How to speed up WordPress website performance easily

WordPress is undoubtedly a very well known web content management platform among bloggers. Today, many of us use this platform for creating and maintaining a website/blog in the easiest way. However, one major drawback of a WordPress site is that it can be quite slow. The platform is memory-hungry compared to the other websites that have been developed using other environments. So the need of the hour is to speed up WordPress website performance for budding bloggers.

If you are a WordPress site owner/user, then probably you may know the importance of website/blog speed and how it affects the user experience as well as search traffic.

Yes, you heard it right, it’s one of the key aspects of the well-optimized site that Google considers while ranking your website content. If you own a website/blog that takes more than 5 seconds to open, then you must think about it. Now there are many ways that can help you speed up WordPress website performance and page loading speed as well.

In this article, we are going to talk about the importance of site loading speed as well as the best ways to speed up WordPress website performance (loading time).

Why is website loading speed important?

As we above mentioned, the website loading speed is important for various reasons. According to the human behavioural studies related to Internet that were conducted from 2000 to 2016, the average human attention span has dropped from 12 seconds to 7 seconds. It means, as a website owner you have very little time to show users your content and persuade them to stay on your website.

If you don’t speed up WordPress website performance, you are in trouble. However, we are listing below some more reasons for you to understand better.

  • Google ranking factor

Website loading time was considered as a ranking factor in the Google algorithm since 2010. It pertains to the amount of time that a user has to wait for a page to load up totally. Other search engines are making page load speed a ranking factor as well.

  • User Satisfaction

No matter how much site speed affects your rankings. You should still focus more on providing your website visitors with the best user experience possible than trying to get better rankings.

  • Traffic and Conversion

When it comes to accessing a page for the first time, every second counts — with each passing second, a greater percentage of online users are going to abandon your site altogether, losing you the opportunity for a possible conversion.

Site speed affects how users view your site. Having a faster site can help to get more traffic to your website or blog resulting in a good impression, and earning conversions.

How to speed up WordPress website performance and increase your WordPress site speed?

There are numerous ways that you may find over the web to speed up WordPress website performance. But, they are all confusing or really cryptic. So, what are we up to? Well, we are listing some of the easiest possible ways that will help you to speed up WordPress website performance and increase your WordPress site speed.

  1. Get a good web hosting provider

Many of you may have selected shared hosting in the beginning. A shared hosting may seem cost effective but remember that cheap things are no good. Hosting factors such as uptime/downtime and speed affects the overall SEO ranking, traffic, and conversion.

A website that is hosted on a bad host is destined to become a disaster and all the aforementioned reasons are enough to make the statement a bitter truth.

It’s advisable to get a good host that has a better site uptime and comes with quality loading speed. You can consider some of the good hosts such as Bluehost, SiteGround or Hostgator which are extremely popular for WordPress environment.

  1.  Use better framework theme

You should select a WordPress theme wisely. There might be a chance that you come across a nice looking impressive theme that may be poorly coded and it can slow your site way down. It’s usually better to go with a simpler theme and use quality plugins to get the features you need than to choose a theme that’s bloated with complex layouts, flashy animations, and other unnecessary features.

  1. Run the updated WordPress version

WordPress is an open source project, which gets updated frequently. Each update offers new features, security fix, and bugs are getting resolved. Your WordPress theme and plugins may have regular updates, too. As a responsible website owner, keep your WordPress site, theme, and plugins updated for better reliability, and prevent any security threats.

  1. Optimize your website images

An image can bring life to your blog post, but if it’s is not properly optimized then it can hurt as well. The most common problem that you may face as loading speed due to the non-optimised image. Before you upload an image to your WordPress website, we advise you to use an editing software to optimize for the web.

You can also use some of the free/paid image optimization plugins such as WP-Smushit, Imagify, EWWW,  or Kraken that can help you to do it properly.

  1. Turn off the pingback and trackback features

These WordPress features are no longer a vital part of your site since they contribute to slowing down your site performance. To disable them from your dashboard, go to Settings > Discussion, search for the Default article settings section and uncheck the box about trackbacks and pingbacks.

