Speed up WordPress is necessary for this competitive world. quick loading webs page eventually improve user experience, increase your page views, and this will help to boost your WordPress SEO.

This is guide we take you through step by step how you can implement WordPress seed up optimization, In that we got you covered why speed matters for WordPress Site, right from people spent on the webpage to Conversion Rates. So that you can implement right now and see the result instantly.

Table of Contents

Basics of WordPress Speed Up Process

Speed Up Process Best Practices

Advance Speed Up Process

Why WordPress website speed up matters?

If you are the owner of the website literally, you have few seconds to show your content to users and convenience them to stay on your website. If your website is slow, visitors will turn out.

They will potentially leave your website before it even loads.

According to a StrangeLoop case study made with analysing Amazon, Walmart and other larger sites show that 7% loss in conversions, 11% fewer page views, and 16% decrease in customer satisfaction for 1 second delay in webpage load.

StrangeLoop case study speed up wordpress website

 

Loadstorm combined many research and made an awesome infographic, that showed same as StrangeLoop case study along with they figured out waiting 500 ms causes 26% increase in frustration 8% decrease in engagement.

You have 5 seconds to engage a customer before they leaving a website. 1 out of 4 people will abandon if it takes longer than 4 seconds to load. 46% users will not return to a poorly performing website.

 Loadstorm infographic: Why website speed matters a lot,

 

Even Google search engine also give more preferences to website speed, i.e., high speed = better ranking on SEO.

Above and all you need to increase your WordPress website speed in order to get more users, to make more engagement and finally to make more conversions.

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How to check Your WordPress Website Speed?

By frequently browsing your website in your systems it may be desktops / laptops or even in smartphones you assume your website is loading fast compare to others. But it’s not true its only because of the browser cache. Modern Browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari mac or others stores your website cache in order to deliver instant results.

However, a new user who visits your website may not have the same experience. and even users have different location rather then yours had completely different experience. it mainly depends on your server geographic location.

The website homepage is typically taken as a benchmark to check website speed. We recommend you to check your website tools like

  •  Pingdom: A free tool that allows you can check website speed from different locations
  • PageSpeed Insights: A  doesn’t give the report on Website loading speed. however, it highlights the elements that you improve so that speed up WordPress.

Pingdom website speed testing tool

 

Google page speed insights tool test the Amazon.com

After all website speed test, you might think what would be the better website speed? Should I target?

A Good website should load 2 seconds or even less 

You can even check all major e-commerce companies having less than 2 seconds of page loading speed.  Amazon said even 100ms was enough to reduce their sales by 1 percent.

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What makes your WordPress website slow down?

Website Speed Check tool showed tons of recommendations to you. First, need to understand what makes website load slow. one thing is to keep in mid speed may differ from page to page there are some other key aspects to depend on

             Webhosting: You may miss few configuration in hosting

            Size of the webpage: your image not been optimized properly

            WordPress framework: You probably choose wrong framework/theme

            Plugins: Tons of unwanted plugins may cause website speed

            Content: Static content or Dynamic content

            Scripts: Multiple scripts at instantly may cause website speed performance.

Now you had a brief idea what are the key elements causes your webpage slow down. Let’s go through in detail how to speed up WordPress and improve the performance.

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#1 Choose a better web hosting provider

Hosting plays a vital role in the speed and performance of WordPress. Choosing right web hosting is the first step towards to optimizing the website.

When starting out, shared hosting seems good because of their low cost and fancy words like free domain, unlimited space, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited email and many more.

Here you should concentrate on performance, shared hosting fail to deliver better loading time on high traffic time.  few of then fail to deliver 99% uptime also.

In shared hosting, a single server is split between multiple users. Means you share the same resource with countless (sometimes more than thousands of sites) other websites. Each user will get shared amount of bandwidth and there is no information how much resources other websites using.

This will result in poor performance on your website if another website taking up too many resources. You can go  with shared hosting providers like Siteground

Shared Hosting Cloud Hosting

We would recommend WPEngine as WordPress managed hosting Provider. Although you can use industry leader like Amazon Web Services, DigitalOcean, and even Google Compute Engine at lowest price like starting $5 / month. However, setting those servers up these server needs the extra skill set. you can read how to install WordPress on google cloud

Note: We recommend you to choose your nearest server location. choose based on near location based on your users.) when you are selection

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#2 Select Speed optimized Theme

Choosing WordPress theme or Framework for a website is very important. with consideration to Speed of the WordPress Site. There are tons of most attractive and lots of functionality but poorly coded will result in slow down your WordPress site.

