Saturday , September 26 2020

How to increase wordpress website speed – 13 Tips

Speed up WordPress website

You want your WordPress website to be fast..? I guess everybody wants so. Why..? Well, WordPress is a really very powerful CMS platform to build any kind of site from simple one page to complex eCommerce portal. But it has few drawbacks, one of which is its speed or performance. This article covers how to increase WordPress website speed.

When I started working on WordPress, initially I never cared about the speed of my WordPress sites. I used to convince my mind that wp sites actually take this much of time. Sometimes I end up convincing my client.

But while researching blogging and its earning, I came to know one simple yet powerful fact. Your website must be fast. Now, why exactly you need a speedy website..?

If you are new to the WordPress or blogging concept and don’t know anything about it, you can start with the following basic articles.

What is a blog? Blogging Basics

How to start a WordPress blog

9 Best Ways to Optimize Your Blog Posts for SEO

How to make money from blogging in 2020

 

Why speed is important?

Now take an example of yourself. Suppose, you searched for “best website copier” in google search. It will show search results with a list of sites. Anyone usually goes for the first 5-10 sites starting from the top.

Now, you click on the first site listed in SERP. But the site is taking more than average time to load, you immediately come back and go for the second listed site on SERP. This is quite natural.

It means, even though that site is listed first in google search, she is losing her valuable users or customers just because of site performance.

Strnageloop study shows that delay of 1 second leads to 7% of falls in conversions.

Strangeloop Speed Study

Source:- Strangeloop

As you can see in the above image, 1 second delay decreases customer traffic & their satisfaction which indirectly reduces page views. Ultimately it cost conversions and many more things.

According to various studies, the average page load time is around 3-7 seconds. If you are site is taking more than that, the user will go to another site. He might not come back to your site in the near future.

Even search engine giants like Google, Microsoft improved there algorithm. They can lower down your website rank if they find your site slow and non-responsive.

If you are new to WordPress and don’t know how to check website speed or how to do a google website speed test, you can use below sites

  1. Google Website Speed Test
  2. GTmetrix Website Speed Test
  3. Pingdom Website Speed Test

You can check a detailed article about how to check website speed test.

Increase WordPress website speed

While researching and learning, I came across various ways to improve the speed of WordPress websites. I tried to cover most of them in this article. These ways are pretty common to use. Still, I would recommend to use them as per your need.

  1. Choose for Search and Speed Optimized Theme
  2. Choose the best web hosting
  3. Use CDN
  4. Limit Post Revisions
  5. Add LazyLoad to your images
  6. Optimize Images
  7. Use Cache Plugin
  8. Optimize Database
  9. Split Comments into Pages
  10. Use Video hosting platforms for the video’s on-site
  11. Keep Your WordPress Site Updated
  12. Deactivate unused plugins
  13. Disable Hotlinking

 

1. Choose for Search and Speed Optimized Theme

Before even start with development, everybody needs to go from this step. I am not talking from the website performance point view but from an overall perspective. In today’s date, you choose a theme or template as per client requirements.

There are plenty of sites in the market to purchase the theme. Out of which ThemeForest is best. The theme acceptance process of ThemeForest is so hard that you will get maximum theme optimized only. But the competition is tough. So choose it wisely.

Choose-best-theme

Many themes provide loads of features or heavy layout or animated stuff in a single theme. But such a theme makes a huge impact on site performance. It is always recommended to go for simpler themes rather than fancy ones.

Being a developer, you must check the speed performance/search optimization features of the theme. It helps you to keep the site fast & optimized and saves future headaches.

Few themes highlight these points as they develop a really good theme. You can check the above image for example purpose.

 

2. Choose the best web hosting

Web hosting plays an important role in website speed performance. So before purchasing any hosting, compare their plans. Check, what extra features they are providing for WordPress sites. Once you are sure, then make a purchase. You can choose shared or managed WordPress hosting.

When it comes to shared hosting, it is used by lots of users and they all share the same resources. At one point, it might affect your site performance. But, Some hosting provider like Hostgator, Inmotion, Godaddy provides good shared hosting with extra features like 2x processing power & memory, Dedicated resources, Dedicated IP, etc.

