How to Speed Up WordPress Website – 9 Easy Ways To Make Your WordPress Site Go Faster
What do you think about a site which is loading slow?
My first thought will be that this website is a scam. A bit harsh I know. Ok, but at least I will think that the site has nothing important to show since is taking 5 seconds to open a single page. If it did, the person managing the site would make everything possible to lower the page speed. If he is a real professional and his products are really worth it, then, he would have taken the time to make his site load faster, right?
Even if you are WordPress beginner, you should know why the speed of your website is so important and you should definitely know how to speed it up.
WordPress is widely used platform for starting an online business, and it’s awesome, there is no doubt about this. However, after installing WordPress, there are few things you will need to consider on how to speed up WordPress.
Why Site Speed is So Important?
One word, actually two – user experience.
It’s so logical right, and you probably already stumbled upon cases, when you visit a site, but the page is loading really slow. What do you do? You close the window and move to the next site, do you? You don’t have enough time to wait for a website to load. You have more important things to do.
This actually is why Google ranks fast sites higher.
These guys are fanatics about satisfying their users and they want sites that load fast to rank higher, so people can enjoy better user experience.
And yes, if your website is loading really fast, it might outrank other sites that have been out there for a while.
In this “How to speed up WordPress Website” step-by-step guide, I am going to show you 9 easy ways to make your website run faster. Don’t worry, I’ve made the guide non-technical friendly, so even if you are just getting started you will find your way to speed up WordPress.
Let’s start optimizing your page load speed:
1. Get WordPress Hosting
Installing and building with WordPress can be done on pretty much every hosting out there.
Still, there are certain hosting companies who know how powerful and widely used this platform is and made tweaks to their packages to ensure WordPress will run much faster and smoother on their platforms.
Also, these companies offer WordPress specific features, like WordPress one-click install, auto-updater, backups, WordPress support, staging and more.
The company I highly recommend is… SiteGround Hosting: WordPress-optimized Hosting for sites of all levels:
They have all essential WordPress features, SSD drives, 24/7 support, and easy one-click WordPress install.
Get your hosting account with SiteGround, or transfer your existing project and see how this will affect your page load speed.
2. Optimized WordPress Themes
Not all WordPress themes are made equal. There are thousands of different themes available online, but only a few of them really have what it takes.
Most of the themes that look really amazing and have tons of option available, are not as good as you think. These stuffed with code layouts will only make things worse.
Let me give you a list of the best premium WordPress themes that will make your website run faster:
Best marketplace for premium WordPress themes:
My personal recommendation will be to strive for simple and clean design. Don’t add tons of banners and buttons. Focus on how you can ease your visitors and how you can serve your audience better.
3. Use Caching Plugin
Caching is used to significantly increase your page speed by storing a large portion of your website data inside the browser.
These plugins save the dynamically generated HTML files and serve them from the cache. Rather than asking for all PHP scripts from the server, they are stored locally which means that the website loading speed will improve.
From what I’ve used, by far the most complete free plugin is W3 Total Cache. But to tell you the truth, this plugin is really hard to set. The configuration of it is different for every site.
So after tons of research and tests, I found another really powerful solution for boosting your page speed. The plugin is called: WP Super Cache.
This plugin is really easy to use and install. You can see all the steps inside this article here: Top Free must have WordPress plugins
4. Remove Plugins You Don’t Use
As we need plugins to reduce the loading speed of our sites, we also need to remove the ones we don’t need for the same reason.
Each plugin adds lines of codes inside your WordPress, which respectively means larger files to load and comes down to slower site.
That’s why, it’s best to check every now and then what plugins you have installed, and remove the ones you are not using. You can always install them back when you need them.
There is one plugin that comes pre-installed with WordPress and you 100% don’t need. The plugin is called Hello Dolly.
Access your WordPress admin > Plugins > Installed Plugins > Deactivate > Delete:
5. Change Web Fonts
Since each site is full with text, the font you are going to choose will play a significant role in your overall site design. But as I just said, your site is full of text, which means that if you decide to go with some really custom font, that can impact your site speed.
