Do you want to speed up your WordPress site? Fast loading pages improve user experience, increase your pageviews, and help with your WordPress SEO. In this article, we will share the most useful WordPress speed optimization tips to boost WordPress performance and speed up your website.
We include everything from why speed is important, what slows down your WordPress site to actionable steps that you can take to improve your WordPress speed immediately.
To make it easy, we have created a table of contents to help you navigate through our ultimate guide to speeding up your WordPress site.
Why Speed is Important for Your WordPress Site?
On top of that, Google and other search engines have already started penalizing slower websites by pushing them down in the search results which means lower traffic for slow websites.
To sum it all up, if you want more traffic, subscribers, and revenue from your website, then you must make your WordPress website FAST!
How to Check Your WordPress Website Speed?
In fact, users in different geographical locations will have a completely different experience.
This is why we recommend that you test your website speed using a tool like Pingdom.
It is a free online tool that allows you to test your websites speed from different locations.
After you run your website speed test, you might be wondering whats a good website speed that I should aim for?
A good page load time is under 2 seconds.
However, the faster you can make it, the better it is. A few milliseconds of improvements here and there can add up to shaving off half or even a full second from your load time.
Other popular Free Tool Google PageSpeed Insights PageSpeed Insights
What Slows Down Your WordPress Website?
Your speed test report will likely have multiple recommendations for improvement. However most of that is technical jargon which is hard for beginners to understand.
However understanding what slows down your website is 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 is not properly configured it can hurt your website speed.
- WordPress Configuration If your WordPress site is not serving cached pages, then it will overload your server thus causing your website to be slow or crash entirely.
- Page Size Mainly images that arent optimized for web.
- Bad Plugins If youre using a poorly coded plugin, then it can significantly slow down your website.
- External scripts External scripts such as ads, font loaders, etc can also have a huge impact on your website performance.
Now that you know what slows down your WordPress website, lets take a look at how to speed up your WordPress website.
Importance of Good WordPress Hosting
Your WordPress hosting service plays an important role in website performance. A good shared hosting provider like BlueHost or Siteground take the extra 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 a lot of traffic, then it can impact the entire server performance which in turn will slow down your website.
On the other hand, using a managed WordPress hosting service give you the most optimized server configurations to run WordPress. Managed WordPress hosting companies also offer automatic backups, automatic WordPress updates, and more advanced security configurations to protect your website.
We recommend WPEngine as our preferred managed WordPress hosting provider. Theyre also the most popular one in the industry.
For enterprise WordPress hosting, we recommend using Pagely because theyre the best in business.
Speeding Up WordPress in Easy Steps (No Coding)
We know that making changes to your website configuration can be a terrifying thought for beginners, especially if youre not a tech-geek.
But dont worry, youre not alone. We have helped thousands of WordPress users improve their WordPress performance.
We will show you how you can speed up your WordPress site with just a few clicks (no coding required).
If you can point-and-click, you can do this!
WordPress Caching Plugin
WordPress pages are dynamic. This means theyre built on the fly every time someone visits a post or page on your website. To build your pages, WordPress has to run a process to find the required information, put it all together, and then display it to your user.
This process involves a lot of steps, and it can really slow down your website when you have multiple people visiting your site at once.
Thats why we recommend every WordPress site use a caching plugin. Caching can make your WordPress site anywhere from 2x to 5x faster.
Heres how it works: Instead of going through the whole page generation process every time, your caching plugin makes a copy of the page after the first load, and then serves that cached version to every subsequent user.
You can read more this post bellow:
Optimize Images for 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.
But if your images arent optimized, they could be hurting more than helping. In fact, non-optimized images are one of the most common speed issues we see on beginner websites.
Before you upload a photo directly from your phone or camera, we recommend that you use photo editing software to optimize your images for web.
In their original formats, these photos can have huge file sizes. But based on the image file format and the compression you choose in your editing software, you can decrease your image size by up to 5x.
At WPBeginner, we only use two image formats: JPEG and PNG.
Now you might be wondering: whats the difference?
Well, PNG image format is uncompressed. When you compress an image it loses some information, so an uncompressed image will be higher quality with more detail. The downside is that its a larger file size, so it takes longer to load.
JPEG, on the other hand, is a compressed file format which slightly reduces image quality, but its significantly smaller in size.
So how do we decide which image format to choose?
- If our photo or image has a lot of different colors, then we use JPEG.
- If its a simpler image or we need a transparent image, then we use PNG.
The majority of our images are JPEGs.
Below is a comparison chart of the file sizes and different compression tool that we could have used for the StrangeLoop image used above.
As you can see in the chart, the image format you use can make a HUGE difference on your website performance.
