Is your WordPress site too slow to load? Is it facing a speed & performance issue for so long? Do you want to speed-optimize your WordPress site to attract potential visitors? This blog is going to be the answer to all your questions. It shares easy-to-use, smart, and proven tips to speed up your WordPress website performance.
WordPress is a widely adopted platform because of several benefits such as it is easy-to-use, user-friendly, flexible and adaptable, mobile responsive, has vast plugin options available, and so on. However, sometimes, the WordPress websites can be quite slow. But why should one worry about the website’s speed and performance? Is it something worth worrying about? Let’s dive deeper to find out.
Why Should You Speed Up WordPress Website?
WordPress is powering 35% of the web. A study finds that a one-second delay in page load times can result in 11% fewer page views, a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction, and a 7% loss in conversions. Besides, as per Google’s research, 53% of site visits are abandoned if pages take longer than 3 seconds to load.
These reasons are enough to know why you need to speed up your WordPress site. As a website owner, you must follow all the proven tactics to increase your WordPress website performance that can turn your visitors into customers.
11 Smart and Proven Ways to Improve Your WordPress Website Performance
Choose a High-Quality Hosting Provider
Choosing the right hosting server is crucial for your WordPress website. A high-performing WordPress hosting gives you an easy way to access the data, manage it, and route it to your potential visitors. Usually, there are three major types of hosting:
- Shared hosting – Share d hosting means sharing the same server space with multiple other websites that might affect the entire server performance, resulting in slowing down your site.
- Virtual Private Server (VPS) – This is the second type of server available. Based on DIY (Do it yourself) concept, with this hosting, you have fewer sites comparatively on the same server. You are responsible if something breaks, and for optimizing your server for performance.
- Managed hosting – Managed service gives you the most optimized server configurations to run your WordPress site. This type of hosting has one server just for you, fine-tuned to speed up your WordPress website.
It is a must- advisable to always opt for a managed WordPress hosting while doing so; you need to find a high-performance service provider like WPEngine as it is one of the best and reliable service providers available in the industry.
Keep Your WordPress Site Updated
Are you still running your WordPress site on the older version? Then, it’s high time that you make a shift to the newer one by updating in the latest version available, which is WordPress 5.4 – get to know all about it here. You need an instant update because this might be one of the reasons for your sluggish website.
Each version of CMS comes with new and evolved features, bug fixes, and more. Keeping your website up-to-date as per the latest version enhances not only your WordPress site’s performance but also maintains your site well-secured. So always keep your WordPress site, theme, and plugins updated.
Use a Theme Optimized for Speed
WordPress comes up with various theme options with a lot of sliders, widgets, icons, and more that is immensely appealing to the eye. But all that glitter is not gold; those attractive themes can thwart your WordPress site performance. Thus, using a lightweight theme that is well-optimized for speed is the best choice for you if you want to increase the speed of your WordPress website.
Also, there are several premium WordPress theme shops, such as StudioPress or Themify, that offer well-coded and optimized-for-speed themes. Besides, if you are looking for a customized theme option, then go for the team of highly-skilled WordPress theme developers who code a custom WordPress theme only as per your needs.
Optimize Image Sizes
Image is a significant source of boosting engagement on your WordPress site. However, large or non-optimized images can hugely impact the speed of your WordPress site, resulting in bad user experience. Reducing the image size without compromising on the quality is what we call an optimized image.
There are multiple ways you can optimize your image size. For example – Photoshop, Chrome extensions (PageSpeed Insights), or any other tools but plugins are more convenient ways to optimize the image size as it takes lesser time in comparison to others. Thus, optimizing your image with the right format can increase your WordPress site performance to an unimaginable level.
Minify JS and CSS Files
What does it mean to minify JS and CSS? Well, this means that reducing the number of CSS and JS calls and the file size, you can notice a drastic improvement in the site-loading speed of your WordPress website.
If you are not able to do it manually, then don’t worry; plugins are there to make your job easy; the mostly-used and the reliable plugin is Autoptimize. It not only minifies CSS and JS files but also optimizes HTML of your WordPress site to increase the site performance.
Optimize WordPress Database
Your WordPress site requires regular database maintenance to keep its size to a minimum so that it can load faster. For upgraded performance, it is a must-advisable to optimize your WordPress database with regular maintenance by cleaning up unwanted data.
The best thing about WordPress is you can easily manage everything via plugins even if you don’t have a technical background, and so can your database with WP-Sweep plugin. It optimizes your WordPress database by cleaning unnecessary posts, plugins, tags, etc.
Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
Do you know that the site-loading speed differs if the visitors are located far away from your hosted place? Here comes the play of a content delivery network (CDN). Its primary function is to serve the webpage to a visitor from the nearest possible location. Using a reliable CDN can help to speed up loading times for all the visitors.
Enable Page Caching
Using a cache plugin is one of the most common and widely adopted methods to increase the speed of your site. Enabling page caching can help in decreasing the page loading time and dramatically improve your WordPress website performance.
There are several plugins available to enable it; some of the popular plugins are WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache. You can install and activate these plugins, and what your page load faster as elements are cached.
Enable GZIP Compression
They way compressing files on the computer saves a lot of disk space. In the same way, GZIP is a software application used for file compression and decompression. You can use GZIP compression for websites to reduce the bandwidth usage, and the time it takes to gain access to your site.
Compression makes your web files smaller and thus faster to download, resulting in increasing your WordPress site performance. As mentioned earlier, the plugins have made the WordPress world easy. Similarly, there is a plugin available for GZIP compression named PageSPeed Ninja.
HTTP/2 Is a Must-Have
HTTP/2 is a web protocol intended to speed up how websites are delivered. HTTP/2 is a must-have if you want to boost up your WordPress site performance due to several reasons such as multiplexing, server push, header compression, and many other things.
To run HTTP/2, you must be running HTTPs on your WordPress site with an SSL certificate installed. The best thing about HTTP/2 is that with most WordPress sites, you no longer need to worry about combining files or domain sharding.
Keep Your Website Well-Secured and Maintained
With the ever-increasing demand of WordPress sites, hackers have taken note and specifically targeting sites made on the WordPress platform. Thus, comes the keeping your website maintained and well-secured into play.
However, it is a time-consuming process to check your website security for malware regularly, therefore, WordPress security plugins are there to help you. Security plugins like Sucuri, Wordfence, iThemes Security, and many others take care of your site security, scans for malware, and monitor your site 24/7 to keep it safe.
The most significant advantage of reducing your website’s loading time is it speeds up the performance of your WordPress website instantly, increasing your ranking in the SERPs that results in improving the user experience. So, are you ready to wave goodbye to slow-loading WordPress sites? Then, try out all the ways mentioned above. They really work!