  1. Make the homepage faster

Most of the website visitors land on your website’s homepage. Having a slow website homepage can lower your website user’s experience. So, it is advisable to have a clean UI/UX and add less number of ads to your website. Even, you can consider having less or only important plugins running on your website.

  1. Use a CDN

Depending on their geographical location, a user may experience different loading times on your site. That’s because the location of your web hosting servers can have an impact on your site speed. While a CDN can also help you to speed up loading times for all of your visitors.

When you use a CDN, every time a user visits your website they are served those static files from whichever server is closest to them. Your own web hosting server will also be faster since the CDN is doing a lot of work.

  1. Remove unwanted widgets

In WordPress, you may add various widgets to your theme. But too many widgets can clutter the screen, and you may face a problem with the site loading time. You should always remove the unwanted widgets by visiting your WordPress widget dashboard.

  1. Use Cache Plugin

To speed up WordPress website, you can check out some of the popular WordPress cache plugins such as W3 Total Cache, WP Super Cache, WP Fastest Cache and others. By far our favourite Plugin is W3 Total Cache, it has all the features you need and is extremely easy to install and use.

  1. Optimize WordPress Database

After using WordPress for a while, your website’s database will have lots of information such as trashed posts, revisions, unused tags, etc that you probably don’t need anymore. It is better to optimize your database and improve the overall site performance.

The Database optimization can be easily managed with the WP-Optimize and WP-Sweep plugin. It allows you to clean your WordPress database by deleting things with just a click.

  1. Disable Post Revision

Post revisions consume space in your WordPress database that might slow down your site. It’s always good to limit the number of revisions WordPress keeps for each article. Simply add this line of code to your wp-config.php file:

define( 'WP_POST_REVISIONS', 1 );

This code will limit WordPress to only save your last 1 revisions of each post or page and discard older revisions automatically.

If you want to disable the post revision completely then use the below code:

define( 'WP_POST_REVISIONS', 0 ); or define( 'WP_POST_REVISIONS', false );

Refer this article, if you would like to know (how to limit and disable post revisions in WordPress to maximize the site speed)

  1. Disable Image Hotlinking

Have you ever noticed someone stealing your images and display on their websites without your permission? This doesn’t only steal your images but it also takes advantage of your bandwidth.

To prevent Image Hotlinking, add the below-mentioned code in the .htaccess file of your WordPress site.

RewriteEngine on

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www\.)?biztechpost.com [NC]

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www\.)?google.com [NC]

RewriteRule \.(jpg|jpeg|png|gif)$ – [NC,F,L]

* Don’t forget to replace biztechpost.com with your website url.
  1. Divide Post into Multiple Pages

Website visitors love to read a longer and more in-depth blog post. These kinds of blog content even tend to rank higher in search engines. But if you include many images in your blog post, it could be hurting your loading times. Instead, we suggest you split your longer posts into multiple pages.

WordPress comes with a built-in functionality to do that. Simply add the <!––nextpage––> tag in your article where you want to split it into next page.

  1. Lazy Image Loading

You can use the Lazy load images plugin to improve page load times. It is available free of cost from the WordPress Plugin directories.

  1. Enable Gzip Compression

You would be surprised to know the fact that Gzip Compression can maximize the site speed. It has an ability to compress the files and maximize the execution process when users request to access a file from your server through a web browser.

It is quite simple to enable the Gzip Compression in WordPress websites. You need to access your .htaccess file using a file manager or through CPanel and add the below code.

<ifModule mod_gzip.c>

mod_gzip_on Yes

mod_gzip_dechunk Yes

mod_gzip_item_include file .(html?|txt|css|js|php|pl)$

mod_gzip_item_include handler ^cgi-script$

mod_gzip_item_include mime ^text/.*

mod_gzip_item_include mime ^application/x-javascript.*

mod_gzip_item_exclude mime ^image/.*

mod_gzip_item_exclude rspheader ^Content-Encoding:.*gzip.*

</ifModule>

If you are using cache plugin then do check for this feature in your plugin setting.

  1. Video Content

Hosting videos directly to the site may cost you a lot more bandwidth and can slow down your website. So, don’t upload videos directly to the WordPress site instead you can use YouTube.

There would be a few other techniques to speed up WordPress website performance as well. Do share your views on this via the comments section.

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