What is better than a well-functioning website? Of course, a kind of fast loading time can be provided. In this article, we will discover nine simple steps to speed up your WordPress website.
Are you ready for the challenge? So let’s get started!
Steps to check your website speed
There are plenty of free speed test tools that can help you monitor the speed and performance of your website. If you need more detailed reports, most have advanced versions worth considering.
You can check our tutorial to learn how to use GTmetrix to test your website’s speed performance. For basic tests and reports, its free version provides many powerful functions. You can also purchase GTmetrix PRO for a starting price of US$14.95 per month for additional graphics and report filtering capabilities.
Do you need a second opinion? Please visit our list of the 20 best free website speed test tools to learn more.
9 simple steps to speed up Website
According to MachMetrics, the ideal charging time you should aim for is three seconds or less. If your website takes longer, you should optimize it as soon as possible. Check out these steps on how to speed up your WordPress site.
Update the latest version of PHP and WordPress
The easiest and most basic way to speed up a WordPress site is to update the core of the CMS. Updates regularly release the latest enhancements, which usually means faster performance everywhere. WordPress provides an easy way to update your website through the admin panel, to be precise, the update section.
If you do not have the credentials to access the management area, this article will introduce other alternative ways to update WordPress. As for PHP, your site should already be up and running on version 7.4. Just migrate from PHP 5 to PHP 7, and you will get a significant performance improvement because it provides better memory optimization. If you want to change the PHP version, you can do it easily with hPanel.
However, we always recommend the latest stable version of PHP because it allows you to use the latest features and enhancements. However, one important thing to note is the lack of backward compatibility with PHP 7. X. This means that you will not be able to use certain plugins and themes, including those that work perfectly on PHP 5.
To check whether your website currently contains such plugins or themes, you can use the WordPress PHP Compatibility Checker plugin.
Delete or Disable Unnecessary Themes and Plugins
WordPress allows you to easily extend the functionality of your site by installing plugins and themes. Nevertheless, too many of them will degrade your website performance. To resolve this issue, you must delete or at least disable any unused plugins and themes.
Keep your website clean and tidy by keeping only the content that contributes to the functionality of the website. Clearing the mess will definitely speed up your WordPress site-be sure to check our guide on how to install and uninstall WordPress plugins.
Although we agree that stunning images can increase the value of your content, they are also one of the biggest culprits of slow website speeds. Rich media sites are very prone to this particular problem. This is because high-quality images take longer to load, which reduces the overall speed.
There are two ways to reduce the image size without sacrificing image quality. Use WordPress image optimization plugins or zoom images. If you want to stick to the first method, our guide will use the Smush WordPress plugin to help you through the process. Alternatively, you can visit this page to learn more about the image scaling process.
Enable Caching on your site
Caching is one of the best website optimization techniques to speed up WordPress sites. The caching engine stores frequently used information on the client’s hard drive so that the browser does not have to repeatedly retrieve the information from the server.
There are a large number of WordPress caching plugins that can help you complete this step. You can visit our guide to learn how to enable caching on your WordPress site using one of the best plugins: WP Super Cache.
LiteSpeed Cache Plugin
LiteSpeed Cache is currently one of the best cache plugins. It is a reliable and easy-to-use tool that optimizes your website to the greatest extent.
Since your database tends to store useless data such as spam comments and old drafts, you should clean it up regularly. Similar to uninstalling unused plugins and themes, deleting such data will reduce your database workload and overall load time.
You can easily accomplish this task by installing WordPress database optimization plugins such as WP-Optimize and Advanced Database Cleaner. These plugins will automatically delete unnecessary data from your database and compress tables and images at a predetermined time.
Use CDN for website
The content delivery network (CDN) is a geographically distributed network of data servers. Its main purpose is to help you reduce delays, thereby increasing the speed of content delivery. By enabling CDN on your website, you will divide static content on each data server in the network.
Every data request received by your web server is transmitted to the data server closest to the customer’s location. There are multiple CDN providers to choose from, such as Cloudflare. If you are interested in using Cloudflare, please feel free to check out our tutorial on how to set it up for your WordPress site.
By Enabling Gzip Compression
By enabling Gzip compression, you can reduce the time it takes to retrieve site data from the server to the visitor’s browser. In other words, your website loads much faster. There are many free Gzip compression testing tools out there, such as CleverStat and GiftOfSpeed, that can test if your website has this enabled.
If it isn’t, you can use a different WordPress plugin or modify the .htaccess file to enable it. Check out our article for a full tutorial on both of these methods.
Shrinking is one of the most useful techniques for speeding up WordPress sites. Try to reduce the size of front-end files and scripts (such as HTML, CSS, JS) by removing unnecessary comments and file formats. However, the best part is that this process will not affect the functionality of your website.
Break Long Content into Pages
Pagination is another trick to speed up WordPress sites. You can apply this process to comment sections and posts or pages with a lot of content. By separating them, you can avoid saturated website bandwidth and overwhelming visitors with large amounts of information.
Pagination of the WordPress Comments Section
- From your WordPress dashboard, navigate to Settings -> Discussion.
- In the Discussion Settings page, set the maximum number of comments per page and their order of display.
- Once you’re done, scroll down and click Save Changes.
Meanwhile, there are two alternative ways to paginate posts — manually or using a WordPress plugin.
Paginate WordPress Posts in Gutenberg Block Editor
- Move your cursor to the part you want to split, then hit on the plus icon.
2. Search for “Page Break,” then click on it.
If you want to automatically paginate all posts and pages, WordPress has many free plugins that can do the job, such as WP-Paginate and WP-PageNavi. You can easily set the minimum word limit to determine where to page, and then let the plugin do the rest for you.
Why is website loading speed important?
According to Kissmetrics, when the loading process exceeds three seconds, 40% of visitors will leave the site. On mobile devices, the bounce rate is even as high as 53%, which means that if the website is not loading fast enough, half of the audience will leave the website.
Here are some other disadvantages caused by slow website speed:
Decreased Website Traffic:- People do not like slow websites. If your website is slow then your website will not get much traffic.
Decreased Conversion Rate:- If you have an eCommerce site, and your website experience is poor. So customers will not buy products from your website.
Effect Search Engine Ranking:- Search Engine does not promote slow speed websites in the first position. If you want to rank on search engines, then you have to make your website load faster.
Bad Impression on New User:- If your website speed is slow then it means that you are not serious about your website. If a user has come to your website for the first time and finds your website slow. So next time he would like to visit some other website before coming to your website.
If you want to avoid these problems, be sure to take care of your website.
Slow website speed is a fatal mistake that all webmasters should avoid. If you do not solve this problem for a long time, your website and brand will be at risk of further development.
Let’s recap the simple steps mentioned on this list to speed up WordPress sites:
- Update the latest version of PHP and WordPress
- Delete or Disable Unnecessary Themes and Plugins
- Image Optimization
- Enable Caching on your site
- Database Optimization
- Use CDN for website
- By Enabling Gzip Compression
- Break Long Content into Pages
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