How To Improve WordPress Site Speed? (12 Hacks)
At the time of designing and developing a website, most people tend to take a look at the functionality and design. Along with them, it is essential to focus on speed as well. Otherwise, you will be disrupting the experience that you offer to the visitors of your WordPress website. On the other hand, having a slow website can result in a drop in your rankings as well. While keeping this in mind, you should take a look at the ways on how to improve WordPress site speed.
Why Speed Is Important for Your WordPress Site?
One of the main reasons why you need to speed up your website is to make it more appealing to search engines. Search engines such as Google tend to rank websites based on numerous ranking factors. If you take a look at those ranking factors, you will notice that speed is among them. If you can speed up your website, you can easily boost its rankings.
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According to recent studies, it has been identified that websites that take more than two seconds to load experience a bounce rate of an extra 47%. If you don’t want to experience such a high bounce rate on the website, you should think about speeding it up.
People who look for things on the internet are quite impatient. They are expecting your website to load in a second. This is another reason available for you to worry about how to speed up WordPress site. Then you can end up engaging with the visitors. It will also help you to enhance the profits that you generate out of your website.
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How To Improve WordPress Site Speed?
There are multiple steps available for people who wonder how to optimize WordPress website speed to follow. Let’s take a look at a step-by-step guide that you can follow.
1- Choose a Better Web Hosting Provider
When it comes to WordPress speed optimization, speed matters a lot. You will need to check and see whether you have hosted your website on a reputed hosting provider, which has earned a positive reputation for website loading speeds. Along with that, you will also need to take a look at the nature of the hosting plan you use.
If you are using shared hosting, it is important to understand that your web page loading speed can be impacted. That’s because there are many other websites on the same server that you have used to host the website. If one or more of those websites are extensively using server resources, your website loading speed can be impacted. Hence, it is better if you can buy a VPS hosting plan or a shared hosting plan.
2- Install a Caching Plugin
Next, you should pick a proper caching plugin. They will help you to cache your website based on caching rules. Make sure that you are using a caching plugin that uses an effective cashing mechanism such as Varnish. Then you can easily improve WordPress site speed. There are multiple caching plugins available for people who wonder how to increase WordPress website speed. Make sure that you don’t get overwhelmed by the choices and proceed with using a reputed plugin such as W3 Total Cache.
3- Use a Lightweight WordPress Theme / Framework
The theme that you have installed on your website can also create a direct impact on the loading speed. This is why you should be careful to locate a lightweight WordPress theme and start using it. When you take a look at a theme, you will figure out that it comes along with a large number of dynamic elements, social icons, widgets, sliders, and other features. These features can enhance the functionality of your website while making it more attractive for visitors. However, you should also understand that they can impact the loading speed of the website. This is why you should always pick a lightweight theme.
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4- Reduce Image Sizes
Images are heavy in size, and they take time to load. You should take a quick look at all the images that you have uploaded to the website. If those images are heavy in size, your website loading speed can be impacted. Hence, you need to reduce the image sizes.
There is a Chrome extension named PageSpeed insights. You can use this extension and manually optimize all the images that you have on the website. On top of that, you may also take a look at the other similar extensions, such as WP Smush, Optimal, and EWWW Image Optimizer.
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5- Minify JS and CSS files
You may scan your WordPress website via the Google PageSpeed Insight Tool. This is where you will figure out whether you can speed up the website by minimizing the size of JS and CSS files. This is where you should reduce the total number of JS and CSS calls on the website. If you can do that, you can dramatically improve the speed of your website.
6- Use a CDN
A CDN or a Content Delivery Network is a proven method available to speed up your website. Hence, you may think about using a CDN as well. The functionality of a CDN is easy to understand. It is a network that has servers positioned all around the world. A cached copy of your website will be placed in those servers in different parts of the world.
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When a person is trying to visit your website, the cached copy of your website in the closest server location will be sent. This will help you to get that person to load the website within a short period of time. There are multiple CDN networks that are offering this service. You will need to evaluate them and locate the best CDN service out of them.
