Searching for how to improve WordPress speed? Or are you frustrated by slow WordPress performance? You’re not alone. With over 30% of the websites on the entire Internet using WordPress, there is a huge demand for faster-performing sites. It has become an essential aspect of every website owner to understand how to increase WordPress speed.
CMS systems like WordPress are among the most popular in the world. No doubt, it’s easy to use and has many features that make website building a simple process. Unfortunately, over time, WordPress websites can start to run slower than usual. On average, WordPress sites are 20% slower than static HTML.
Speed is crucial for your WordPress website. If your site takes a long time to load, visitors will click away and look for a better, faster website. Even a few seconds of loading time can cause you to lose visitors, which means you need to increase WordPress speed as much as possible. We have compiled a list of the 10 best tips for improving your WordPress site’s speed.
1. Install a WordPress caching plugin
By far, the most effective way to improve WordPress performance is by installing a caching plugin. Caching generates and serves static HTML files to visitors rather than processing comparatively heavier PHP scripts. This takes a load off your server resources, resulting in faster page loads.
Caching plugins cache each page and post of your website as a static file. Whenever someone visits your website, they will be provided with the cached version of your pages and posts, which results in faster loading times. A fast-loading website increases user engagement, decreases bounce rates, and reduces server load time significantly.
2. Optimizing the code
It’s important to optimize your website code for speed and performance. You can do this by compressing the code so that it loads quickly. Compressing your code will also help you to save bandwidth, which makes your website more efficient.
There are two ways to compress source code, minifying and obfuscation. Minifying removes all unnecessary characters from the code without changing its functionality. White space characters, newline characters, comments, and block delimiters are included. By reducing file size without affecting functionality, you can optimize the performance of your website.
3. Optimizing images
Optimizing images is one of the most effective ways to improve your WordPress website’s speed. First, you can use an image format that’s optimized for web graphics, such as the WebP image format. It provides better image quality but reduces the file size.
You can also compress your images using a plugin like Optimole. You’ll want to try different compression levels to see which makes sense for your situation. More compression means smaller file sizes but also reduced image quality, so you’ll want to look at it with a discerning eye and find a balance that works for you.
4. Use a lightweight theme (Responsive)
Lightweight themes load faster because they have less code, which means fewer HTTP requests. Responsive themes adjust the site layout according to the visitor’s screen size. This way, your visitors get an optimal experience regardless of their device.
We already told you, on average, WordPress sites are 30% slower than static HTML. If you’re looking to speed up your site, use a responsive theme. If your theme is bloated with features you don’t need and doesn’t work on mobile devices, it’s time to switch to a new one. We can recommend to you these 10 FREE Responsive WordPress themes for any niche.
5. Reduce server response time
Server response time is the time it takes for a server to respond to a user request. This is different than page loading time, which we’ll cover later in this post. For now, we want to focus on how quickly your website responds to a user action.
The most common user action that results in a server response is clicking on a link or button. The faster your website can respond to that click, the faster it will load the next page the visitor is trying to visit. If you want to reduce your WordPress server response time, choose the best hosting.
- Also read: 10 Best Free Image Optimization WP Plugins
6. Enable GZIP compression
Gzip compression reduces the size of the HTTP response from your web server. Enabling Gzip compression can reduce the page size by up to 60%. This will significantly improve the load time of the page. To enable Gzip compression, you need to add some code snippets to your .htaccess file. If you are using an Apache server, then you can find this file in the root folder of WordPress installation.
7. Deactivate or delete unneeded plugins
WordPress plugins are awesome, they can add functionality to your site and make your life far easier. However, they can also slow down your website. This is because each plugin you use adds extra code to your website, and this extra code needs to be loaded every time a visitor comes to your site.
It’s important that you run only the plugins that you need to run on your website. To determine which plugins you need, go through your list of plugins one by one and ask yourself if you really need them or not.
8. Keep WordPress updated
WordPress developers work constantly on improving their software and fixing bugs. With each new update, your site will become more secure and stable. But every update also brings new features and functionality, which makes them bigger and more resource-intensive with each release. This means that older versions of WordPress can often be faster than newer ones.
As a rule of thumb, you should aim to update your site as soon as possible each time an update is released. This will ensure that your site has the best performance and security possible while ensuring that you’re not missing out on any new features or functionality.
9. Choose a good web hosting server
The first thing you need to know is that the majority of hosting companies have similar prices, but their services vary greatly. A good hosting company can really improve your website’s speed. Your website needs a reliable web host that can provide a fast connection to your server and doesn’t overload its resources.
The server you choose can greatly affect how fast your site loads. If you are on a shared hosting plan, there is only so much you can do. In this case, you should make sure you pick the right host, one that has a good reputation and is recommended by other WordPress users.
10. Use a content delivery network (CDN)
Generally, a CDN is a worldwide network of servers. When users visit your website, the server closest to their location will deliver your site content. This significantly reduces load times for users who are geographically far from the location of your web host’s servers.
However, a CDN can also help to protect you from DDoS attacks, and Cloudflare is a very good CDN network to use, providing lots of features freely. These are when malicious visitors overload your web server with traffic in an attempt to crash it or make it inaccessible. A CDN can spread the load and ensure that even if this happens, most of your visitors will still be able to see your site.
As we have said before, the best way to make your website faster is by using a caching plugin. By using these plugins and the many WordPress caching tutorials you can find on the internet, you will be able to increase your page load time and ultimately get more traffic from Google, Bing.