Disclaimer: This is a sponsored article plus some links and discount codes in this article generate affiliate income. So if you use these codes or click the link and make a purchase, I will get some commission at no extra cost to you. Recommended products are of high quality. Some of them I use personally.
Why website speed is important?
Isn’t WordPress fast enough already?
Is it complicated to speed up WordPress site?
How can I speed up my WordPress website?
If you are looking for the answers to above questions then you have come to the right place.
Congrats and pat your back.
You did an excellent job. Keep it up!
Now lets get back to our article to Speed up WordPress website.
Why website speed is important?
The average human attention span has dropped to few seconds.
What does that mean for you as an website owner?
That implies you, as the website owner, have a limited amount of time to persuade the visitor to stay on your site and take action.
To achieve this, your website must load fast; otherwise, users will abandon sites that take longer than three seconds to load.
So make a goal to make your website load in 2 seconds or less.
A slow site results in fewer conversions (sales, signups), fewer pageviews, a higher bounce rate, a poor user experience, and dissatisfied consumers.
Would you as a business owner want that?
Off course not.
Furthermore, a slow-loading website ranks lower in search engine results pages (SERPs).
And a lower rank means less traffic to your website from search engines.
7 Benefits of Faster Loading WordPress Sites
- Rank higher in search engines.
- Increase page views.
- Increase in time spent on site.
- Reduce bound rate.
- More sales.
- More earnings from ads.
- Improve overall visitor experience.
Isn’t WordPress fast enough already?
WordPress isn’t particularly fast by default.
To understand this, You’ll need to know how WordPress works.
WordPress is dynamic by nature, and as a request comes in, it creates pages on the fly.
This is the primary cause of its sluggishness.
Other factors that may slow down your WordPress site include themes, hosting provider, and plugins.
Is it complicated to speed up WordPress?
Any business owner can use the majority of the suggestions below.
There are exceptions to this rule.
If you want to improve the user experience on your WordPress site, hire someone like me.
How can I speed up my WordPress website?
The following are some useful tips for speeding up your WordPress site.
- Choose faster DNS provider.
- Enable external WAF.
- Use CDN.
- Choose high performance hosting provider.
- Choose server location near visitors.
- Switch on latest HTTP protocols.
- Use Server CRON jobs.
- Optimize WordPress database.
- Install latest PHP version.
- Install latest TLS version.
- Use a lightweight WordPress theme.
- Reduce external HTTP requests.
- Enable caching.
- Enable compression.
- Have fewer redirects.
- Use fewer plugins.
- Optimize images.
- Leverage browser caching.
- Minify assets.
- Enable lazy loading.
- Optimize comments system.
- Install PWA.
- Choose external site search.
1. Choose faster DNS provider.
The DNS is the first point of interaction between a visitor’s browser and a website.
Your site, and your business, will get affected if the DNS is slow or unavailable.
As a result, select a DNS provider that is quick, dependable, available (uptime), and secure.
To compare DNS services, you can use tools like DNSPerf.
2. Enable external WAF.
WAF is an acronym for Web Application Firewall.
WAF filters requests coming to the web server.
WAF is in charge of ensuring that only good requests reach your server.
What are the various methods for enabling WAF?
- At WordPress level using plugin.
- At server level.
- Via a third-party service.
The first one is not recommended because it uses a lot of server resources and is slow.
The second approach requires server resources as well, but very less.
3. Use a CDN.
CDN stands for Content Delivery Network.
CDN ensures that your site loads quickly when accessed from any location on the globe.
CDN does this by caching and storing your website’s content in many places around the globe.
As a result, whenever a request comes in, the CDN will serve the website visitor from the closest location.
Pro tip – enable CDN only if you have a global user base.
Another advantage of CDN is that it lowers strain on servers with limited resources.
4. Choose high performance hosting provider.
Your site will be slow if your host is slow.
If your host is slow, no amount of performance tweaks will help you.
What makes your WordPress host slow?
- Using outdated hardware or software.
- Shared hosting – sharing server resources among many sites.
- Server not configured properly.
- Not enough optimizations.
- Too many software’s installed which are not used.
Besides speed, also consider uptime, security, and support when deciding where to host your website.
5. Choose server location near visitors.
Suppose your server is in India and the bulk of your site users are from the United States.
Do you think your WordPress site to load quickly?
The greater the distance, the greater the latency, and the longer it will take for your site to load.
As a result, it’s critical to pick a server location that’s close to the majority of your site visitors.
6. Switch on latest HTTP protocols.
Enable the latest HTTP protocols, such as HTTP/2, which is the current standard.
You can also activate HTTP/3, which is faster than HTTP/2 and more dependable.
Enable this protocols on both your server and your CDN.
7. Use Server CRON jobs.
The default WordPress CRON job gets triggered on every page view.
This increases the server’s resource utilisation, which is already constrained.
Also, from a speed standpoint, it’s not ideal.
Instead, you should disable the WordPress CRON job and enable it at the server level.
You can schedule a server CRON job to run every minute.
The CRON job on the server uses less resources and is faster.
8. Optimize WordPress database.
Your WordPress database becomes bloated with trash entries over time.
A large number of such entries will slow down your site.
What makes WordPress database slow and bloated?
- Data leftover by old themes and plugins.
- Post revisions.
- Comment spam.
- Old media files.
If not monthly, be sure to optimise your WordPress database every three months.
Your site will definitely load faster if your WordPress database is optimised.
9. Install latest PHP version.
WordPress is written in PHP.
Why should you update PHP version to latest?
- For stability.