A recent case study analyzing font speed is showing that the fastest font is Arial, followed by Open sans. After that are Oswald and PT sans.
Looking at these results, I will suggest using one of the fonts above for increasing your website performance.
You can read the full case study here: Web font performance
6. Smush Images
Image optimization is absolutely necessary these days. Because what is a website without images, right?
And as you probably already know, great images are really big, in regards size. To speed up your WordPress site, you will need to reduce the size.
But wait, would not that affect the quality of the image?
No. But only if you are using the right tools. Let me show you how to reduce the size of the images by more than 80% without compromising on quality.
Once you write your article and you are ready to upload images, the first thing you need to do is resize them. Most of the images you will find online are with a resolution bigger than 2000×1333, which higher than what you need.
The normal size of an image you are planning to use for inside your blog post is 820×400 or 900×439.
To change that access and If you are using Windows, right click on the image you are going to use > Open with Paint > Resize > Pixels > Change the horizontal, which will change also the vertical height > Save the changes:
Once this is done, head over to Tinypng.com and upload your image there. This online tool will automatically reduce the size:
Wait, there’s more.
I am sure that the steps decreased the size of the image with more than 80%. But we are going to do one more thing to save even more, by installing the plugin WP-smush.
Go to Add new plugin > Search for WP smush – image optimization > Install and activate the plugin:
The automatic smushing will be automatically enabled. Which means that all new images will be compressed without any additional actions from you.
However, if you already uploaded images you can easily reduce the size by accessing the settings of the plugin and pressing Bulk smush:
You are all set.
These steps will save you a lot of MB and significantly increase your website speed.
7. Optimize Your Database
If you are not a technical person, when I say optimize your database you will probably stress you out.
Which is fully understandable. It’s not an easy task if you don’t know which tool to use.
To do this task, we are going to install another plugin. The name of the plugin is WP-optimize.
Go to plugins > add new > search for WP-optimize > Install and activate the plugin:
Click on the newly appeared menu WP-optimize > Check the boxes below and hit optimize:
That’s it! Your tables are now optimized:
8. Use CDN a.k.a Content Delivery Network
CDN is a service which will distribute your website around the world, bringing it closer to your visitors, which means faster loading speed. Cloud Flare uses more than 40 servers to store your data and bring it closer to your audience.
However, my experience with this type of services is a bit contradictory. You might end up with a slower site.
Still, you should definitely consider this if you’re looking for different ways to speed up your WordPress site.
You can open a free account with CloudFlare using this link here: Cloudflare.com
9. Test Optimize Repeat
“Wait we are talking speeding up WordPress, but how should I know if my site is slow?”
In most cases it’s pretty obvious, when you visit your website it’s simply loading slow. Still, here we are talking about make it blazing fast and reducing the speed below 2, even 1 second if possible.
Before starting a diet, you get on the scales to see how much you weight now and to decide how you want to lose, right?
The same goes here.
When you are making changes towards optimizing your website speed, it’s a good idea to test the current performance.
Two of the best tools to test your website speed are:
Visit the first online tool > add your domain name > choose from which location you want to test your website speed > start the test > below you will see the results:
After the performance grade you will see additional info that will help you optimize the speed of your website:
I know I know, the recommendations here aren’t quite clear, especially if you are not a technical person.
However, test the speed of your website every time you make changes to find the optimal configuration.
Your visitors, Google, the neighbors, your dog even your grandfather – no one likes slow sites.
Your website being slow is probably the second worst thing that can happen to your site, the first is not having a website at all. If you haven’t started yet, make a website by following the steps here: getting started with WordPress.
Remember, the easiest way to ensure your website will load fast is by keeping things simple. Don’t pile your pages with images, buttons, ads, pop-ups that no one will be going to like. Rather try to focus the reader towards only one goal on each page.
The steps above will surely answer your question on: “How to speed up WordPress”.
Comment below if you are still struggling with making your website fast: