Wondering how you can make your WordPress website speed like greased lightning. After reading this post, you’ll have a better understanding on why website speed matters and how to speed up your WordPress site.
When building WordPress websites for yourself or your clients, it is critical that you understand how to make them load faster.
The look and content of a website are crucial. How quickly a website loads is also very critical. You need to speed up the WordPress site. Your site’s user experience, SEO rankings, conversion rates, bounce rates, and more will all be affected by slow loading times.
For this reason, we put up this comprehensive tutorial to help you learn everything you need to know about making your WordPress site run faster.
We’ll go over everything you need to know in this post. What causes WordPress sites to slow down, why speed is vital, and how to test your site’s current performance will be explained.
Then, we’ll go over a comprehensive set of strategies you can implement right away to boost the speed of your WordPress site.
If your website isn’t fast, it won’t perform well and won’t succeed. WordPress sites that take a long time to load or respond can be disadvantageous to your business. It’s difficult to figure out why your website is taking so long to load.
Here are some of the reasons for your slow loading website.
A WordPress website host or slow server response are two of the most common causes of a sluggish WordPress website. If you want your server’s response time to be faster, you need to upgrade to a more expensive hosting plan.
Although you may purchase the most expensive plans, some hosting services are inoperable and slow down your website. Not only do they slow your WordPress administration down, but they can also make your entire website work slower.
Typically, you can only solve the problem by switching to a superior hosting provider.
Sometimes your server host is observed to share hosting with other websites. A website may be hosted on a shared server, meaning that it shares server space with other websites.
If you’re looking for a super fast cloud hosting provider, we recommend Cloudways. According to our uptime and speed test data, Cloudways is the most reliable managed cloud hosting provider in the industry. You can check our in-depth Cloudways review here.
The creation of a fully functional WordPress website would be impossible without the use of third-party plugins. On the other hand, too many plugins can be harmful to a site rather than helpful. The more time you’ve spent running your website, the more plugins you’ve probably already installed on your site.
Plugins that are out-of-date or poorly coded slow down your website’s load time. In addition, the more plugins you have on your site, the more time it takes to load pages. When it comes to more complex plugins like page builders and all-in-one solutions, this is especially true.
Being reminded to update WordPress on a weekly basis can be a pain. For the most part, this refers to things like plugins, themes, and the content management system (CMS). Updates to items that aren’t compatible can be a pain, but they may be worth it.
A simple click can solve the problem of a slow response time caused by an out-of-date tool. It’s common for these kinds of upgrades to include speed-related features. If you’re unsure, run a speed test before and after the update.
Obviously, you want your WordPress site to have a lot of high-quality images. The downside is that you’ll have to load up your website and server with a lot of “heavy” files. Slower loading times are caused by larger file sizes, which is a problem if you use a lot of media.
Lossless compression can be used to reduce the size of your images and speed up your website. Using lossless compression, you can reduce the size of a file without sacrificing the quality of the image. Compressing images can reduce page load times by up to a second when done correctly.
Has your website existed for some time? In the past few years, you may have deleted a few pages, utilised a different platform than WordPress, or made other significant modifications. However, other websites that have linked to you, as well as search engines, may still have your old URLs.
These URLs may lead to a dead page or a “301 Moved Permanently” or “302 Found” error page. Essentially, this means that your server must visit these pages prior to loading the actual page, which increases load time. There are numerous solutions to this type of problem, such as manually editing your external links, removing old pages, adding a better redirect code, or even restoring these pages.
The following WordPress performance testing tools will give you a complete picture of your site’s performance. Each of these tools can be used independently or in conjunction with the others to cross-reference website data.
PageSpeed Insights were created by Google. This nifty web application evaluates the performance of WordPress on your website across multiple devices, including desktop and mobile browsers. This is useful if a variety of screen sizes and devices are used by your site’s visitors.
Pingdom is a free tool that provides comprehensive site performance data, such as load time, page size, and a thorough analysis of each page on your website. This application stores your performance history, allowing you to monitor whether your efforts to reduce page load times are effective.
Your website’s loading speeds will be documented in the GTmetrix report, which includes a detailed report on how to improve your website’s performance. Additionally, this web tool includes a video playback feature that allows you to see where the page loading speed bottlenecks are located.