Its always better to go with very simple and minimal functionality theme or Framework. Because most of the time you choose more functionality of theme and use those core functionality one or two times. rather than using those theme you can achieve those functions with the help of good quality Plugins.

The WordPress Default theme such as Twenty Fifteen “framework” is little fast and light-weighted

Its also very important to understand what kind of WordPress Website you are building For blog a simple Framework is sufficient for an eCommerce a complex functionality may need.

We recommended Premium WordPress theme market like

StudioPress

Themify

Array Themes

Thesis Theme Framework

These themes are efficiently coded and even optimized for Speed. These frameworks won’t slow down if you make custom edits and use excess plugins. Make sure that code properly to avoid break framework.

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#3 Use Best WordPress Cashing Plugin

When it comes to speed up WordPress, Cashing plugin play an important role. WordPress Pages are dynamic. Means Every time user request for an information WordPress fetches from its database and display it.

This process involves many steps and it can really slow down your website when sheer number of peoples visiting your site simultaneously.  Caching stores your posts and pages as static files when a user request for the information it servers instantly without taking much time.

Caching can make your WordPress site Up to 5x faster.

There are many Cach Plugins available for WordPress, In that, few of them give really best results. W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache are best when it comes to free Cache Plugin. If you want you can choose Premium Plugin WP Rocket  It gives some extra performance as well as support from the team.

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#4 Optimize images for Website Speed Up

Images convey your story in the better appealing way and also help readers stick with you always. If you use best suitable images in your article there are more than 70% chances to be shared on social media.

If you aren’t optimized images before publishing page on WordPress it will slow down your website.

With the help of photo editing software Optimize images for the web before uploading images to WordPress. Most photo editing software like Photoshop, having an option “Save for Web”

If its camera picture or smartphone picture may have huge file size anywhere from 2 MB to 20 MB or even more, In editing software you can decrease your image size by up to 7x to 10x without decreasing the quality of the image.

Facebook is a very good example when it comes to image optimization (image compression).

When you upload your 5MB or 6MB high-resolution picture into facebook and when you again downloaded it from facebook you end up getting file size as 200 KB or even lesser file size.

  • JPEG and PNG are most commonly used image formats.

A JPEG image format provides the best quality image when compressed or resized. PNG image format is known for transparency, and are often used for logo image and PNG image is the uncompressed and high resolution but result in a larger file size.

There are two types of PNG file formats, to save as a PNG-8 or a PNG-24. The PNG-8 file type is limited to 256 colors, whereas the PNG-24 will deliver a much higher quality display, but result in a larger file size.

To optimize of web you can use online compression tools like

With the help of Plugin called WP-SmushIt. It reduces the file size of an image, without reducing image quality. Smush.it process to all of your images automatically, as you are uploading them.

You can try Lazy Load plugin which ensures that images are only loaded when the user browse through image area.

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#5 Keep your WordPress site updated

Keep WordPress site updated

WordPress site, Theme and Plugins are releasing a new version on regular basis. The new versions will introduce new feature as well as fix bugs and enhance securities.

Its always better to keep updated with a WordPress site Theme and Plugins so that you can avoid WordPress Slowdown and security threats.

Most of the time WordPress site hacked because of using outdated Version of  WordPress, Themes and plugins.

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#6 Monitor and Remove unwanted Plugins

Is it a necessary plugin? It really adds value to your WordPress? – You should ask your self before installing a plugin.

The plugin gives powers to your WordPress site. but they cause lot of performance issue and WordPress site being slow. if you do not carefully choose to install.

All Plugins are not the one and same, there are best plugins but few of them are poorly coded and some may have external servers calls. This will cause WordPress Site slowdown.

Keep in mind the more Plugin you install the more compatibility issues may arise.

Before Installing the Pugin

  • Ask your self – Do you really need this plugin functionality on WordPress site? If Yes .! you can try.
  • Check the last updated date – If plugin has not recently updated or tested with recent WordPress update
  • How many installations – You can get overview how many trusted users are currently using this plugin
  • reviews – Reviews will help to understand pros and cons WordPress plugin

With the help of P3 Profiler Plugin, you can check WordPress site slowdown plugin statistics. The plugin will break down how much loading time plugins are adding. So that you can identify what the plugins are slowing down WordPress.