- For security.
- For speed.
PHP 7, the most recent PHP version, is two times faster than PHP 5.6.
The PHP version is available in the Site Health section of the Tools menu. Scroll down to the Server tab once you’ve arrived.
If you have the most recent version, that’s fantastic!
Tell your hosting company to update it for you if you don’t want to do it yourself.
10. Install latest TLS version.
TLS is an encryption protocol.
TLS stands for Transport Layer Security.
TLS is a successor to SSL.
TLS 1.3 is the latest version published in 2018.
TLS 1.3 has many security and speed enhancements, including the addition of 0-RTT.
TLS 1.3 improves the security and speed of connections over previous versions.
Enable TLS 1.3 at your server and CDN provider to speed up your WordPress site.
11. Use a lightweight WordPress theme.
WordPress theme forms the foundation of your website.
As a result, take utmost care while choosing WordPress theme for your website.
A fancy or poorly coded theme will eat up a lot of server resources and cause your site to slow down.
Make sure you pick a theme which is fast, and light weight.
If you choose a theme with a lot of features, make sure it allows you to turn off the ones you don’t use.
This site runs on Astra theme. Astra is one of the fastest and most popular WordPress theme of all time.
Astra weighs just 50 KB and does not use jQuery.
12. Reduce external HTTP requests.
A large number of requests from multiple domains will slow down your WordPress site.
Few examples of external resources which slow down WordPress.
- AdSense ads.
- Facebook widgets.
- Twitter social widgets.
- jQuery library.
Connect to least number of different domains if you want to delight your visitors with pleasant experience.
13. Enable caching.
What does caching do?
Caching means a copy of your site is stored and served when a request comes.
Thus speeding up your WordPress site.
What are the different types of Caching?
- Caching by WordPress plugin which is the slowest.
- Caching at the server level which is faster than above.
- Caching by the CDN which is the fastest.
2nd and 3rd options are recommended.
Managed WordPress hosts do caching at the server level.
If you decide to spin up your own server, make sure to install LiteSpeed Web Server to speed up your WordPress site.
14. Enable compression.
Compression reduces the file size.
What are the different types of compression?
Gzip is the oldest compression whereas Brotli is the newer one.
What types of files can be compressed?
Your webpages, CSS, JS, etc…
Enable compression on your host as well as CDN.
15. Have fewer redirects.
What is a redirect?
Redirect is just a pointer which tells that something that was at one location has now shifted to a new location.
What are the different types of redirects?
- Redirect from HTTP to HTTPS version.
- Redirect from www to naked version of your domain or vice versa.
- Redirect internal pages, folders or static assets.
First two are must for all sites.
Third type of redirects are what you should minimize as it puts load on server resources.
Redirects done by web server like Apache(.htaccess), Nginx and LiteSpeed are faster compared to the ones done via WordPress plugins.
Redirects done by the CDN are the fastest of all.
16. Use fewer plugins.
Why to use fewer WordPress plugins?
- Plugins pose biggest threat to WordPress Security.
- Poorly coded plugins slow down your WordPress site.
A well coded plugin is fast.
So make sure whenever you install a plugin it is fast, secure and from a reputed source.
Delete all unused plugins.
17. Optimize images.
Images account for a large part of a website’s page size.
Even after resizing and compressing, images still make up more than 70% of a sites content.
All you can do is optimize images to speed up delivery.
What are the different ways to optimize images for speed?
- Resize images.
- Compress images.
- Dynamically serve images based on visitors device using scrset.
- Serve images in latest formats like webp.
- Serve images from CDN.
- Lazy load images.
Use fewer images as much as possible to keep the overall page load size small.
18. Leverage browser caching.
What is browser caching?
Browser caching means the amount of time site content stay in visitors browser.
How is browser caching useful?
Repeat visits become faster if site content is already stored in the visitors browser.
How to enable browser caching?
Browser caching can be enabled by adding either Cache-Control or Expires headers to site content.
Enable browser caching to speed up your WordPress site.
19. Minify assets.
What does minification do?
Minification removes unnecessary characters like comments and whitespace from the source code.
Why minify assets?
Minifying assets reduces the amount of data downloaded by the visitors browser.
The site will load faster if there is less data to download.
Another advantage of minification is the reduction in bandwidth costs.
What types of assets can be minified?
So make sure you minify HTML, CSS and JS files on your site to speed up delivery.
20. Enable lazy loading.
Page content gets loaded upfront even if the visitor reads few paragraphs and leaves the site.
This is where the concept of lazy loading comes into play.
What is lazy loading?
Lazy loading is a technique that delays the loading of content until the visitor scrolls down to it.
What can be lazy loaded?
- Social sharing links
A good rule of thumb is to lazy load everything which is not in the initial viewport of the visitors screen.
21. Optimize comments system.
Enable external comments system on your site.
And make sure you lazy load comments to speed up your WordPress site.
22. Install PWA
PWA stands for Progressive Web App.
What does PWA do?
PWA stores a copy of your site on the visitors browser as it is browsed.
This reduces loading time for repeat visits.
This way PWA speeds up your WordPress site.
23. Choose external site search.
Default WordPress site search is not that fast.
Local search puts strain on server resources.
You can add fast external site search like Jetpack Search.
Hope you found the article informative and learned how to speed up your WordPress site.
It is not necessary to adopt all the suggestions in this article.
But, make sure your site loads in under two seconds.
Test the speed of your website before and after applying these suggestions.
I’m confident you’ll be surprised at the results.
Hire me if you are unable to speed up your WordPress site on your own.