Whereas managed WordPress hosting is specifically used for WordPress sites. They provide lots of value-added features like website staging, automatic backups & updates. The important one is supported. They have professional WordPress experts to solve our issues. WPengine is best in the market.

Simply, if you are running low on budget, you can go for shared hosting. If your budget is good, you can opt for managed WordPress hosting.

 

3. Use CDN

CDN stands for Content Delivery Network. Name itself gives you the idea that the content of the website can be delivered from the network. But which network..? The one which is near to the user. Didn’t get it..? Let me explain.

cdn-example

Source:- GTmetrix

Suppose, my hosting server is in the USA. Now I request my website “www.technolizers.com”. If I am not using CDN, I will get the complete response from my server which is in the USA only. It will take some time to transfer the data. (Without a CDN)

 

cdn-region-specific

Source:- GTmetrix

But, if I am using CDN, I will get static content like CSS, JS, Images from the closest network. It means my main server will send a request to sub-server or secondary servers nearer to my location. And I will get a response from that secondary server. (With a CDN)

CDN not only makes your site loading fast but also provides security, built-in version for css, js files, usage analytics, etc. MaxCDN(now StackPath), KeyCDN, Cloudflare(Free) these are some best CDN available in market.

 

4. Limit Post Revisions

WordPress provided one of the good features to have control over revisions of posts. Revisions mean it saves as many edits you do in posts. It helps you to roll back to a specific point by selecting a particular revision.

Post RevisionsThe feature is really good as it sounds but has one major drawback. These revisions get stored in a database which makes it heavy as the site tends to grow. So we must limit the post revisions or do not store at all (if not required).

As you can in the above image, one of my friends edited the same post-2270 time. Now imagine. You got 2270 revisions out of which hardly 10 is useful. If you do not limit it, it will keep wasting your DB space and increase site load time.

 

How to stop post revisions

Add the below code in wp-config.php. It will stop the post revisions completely.

define(‘WP_POST_REVISIONS’, false);

How to limit post revisions

Add the below code in wp-config.php. It will limit the post revisions up to 5 times. It will save the latest revisions and delete the old one.

define( ‘WP_POST_REVISIONS’, 5 );

 

5. Add Lazy-Load to your images

Lazy load is a very awesome concept for making your site fast. It’s a small concept but makes a lot of difference. When your site is loading, it loads all the images on that page even though you can not see them on the screen at a time. When you scroll down, you can see them already loaded.

Lazy Load

What Lazy-load does is, when you scroll down the screen, it starts loading the images which are in the viewing area of the screen. If you are halfway off the article and 2 images still down below, they will load when you will scroll down. If you do not scroll down, they will not load.

In short – It does not load the images which you can not see on the screen at the very moment.

It helps the site load faster.

 

6. Optimize Images

It is a very common way to speed up the site. But most of the developers, bloggers do not follow it. But, believe me. It is very important to optimize images. Most of the time, we upload images as we got it from various resources. They might be of large size from 100kb-8mb or even more.

Besides the size, type of image matters too. JPG image loads faster than the PNG image. So, you should try to use JPG images as much as possible. PNG images support transparency (It accept any background color for image) so they take more load.

Optimize Images

Various plugins are available in the market which helps you to optimize images for your website. Some are paid, some are free. Free plugins work up to some extent like a particular number of images in a day or in a month. Here are some of the – Smush, EWWW Image Optimizer, Imagify. Smush is way ahead of the other two.

One more simple option – Photoshop. It’s not the best but it can help. Save your image with “Save for web” option. The shortcut is Cntrl + Shift + Alt + S. It can be helpful when you use images on the non-WordPress site.

 

7. Use Cache Plugin

When any dynamic website loads, it interacts with DB, various functions, protocols, etc. For any request, the website has to go through this process. Even if you request the same page multiple times, the page has to go through DB, functions, protocols that many times.

To avoid this much trouble and make the process faster, the CACHE process comes into action.

