According to W3Tech, 43% of the top 10 million websites are powered by WordPress and hold over 65% share of the entire CMS industry. Another research shows that 22% of the top 1 million eCommerce websites use WordPress. So, if you own a website, the chance is high that you built it with WordPress. And if so, you must consider how to increase your WordPress website speed.
Though WordPress is so famous, many WordPress users face problems with the loading time of their websites. Google hates those sites, and people don’t have time to wait for your website to load. Therefore a slow-loading website is not going to help you anyway.
But don’t worry. You can speed up your WordPress websites using the tips of this guide. You don’t need to hire any WordPress expert. Just read this article, follow my instructions, and your site will be as fast as any top sites on the internet.
Why do you need to Speed Up Your WordPress Website?
So, why do you need to speed up your WordPress website? The most important factor is SEO. Google hates slow websites. According to Google’s standard, your website must load in under 2 seconds. And that 2 seconds threshold is for e-commerce websites.
If you are running a blog or business site, that should open in under 1 second. Research conducted by Portent shows that if your website does not load in under 2 seconds, the conversation rate can drop by 4.42% for each second.
For businesses of all sizes, speed is a critical factor. Visitors are impatient and will quickly move on to sites that are faster to load. A slow website can cause lost customers and lost revenue.
Webpage speed is especially important for businesses with online sales. Customers will abandon a purchase if the site takes too long to load. In fact, a study by Google found that as much as 50% of online sales are lost because of a slow website.
Why a WordPress Website becomes Slow?
Many reasons can slow down your WordPress websites. We will talk more in the main section of this article. But if you are a new user, you MUST know the following reasons and don’t make these problems happen to your site.
If your website relies on a number of external resources (such as a database or a CDN), your server may become overloaded. This can lead to your website becoming slow and unreliable, as the resources required to run it are diverted from other tasks. If you use a shared server, other users can affect the speed of your WordPress website. So, pick your hosting service provider wisely.
Bad themes can slow down WordPress websites. A poorly designed or executed theme can bog down a website with unnecessary requests and can cause performance issues. When choosing a theme, make sure to research the options available and choose one that will fit your specific needs. Our suggestion will be to use popular themes like Astra, Generate Press, and OceanWP, to be on the safer side.
Excessive, Broken, or Outdated Plugins
Plugin dependencies can slow your website if they’re not configured properly. Broken or outdated plugins can slow your website by causing conflicts with other plugins or consuming excessive resources.
If your WordPress code is inefficient, it can take longer to process page requests. This can slow your website, as more resources are required to load pages quickly. So, if you are making your own custom theme or plugin, make sure the developer is skilled enough. Or, you should use any popular alternatives.
WordPress can use caching to speed up the loading of pages. However, if your website isn’t configured correctly, caching can lead to incorrect data being displayed or errors being generated. This can slow down your website considerably.
Bonus Tips: You can always check a theme before installing this theme checker plugin. And for speed, you can go to GTMatrix to check the speed of your website after installing a new theme or plugin. Or you can use that to check the overall status of your website. They also provide tips to increase the speed of your WordPress website.
How to Increase the Speed of your WordPress Website?
So, now you know why you should increase the speed of your WordPress website and some reasons that make your site slow. You can resolve those issues simply by following these tips:
Performance of your Hosting Provider
I have seen people doing many things to improve the speed of their WordPress websites but failed. It’s because they hosted their site in a poor hosting solution. Think of a hosting solution for the engine of your car. If the engine is not good enough, how will you achieve a high speed?
The same things happen to WordPress websites also. If your hosting provider is not good or you are not getting enough resources from the server, your site will slow down.
There are many reasons why you need a good server for a WordPress website.
First, WordPress is a very processing-intensive application. In order for your website to run as smoothly as possible, it needs a server that can handle the workload. Second, WordPress is a content-driven platform. This means that your website relies on your server’s speed to deliver pages and posts quickly.
If you are serious about having a fast WordPress website, you need to ensure you are hosting your website on a fast server.
There are some good options available in the market. You can buy WordPress hosting from Bluehost or Siteground. These servers are specially built for WordPress. If you have enough budget you can choose WPEngine.
I will strongly forbid you to choose any regular shared hosting with unlimited bandwidth and domain usage. Remember, the plan is for all. And if a user uses more resources from the server, your site will be affected.
The server is the foundation of your website. So, if needed spend a little more on the server.
If you are planning a heavy site and lots of visitors on the way, selecting a VPS or Dedicated server will be the best possible solution.
Caching Plugin Improves the Speed
One of the most important aspects of website technology is caching. Caching is the process of adding temporary files to the user’s computer so that future requests for the same information will be served from the local disk rather than having to be sent again from the Internet.
Browser caching is one of the most common uses of caching. When you visit a website, the browser will often cache the contents of the page so that the next time you visit that website, the browser will already have the information you need and won’t have to request it from the website again.
By caching static copies of often-requested files, WordPress websites can avoid having to regenerate these files on each page load. This can lead to significant performance gains, particularly for websites with high traffic levels.
