your WordPress site. We organized the techniques from the most basic to the most advanced. Please share any queries or other WordPress performance improvement ideas in the comments area. It is vital to realize, however, that each WordPress setup is unique. You might have more plugins, a slower theme, slower hosting, or more third-party tracking programs, all of which slow down your website.

I see so many clients that do practically everything correctly. Their performance is being hampered by a poorly code theme or page builder. Or they choose a high-quality theme but use a low-cost hosting company. You must heed all of the recommendations given above. Keep in mind that speed isn’t everything. The objective is always to design high-quality websites that provide the greatest possible service to users. Your website loading speed is only one of several factors.

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