Cache Plugins

When you request a page and the page calling process happens for the first time, CACHE creates HTML copy of the page. Next time onwards, whenever a user requests for the same page, the cached copy of the HTML page is served to the user. It reduces a lot of load from the website and makes it fast.

There are plenty of plugins in the market. WP Rocket is the best but its a paid one. And WP Super Cache & LiteSpeed Cache are the best free plugins.

 

8. Optimize Database

Database is the heart of WordPress. Or we can say, database is the heart of any software or application. As far as WordPress is concerned, it stores every single text data in the database.

WordPress provides some powerful features such as revisions of posts, auto-drafts posts. It also stores tags, trash comments, expired transients, etc. It increases the size of the database. To reduce the size of DB, you can use various plugins like Advanced Database Cleaner, WP-Sweep.

It helps us to clean up unused, orphaned and duplicated data. It also optimizes database tables. But remember to go through setting at least once before cleaning or optimizing the database every time. You might not want to delete all the post revisions, comments, transients.

 

9. Split Comments into Pages

If you are getting lots of comments, WordPress loads all the comments on the same page by default. You can break comments into pages. The option is given by WordPress itself. So no need to install any external plugin.

You can set the option in setting -> discussion -> Other comment settings (Section)

Split Comments

 

10. Use Video hosting platforms for the videos on-site

Video is the best way to explain any concept in a short time. It gives a clear picture of the things we would like to know. And it saves time too.

Generally, a lot of users upload videos directly into the site. It is bad practice from a different perspective like below

Video Hosting

1. It uses your server bandwidth which will cost you a lot if your server is having limited bandwidth.
2. If you are using a shared server with unmetered bandwidth, it sounds great but it takes time to load the video.
3. When you try to take the backup of the site, it will be much larger due to videos.
4. Video uploaded on the video hosting server, convert it into a different resolution (240, 360, 480, 720, 1080, etc) which helps to load the video on slow internet.

Youtube, Dailymotion, Vimeo, JW Player are some of the examples of video hosting. Some are free, some are paid. They use unlimited bandwidth, various resolutions, etc. They provide a URL that you can embed anywhere on site.

 

11. Keep Your WordPress Site Updated

It is very essential to update your WordPress site regularly from a security point of view. WordPress always comes up with a new release every 2-4 months.

WordPress update is also very important from a speed point of view. When WordPress updates it’s core files, they consist of new features and bug fixes. Due to these changes, themes and plugins also need to be updated.

Themes, plugins updates avoid conflicts (if any) when they become compatible with the latest version of WP. And so the site maintains its speed as it was before.

Although, you need to pay attention that the plugin must be compatible with the new version of the update. And you can check that here Dashboard -> Updates

 

WordPress Site Update

As you can see, it is showing 100% or Unkown as “Compatibility with WordPress 5.4.2”. You will get the same message with current version at the moment of update. Do not update plugin which shows Unkown.

 

12. Deactivate unused plugins

Plugins consist of CSS, JS, HTML files which create requests. Unused plugins create extra requests for their files. That is why the plugins which are not useful must be deactivated.

Deactivate unused plugins

Most of the time, deactivated plugins do not create any request but sometimes they do. So, I recommend deleting the plugin if the admin does not use it.

 

13. Disable Hotlinking

Many times, other websites use your images to display on their site. For that, they copy the image link address and use it in their code. This is called as Hotlinking.

When the image load on such other sites, it uses our bandwidth which slows down the speed of our site. And it does not give us any benefit.

To prevent, copy-paste this code in .htaccess file.

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://(www\.)yourdomain.com/.*$ [NC] RewriteRule \.(jpe?g?|gif|png|bmp)$ – [F,NC,L]

 

Conclusion

These are the best ways for how to increase WordPress website speed. All the methods are really simple to implement. Nothing techie. Try to implement this and let us know how much it makes a difference on your site.

First, check the current speed of the website. Then implement the above strategies. Again test the site after implementation. Let us know your results in the comment section.

We are pretty sure, you will love it.

Thanks for reading the article. If you liked it, don’t forget to share it with your friends.

 

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