How to speed up your WordPress site
Why does it matter?
The loading time of your site plays a vital role in its success. Users are impatient and they want the page to load within the shortest possible time so that they can proceed with their activities.
If the loading time of your site is slow, inevitably the users will bounce back. Furthermore, sites that load fast get higher rankings in the Google search engine. Therefore, speeding up your WordPress is important to retain your users and to rank high in search engines.
10 Basic steps to speed up WordPress
There are a number of ways through which you can speed up your WordPress account, a few of these ways are discussed in this post.
1. Choose a good web hosting provider
Whenever you think about creating a website, it is important for you to choose the correct web hosting provider as this will affect your site a lot. Many people opt for a web hosting provider that provides unlimited bandwidth, however, it is important to understand that this is not a good choice. A web hosting provider that gives you unlimited bandwidth usually fails to provide a proper loading time for your website as their priority does not lie in providing a satisfactory loading time for your site.
When choosing a web hosting provider, look for cloud hosting providers instead of shared hosting providers to get the optimum result.
2. Use a light WordPress theme
WordPress has numerous beautiful themes that come with sliders, widgets, and other shiny stuff. The various things that a WordPress theme provides you can create the illusion that your website will look more appealing, however, you need to understand that the greater the number of elements in a theme will increase its size. This, in turn, will increase the loading time of your site.
Always choose a theme that is light weight and provides only the essential elements. A minimalistic theme can result in an excellent website. One such theme for creating a good website is ‘Twenty Fifteen’.
3. Reduce the size of the images, which are used on the website
The size of a site is hugely affected by the images used on it. Reducing the picture size does not always mean that you have to compromise with the quality of the image. Manually reducing the image size will take a lot of time. Thankfully, many plugins will do this job for you.
The most popular plugins that can be to reduce image size without compromising with its quality are ‘WP Smush’ and ‘EWWW Image Optimizer’. With the reduction of the picture size, there should be an improvement in the speed of the website.
4. Minimize the size of CSS and JS files
If you use the ‘Google PageSpeed Insights’ tool, you may have received a notification that has asked you to reduce the size of the JS and CSS files. This notification is received due to the reducing the size of CSS and JS files, you can improve the website-loading speed.
You can both manually lower the size of those files or use popular plugins like Autoptimize to optimize the JS and CSS files of your website.
5. Use advanced caching mechanism
Adding caching rules in the website has been made easier by WordPress caching plugins like ‘W3 Total Cache’.
If you integrate the cache plugins with advanced caching mechanisms like ‘Varnish’, then you will end up improving the loading-speed of your site drastically.
6. Use content delivery network
Geography matters when it comes to the loading speed of your website; the site-loading speed of your site will be different for the visitors and will depend on the distance between the visitor and the place where your site is being hosted.
A greater distance between the visitor and site hosting place results in a higher loading speed, however, this can be reduced by using Content Delivery Networks (CDN).
When you use a CDN, your web page becomes available at a location that is near to the visitor; this increases the loading speed of your website. The most popular CDN services are ‘Max CDN’ and ‘Cloudfare’.
7. Use GZIP compression for your site
Whenever you compress a file, you will be saving space. This applies to both a computer system and a website. GZIP compression reduces the bandwidth usage of your website by compressing various files which are present in your site.
This bandwidth usage is decreased as, whenever a visitor tries to access your site, they will have to unzip the website. The most commonly used plugin for GZIP compression is the ‘GZip Ninja Speed Optimization’ plugin.
8. Clean the database of WordPress
You should regularly clean the database of the website to make sure that there is no unwanted data present. Removal of unnecessary stuff from this database will decrease its size and will further reduce the size of the backups.
Also consider deleting spam comments, old drafts of posts, unused plugins, and fake users from the website in order to speed up your WordPress site.
9. Uninstall unnecessary plugins
When you continuously store unnecessary plugins in your WordPress account, you may end up storing many junk files in it. This will increase the size of your backup and also the speed loading time of the site.
Always uninstall or deactivate the plugins that you do not use; it will result in improving the speed of the loading time.
10. Don’t use too many external scripts
When you use too many external scripts on your website, you can add a large chunk of data that increases the total loading time. Make sure that you only use the necessary external script like ‘Google Analytics’ and ‘Disqus’ to keep things straightforward and useful.
You can tremendously improve the experience of your site’s users by reducing the loading time of the website.
Apart from that, your ranking will also improve in the SERPs. A fast loading website will help you in both the short and the long run of your site.