Learning to speed up WordPress is an essential skill for website owners. This is because, the speed at which pages load affects traffic, user satisfaction, conversion, bounce rate, and profits.
Can’t wait to speed up your site? This is how:
Use the Newest Version of WordPress
Each CMS version comes with bug fixes, new features, and so much more. This allows your site to run with improved efficiency and speed. Keeping your site updated is not just for speed but also for the security of your website. Using the latest version of WordPress ensures that all vulnerabilities are resolved. A compromised website will only cause your site to slow down.
Choose Quality Hosting
To increase the performance of your site, invest in good hosting. Of course, there are numerous inexpensive offers but bear in mind that when it comes to hosting, you get your money’s worth. Since speed matters, quality hosting should not be overlooked.
So, what does that really mean?
Whenever possible, steer clear of shared hosting. This removes the possibility of having neighbors on your server who can cause your website to slow down. On top of that, unless your site is huge and you have a big enough budget to allow you to manage your own server, having a dedicated server may be more than what you need.
Therefore, VPS might be your best option. With this type of hosting, you get a great balance of comfort, speed, and cost.
If you are not sure which kind of hosting service better for you, read our Ultimate guide on Cloud Hosting vs. Shared Hosting.
Alternatively, you can opt to go with managed WordPress hosting. With this option, your site runs on a specially optimized server for WordPress. That means you will not have to worry about the technical aspects of running a site.
Use Appropriate Themes
Themes influence the speed of your website. There are some themes that are just messy. They offer lots of features which only make your site slower. Keep in mind that all those features have codes that require loading. Many times, the codes load even if the features are not being used.
Also, that is why you need to get a theme that has what you need. Even better, a lightweight theme works best. You can also increase functionality through plugins. That way you will have a clean site which greatly improves the loading time.
Keep Your Technology Updated
Ensure your core web technology is constantly updated.
New versions of web technologies such as PHP and HTML have improved speed, new features, and other improvements.
It is recommended in an article by a Website Development Company in Kolkata that websites run no less than PHP 7.2. This is because it is the oldest version that still gets security updates. A good host should be able to take care of this on their own and inform you in case your PHP version is outdated. However, that does not mean you should not check. After logging into your hosting backend, remember to take a look at the PHP configuration. This lets you control the PHP version you are using.
Carry Out Frequent Database Maintenance
Over time, the database gets bogged. It may accumulate disk space and data from post revisions and uninstalled plugins. Therefore, frequent database maintenance is important for not only keeping your database usable but also clean. In addition, minimize the number of post revisions.
Something to focus on as well is the WP_options table. This is because, if it grows uncontrollably, it can significantly slow down your website. To clean it up, you can use the Advanced Database Cleaner.
Usually, images take up a substantial amount of space. To speed up WordPress, it is important to learn how to compress images without compromising the quality. You can install plugins to compress images automatically when adding them to your WordPress website. When using images, WordPress creates different sizes of them. As such, you can adjust the size of the image it will appear in.
Posting a full-scale image, then shrinking it to say 400 pixels will slow down your site. So, ensure you select an appropriate size for your images.
Reduce Server Requests
Any time the browser asks for a type of resource from the server, a server request occurs. This can be an image, a script, or a style sheet file.
The more requests needed to finish loading your website, the longer it takes. Thus, server requests should be kept at a minimum. Here are some ways to make them as few as possible:
- The number of posts on a page should be limited
- If the posts are long, break them up into pages
- If you receive a lot of responses, split them into several pages
- On the archive pages, do not have full posts rather just show excerpts
- Have few images on your page
- Plugins that are not being used at all need to be deactivated
- Any unnecessary plugins, more so the slower ones, should be uninstalled
Avoid Video Hosting on Your Own Website
Video hosting considerably reduces the speed of your site. Although WordPress is well able to host and play videos, that may not be such a good idea. Firstly, the bandwidth is an extra cost to you. Secondly, it will make your site significantly larger making it more difficult to back up.
Use a CDN (Content Delivery Network)
The further the distance the host website computer is from the user, the more time data transmission from your site takes. A CDN minimizes this problem as it hosts static files on multiple servers all at once. Hence, if someone asks to view your site, they can get it from the closest location, thus cutting down on the download time.
Disengage Pingbacks and Trackbacks
Pingbacks and trackbacks are the two main components in WordPress that warn you anytime your blog or page gets a link. This sounds useful; however, there are other tools and services such as Google Webmaster that check your site’s links.
Keeping trackbacks and pingbacks puts unnecessary pressure on your limited server resources. By turning them off, you will help accelerate your WordPress site.
A key factor that affects the success of your website is speed. Knowing how to create a website is not enough, you need to have knowledge on Website Speed Optimization. It influences search rankings and so much more. It is worth noting that even a few seconds make a big difference. Thankfully, as aforementioned, there are easy techniques you can use to boost your WordPress site speed.