Do you want to hurry up your WordPress site? Fast loading pages improve user experience, increase your pageviews, and help together with your WordPress SEO. during this article, we’ll share the foremost useful WordPress speed optimization tips to spice up WordPress performance and speed up your website.
Unlike other “X best WordPress caching plugin” lists or generic “X tips to speeding up WordPress” tutorials, this text may be a comprehensive guide to WordPress performance optimization.
We tried to hide everything from why speed is vital , what slows down your WordPress site, and actionable steps that you simply can fancy improve your WordPress speed immediately.
To make it easy, we’ve created a table of contents to assist you navigate through our ultimate guide to speeding up your WordPress site.
Table of Contents
Why Speed is Important for Your WordPress Site?
Studies show that from 2000 to 2016, the typical human span has dropped from 12 seconds to 7 seconds. What does this mean for you as an internet site owner?
You have little or no time to point out users your content and convince them to remain on your website. A slow website means users will potentially leave your website before it even loads.
According to a StrangeLoop case study that involved Amazon, Google, and other larger sites, a 1 second delay in page load time can cause 7% loss in conversions, 11% fewer page views, and 16% decrease in customer satisfaction.
On top of that, Google and other search engines have already started penalizing slower websites by pushing them down within the search results which suggests lower traffic for slow websites. To sum it all up, if you would like more traffic, subscribers, and revenue from your website, then you want to make your WordPress website FAST!
How to Check Your WordPress Website Speed?
Often beginners think that their website is OK just because it doesn’t feel slow on their computer. That’s a HUGE mistake.
Since you regularly visit your own website, modern browsers like Chrome store your website within the cache and automatically prefetch it as soon as you begin typing an address. This makes your website load almost instantly.
However, a traditional user who is visiting your website for the primary time might not have an equivalent experience. In fact, users in several geographical locations will have a totally different experience.
This is why we recommend that you simply test your website speed employing a tool like IsItWP’s WordPress speed test. It is a free online tool that permits you to check your website’s speed.
After you run your website speed test, you would possibly be wondering what’s an honest website speed that I should aim for? A good page load time is under 2 seconds.
However, the faster you’ll make it, the higher it’s . A few milliseconds of improvements here and there can add up to shaving off half or maybe a full second from your load time.
What Slows Down Your WordPress Website?
Your speed test report will likely have multiple recommendations for improvement. However, most of that’s technical jargon which is tough for beginners to know .
Learning what slows down your website is that the key to improving performance and making smarter long-term decisions.
The primary causes for a slow WordPress website are:
- Web Hosting – When your web hosting server isn’t properly configured it can hurt your website speed.
- WordPress Configuration – If your WordPress site isn’t serving cached pages, then it’ll overload your server thus causing your website to be slow or crash entirely.
- Page Size – Mainly images that aren’t optimized for web.
- Bad Plugins – If you’re employing a poorly coded plugin, then it can significantly hamper your website.
- External scripts – External scripts like ads, font loaders, etc also can have an enormous impact on your website performance.
Now that you simply know what slows down your WordPress website, let’s take a glance at the way to speed up your WordPress website.
Importance of Good WordPress Hosting WordPress performance and speed
Your WordPress hosting service plays a crucial role in website performance. A good shared hosting provider like Bluehost or ChemiCloud take the additional measures to optimize your website for performance.
However, on shared hosting you share the server resources with many other customers. This means that if your neighboring site gets tons of traffic, then it can impact the whole server performance which successively will hamper your website.
On the opposite hand, employing a managed WordPress hosting service offer you the foremost optimized server configurations to run WordPress. Managed WordPress hosting companies also offer automatic backups, automatic WordPress updates, and more advanced security configurations to guard your website. We recommend Bluehost as our preferred managed WordPress hosting provider. They’re also the foremost popular one within the industry.
Speeding Up WordPress in Easy Steps (No Coding)
We know that creating changes to your website configuration are often a terrifying thought for beginners, especially if you’re not a tech-geek.
But don’t worry, you’re not alone. We have helped thousands of WordPress users improve their WordPress performance.
We will show you ways you’ll speed up your WordPress site with just a couple of clicks (no coding required).
If you’ll point-and-click, then you’ll do this!
Install a WordPress Caching Plugin for WordPress performance and speed
WordPress pages are “dynamic.” this suggests they’re built on the fly whenever someone visits a post or page on your website.
To build your pages, WordPress has got to run a process to seek out the specified information, put it all at once , then display it to your user.
This process involves tons of steps, and it can really hamper your website once you have multiple people visiting it directly .
That’s why we recommend every WordPress site use a caching plugin. Caching can make your WordPress site anywhere from 2x to 5x faster. Here’s how it works.