For details on exactly how to optimize your images using Photoshop and other popular editing tools, without sacrificing quality.
WordPress Performance Optimization Best Practices
After installing a caching plugin and optimizing your images, youll notice your site will start loading a lot faster.
But if you really want to keep your website as fast as possible, youll need to use the best practices listed below.
These tips arent too technical, so you dont need to know any code to implement them. But using them will prevent common problems that will slow down your website.
Keep Your WordPress Site Updated
As a well maintained open source project, WordPress is updated frequently. Each update will not only offer new features, but also fix security issues and bugs. Your WordPress theme and plugins may have regular updates, too.
As a website owner, its your responsibility to keep your WordPress site, theme, and plugins updated to the latest versions. Not doing so may make your site slow and unreliable, and make you vulnerable to security threats.
Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
Remember how we mentioned above that users in different geographical locations may experience different loading times on your site?
Thats because the location of your web hosting servers can have an impact on your site speed. For example, lets say your web hosting company has its servers in the United States. A visitor whos also in the United States will generally see faster loading times than a visitor in India.
Using a CDN, or Content Delivery Network, can help to speed up loading times for all of your visitors.
When you use a CDN, every time a user visits your website they are served those static files from whichever server is closest to them. Your own web hosting server will also be faster since the CDN is doing a lot of the work.
You can see how it works in this infographic.
Dont Upload Videos Directly to WordPress
You can directly upload videos to your WordPress site, and it will automatically display them in an HTML5 player
But you should NEVER do that!
Hosting videos will cost you bandwidth. You could be charged overage fees by your web hosting company, or they may even shut down your site altogether, even if your plan includes unlimited bandwidth.
Hosting videos also increases your backup sizes tremendously, and makes it difficult for you to restore WordPress from backup.
Instead, you should use a video hosting service like YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion, etc., and let them take care of the hard work. They have the bandwidth for it!
WordPress has a built-in video embed feature, so you can copy and paste your videos URL directly into your post and it will embed automatically.
Use a Theme Optimized For Speed
When selecting a WordPress theme for your website, its important to pay special attention to speed optimization. Some beautiful and impressive-looking themes are actually poorly coded and can slow your site way down.
Its usually better to go with a simpler theme and use quality plugins to get the features you need, than to choose a theme thats bloated with complex layouts, flashy animations, and other unnecessary features.
Premium WordPress theme shops like juststartIt, Medix, CharityPlus, Laboom.. offer themes that are well coded and optimized for speed. You can also check out our article on selecting the perfect WordPress theme for advice on what to look for.
Notice: please turn off dev mod in theme option when your site edited done
Use a Faster Slider Plugin
Sliders are another common web design element that can make your website slow.
Even if your images are all optimized as described above, a poorly coded slider plugin will mean all your work is wasted.
We compared the best WordPress slider plugins for performance and features
Heres how it compares to other popular slider plugins.
|Slider Plugin||Page Load time||Requests||Page size|
|Soliloquy||1.34 secs||26||945 KB|
|Nivo Slider||2.12 secs||29||1 MB|
|Meteor||2.32 secs||27||1.2 MB|
|Revolution Slider||2.25 secs||29||1 MB|
|LayerSlider||2.12 secs||30||975 KB|
Revolution is our Recommend
Reduce External HTTP Requests
Many WordPress plugins and themes load all kinds of files from other websites. These files can include scripts, stylesheets, and images from external resources like Google, Facebook, analytics services, and so on.
Its ok to use a few of these. Many of these files are optimized to load as quickly as possible, so its faster than hosting them on your own website.
But if your plugins are making a lot of these requests, then it could slow down your website significantly.
You can reduce all these external HTTP requests by disabling scripts and styles or merging them into one file.
Have you ever wondered how WordPress plugins affect your sites load time? WordPress plugins allow you to add features to your site, but they can also affect your website speed. In this article, we will show you how WordPress plugins affect your sites load time, and how you can control them more efficiently.
Optimize WordPress Database
After using WordPress for a while, your database will have lots of information that you probably dont 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 databases structure with just a click.
Disable Hotlinking and Leaching of Your Content
If youre creating quality content on your WordPress site, then the sad truth is that itll 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, theyre stealing your web hosting bandwidth, and you dont 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: Dont forget to change SpyroPress.com with your own domain.
Thats it! We hope this article helped you learn some useful tricks to speed up WordPress and boost performance.
Go ahead and try out a couple of these techniques. Be sure to test your sites speed before and after, and let us know your results in the comments.
Important things above is
- Importance of Good WordPress Hosting.
- Optimize Images for Speed.
- Dont Upload Videos Directly to WordPress.
- Install a WordPress Caching Plugin.
- Use a Theme Optimized For Speed