8 Tips to Speed Up Slow WordPress Site

site loading timeDo you have a WordPress site but its speed leaves much to be desired? Well, if you want your business to prosper, you probably know that a slow site is a problem. The visitors or prospective customers might get irritated and leave immediately. Moreover, some of them may leave a negative review. That leads to lower search engines rankings when the web crawlers notice the decline in visitors.

So, it is important to keep the WordPress site from slowing down and here we are going to share the helpful tips on how to fix this problem. What factors affect the speed of the site, how to measure it, what WordPress site speeding techniques are effective? We are going to answer all those questions!

But before…

Analyze the loading time of the whole site and its pages. The thing is that different pages might have different load time and that depends on:

  1. the weight of the certain page,
  2. the number of requests it is generating,
  3. caching;
  4. the content type it contains.

As a rule, the homepage is the comparison criterion that helps measure the loading period. If you don’t know what tools to use to check the speed of the whole WordPress site, turn to:

  1. PageSpeed Insights from Google;
  2. WebPageTest.org;
  3. Pingdom.com.

1. Turn to the Better Web Host.

The quality of the hosting is the #1 factor that influences the speed of a site. If you are a fan of the shared hosting, you need to remember that it is not good at delivering good site loading during peak traffic hours. That is the drawback of the shared host – you literary ‘share’ the same server space with millions of other sites.

Solution: Think of the cloud or dedicated hosting providers. And it is absolutely possible to find quality at the affordable cost – DigitalOcean, Amazon Web Services, Google Compute Engine, SiteGround are offering services at a nominal price.

2. Choose Less Weighty WordPress Theme/Framework.

Yes, in order to make your WordPress site differ from other, you are likely to use the WordPress themes with appealing shiny elements, such as dynamic elements, sliders, widgets, social icons, etc. But the rule is simple: too many heavy elements – more time to load a page.

Solution: The WordPress’ default themes are less ‘heavy.’ Twenty Fifteen theme, Bootstrap, Foundation have already gained positive reputation and have a lot of attractive features to use.

wordpress site speed

3. Minimize the Size of Images.

Images are an essential part of the site. Can you imagine a website without images? Surely, not. It is necessary not to refuse from the images, but to decrease the size of the pictures without affecting the quality.

Solution: One can use tools like Photoshop or Chrome PageSpeed Insights extension, but the process might take a lot of time. There are also the numerous WordPress plugins that offer image optimization, such as WP Smush and EWWW Image Optimizer.

4. Fewer Plugins.

It doesn’t mean that you should refuse from all the plugins. It is recommended to deactivate or uninstall unwanted plugins that you don’t use or that add unnecessary junk to the website files.

Solution: Check the plugins manually or use IFTTT and\or Zapier web services. They will help automate the certain tasks.

5. Reduce JS and CSS files.

Those who use Google PageSpeed Insights tool, know about the CSS and JS files size-minimizing notification. It works on a very simple principle: the less the number of CSS and JS calls, the better site-loading speed.

Solution: Apart from the above-mentioned tool, you can use the WordPress plugins. For example, Autoptimize is good at optimizing CSS, JS and even HTML of the WordPress site.

speed up wordpress site

6. Use Advanced Caching Tools.

You can’t get rid of the caching tools, but you can use those that will better the speed of the site.

Solution: Probably, you use WordPress caching plugins such as W3 Total Cache. But try to combine it with the Varnish caching mechanism – it can help speed up your WordPress to a great degree.

7. Employ Content Delivery Networks.

Your website might appear in the search engine results of people from different countries. The location affects the SEO and the site loading speed either. Fair to say, if the visitors are far away from the place where your pages are hosted, it will take more seconds to load.

Solution: The Content Delivery Networks like Cloudflare and MaxCDN create and keep copies of websites in special datacenters, which are sited in different places. The CDN serves a required webpage to a visitor from the location that is the nearest possible.

8. GZIP Compression.

If you compress the files on the local computer, you will free up a lot of space on the disk. In terms of the WordPress site and with the same goal, one can use GZIP compression. This utility can lessen the weight of the website pages up to 70% by reducing the size of files that are sent from your server.

Solution: There are WordPress Gzip Compression and GZip Ninja Speed Optimization plugins you can use.

Conclusion

Some also recommend cleaning up the WordPress database and disabling the pingbacks and trackbacks. But we are sure: if you make use of these techniques, you will notice the lowering of the website’s loading time and even more benefits, like improved rankings in the SERPs. Do not forget to test the site speed after you fixed the above-mentioned 8 factors.