Instead of browsing the entire page generation process whenever , your caching plugin makes a replica of the page after the primary load, then serves that cached version to every subsequent user.
As you’ll see within the graphics above, when a user visits your WordPress site, your server retrieves information from a MySQL database and your PHP files. It then puts it all at once into HTML content which is served to the user.
It’s an extended process, but you’ll skip tons of it once you use caching instead. There are tons of excellent WordPress caching plugins available, but we recommend using either WP Rocket (premium) or WP Super Cache (free) plugin.
Check out our step by step guide the way to install and setup WP Super Cache on your WordPress site. It’s not difficult to line up, and your visitors will notice the difference.
Many WordPress hosting companies like Bluehost offer caching solutions as well.
If you are using Bluehost, then go to My Sites » Performance section to turn on caching.
If you’re employing a managed WordPress hosting provider, then you don’t need a caching plugin because it’s built-in and turned on by default. Bonus: you’ll combine caching plugins with an internet application firewall like CloudFlare or Sucuri for max performance boost.
Optimize Images for WordPress performance and speed
Images bring life to your content and help boost engagement. Researchers have found that using colored visuals makes people 80% more likely to read your content.
However, if your images aren’t optimized, then they might be hurting quite helping. In fact, non-optimized images are one among the foremost common speed issues that we see on beginner websites.
Before you upload a photograph directly from your phone or camera, we recommend that you simply use photo editing software to optimize your images for the online .
In their original formats, these photos can have huge file sizes. But supported the image file format and therefore the compression you select in your editing software, you’ll decrease your image size by up to 5x.
At WEhavedigitaltool, we only use two image formats: JPEG and PNG. Now you might be wondering: what’s the difference?
Well, PNG image format is uncompressed. When you compress a picture it loses some information, so an uncompressed image are going to be higher quality with more detail. The downside is that it’s a bigger file size, so it takes longer to load.
JPEG, on the opposite hand, may be a compressed file format which slightly reduces image quality, but it’s significantly smaller in size. So how can we decide which image format to choose?
- If our photo or image features a lot of various colors, then we use JPEG.
- If it’s an easier image or we’d like a transparent image, then we use PNG.
The majority of our images are JPEGs.
Below may be a comparison chart of the file sizes and different compression tool that we could have used for the StrangeLoop image used above.
As you’ll see within the chart, the image format you employ can make an enormous difference in website performance. For details on exactly the way to optimize your images using Photoshop and other popular editing tools, without sacrificing quality, see our step by step guide the way to save images optimized for web.
WordPress Performance Optimization Best Practices & speed up wordpress website
After installing a caching plugin and optimizing your images, you’ll notice your site will start loading tons faster.
But if you actually want to stay your website as fast as possible, you’ll got to use the simplest practices listed below.
These tips aren’t too technical, so you don’t got to know any code to implement them. But using them will prevent common problems which will hamper your website.
Keep Your WordPress Site Updated
As a well maintained open source project, WordPress is updated frequently. Each update won’t only offer new features but it’ll also fix security issues and bugs. Your WordPress theme and plugins may have regular updates, too.
As an internet site owner, it’s your responsibility to stay your WordPress site, theme, and plugins updated to the newest versions. Not doing so may make your site slow and unreliable, and cause you to susceptible to security threats.
For more details on the importance of updates, see our article on why you ought to always use the newest WordPress version.
Optimize Background Processes
Background processes in WordPress are scheduled tasks that run within the background of your WordPress site. Following are some samples of background tasks that run on a WordPress site:
- WordPress Backup plugin tasks
- WordPress cron jobs to publish scheduled posts
- WordPress cron jobs to check for updates
- Search engines and other crawlers trying to fetch content
Tasks like cron jobs for scheduled posts and updates have minimal impact on website performance.
However, other background processes like backup plugins and excessive crawling by search engines can hamper an internet site . For backup plugins, you would like to form sure that your WordPress backup plugin only run during low traffic time on your website. You also got to adjust the frequency of backups and data that must be protected .
For example, if you’re creating an entire daily backup while you simply publish new content twice every week , then you would like to regulate that. If you would like more frequent backups like real-time backups, then we recommend employing a SaaS solution so you’re not taxing your server.
As for crawling, you would like to stay an eye fixed on your crawl reports in Google Search console. Frequent crawls that are ending up in errors can cause your website to hamper or become unresponsive.
See our complete Google Search Console guide for beginners to find out the way to adjust crawl rate.
Use Excerpts on Homepage and Archives
By default, WordPress displays the complete content of every article on your homepage and archives. This means your homepage, categories, tags, and other archive pages will all load slower.
