WordPress is an excellent platform for maintaining and customizing a website or a blog. Since the mid of 2017, this CMS has dominated the Internet by powering around 39% of the sites. Despite the success of the WordPress, it still has an Achilles heel: the slow speed.
Nobody likes to waste time on a website that never stops loading. In fact, about 40% of Internet users prefer to give up if it takes more than 2-3 seconds to load. On ecommerce websites, it’s even worse: visitors often do not want to wait more than 2 seconds for the page to load up. Google’s guidelines mention page load time as an important search factor that impacts the position of a website in SERPs.
How To Speed Up WordPress
If your WordPress powered website or blog is too slow, you risk losing both your customers and the SERP position. So what could you do to speed up WordPress blogs and websites?
Here are few tips to optimize the page load time of your WordPress powered websites.
1. Disable and Remove Unnecessary Plugins
Keeping plugins that you use occasionally (or never) on WordPress blog increases the size of your database & backups and imposes an overwhelming load on your server. It is best to get rid of all such plugins to lessen the load on your WordPress blog.
Query Monitor is a diagnostic plugin that shows the impact of other installed plugins on the page load time. I highly recommend using this tool for identifying the plugins that place high demands on the server resources.
2. Opt for a Light Theme
The problem with WordPress themes is that all of them look great. Unfortunately, under the hood, all themes are different. Some are designed with speed in mind while others compromise on speed in the favor of GUI elements.
If you are using a well-designed theme for WordPress blogs, you might not face any speed or performance related issues. The best sources for high WordPress themes are reputed marketplaces (such as Studiopress and ThemeForest) and development agencies (such as Themeco).
3. Use a Good Cache Plugin
You do not have to be a tech whiz to apply this tip: Just install a cache plugin and let it handle the rest. To help you make the decision, I suggest “Breeze” WordPress cache plugin, a very lightweight cache plugin. The feature of the plugin includes file minification and grouping and CDN integration.
4. Compress the Images
Many bloggers upload huge images without thinking about the consequences. Huge image files take forever to download. While you could use lazy loading and other page load optimization tricks, the easiest way is to simply reduce the image size.
There are several WordPress plugins available that can ease the process of image optimization. One popular choice from them is Smush Image Compression and Optimization.
The compression is “lossless”, which means that despite the reduced size, the viewers will notice no difference in the quality of the images
5. Optimize the Database
Optimizing your database is like draining your car’s engine: the goal is to remove the waste so that everything works better and longer.
WP-Optimize is a very popular database cleanup and optimization plugin. This plugin allows you to delete message revisions, comments in the spam queue, untrusted comments, and items in the trash. In short, it is a great way of freeing up space with minimum effort.
6. Use a Content Delivery Network
Sometimes the geographical distance between the server where your blog is hosted and your visitors can influence the loading speed. A common solution for this problem is using a Content Delivery Network or CDN.
By using a CDN service you can offload the static files (including the images) to a node on the CDN. This will reduce the load on the server hosting the blog and will significantly improve the blog’s performance.
7. High-Quality Hosting
In one of our previous guides, we have highlighted the best hosting for WordPress blog. The hosting platform that powers your WordPress blog plays an important role in the page load time by reducing server response time. If you have opted for shared hosting plans, you will experience slow website even when you have applied all the above hacks. In my opinion, the best hosting solution for WordPress is cloud-based hosting. These solutions also help websites deal with traffic spikes and resource exhaustion issues.
If you don’t have the right technical skills for managing your servers, you should opt for a managed WordPress hosting like Cloudways, which runs on “pay as you go” pricing model. You’ll see a lot of improvement in the performance with no server management hassles.
In conclusion, the page load speed of a WordPress blog could be improved easily by applying the above-mentioned hacks. Besides these tips, what are your preferred techniques for speeding up WordPress blogs?