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Speeding up a WordPress website should be priority for any Web owner. And achieving a fast loading website is not a rocket science anymore.
Although, one needs to focus on all the possibilities and optimize to maintain a good speed. I will be explaining all the tricks and hacks to let your website load faster as never before.
Benefits of a fast loading website
Users have short attention spans online, making it difficult to keep them on a web page for a long time. Users are more likely to bounce off a slow loading site and go to a competitor’s site instead. The faster your website loads, the more chances you have of keeping a user’s attention.
A fast loading website can help businesses in many ways. They rank better in search engines, which means that they will be able to make more sales as well as convert visitors into potential customers.
In addition, they can also reduce the bounce rate which will make their business more profitable and business-friendly for clients looking for partners.
In order to provide better customer service, reduce costs and increase conversion rates, companies need to invest in faster websites that load quickly and accurately on all platforms.
How to check your website load times
The more time a page takes to load, the higher the bounce rate. A slow loading website means a less effective website.
There are few ways to test your website’s loading speed:
- GTmetrix Website Performance Testing
- Pingdom Website Speed Test
- Google Page Speed Insights
Here is the test conducted in GTMetrix. The fully loaded time is below 1 second, in fact just 378ms.
1. Choose a Better Hosting Provider
While comparing the speed of a website, a shared hosting may not be the best option. Your site will load much faster if you go with a VPS or dedicated server.
For small websites, shared hosting is often sufficient because it does not require any technical knowledge to set up and maintain.
But for larger sites, this type of internet hosting is not ideal because they do not provide enough resources to keep up with the website’s needs.
Shared hosting can also be more vulnerable to downtime which can affect your site’s traffic and lead to lost revenue from visitor count.
2. Lightweight WordPress theme
When it comes to WordPress, there are many different types of themes to choose from. However, not all of them are created equal.
Some WordPress themes are heavy and slow to load which can be problematic for SEO optimization. It is important for WordPress users to find a lightweight theme that can be customized or tweaked to suite their needs.
Here are my few of premium WordPress theme recommendations for your WordPress site.
A lightweight WordPress theme will not only load quickly but also look good on any device size because it is fully responsive.
Themes like these also use dynamic elements which allow you to insert content into the page without the need for programming skills or HTML knowledge.
3. Reduce image sizes
Images are often the most time-consuming part of any website.
If you’re on a limited bandwidth, it can be really frustrating to find that your favorite web page is loading slowly because it has a bunch of images that are all too large for your connection speed.
Images can take up a lot of space, and when you combine all the images from every page in your site, even a small change in their size can make a big difference in how fast your site loads.
If you’re not sure which compression technique to use, there are many tools available online that will help automatically optimize your images for you.
Reducing images sizes is one of the most important factors when optimizing webpages for performance.
4. Minify HTML, JS and CSS files
Google PageSpeed Insights is a tool that was created to help webmasters improve their site’s loading speed. This tool can be used on any website, no matter its size.
The only thing you need to do is to go to Google Page Speed Insights and enter your site’s URL.
After this, the website will analyze your website’s performance and give you suggestions on how it can be improved.
If you have a WordPress website, there are some plugins available that will automatically do all of this for you, so you don’t have to worry about anything.
5. Make use of Caching plugin
Caching mechanisms are a must-have for any professional website. It significantly increases the loading speed and improves user experience.
We had a great experience using Hummingbird Pro for few of our sites performance, It helps with
- automated reporting and fixing your Google PageSpeed with its full WordPress speed optimization suite.
- Automated and white-labeled performance reports
- Bundle of cache features helps in reduce the website load time.
- Gzip file compression
- monitoring Uptime and server response time easily
- Blazing fast UNLIMITED 45 point CDN to serve up to 2x optimized files
- No coding knowledge required for advanced asset optimization
There are many WordPress caching plugins out there that we can use to speed up our website and make it more secure.
By using caching rules, we can also take advantage of Varnish which is one of the best caching mechanism available.
The key to success when it comes to WordPress cache plugins is making sure that we set the right caching rules for each element on our site.
