In the age of speed, slow loading websites can be useless. Use of various plugins and themes can slow down your website significantly which is a major drawback of WordPress. With just a few setup and maintenance you can significantly speed up your WordPress site. This article shows some easy ways to speed up your WordPress site.
Why speed matters?
Site speed is the total time a website takes to respond to web request. Site Speed is an important factor for SEO purposes. Google has included site speed as a new signal in Search Ranking Algorithm. Loading sites faster can help you rank higher in search result. So, we encourage site designers to think twice about adding a feature that can slow down your site if the feature is unproven.
You can lose subscribers and customers with your annoying slow loading website. 40% of people abandon the site that take more than 3 seconds to load. In e-commerce websites 80% of online shoppers who are dissatisfied with a site performance are less likely to buy from the same site again. According to Microsoft Bing experiment, a 2-second longer delay in page responsiveness reduced user satisfaction by 3.8%, increased lost revenue per user by 4.3%, and a reduced clicks by 4.3%.
Easy Ways to Speed Up Your WordPress Site
Do you really want to fall down in Google Ranking, dissatisfy your users and lose your subscribers? If not you should consider taking the following measures to speed-up your WordPress website. The first thing you should do is to measure the current site performance using following speed analyzing tools. This test is important in finding out how much slow or fast is your website working.
Most hosting service also provide page load speed info.
Choose light weight theme
Choosing a less fancy theme with less graphics and less styles and scripts can significantly make your website faster. So choose a basic theme that is lightweight and not too heavy to load.
Avoid useless Plugins
Plugins can be a major cause of slowing down your website. Plugins add extra bit of scripts and styles in your website that occupy some loading time. So minimize the number of plugins by removing the unnecessary ones.
Always keep your WordPress and the plugins updated. The latest versions will have more advance features and less security loopholes. If you want to use older versions, make sure you hide version number of your WordPress. Check out our guide on Steps to Remove WordPress Version Number Easily.
Use caching Plugin
The Static items of the website can be stored as cache item. A web cache (or HTTP cache) is a method to temporarily store of web documents, such as HTML pages and images, to reduce bandwidth usage, server load, and perceived lag. WP Rocket is a premium caching plugin. Free plugins like w3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache can also be used as Caching Plugins.
Decrease the size of the code by Minimizing your scripts and styles. Whitespaces, comments and newline make your code readable for human but they are of no use to computers. So you can omit them to make your codes compact and faster to compile.
Choose better Web Host
Choosing the right hosting company and the better hosting plan can play an important role in decreasing the page load time of your website. Most websites use shared host which has unlimited space and is less costly but they tend to make your website slower. Shared host is useful only for low traffic sites. Virtual Private Servers, Dedicated hosting Service and Managed Server are for generally useful medium traffic. If you have very high traffic website always use dedicated hosting.
Optimize or compress image
Images can take a lot of space in your website. Larger the size of image, more time it takes to load. So it is always a good idea to decrease the number of unnecessary images. Always compress or optimize the images inside your page. Various free tools are available for image optimization like WP Smush, EWWW Image Optimizer and TinyPNG.
Use a CDN
CDN stands Context Delivery Network is a globally distributed network of proxy servers. Instead of fetching from actual server node, content will be fetched from the nearest CDN node. Max CDN is an example of premium CDN service provider. For free CDN service you can try CloudFlare.
Optimize homepage to load quickly
Since homepage is the most important part of your website, you have to make sure home page loads quickly. Instead of showing full post in the homepage you can show the excerpts. In the homepage, display limited number of posts and remove inactive plugins and widgets to make it faster and light weight.
The deleted posts and experimented plugins keep overhead in the database which should be routinely cleared out. You can clean up database manually using PhpMyAdmin. Various plugins like WP-Optimize are also available freely for cleaning up database.
Add lazy load to your image
Lazy load image improves page load time. It loads the images only when it is visible to visitor’s browser. The other images load only when you scroll to them. Available plugins for lazy load are BJ lazy Load, Lazy Load, Rocket lazy load etc.
Turnoff pingbacks and trackbacks
Pingbacks and trackbacks not only invite spams, they can slow down your website too. You can check our previous article on ‘How to remove spam from WordPress comments‘ to learn to turnoff pingbacks and trackbacks.
Replace PHP with static HTML at possible spots
This general PHP code can be replaced with some static HTML which can save CPU processing time and database queries. This can make a big performance difference. This is also called super caching.
Minimize number of HTTP request
Use CSS sprites
Sprite is one large image file that contain all of your individual image. You can show only the image you need and can hide all the other images using set of co-ordinates or CSS background positioning. Various tools like CSS Sprite Generator are available online to make sprite images.
At the present age of competition, it is very important to make your website fast by decreasing the page load time. Expectations of users are rising and developers are committed to give lightning fast websites. So your website may be left out in the speed race, where faster websites are leading the race. To prevent your website from dying out make sure you follow these tips and provide your visitors with great user experience.
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