Another disadvantage of showing full articles on these pages is that users don’t feel the necessity to go to the particular article. This can reduce your pageviews, and therefore the time your users spend on your site.
In order to hurry up your loading times for archive pages, you’ll set your site to display excerpts instead of the entire content. You can navigate to Settings » Reading and choose “For each article during a feed, show: Summary” rather than “Full Text.”
For more details on the pros and cons of displaying summaries, see our article on full post vs summary (excerpt) in your WordPress archive pages.
Split Comments into Pages
Getting lots of comments on your blog posts? Congratulations! That’s a great indicator of an engaged audience. But the downside is, loading all those comments can impact your site’s speed.
WordPress comes with a built-in solution for that. Simply attend Settings » Discussion and check the box next to the “Break comments into pages” option.
For more detailed instructions, see our guide on how to paginate comments in WordPress.
Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
Remember how we mentioned above that users in several geographical locations may experience different loading times on your site? That’s because the situation of your web hosting servers can have an impression on your site speed.
For example, let’s say your web hosting company has its servers within the us . A visitor who’s also within the us will generally see faster loading times than a visitor in India.
Using a Content Delivery Network (CDN), can help to hurry up loading times for all of your visitors.
When you use a CDN, whenever a user visits your website they’re served those static files from whichever server is closest to them. Your own web hosting server also will be faster since the CDN is doing tons of the work.
Don’t Upload Audio/Video Files Directly to WordPress
You can directly upload audio and video files to your WordPress site, and it’ll automatically display them in an HTML5 player… But you should NEVER do that!
Hosting audio and videos will cost you bandwidth. You could be charged overage fees by your web hosting company, or they’ll even pack up your site altogether, albeit your plan includes “unlimited” bandwidth.
Hosting large media files also increases your backup sizes tremendously, and makes it difficult for you to revive WordPress from backup. Instead, you ought to use an audio and video hosting service like YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion, SoundCloud, etc., and allow them to lookout of the diligence . They have the bandwidth for it!
WordPress features a built-in video embed feature, so you’ll copy and paste your video’s URL directly into your post and it’ll embed automatically.
Find out more details on how it works in our guide embedding videos in WordPress. If you’re making a podcast website with WordPress, then we recommend podcast hosting service Blubrry for the simplest performance.
Use a Theme Optimized For Speed
Choose a theme optimized for speed When selecting a topic for your website, it’s important to pay special attention to hurry optimization. Some beautiful and impressive-looking themes are actually poorly coded and should slow your site way down.
It’s usually better to travel with an easier theme than to settle on a topic that’s bloated with complex layouts, flashy animations, and other unnecessary features. You can always add those features using quality WordPress plugins.
Premium WordPress theme shops like Themify, offer themes that are well coded and optimized for speed. You can also inspect our article on selecting the right WordPress theme for advice on what to seem for. Before you activate your new theme, see our guide the way to properly switch your WordPress theme for a smooth transition.
Use Faster Plugins
Poorly coded WordPress plugins often load an excessive amount of bloat whether your site needs it or not. This increases your page load speed and slows down your site.
To help you select the simplest plugins, we frequently publish our expert pick of best WordPress plugin showcases. We pay special attention to simple use, user experience, and most significantly performance.
- WPForms – Fastest and most beginner friendly contact form plugin for WordPress.
- Soliloquy – If you want to add sliders to your site, then Soliloquy is the best WordPress slider plugin in terms of performance and features.
- Envira Gallery – Photo gallery plugins can also slow down WordPress. We ran the tests and found Envira Gallery to be the fastest photo gallery plugin for WordPress.
- Shared Counts – Social media plugins load additional scripts and not so gracefully. Shared Counts is one of the fastest Social media plugins for WordPress.
Apart from our own recommendations, you’ll run your own tests. Simply run speed tests before and after installing a plugin to match its impact on performance.
Split Long Posts into Pages
Readers tend to love blog posts that are longer and more in-depth. Longer posts even tend to rank higher in search engines. But if you’re publishing long-form articles with many images, it might be hurting your loading times.
Instead, consider splitting up your longer posts into multiple pages.
WordPress comes with built-in functionality to do that. Simply add the tag in your article where you would like to separate it into next page. Do that again if you would like to separate the article on to subsequent page also .
For more detailed instructions, see our tutorial on post pagination – the way to split WordPress posts into multiple pages.
Reduce External HTTP Requests
Many WordPress plugins and themes load all kinds of files from other websites. These files can include scripts, stylesheets, and pictures from external resources like Google, Facebook, analytics services, and so on.
It’s ok to use a few of these. Many of those files are optimized to load as quickly as possible, so it’s faster than hosting them on your own website.
But if your plugins are making tons of those requests, then it could hamper your website significantly.