Note: P3 Profiler Plugin not recently updated. Its been 3 years ago hence for testing purpose only you can use and test your Plugin loading time then you should uninstall Plugin

Go to Dashboard » Plugins » Installed Plugins and test with current sets of plugins.

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#7 Include the Trailing Slash

When you visit a URL without the trailing slash, the web server will look for a file with that name. If it doesn’t find a file with that name, then it looks for a directory and looks for the default file in that directory.

By adding trailing slash you are forcing web server to execute unnecessary 301 redirects and which will help to decrease the loading speed

In real actually when server visit URL with trailing slash, the web server will look for a file directory and look for the index.html or the default file (this is set on the server level, but ‘index’ is a default one)

URL with Trailing Slash

https://example.com/
or
https://example.com/services/

URL without Trailing Slash

https://example.com
or
https://example.com/services

Note: If you already have a website without Trailing Slash no need to change it now. If you are launching new website we strongly recommend you to used Trailing Slash.

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#8 Keep Elegant and Minimal Homepage

The homepage should grab the first impression of the users. because most of the people land here and can convert as a customer.

Too many elements (features) at homepage distracting for users, but they also increase your page load speed.

If it is a Product or Service Homepage 

  • Make it clear Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and call of action.
  • Product feature
  • Links to other important pages like About, Resources, & Others.
  • Testimonials
  • Links to your most recent posts

If blog as homepage

  • Display only summery (Excerpt): By default, WordPress displays the full content of each article on the homepage. This increase homepage speed and reduces page views.
  • Go to Settings » Reading and select “For each article in a feed, show: Summary” instead of “Full Text.”

WordPress each article feed show blog pages show at most

  • Reduce the number of blog post on Homepage: With Blog pages show at most” you can reduce the number of blog posts on home page It will drastically reduce your homepage loading time. ( here we are reduced to 7 posts )

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#9 Break Comments into Pages

Is your post getting lots of comments? means you are doing great..!! But loading all those comments will causing slow down your website page.

With Split comment into pages feature you can avoid slowdown website

Go to Settings » Discussion and check the box next to the “Break comments into pages” option.

 

WordPress-Break-comments-into-pages

Here above image, we kept 25 comments per page.  After 25 comments 26th comment will show on another page.

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#10 Don’t Upload Videos Directly to WordPress

YouTube

Do you have a video? want to showcase to your users?

WordPress comes with a built-in video player. You can go to Media section in a dashboard and upload videos. But Hosting a video will consume lots of bandwidth. Even if you have unlimited plan bandwidth.

But it’s not a best practice when it comes to speed up WordPress. You can use most popular video hosting services like YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion, Veoh, etc., So that they had sufficient bandwidth to play your video as many as times.

In WordPress, you can embed videos very easily. Just you need to copy and paste video’s URL directly into your post and it will embed automatically.

#11 Choose Faster Slider Plugin

Faster Slider Meter

Most of website home page starts with a slider and it helps you to give a brief description of product or service you are selling.

In spite of image optimized slider plugin makes your WordPress site slow down due to poorly coded, this ruin all other optimization you have done till now.

Most of the WordPress themes come with Revolution Slider and LayerSlider. Some other premium slider plugin like Soliloquy perform well compare to these two. But when theme provides these plugin you can use it but, follow these steps in order to avoid slow down your WordPress

  • Never use video in Slider
  • Never use more than 5 slides in Slider
  • Never use multiple images (layer images)
  • Keep it as simple as it is

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#12 Choose Faster Gallery Plug

Speed up WordPress Gallery Plugin

Gallery plugin needs when you looking to create a gallery for WordPress site. Is really important to use well-coded speed optimized WordPress Gallery plugin. We recommend you to use Envira Gallery which well speeds optimized Gallery plugin available in Market.

NextGEN and Foo Gallery are the other two popular Gallery plugin But when it comes to Speed optimized Envira Gallery stands out.

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#13 Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

We previously mentioned different geographic location also impact on site loading speed. It’s because of your server location.

Let’s assume your server location is Canada and users from Canada get a good amount of Speed as compared to users from Singapur. Here CDN (Content Delivery Network) play an important role so that all users from across the globe can get the good amount of speed.