User experience with your page is evaluated using Google’s Core Web Vitals, and page speed is one of the most important factors in this evaluation. As an example, Google will use page speed to determine if your users are getting impatient and abandoning your site because of its slow loading time.
If you want to speed up your WordPress site, you need to understand how the core web vitals work. For the Core Web Vitals, the largest contentful paint, first input delay, and cumulative layout shift are the three components.
The length of time required for the majority of a web page’s content to load after the initial link click is referred to as the LCP. LCP is a unique speed metric because, in contrast to other metrics like TTFB, it evaluates how quickly a page loads from the point of view of the user. If you check your LCP, whether you use Google PageSpeed Insights or Google Search Console, you will receive a detailed analysis of the site elements that are affecting it. Both of these tools are provided by Google.
- 0 to 2 seconds – Good
- 3 to 4 seconds – Needs improvement
- 5 to 6 seconds – Poor
The First Input Delay, also known as FID, is the second core web vital. This provides an estimate of how much time a user spends interacting with your page. One way to define an interaction is when a user chooses an option from a menu, fills out a form, or uses the search bar to locate the product they are looking for. Because of this, you should place a high priority on this core web vital if your website has a lot of user interaction.
- 0 to 100ms – Good
- 200ms to 300ms – Needs improvement
- 400ms to 500ms – Poor
The Cumulative Layout Shift, also known as CLS, is a measurement that determines how stable the visual appearance of a page is as it loads. To put it another way, if the images on your page move as the page loads, you have a problem with your CLS that needs to be fixed. Because it can be confusing for users to experience a page element moving to a different location after the page has completely loaded, Google considers this to be a Core Web Vital.
- 0 to 0.1 – Good
- to 0.25 – Needs improvement
- 0.25 to 0.3 – Poor
I’ll do my best to keep this to a minimum. Almost everyone enjoys a fast-loading site. We all know that Google prefers a fast website over a slow one, which means that a faster website ranks higher on the search engine results page (SERP). Most videos and interviews suggest this explanation even though it hasn’t been proven definitively to be true.
After just five seconds, most people will have abandoned a website that takes more than ten seconds to load.
According to research, if your website takes longer than two seconds to load, you lose 7% of conversions, 11% of page views, and 16% of customer satisfaction. The following is the result of condensing all of that:
You could see a 7 percent increase in profits by reducing your website’s load time by just one second.
I hope we were able to persuade you, because that’s what we’ll be getting in return. Let’s get started with the actual WordPress guide to optimization.
How To Speed Up Your WordPress Website
There are many ways to boost the performance of your WordPress website.
To begin with, let’s take a look at how well your website is performing right now. For this, there is no universal metric, as performance varies depending on the visitor’s location, internet connection speed, and browser caching settings.
The amount and type of content on each page will have an effect on how quickly your website loads. Testing any other particularly popular pages is also recommended. Although the homepage of a website is typically used to gauge load speed, you should test any other high-traffic pages as well.
Regularly check for performance issues, especially if you’ve recently added new pages. This will show that your site is still delivering pages at a competitive speed.
For WordPress website speed optimization, this is very important. If you want to speed up your WordPress site, you should not cram too many plugins and extras into it.
Incompatibilities between these plugins may occur.
Inexperienced WordPress users often make the blunder of installing any plugin, no matter how popular it appears to be or how many people are using it.
Even if they’re useful, they’ll slow down your website if you don’t have to have them.
In order to reduce it, there are numerous options available. The “Breeze” WordPress cache plugin allows you to do this either manually or automatically. Additional plugins like Autoptimize exist.
The loading time would be significantly increased if external resources were used instead of those on the page you just loaded. The user’s browser will take longer to load your website as a result.
Shortening URLs and removing HTTPS and WWW could reduce the number of redirects. As a result, the redirections will not be able to become chained.
Content delivery networks, also known as CDNs, are groups of servers that are spread out across the world. To make it easier for your visitors to request web pages, each of these stores a copy of your website.
In this case, your web host’s server may be located in the United Kingdom. With no CDN, your site will load slowly for users in the United States because of the slow speed of communication between their device and your server. An American visitor to your site who is using a CDN will experience a faster connection because their device will connect to the closest server on your CDN.