Reduce Database Calls
Note: This step may be a little more technical and can require basic knowledge of PHP and WordPress template files. Unfortunately, there are tons of poorly coded WordPress themes out there. They ignore WordPress standard practices and find yourself making direct database calls, or too many unnecessary requests to the database. this will really hamper your server by giving it an excessive amount of work to try to to . Even well-coded themes can have code that creates database calls just to urge your blog’s basic information. In this example, whenever you see <?php, that’s the beginning of a replacement database call:
You can’t blame theme developers for that. They simply have no other way to find out what language your site is in.
But if you are customizing your site using a child theme, then you can replace these database calls with your specific information in order to reduce all those database calls.
Review your parent theme for instances like this that can be easily replaced with static information.
Optimize WordPress Database
After using WordPress for a while, your database will have lots of information that you probably don’t need any more. For improved performance, you can optimize your database to get rid of all that unnecessary information.
This can be easily managed with the WP-Sweep plugin. It allows you to clean your WordPress database by deleting things like trashed posts, revisions, unused tags, etc. It will also optimize your database’s structure with just a click.
See our guide on how to optimize and clean up your WordPress database for improved performance.
Limit Post Revisions
Post revisions take up space in your WordPress database. Some users believe that revisions can also affect some database queries run by plugins. If the plugin doesn’t specifically exclude post revisions, it might slow down your site by searching through them unnecessarily.
You can easily limit the number of revisions WordPress keeps for each article. Simply add this line of code to your wp-config.php file.
This code will limit WordPress to only save your last 4 revisions of each post or page, and discard older revisions automatically.
Disable Hotlinking and Leaching of Your Content
If you’re creating quality content on your WordPress site, then the sad truth is that it’ll probably get stolen sooner or later.
One way this happens is when other websites serve your images directly from their URLs on your website, instead of uploading them to their own servers. In effect, they’re stealing your web hosting bandwidth, and you don’t get any traffic to show for it.
Simply add this code to your .htaccess file to block hotlinking of images from your WordPress site.
Note: Don’t forget to vary wehavedigitaltool.com together with your own domain. You may also want to see our article showing 4 ways to stop image theft in WordPress. Some content scraping websites automatically create posts by stealing your content from your RSS feed. You can inspect our guide preventing blog content scraping in WordPress for tactics to affect automated content theft.
Use Lazy Loading if Needed
If you add many images, multiple video embeds, and photo galleries to your blog posts, then your site can enjoy lazy loading. Instead of loading all of your images and videos directly , lazy loading downloads only people who are going to be visible on the user’s screen. It replaces all other images and video embeds with a placeholder image. As a user scrolls down, your website loads images that are now visible within the browser’s viewing area. You can lazy load images, videos, and even WordPress comments and gravatars. For images, iframes, and videos, you’ll use the Lazy Load by WP Rocket plugin. For WordPress comments see our guide the way to lazy load comments in WordPress
Use DNS Level Website Firewall
A WordPress firewall plugin helps you block brute force attacks, hacking attempts, and malware. However, not all firewall plugins are the same.
Some of them run on your website, this suggests attackers are already ready to reach your web server before they get blocked. This is still effective for security, but not optimal for performance.
This is why we recommend employing a DNS level firewall like Sucuri or Cloudflare. These firewalls block maclious requests even before they reach your website.
Fix HTTPS/SSL Errors without Plugin
If you’re switching your site to HTTPS/SSL, then it’s likely that you simply may meet mixed content errors.
The easiest thanks to fix this is often by installing a plugin like Really Simple SSL. However, the matter is that these plugins catch all URLs first, then change them to HTTPS before sending them to user’s browsers.
This has a small but noticeable performance impact. You can reduce this by manually fixing all URLs. For more details see our article on the way to fix common SSL issues in WordPress.
Use Latest PHP Version
WordPress is especially written within the PHP programing language . It is a server side language, which suggests it’s installed and runs on your hosting server.
All good WordPress hosting companies use the foremost stable PHP version on their servers. However, it’s possible that your hosting company is running a rather older PHP version.
The newer PHP 7 is 2 times faster than its predecessors. That’s an enormous performance boost that your website must cash in of. You can see which PHP version your site is using by installing and activating the Version Info plugin.
Upon activation, the plugin will show your PHP version within the footer area of your WordPress admin dashboard.
If your website is using a version lower than PHP 7, then ask your hosting provider to update it for you. If they are unable to do so, then it is time to find a new WordPress hosting company.
That’s it! We hope this text helped you find out how to enhance wordpress speed and performance.
Go ahead and try out these techniques. Don’t forget to check your website speed before and after implementing these best practices. You’ll be surprised these changes will boost your WordPress performance.