More than 30% of the websites run on WordPress and more than 80% of the websites are not as fast as they can be. Either they are poorly built and use poor code, plugins, unoptimized images or use a slow hosting provider. But, thanks to technology, there are many ways to speed up your WordPress website.
A slow website can cause the dropping of the traffic, impact SEO, bad impression on users with a bad user experience. As well as people who are selling things on the website may get impacted by dropping conversion rates. In the fast world, nobody wants to wait for more than a second to load your web page.
Hiring the right people to build a WordPress website can help you with these problems by using the right theme, plugins, or building a custom theme that suits the specific requirements and functionalities and WordPress speed optimization.
In this guide, we’ll look at five ways you can improve your WordPress site speed. We’ll also explore what slows down your site, and why fast loading times are so critical. Let’s begin!
What Slows Down Your WordPress Website’s Speed (And Why Speed Is Crucial)
Website load time is the amount of time it takes your site to display all content fully. This content can include images, videos, and text-based components.
The elements most likely to slow down your site include:
- Slow plugins
- Lack of caching
- External scripts
- Poorly configured web hosting
Having a website with the fastest possible loading speed is crucial if you want to keep potential customers on your site. For example, Google analysis found that users are 32% more likely to bounce if the loading time is three seconds instead of one.
A fast loading time is also essential for search engine optimization (SEO). Google uses site loading speed to determine how highly it ranks your site.
It penalizes slow websites and pushes them further down the list of search results, making it harder for customers to find your business.
1. Choose a Good Web Host
The most important thing in speeding up the website is choosing the right hosting provider according to your website traffic. In a previous post we discussed on how to choose the best WordPress web hosting.
The web host you pick provides a lifeline for the success of your business online. Whether it’s managed WordPress hosting, Shared hosting, Dedicated hosting or VPS, you have to be sure it is right for your business.
For better performance, you need to choose an web host that does the following:
- Provides a stable and up-to-date platform to host your WordPress website.
- It is optimized for WordPress or any other plugin that you may want to use
- Their servers are optimized for speed and performance. This means built-in caching, security, and other features to improve performance
2. Update WordPress Core
WordPress developers work tirelessly to improve its performance and strengthen security. With every release the team ensures to make it run more efficiently and also reduce strain on server-side resources. This helps improve general user experience and run better WordPress websites.
It is you responsibility now as a website owner to ensure you has the latest WordPress installed and also the necessary plugins
3. Remove unused Plugins and Themes
A great team will never leave unused plugins and themes on the website. To speed up the WordPress website it is necessary to remove the unused resources, especially plugins. Whenever WordPress looks for plugins each time the site gets hit which causes extra work and results in the slowness of the site.
I also recommend updating the outdated plugins and themes for security and performance reasons.
4. Use a WordPress Cache Plugin
Cache plugins stores a version of your WordPress website after the first load and serves it when users visit. This reduces strain on server resources as it doesn’t have to keep fetching the contents from the database every time users visit your website.
There are a handful of suitable cache plugins like WP Fastest Cache, W3 Total Cache, WP Super Cache, Autoptimize, among others… which can boost up your site by compressing or combining CSS & java script files and other technologies like GZIP, the cache expires, etc…
This can greatly reduces page load time improving your users’ experience.
5. Use Optimized Images
Images bring life to your content improving engagement. People are more likely to click through content with images other than just plain text.
Having said that images can really increase page load time if not well optimized for speed. Ensure to use editing editing software like Adobe Photoshop to save optimized images before you upload them to your website. You can also use various image optimizing tools from the internet like TinyPNG.
In case of images that are already uploaded, we recommend use WordPress plugins to optimize like Smush that can help you reduce size without compromising on the quality.
6. Optimize Your Database
WordPress provides a lot of things to make the site owners’ life easy. It keeps even the deleted data and old version of the posts in the database so at some point if you want to restore, it pulls from the database.
As the data grows, it starts impacting the database performance so unused data must be removed to improve the database performance. You can delete the following thing which can improve your website performance drastically if you have tons of posts, spam comments, and trashed items.
- Delete/disable revisions
- Remove spam/unapproved comments
- Remove trashed items
- Remove unused metadata of posts
7. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a collection of servers located around the world. Each one stores a cache of your site’s data, and when a user visits your page, they will receive the data from the CDN that is closest to them. So your website will load a lot more quickly because there is less geographical distance.
Another advantage of using CDN is that it can give you up to 50% reduction in bandwidth usage. Setting up a CDN can take you a few minutes but it can have a huge impact on your site speed if implemented appropriately.
Here are some of the most popular Content Delivery Networks:
- MaxCDN – This CDN is the industry standard when it comes to WordPress CDN services. I use this service on most of my websites.
- Amazon CloudFront – This is the service that is used by sites like Imdb and 9Gag.
- CloudFare – It is a free content delivery solution, used by hundreds of thousands of bloggers. It also enhances the security of the site.
- Photon in JetPack – Another free CDN service that once activated, will upload all your images to WordPress.com’s servers (which run on the EdgeCast network).
An optimized website is as important as its design, users stay more on the website that loads fast even in slow internet speed. Following things from the start and carefully can improve website speed drastically. I hope this article can help website owners as well as developers to speed up their websites.