A CDN network has server locations around the globe. Each server will store your website static files like HTML, CSS, Javascript and images.

  • Cloudflare CDN network has 119 server locations around the world.

When the user enters URL into a browser, CDN Network serves static files instantly to the user from it’s your nearest server location. So that user can get a good amount of speed.

Few popular CDN network are

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#14 Break Long Posts into Pages

Longer and in-depth content people love to read always. Longer posts always more chances to have a higher ranking in search engine results.

When you publish long post with lots of images it will slow down your website speed. As Previously stated you can make use of lazy load plugin.

With WordPress built-in functionality you can split posts into multiple pages.

Just add the tag<!––nextpage––> to your article that’s it.  After the tag, next content will appear on next page.  Do that same process if you want to split the article on to the next page as well.

You can achieve by this using shortcut key  alt + shift + p in Visual Mode in editor

Break Long Posts into Pages

Note: Add <!––nextpage––> tag in Text Mode in editor

 

#15 Enable GZIP Compression

Enabling GZIP compression can allow a website page (Page consists of HTML, CSS, JavaScript files) to be transferred to a browser with reduced file size (up to 70% ). The browser will then decompress the page and display it to the user.

Note: If you use WP Rocket or WP Total Cache they will automatically enable GZIP compression.

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#16 Minify CSS and Javascript

Removing unnecessary whitespace and comments in CSS and JavaScript files referring as Minify CSS and Javascript. This reduces the file size as a result time taken to load the files.

This doesn’t have to be a manual process, If you are using caching plugins such as W3 Total Cache or WP Rocket it has a built-in feature to Minify CSS and Javascript.

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#17 Reduce HTTP Request

Each and every file needed for a webpage to perform the function such as HTML, CSS, images, JavaScript, and fonts require a separate HTTP request. The more requests made, the slower that WordPress page will load.

Most of the WordPress themes load one or more CSS and JavaScript files. Which dramatically increases the time it takes a page to load.

Even WordPress Plugins calls its own CSS and Javascript, at the end, there will be more than dozen HTTP requests we can find.

In order to fix these issues follow these process

  • Combine CSS files into single file.
  • Combine JavaScript files into single file.
  • If possible Reduce or eliminate plugins that load their own JavaScript or CSS

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#18 Limit Post Revisions

Post revisions also take spaces in WordPress database. WordPress Experts believes that some Post revisions will affect your Database Performance

By adding a single line of code you can limit post revisions. Simply add this line of code to wp-config.php file (You can locate it in Public.html folder)

define( 'WP_POST_REVISIONS', 3 );

This code will limit your WordPress to save your last 3 revisions of each page or post and discard older automatically.

Example: You have updated your post more than 10 times and each revision not necessary need future.

Open any post or page » locate revisions You can see your total number of revisions on

locate post revisions

once you browse you can able to see previous content changes

WordPress post revisions

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#19 Prevent Hotlinking and Leaching of Your Content

Hotlinking referred as direct linking, is linking directly from one Website page file to the files of another site.

The most common way, When other websites serve your site images directly from their URL’s. Means every time their users views the image on their website, a request is being made to your server. This will result in consuming your bandwidth and decreases the performance of your site.

Simply add this code to your .htaccess file to block hotlinking of images from your WordPress.

#disable hotlinking of images with forbidden or custom image option
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www.)?wpfog.com[NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www.)?google.com [NC]
RewriteRule .(jpg|jpeg|png|gif)$ – [NC,F,L]

Note: change wpfog.com with your own domain.

 

#20 Optimize WordPress Database

WordPress database needs to be optimized in ordered to achieve the best performance. Basically removing unnecessary files (spam, post revisions, drafts, tables, etc.)  from the database.

Simply use the WP-Optimize plugin, which will increase your WordPress database efficiency. You can also use WP-DB Manager plugin so that you can schedule for database optimization.

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Conclusion

 

That’s it..!! We believe that this complete guide help you to increase your WordPress Speed as well as Performance.

Most of the people wrongly assume that you need to be an expert to Speed up a WordPress website. Nothing could be further from the truth. You can simply follow the guide in chronological order so that you can achieve maximum WordPress Site Speed.

Don’t forget to test your site’s speed before and after, and If you are facing any difficulties let us know in the comments. We are always ready to help you.

 

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