Time is money, and with the growing digitalization, people have grown more and more restless. If a WordPress website takes longer than 3 Seconds to load that means it is slow. And a slow website means users will potentially leave the website before it even loads.
Even Google admits that while ranking websites, it takes into consideration the website loading time, SEO configurations and present backlinks. Most of these can be checked by opting for relevant plugins like backlink checker, or other SEO tools.
With the growing competition, a website owner has very little time to show users it’s content and also convince users to stay on the website. So, it becomes imperative for website owners to make sure that their website loads quickly.
Nine Ways to Boost the Speed of Your WordPress Website
Here are some ways one can speed up WordPress:
- Install a WordPress Caching Plugin
Caching can make your WordPress site anywhere from 2x to 5x faster. WordPress pages are “dynamic.” This means they’re built on the fly every time someone visits a post or page on the website. To build the pages, WordPress has to run a process to find the required information, put it all together, and then display it to the user.
This process involves a lot of steps, and it can really slow down a website when multiple people are visiting it at once.
That’s why a caching plugin will help. By enabling caching on the website, the site data can be stored locally in temporary storage spaces, called caches.
Instead of going through the whole page generation process every time, a caching plugin makes a copy of the page after the first load, and then serves that cached version to every subsequent user.
This means that browsers can load the site files more easily and don’t have to re-download everything from the server every time the site is needed.
Caching thus makes the page loading speeds much faster especially for recurrent users.
- Optimize Images for Speed
Images bring important visual aid to a content and help boost engagement. An illustration catches the eye quickly and helps build interest. So, adding images to content is an important step.
However, beginners forget to optimize these images before uploading them on the website, which results in slower speed. As, uploading the image directly from the camera roll means the size of the image is way larger than it needs to be.
In their original formats, these photos can have huge file sizes and will be a major contributor to the size increment of a given webpage. The larger the picture files on the website, the longer a site takes to load.
Hence, it’s recommended that hosts use photo editing software to optimize images for the web. Plugins can be easily used to resize, compress and retrieve these files.
- Clean-up your database
The more a WordPress site is used, the more it’s database becomes clogged-up. These old and unnecessary files slow down it’s performance. Cleaning up the database therefore speeds everything up by removing the items that aren’t needed.
Deleting unwanted data from the database will keep its size to a minimum and also helps in reducing the size of its backups.
It is also necessary to delete spam comments, fake users, old drafts of the content and maybe even unwanted plugins as well as themes. All of this will reduce the size of the databases and web files, and thus speed up WordPress.
- Choose faster plugins for the website
Poorly coded WordPress plugins often load too much bloat whether the site needs it or not. This increases the page load speed and slows down the website.
It’s not the quantity of plugins that generally causes a speed problem. In general, it’s the quality and usefulness of plugins that affect page speed.
Poorly designed plugins, plugins with outdated software, or surplus/duplicate plugins can all contribute to slow website loading.
It’s a good idea to run a Google PageSpeed test both before and after installing any plugin. This helps show the impact of the plugin on the website’s speed and allows the host to make an informed decision about whether the plugin’s functionality is worth slowing the site down.
- Use a lightweight WordPress theme or framework
Sometimes less is more.
Sure, WordPress themes come with a lot of dynamic elements, sliders, widgets, social icons and many more shiny elements. But, too many elements result in higher page sizes which immensely increases the website load time.
The best option is to use lightweight themes. And make sure to think about the website visibility on the smaller screen. As, mobile friendly website configuration helps in choosing the best themes.
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- Minify CSS, HTML & JS files
Simply reducing the size of these files and deleting unnecessary code will help improve the site’s Google PageSpeed.
It enables the site to load more rapidly, whilst retaining the key information needed in order for the site to display correctly.
- Don’t upload audio or video files directly to WordPress
Hosting audio and videos costs bandwidth. It increases the backup sizes tremendously, and makes it difficult to restore WordPress from backup in the future.
Let SoundCloud, YouTube, Spotify and other such platforms to host these when required. They have the bandwidth to handle it.
WordPress has a built-in video embed feature, so a website owner can simply copy and paste the video’s URL directly into the post and it will be embedded automatically.
- Keep the WordPress Site Updated
WordPress is an open source project and is therefore updated frequently. Each update helps fix security issues and brings new offers to the table.
A website owner should always use the latest WordPress version. And ensure fully updated latest versions for all of the page’s features. Make sure to update plugins as and when new software becomes available.
Updates are always highlighted on the WordPress dashboard and a website owner can simply check regularly and click on any update messages to action them.
Not doing so may make the website slow and unreliable, and make the page vulnerable to security threats.
- Use a Content Delivery Network
Distance can mean lag in content delivery, which is where a CDN becomes handy. No matter a user’s location, the content on the website should be delivered blazing fast. Sometimes this isn’t always feasible, if the website isn’t on an infrastructure that contains data centers in other parts of the world.
A CDN keeps a copy of the website in various data centers located in different places. The primary function of a CDN is to serve a visitor from the nearest possible location.
It helps in faster page load time because when configured, the website will use an optimized server that’s closest to the site visitor. The data center will store static content and files, and then deliver them to users based on their location.
Conclusion on WordPress:
With the online community today, in a state of growing impatience it is imperative that website owners speed up WordPress.