The WordPress caching plugins are some of the best because they significantly reduce page load time and are all available on WordPress.org for free and easy installation.
Using W3 Total Cache, I would not recommend or use any other caching plugin because it has all the necessary features and is extremely easy to set up and use. You don’t need to do anything more than install the extension and activate it to see the benefits of caching.
WordPress website speed slows down if you use a lot of large images. Reduce the file size of your images without sacrificing quality to increase the efficiency of your website. Instead of making viewers squint, the goal is to save as much space as possible.
You can compress image files in Photoshop or any other image editing program of your choice. WordPress image optimization plugins like Smush are also an option.
Lazy loading can be beneficial to your website if your blog postings contain several embedded media files, such as multiple photographs, multiple videos, or photo galleries.
Instead of downloading all of the user’s photographs and videos at once, “lazy loading” only downloads those that the user will actually be able to see on their screen. It will replace all other pictures and video embeds with a blank image to serve as a placeholder.
When the user scrolls down the page, your website loads images, which are then shown in the viewing area of the browser. Lazy loading is an option for anything from images and movies to WordPress comments and gravatars.
The Lazy Load by WP Rocket plugin can be used for loading media like pictures, iframes, and videos.
Your WordPress website will load significantly faster or slower depending on the theme you select for your site. Because the majority of website owners won’t modify a WordPress theme to improve its performance, it is essential to choose a theme that is both effective and quick to load.
As a general guideline, choose a lightning fast theme that is lean and has few functionalities, but make an exception for your specific requirements. As a possible jumping off point for your search, you might want to consider using this compiled list of the quickest WordPress themes.
Your WordPress app connects to a database that contains all site-related information in the background. Databases store all of your website’s content—from posts to user registrations to comments—as well as your site’s settings and configuration options.
When someone goes to your website, you’re just pulling information out of the database to display a page or a blog post. However, data is generated by user actions such as comments, upvotes, and purchases, among others. The changes you make to a post are automatically saved by WordPress as well.
There are two things that can lengthen the time it takes for a database request to be returned to your WordPress site. First, the execution time of these queries increases as the size of your database grows. Data entry and deletion cycles can also cause your database to be fragmented, resulting in different parts of your database being stored on different disc locations.
That’s why keeping your database clean and free of spam and unapproved comments, post revisions, and deleted posts is a good idea. It is possible to optimize your WordPress database using WP Optimize, a plugin that removes unnecessary data and defragments the database.
Both WordPress and PHP are well-known and continue to see development. They are updated every day with new features, bug fixes, security patches, and performance upgrades, among other kinds of improvements.
It is absolutely necessary to update WordPress, as well as any plugins and PHP, to their most recent versions in order to keep up with these enhancements. Nevertheless, you will need to make a backup of the version of WordPress that is currently running on your website before performing an upgrade.
Revisions in WordPress allow you to go back and undo changes, but they can also fill up your database and make it larger.
Your site’s database needs to be maintained in order to run smoothly, and you may do this manually or with the help of a plugin like WP Rocket. The SG Optimizer, as of this writing, has a switch for this as well.
Keeping use of the same methods in your media collection, keeping unused images in your library might take up a lot of disc space, which could negatively impact the speed of your website.
It is possible to manually remove unwanted photos from your media library, or you can use a plugin like Media Cleaner to take care of it.
A “mixed content error” occurs when both HTTP and HTTPS-originated content are loaded on the same web page. This indicates that only some of your page’s assets are secure.
To correct this, locate all of the assets on your website that link to HTTP instead of HTTPS. Replace HTTP with HTTPS.
Select Settings menu > General and scroll down. Ensure that HTTPS, not HTTP, appears in front of the domain next to WordPress Address (URL) and Site Address (URL).
Everything listed above works like a charm. Each WordPress configuration, however, must be taken into consideration. Slowing down your website may be due to a variety of factors, like a complex theme, inadequate hosting, or third-party tracking software.
You may need additional work on your site if your page performance is still not where you want it to be after making these changes. As a result, hiring a developer or page speed expert to investigate the matter in greater depth is highly recommended.