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7- Enable Gzip Compression
If you can compress files on your hard drive, you will end up saving a lot of space. You can do the same on your WordPress website as well. This is where GZIP Compression will be able to help you. It will help you to reduce the usage of bandwidth of your website dramatically. On top of that, you can also cut down the time that it takes to gain access to the website as well.
One of the best things about GZIP is that it has the ability to compress many different files. Therefore, you will be able to consider this as a versatile tool and start using it. Once you start using this tool, you can reduce the overall bandwidth usage of the website. Along with that, you can improve the loading speed of the website.
8- Cleanup Database
As you wonder how to make my WordPress site faster, you can also think about cleaning up the database. Once you take a look at the database, you will figure out that it is filled with lots of unwanted files. You need to get rid of them. The key is to keep your WordPress database lightweight as possible. This will assist you to reduce the overall size of the backups as well.
Some of the ways on how you can clean up the database include deleting old drafts, removing fake user profiles, removing spam comments, and deleting the plugins that you don’t use anymore. Once you clean up the database, you can expect to see a significant improvement in the speed of your website.
9- Deactivate or Uninstall Plugins
It is worthy to have plugins on your website as they can enhance the functionality. However, they can also create an impact on the loading speed of the website. This is where you should go through the list of plugins and see whether there are any plugins that you don’t use anymore. If there are any, you should think about getting rid of the plugin.
You can either deactivate the plugin or completely uninstall it. Once you do that, you can boost WordPress website speed. If you are sure that you will not even be using a plugin in the future, you can completely remove it. Or else, you can deactivate it for the moment.
10- Don’t Upload Audio/Video Files Directly to WordPress
You will have multiple methods to add audio visual content to WordPress. If you want to get the maximum speed, you should be uploading them directly into website. Some people tend to upload them into another platform and embed them on the website. In such a situation, the audio visual content would take more time to load. That’s because there is a separate request given to pull those content from a different server. You can overcome that struggle by uploading the audio visual content directly into your website. This is a highly effective WordPress website speed optimization tip that we can recommend as well.
11- Use Lazy Loading if Needed
Lazy loading is a proven technique that you can follow to speed up your WordPress website. This is all about on-demand loading. It is a proven optimization technique that can deliver impressive results to the website.
When it comes to lazy loading, you will not be loading the entire web page and rendering that to the users. Instead, you will be loading only a section of the website, which is requested by the user. If the user requests the other section, you will go ahead and load that on demand.
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Loading the entire website can take a considerable duration of time. However, the time taken can be minimized with the help of lazy loading. You just need to take a look at the way how the visitors of your website load content, and then proceed with implementing an approach for lazy loading. Then you can speed up your website, without disrupting the user experience.
12- Fix HTTPS/SSL Errors Without Plugin
If there are HTTPS/SSL errors on your website, the overall page loading speed can be impacted. This is where you need to think about fixing them. You can simply fix them without the help of a plugin.
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Before you proceed with fixing the errors, you should take a look at the specific SSL errors that you are facing. For example, if you notice the error “NET::ERR_CERT_INVALID Error”, you will need to understand that your SSL certificate has expired. Or else, it has been issued to a different domain. Hence, you should go ahead and get that fixed. Likewise, it is important to take a look at the specific SSL error that you face and proceed with fixing it. It will also help you to speed up the website.
How To Test the Loading Time of Your Website?
All the website owners who wonder how to improve WordPress site speed should do a load test on their websites and see how long it will actually take. Based on that, it would be possible to make an informed decision on speeding up the website. Here are the ways available for you to test the overall speed of your website.
There are multiple tools available for you to test the speed of the website. Some of the most prominent tools out of them include tools.pingdom.com and webpagetest.com. You may also think about visiting https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/. It will provide some useful insights on what you should do to speed up the website, instead of providing direct information about the speed of the website.
These are some proven methods available for anyone to speed up a WordPress website. You can take a look at these techniques and proceed with following any of them. We highly recommend you to follow all these techniques as it can bring in dramatic improvements to the page speed. If you are willing to find more information, this post can help you.