In this article, we are going to discuss about 12 simple steps to optimize WordPress speed and increase the performance of your websites. There are several techniques to optimize the speed but we will be sharing with you the most essential WordPress speed optimization tips.
Why speed is important for your website?
It is important to load website faster because:
- Slower website means viewers will probably leave your website before it even loads.
- Search engines like Google, Bing and similar other search engines ranks website with higher speed at the top of their search results. So, to improve ranking in such search engines, speed is the most essential aspect.
- Studies says that since 2016 most of the users are using mobile devices to browse internet. And more than half of those viewers expects sites to load faster.
How to check your WordPress website speed?
To optimize WordPress website speed, it be necessary to analyze the load time of your website. Heads-up, the load time may differ from page to page because of its size, content’s weight, requests generated by enqueued files and whether it is cached or not. There are several live tools to check the speed of the website. Some of our preferable tools are :
Go ahead and try to check the performance of your website. Once the tools completes the testing, it will also give some recommendation of where and how you can optimize the speed.
Steps to optimize WordPress speed
Below we have listed 12 tips to optimize WordPress speed and made easy to help you navigate through the steps.
- Choose a Better Web Hosting Provider
- Use Lightweight WordPress Themes
- Optimize Images
- Remove Query Strings from Static Resources
- Use Advanced Caching Mechanism Plugins
- Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
- Enable GZIP Compression
- Deactivate or uninstall plugins
- Keep External HTTP Requests to Minimum
- Lazy Loading Images
- Keep Your WordPress Site Updated
1. Choose a Better Web Hosting Provider
A hosting server plays a vital role in your website performance. It could be the primary cause for slowing a website. But sometimes not configuring them properly can also be problematic for your website speed.
So, we suggest you to find best hosting provider. We have selected some of the best managed hosting provider that goes extra miles to optimize your website’s performance. They offer many more features to make your WordPress updated, take automatic backups and advanced secutiry configurations based on their purchase plans.
2. Use Lightweight WordPress Themes
Choosing a WordPress themes that completely suits your design or your imaginations could be little difficult. You can find the perfect theme that contains lots of widgets, sidebars and many more appealing designs. But remember this: if they have many elements, then it is definite that it contains larger number of files which costs server resources to load them and eventually affect the performance of the website.
3. Optimize Images
Images are a critical part of your website. They are the major contributors to increase the size of your website. Using a compressed image is not the right way to use the images. The right way is to use compress image withoug losing the quality.
There are plugins available which takes steps more than you can think of to optimize images. Some of the popular image optimization plugins are:
Using any of the above mentioned image optimization plugins will reduce the image size and improve the speed of your website.
If you run your website through any of the above mentioned tools to check your website speed, you will probably find some JS & CSS files under the recommended heading to minify them. Minifying JS && CSS can save many bytes of data and speed up downloading, parsing, and execution time.
But try to be very careful because, minifying can give you errors in front-end. So, try to minify very carefully.
Also, there are some plugins that will help you optimize those files after you install , activate & set-up the plugins in one click. Some of those plugins are:
5. Remove Query Strings from Static Resources
A query string is everything that follows “?” or “&” in the static resources like JS & CSS of your website. A query string looks like:
It should be removed because some of the below reasons:
- Since those data are exposed, it can be easy for hackers to mess your website.
- It prevents some server from caching your website which eventually slows down the site.
Plugins used to minify JS & CSS can also be used to remove the query strings from static resources. By removing the query string from you website, you improve the caching of the website and decrease the loading speed.
6. Use Advanced Caching Mechanism Plugins
We recommend caching a WordPress website because it makes the website load 2-5 times faster.
While loading a page, WordPress finds all the required information of the page, put it all together and displays it to the users. Instead of going through finding the information and collecting it every time, caching stores the copy of the page at first time it loads and then serves the cached eversion to every user.
Plugins like W3 Total Cache, WP ROCKET & Autoptimize have been caching several websites over the years. There are some hosting servers also which provides caching solutions. Find out more about those server here.
7. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
A Content Delivery Network copies your website to servers around the world and delivers it to users from the server closest to their geographical location.
Using a CDN can have an impact on the performance and speed of your website by serving the static files like images, JS and CSS from the closes location to visitors.
8. Enable GZIP Compression
GZIP is a file format and an application used for file compression which reduces the size of your website files, including HTML, JS and CSS.
Enabling this compression method means lower loading times and an overall faster website.
There are many more features of plugins like WP ROCKET and W3 Total Cache. Among which, GZIP compression is also one of them. This plugin handles the compression and optimizes the website performance.
9. Deactivate or uninstall plugins
Plugins are one of the primary feature of WordPress Content Management System (CMS). You can find a right plugin and install the plugin in your website whenever you need it. With the right plugin, you can create almost everything on your websites. But leaving too many unused plugins in your website can cause:
- Decrease in loading time due to database cluttering.
- Vulnerable to hacking.
If you are not going to use a plugin then there’s no reason to keep it. So, it is always better to delete the plugin.
10. Keep External HTTP Requests to Minimum
Using external library such iFrame, Embeds, YouTube Videos, Google Analytics and similar other adds a huge data/scripts to your web pages and as a result it increases loading time.
Thus, it is best to use lower number of scripts and only the essential ones like Google Analytics in your website.
11. Lazy Loading Images
Lazy loading for iframes and images across your site decreases load time and saves bandwidth. Make sure not to use external JS libraries to keep the call outs to a minimum.
If your page has a bunch of images below the fold, lazy loading will drastically speed up your page by serving only the images being viewed and delaying others further down the page. As you scroll down, other images and videos will be visible now. For lazy loading images, iframe, videos and other media files, you can use lazy loading by WP Smush.
12. Keep Your WordPress Site Updated
WordPress is always updating. The new version mostly consists of security fixes and new features added to their core files. There is always security vulnerabilities fixes.
Updating WordPress to latest version will ensure you that you have the latest security fixes and can use the awesome new features. Find out more about how to update WordPress.
Wrapping up, we hope you find this article helpful and be able to achieve faster loading website.
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