Cache files are typically stored in the WordPress database, but they can also be stored in memory or on the filesystem.
Now the big question is how do you do this to your website? Fortunately, there are many free caching plugins in the WordPress repository. For example, W3 Total Cache, WP-Optimize, WP Faster Cache, etc.
If you are ready to select a premium plugin WPRocket is the best solution. It instantly increases the speed of your website. You will get many other features with caching from WPRocket.
Perfectly Optimize your Image
Images are an essential part of any website but can also be a major source of slow loading speed. WordPress is no exception. But you can resolve this issue by optimizing your images before uploading to the server.
Optimizing images means reducing their file size while preserving their quality. This can be done using photo editing software or by using an online image optimization tool.
There are two ways to optimize images. I will highly recommend you do the optimization- before and after uploading to your WordPress site.
Photoshop is the best software for image optimization. But if you are not used to using photoshop, don’t worry. There is a fantastic alternative. Go to the TinyPNG website and upload your image. The website will do the rest.
You also should have an image optimization plugin for further optimization. Smush is one of the most popular image optimization plugins that comes with lots of free and paid features.
Minify JS and CSS files
Minifying your code can make your website load faster by reducing the amount of data that needs to be sent to the browser. Additionally, minifying your code can help reduce the number of HTTP requests your website makes.
You can check whether your site needs this minification by using GTMatrix or Google page Insight. You can read this document from Google to learn more about this.
You can do this manually, but if you are not comfortable with coding, I will highly recommend not to do that. You can use the AutoOptimize plugin to do that for you.
Delete Unnecessary and Deactivated Plugin
WordPress lovers love plugins. Plugins add many functionalities to your website. But you should be a little bit cautious while using plugins. Because plugins add functionalities, and additional functionalities can slow down your website.
If you’re like most WordPress users, you must have a few plugins that you no longer use or need. Maybe you installed a plugin for one-time use and then forgot to delete it, or you’ve simply outgrown a plugin you once relied on.
Unused plugins reduce the speed and make your site vulnerable So if you want to speed up your WordPress website, one of the best things you can do is delete any unnecessary or deactivated plugins.
Not only will this help to improve your site’s speed, but it will also reduce the likelihood of potential vulnerabilities. So take a few minutes to clean house, and your WordPress website will thank you for it!
I can recommend an excellent plugin to help you to delete unnecessary plugins. Install Health Check and Troubleshoot plugin to your website. This plugin will tell you if you forgot to delete any uninstalled plugins. It also helps to troubleshoot while keeping your website live.
One common reason for a slow WordPress website is an inefficient database. When a database is not properly optimized, it can take longer for WordPress to access the data it needs, which can slow down your website.
Cleaning up the database will help speed up your website by freeing up disk space and reducing the number of queries made to the database.
You can resolve this database cleaning issue in various ways. One way is to delete unnecessary data. This includes no longer needed data, such as old posts or comments.
Another way to speed up your WordPress database is to compact it. This removes empty space and helps reduce the size of the database, which can speed up access time.
You can use the Advance database cleaner plugin to clean your database regularly.
Use a CDN
CDN or Content Delivery Network can help to serve your website faster in different parts of the world. A CDN can reduce the load time of your website by caching your popular WordPress themes and plugins. This can help reduce the amount of time it takes to load your website.
There are many paid CDN providers. But if you can not afford one, you can use Cloudflare’s free CDN service. There are also some other options available for free CDN for WordPress.
Bonus Tip: Cloudflare also offers free SSL service. SSL is a must if you want to sell anything on your website. Moreover, it is an important SEO factor.
Use Lazy Load for Images
Images are very important for your content. It improves the content quality and keeps your visitors inside the content without being bored by the tones of words. But images make your website slow, no matter how much optimization you do. Therefore, the lazy load is a very handy solution.
Lazy load is a technique that delays the loading of images until they are needed, which can speed up the overall loading time of a page.
When used on a WordPress website, it can speed up the loading of pages by waiting to load images until they are visible on the screen. This can be especially helpful if your website has many images or visitors are likely to scroll down through your content. You easily implement lazy loading with lazy loading plugins.
But as I mentioned, it is not wise to install too many plugins. The plugin I mentioned in the image optimization section Smush has a lazy load option. You can just activate the feature to speed up your WordPress website.
Keep the Page as Simple as Possible
If you are a new WordPress user you must be trying page builders like eliminator and making your website too attractive. You might be adding animations and cool CSS effects.
But believe me, you are wasting your time and making your website slow. And, people don’t like these things either. Everybody loves a simple page that is easy to read and a website that is easy to navigate.
Too much clutter can quickly slow down even the fastest server. So, take a look at your pages and see if there’s anything you can streamline or remove. You might be surprised at how much difference it makes
Say NO to Videos on your Website
Videos are an excellent way to increase your page view time. Not only that, videos are excellent for selling products or communicating with your visitors. However, you have to be a little bit technical when it comes to displaying a video on your website.
