If you are looking for different techniques to speed up your WordPress website then, you are at the right place. Here, we will discuss some of the best techniques that can be taken to speed up your website. But before we go through those techniques – a few things about why it is necessary for you (site owner) to speed up your website.
The loading speed of a website is one of the most important factors that one should not be neglecting. It affects almost everything from user experience to bounce rate to conversions. Also, a website that has a good loading speed provides a positive result on the overall SEO by ranking its contents in the higher position on the SERPs.
Table of Contents
How to Check the Speed of your Website?
As a website owner, it is a mandatory task to check out the speed of your website. There are different tools to do so. Some of them are:
Google PageSpeed Insights
Google PageSpeed Insights serves as the authentic tool for viewing the loading speed of your website from Google’s eye. It provides a report of your site’s performance score out of 100 for desktop and mobile separately. Along with the score, it also suggests different aspects that you must take to fix on a priority basis. It is a simple yet useful tool for testing the performance of your website.
Pingdom is a free tool to test the speed of your website. It grades your website’s performance out of the total score of 100 and provides a report consisting of load time, page size, total requests, etc. It provides performance insights that include grades to various aspects and suggestions to fix them.
GTmetrix is another tool that provides a detailed performance report for your website instantly. The report includes PageSpeed score and YSlow score in percentage, page load time, total page size, number of requests, and recommendations to improve the speed of your website.
Different Factors Affecting the Speed of your Website
Your speed test reports are likely to show you different recommendations and suggestions to improve the speed of your website. However, most of that might turn out to be hard for beginners to understand. Keeping this in mind, we have collected some of the major factors that may affect the speed of your website. They are:
One of the major factors that determine the speed of your website is the server type that your site is hosted on. If you are using a cheap hosting plan then, it will result in poor site performance and frequent downtime. Basically, websites that use the shared hosting are slow as the same server is shared with multiple users and sometimes hundreds of websites share the same service which can negatively impact your site’s speed.
Another major factor that affects your site’s speed is the page size. You would want to different images on your pages to make your website visually appealing and boost its engagement rate. However, if the uploaded images are not optimized then they are likely to hurt the speed of your site.
The WordPress extensions you choose for your website (WordPress plugins) can significantly hamper the speed of your website if they are not well coded.
Different external scripts such as ads, fonts, loaders, etc can also have a huge impact on the performance of your website.
How to speed up your WordPress website?
After discussing the factors that can affect your site’s speed, let’s take a look at the major part of the post – how to improve the speed of your website. We have mentioned some of the most simple yet actionable WordPress tips that can be used for optimizing the speed of your website. Let’s explore them in detail:
Choose a Best Hosting Provider
The speed of your website is not always on your hand as it largely depends on your chosen hosting provider. Different web hosting schemes such as shared hosting, virtual hosting, managed WordPress hosting may not ensure the same level of page speed. A website with a shared web hosting service is likely to have poor performance as many sites are hosted on the same server.
For WordPress users, choosing a managed hosting might be a good idea where the web host ensures the best level of site performance. As a site owner, your task will be reduced by half as the web host provider will take care of the overall performance of your site by themselves. Cloudways, WP Engine, Bluehost, and Siteground are some of the most popular and trusted hosting providers.
If you are looking for a hosting service provider for your new website or want to replace your existing one, you can check out our article: 10+ Best WordPress Hosting Service Providers
Update WordPress, Themes and Plugins
WordPress, being one of the most preferred Content Management System (CMS) today has been evolving with numerous updates. These updates are intended to make the software more user-friendly and secure. Moreover, these updates are also used for fixing the issues that are seen in the previous version/update. So, updating the core WordPress software will keep away some potential security issues and slowing speed that may be caused by the outdated core. So, keeping your WordPress version up to date will help you improve the speed of your website.
Similarly, the WordPress themes and plugins of your website are also needed to be kept updated to make your website speedy and secure.
Caching can immensely help you reduce the loading time of your website and one can experience this improvement instantly. These caching plugins generate static HTML files from the dynamic WordPress website and serve as the saved HTML files to reduce the processing loading speed on the server and improve your site’s performance.
Among different types of WordPress cache plugins – WP Super Cache, W3 Total Cache, and WP Rocket are the most popular ones.
For more details about cache plugins, you can check out our collection: 5 Best WordPress Cache Plugins to Speed Up WordPress Website
Optimize WordPress Database
Each time you upload your content on your site, WordPress automatically saves everything even unnecessary files, which makes your site’s database uselessly heavy. It is one of the main reasons behind your website taking lots of time loading pages. So, to remove unnecessary files like trash posts, comments, spams, trackbacks, and pingbacks, you might take the help of WordPress database cleaner plugins like WP-Optimizer, WP-DBManager, WP Clean Up Optimizer, and WP-Sweep.
Images usually cover a larger space of your wp-content folder which takes a lot of time to load and may result in a reduction in the overall speed of your website. So, optimizing these images is a vital task to improve your site’s speed. You can minimize the size of your images by using different compression tools such as TinyPNG or Imagify. They compress your image files by 50%-80% without any loss of image quality.
Besides, you can also use WordPress plugins like WP Smush, EWWW Image Optimizer, or ShortPixel Image Optimizer for automatically optimizing the images of your WordPress website.
If you are looking for a WordPress plugin to optimize the images of your website, you can check out our collection: 8 Best WordPress Image Optimization Plugins.
Use Lazy Load WordPress Plugin
Using lazy load is a smart technique for image-heavy websites that usually frustrate by taking a long time to load. The lazy load delays the loading of images i.e. loads only the images “above the fold” that the user wants to see. When the user scrolls down, the images below the fold will load one by one. Since, it defers loading all the images at once, the page load faster and ensures more happy users.
There are different lazy load plugins for the speed optimization of your website where BJ Lazy Load, Lazy Load, and Rocket Lazy Load are the popular ones.
For more detail to speed up your WordPress website using Lazy Load, check out our article: How to Lazy Load on WordPress Website?
Enable Gzip Compression
Gzip compression means a grouping of files for the reduction of their size. It is a great way to make your WordPress website faster by reducing the size of your HTML, CSS, and JS files. There are multiple options for adding the Gzip compression to your WordPress website such as through .htaccess, or by using compression plugins. If you are using the best quality hosting provider then, you may get this service inbuilt.
Disable Pingbacks and Trackbacks
Pingback and Trackbacks are the notification that you receive each time when somebody puts a link to your page/post on other websites. They are for sure awesome features for WordPress. However, they are also sources for spam on your WordPress website. So, disabling them may be a wise idea to avoid spamming and keep your website speedy and secure. Antispam Bee is a useful WordPress plugin to stop WordPress trackback and pingback spam.
If you for a tutorial to disable Pingbacks and Trackbacks on your WordPress website, check out: How to Turn Off Trackbacks and Pings on WordPress?
Use of Content Delivery Networks
A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a global network of servers situated in various parts of the world that delivers web content to the users from their nearest server point. A CDN delivers the static files to the users nearby so that it can greatly reduce the loading time of your website.
There are numerous CDN available. Among them, MaxCDN, and Amazon Cloudfront are the popular ones.
For more details about CDN, check out our article: What is CDN and How It Helps to Speed Up the Website?
Use of Proper Number of WordPress Plugins
WordPress plugins add various functionalities for the betterment of your WordPress website. However, they are not flawless, and installing too many plugins means gathering lots of mess on your website, which increases the size of your database and reduces the page speed. So, you must make sure to have only the selected number of WordPress plugins installed on your website. Deleting and deactivating unnecessary plugins, updating and monitoring the useful activated plugin can keep your website, lightweight.