For example, if we want images and videos to load slowly, then we should set a long expiration time in seconds for them.
6. CDN are Worth Trying
A CDN is a network of servers distributed around the world. The idea is that a user closer to a server will have a faster download speed, because the information has less distance to travel.
CDN’s help speed up website loading times by caching content on servers close to the end-user.
Artificial Intelligence powered writing assistants are also known to help reduce bandwidth usage and decrease latency for users in different time zones. There are several CDN providers to choose from the industry.
7. Enable GZIP compression
Uploading smaller files will help improve your site’s load times by decreasing the amount of time required to download them.
This will make it easier for your visitors to get to content on your WordPress site quickly.
8. Cleanup WordPress database
WordPress database has a size limit of 2 GB. It means that the database will not grow any further if it has more than this amount of data in it.
It is time to start thinking about how to reduce the size of your WordPress database when you have outgrown its limits. This will help you avoid poor user experience on your site due to slow loading times.
9. Deactivate or Uninstall plugins
Plugins are very handy but it’s important to be aware of the plugins that can slow loading of your website.
WordPress plugin deactivation is an option but some plugins cannot be deactivated for technical reasons. In this case, you can use an uninstaller software to delete these plugins completely.
Some slow loading websites are due to the load on the server or configuration errors, while others may use too many graphics and videos on its pages. With these tips, you should be able to improve your site speed and consequently customer experience on your site.
10. Control Post Revisions for WordPress website
WordPress post revision feature is without a doubt a great feature. However, not all features are applicable to everyone. Several users have limited disc space and database space.
Post revisions save a new copy of the post rather than deleting the old one when you edit the content. It gives you the option to revert at any time.
In addition, it increases the database size, and a large database can cause many problems.
You can limit the frequency at which you autosave a post.
- you need a wp config.php file, can be accessed from the Hosting Control Panel – File Manager.
- right-click on WP-Config.php, then on it and select Code Edit.
define (‘WP_POST_REVISIONS’, 3);
There will only be three revisions. As a result, your WordPress site will only save the third revision.
Disable Post Revision:
define (‘WP_POST_REVISIONS’, false);
Your WordPress site will no longer be able to make post revisions. Completely disabling it is not recommended.
Increase Autosave Interval
define(‘AUTOSAVE_INTERVAL’, 300 ); // seconds
The frequency can also be set to automatically save a post. In place of the default settings, your posts will be saved every 5 minutes after 300 seconds have passed.
11. Keep external scripts to a minimum
External scripts are often the cause of slower loading times and needlessly slowing down your website.
Google Analytics is the most popular tracking tool that many people use as a way to understand how users behave on their websites. However, as this tool provides more data than it needs, it can slow down the loading times for your website.
To optimize your website, take a look at which external scripts you will be using and make sure that they are not slowing down your page load time and causing any issues with your Google Analytics tracking.
12. Disable pingbacks and trackbacks
Pingbacks and trackbacks are two functions that help websites load faster. They enable the website to get links to other sites without having to load them individually.
However, they can slow down the loading time of your website, which is why you should disable them if you are using WordPress or any other CMS. Pingbacks and trackbacks also get triggered by DDoS attacks.
13. Paginate Comments
Blogs, especially those powered by WordPress, often feature comments. Your comment section will most likely consist of hundreds of comments, requiring resources to load if it’s a popular one.
WordPress sites should be paginated to improve performance. Comment sections can be loaded on demand so only those interested can see them.
Go to Settings > Discussions to do so.
Final Words of Speeding up WordPress Website
In this article, we have talked about the impact of a slow loading website on search engine rankings and its consequences.
It is important to mention that there are many ways to improve the load time of a WordPress website with the most prominent being caching plugins.
You can also use an external CDN or a powerful server to host your website with a good connection speed.
20% Discount on WPMU Dev
All in one solution to speedup your WordPress websites is Hummingbird pro. You can get 20% off all WPMU DEV plans here. Get Hummingbird Pro included in the membership.