You can directly upload videos to your server, but that is a HORRIBLE thing to do. Instead, use a video hosting service like YouTube or Vimeo. These services will host your videos and make them available to millions of people around the world. You’ll be able to generate a lot of traffic and make a lot of money from your videos.
Always Update your WordPress Website
This is an important issue that many WordPress users don’t think is that important. But it is. Always update your WordPress website. Update the plugins, the theme you are using, and the PHP version as well.
If you use the health check plugin, that will help you to auto-update your plugins. Bluehost also offers an auto-update feature. If you use any paid plugin or theme, then follow the developers’ instructions and update all of them.
Install High-Quality Plugins Only
Currently, there are more than 50 thousands plugin available for WordPress. But are all of them can maintain a high standard? No. A badly coded plugin can hamper the performance of your WordPress website.
It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution, but if you’re serious about speed, installing a plugin is a good idea. There are many to choose from, so do some research to find the one that best suits your needs.
Using a Good and Lightweight Theme is Crucial
Selecting a theme is most probably the second big decision after selecting your hosting provider. You will find thousands of themes, and it’s very tough to choose one with so many options in hand.
If you are using a free theme, you should consider the number of downloads and the ratings before installing the theme. Don’t let the design of newly published, low rank them fool you.
You can always tweak the design by using code or with the help of a good page builder plugin. Good and lightweight themes are designed to speed up your WordPress site by reducing the amount of code that needs to be loaded.
Plus, lightweight themes are often designed to look good on all devices, so your WordPress site will look great on desktop and mobile devices. If you ask for my suggestion, I will mention Astra, OceanWP, and GeneretPress.
You can search the popular section in the WordPress repository and find a popular theme that suits your need.
Compressing files with GZIP is one way to speed up your WordPress website. This will reduce the size of your files, making them quicker to download. In addition, GZIP will also help to improve the speed of your website by reducing the number of data transfers between a visitor’s computer and the server. So if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to speed up your WordPress website, GZIP is definitely worth a try.
W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache both caching plugins have this feature. You need to just make sure the feature is on.
Minimize External Scripts
External scripts can affect the loading time of your WordPress website. So, try not to use it unless it’s utterly important. You can use Google Analytics or any commenting system, but other than these, I will tell you not to use any external scripts.
No Pingbacks and Trackbacks
Both pingbacks and trackbacks are time-consuming processes. Pingbacks are time-consuming because they must be sent every time someone clicks a link in your content. This can add up quickly, especially if you have a lot of links in your content.
Pingbacks and trackbacks are two mechanisms that allow people to share links to your content on other websites. When someone clicks a link in your content, WordPress sends a pingback to the original website and starts a trackback. Whenever someone clicks a link in your content, WordPress sends a message to the original website, which then sends a message back to WordPress.
To disable, go to settings and click on “Discussion,” and Just deselect “Allow link notifications from other blogs.
Sometimes your website can get slow after doing everything right. It’s because of hotlinking. Hotlinking is the practice of including a link to a web page within another web page without the consent of the owner of the web page being linked to. This can be done by copying and pasting the link or by extracting the link code and including it within the web page.
So, if someone hotlinks any resource from your website, that means when it opens, they are using your resources which can affect the speed of your website. There are many ways to do that. You can search on google and prevent if you are a victim of hotlinking.
Paginate Posts and Comments
Pagination is especially important on blogs and other sites with long content. The posts and comments are stored in a database if you’re using a blog engine like WordPress. This means that each time you load a page, the posts and comments are fetched from the database.
This process can take a while, especially on larger websites. By paginating your posts and comments, you can minimize the number of times the posts and comments are fetched from the database. This will speed up your page loads by reducing the amount of time it takes to load the page.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can you test the Speed of your WordPress website?
There are several ways to check the speed of your WordPress website. I mentioned about GTMettrix earlier in this guide. You can also use Page Speed Insight of Google to check individual page performance. I will highly recommend to setup Google’s SiteKIT plugin for your WordPress website. You can check the page speed status from your WordPress Dashboard if you have a site kit plugin.
Is there any plugin that solves multiple problems and increases my website’s speed?
Yes, there is. For example, if you install WPRocket that plugin will take care of many things. From cashing to database cleaning, CSS&JS file compression, Lazy loading, and many other things that can make your site slow. So, if you are not an expert and want a one in all solution you can install WP Rocket. They don’t have any free options. You have to buy this.
Do Page Builders Make my Site slow?
It depends. Normally page builders like Elementor or Divi don’t slow down your website. But if you use to try too many flashy things that can make your website slow. So, don’t overuse your page builders. Keep the design simple.
Stop Wasting time and Speed Up your WordPress Website Now
Whether you are doing affiliate business or running a corporate website, speed is crucial. Speed is not only a big SEO factor but also a big prestige factor. If your website is slow, very few people will trust your service.
So, stop wasting time and use the tips I provided to increase your WordPress website speed because your online presence means a lot these days.