I think there is no need to describe how awesome the WordPress is! At this time, more than 50 percent of blog websites are running with WordPress.
WordPress is the most popular and almost flawless platform on the net. But some of the users suffer from the speed factor of his WordPress site.
Sometimes the WordPress load time may be very slow for different reasons. So it may be a big problem for the site owner if he/she does not take any action to speed up the WordPress site.
Why Website Loading Speed is Important
Website loading speed is the first attraction for the users. The internet users are highly impatient and they always pay attention to the fastest loaded page.
If a person comes first time to your website, you have very little time to capture his/her attention to go further.
The repeat visitors and subscribers will also think negative to visit your slow loading page next time.
A study shows that if your website speed becomes 1 second slower, than you are going to lose 12% page views, 6% conversions and 14% customer satisfaction.
The internet is full of competition. So, your customer will pay attention to your fastest loaded rival.
So, we undoubtedly say that the slower your page loading speed is smaller your business chance.
On the other hand, the search engines like Google and Bing are taking the site speed to rank the website to their page.
Especially Google recommends making your site super fast to take their attention and have a better position on their ranking algorithm.
So, the site speed is also very important for search engine optimization where WordPress SEO is a major fact.
It mean’s if your site is slower, you are losing your desired visitor and also search engine page rank.
So, I think you can realize now that how much important the website speed is! If your site is not fast enough, let’s speed it up.
WordPress Website Speed Test
Most of the new website owners are happy with their website speed. Because they find that their website is loading too fast in their browser.
This is a blind mistake as they do not have the proper knowledge about the web.
Actually, a browser caches the web page in your hard drive when first time loads the site.
After checking the site, in the next visit, the browser will not load the site again and it will show the cached version.
For this, it will not take the actual loading time and directly show the website.
That is why you will find the loading time if very fast. But this is not actually the loading time.
When you visit your site with a new device, you will get a different loading speed.
And also visiting the website from the different place of the world, it will show different loading speed. Actually, this is your real site speed.
It is a good news that there are some interesting tools which will help you to know your page loading speed.
Let’s see how to check website speed with these tools.
Pingdom is the most popular free website speed test tool on the net.
You can check the website speed from the different place with this tool.
You need to just paste your website link to the required URL bar and select the place from where you want to check the website speed and click to “Start Test” button and then it will take some seconds to show the result.
First, you will see the visual summary of your website and then the result will consequently show the Performance grade, Load time, The difference from other site’s speed, Page size, Requests, and the Tested place from where it checked.
There is a paid version too in this tool and you will find some extra control and advantages on paid searches there.
But I recommend to use the free version and this is pretty enough.
GTmetrix is another popular free tool for website speed test. You just need to put your website link to the URL bar of this tool and click to “Analyze” button and it will show you the result in a few seconds.
There is the performance report, you will first see the visual summary of your web page and Tested Server Region then the browser from which it was tested.
Then you will find the Performance Scores(PageSpeed Score and YSlow Score) and then the Page Details(Fully Loaded Time, Total Page Size, and Requests).
You will get some more controls on website speed test if you are a registered user. So, I recommend you to register first before testing your website.
Google PageSpeed Insights:
This is my another favorite free web tool to check website speed. This tool is moderated by the Google developers.
You need to place your website link to the URL bar of this tool and click to “Analyze” then it will take a few seconds to show you the result. With this tool, you will find the result from both device mobile and desktop.
In the mobile tab of it, you will first see the Page Speed and the Optimization score in mobile devices and the desktop tab shows the same interface.
And in the ultimate right side of the page, you will find the visual summary of your web page in both devices.
All of these tools also show the matters of what the site becomes slow and which factors should solve. I think this is a great option of these tools.
How to Speed up WordPress Site
If your WordPress site is slowing down and the loading speed is not good enough, there is nothing to panic.
I have a good news to tell you that you are lucky as you are a WordPress user and there are some simple ways to make your WordPress website super fast. In my freelancing career, I have lots of experiences and stories to speed up the slowest WordPress sites.
I’m going to tell you the proven ways to make your slow website super fast.
I know that making changes to your website configuration is a very tough task and it would be terrifying if you are not a developer.
But this is not too tough to speed up your WordPress website although you are not a developer and there is no coding required. Let’s do it now:
Know What is Slowing Down Your Site:
The first step to speed up your WordPress site is to identify the cause which is slowing down your website and take the proper steps.
The reasons below are the actual responsible for making your website slower.
- Bad Hosted Server.
- Poor Coded and Heavy Theme
- Bad Plugins
- Wrong Configured Site
- Heavy Page Size
- Too Many External Scripts
These are the first reasons and let’s face the actual reason and make your WordPress website super fast step by step.
1. Use a Fast and Trusted Hosting
Hosting is the main machine which serves your website on the net. So, this is the most important thing you need to know that is your hosting competent to keep your website loading speed faster?
There is another thing to consider and this is the server location.
If your targeted visitor’s location is close to the server location of your hosting then the visitor will get the server response faster and the website will load faster.
There are a lot of hosting companies offering different types of hosting services for the web.
But all the types and providers are not good and trustworthy for all kinds of websites.
There are some kinds of hosting on the web you can take;
Shared hosting is a hosting service where some websites share a server.
When you are using shared hosting, it means you are sharing your server with some of your neighbors.
Most of the small business websites are running with shared hosting this time.
It may slow down your website while your neighbor is getting too much visitors and using much space on the same server.
And you may have bad neighbors in the same server which will impact your site performance too.
But the shared hosting is very affordable. And for a simple and small business website, I think shared hosting is okay.
But all the shared hosting are not the same according to the provider. I personally recommend Bluehost for shared hosting services.
They are worldwide trusty and they have several server locations which offer the nearest for your visitor to keep the speed faster.
VPS(Virtual Private Server) Hosting:
In terms of VPS server, several websites share a server in limited criteria. All the shared allocations are firmly separated one from another.
So, a site does not need to share its allocated space, bandwidth and other server specs.
It seems you will have much control over your allocated server and other website and issues cannot impact your website performance.
That’s why the website speed will be very fast.
Bluehost provides VPS hosting too and you can easily take a VPS service from Bluehost VPS Hosting Service.
When it comes to the dedicated server, you are going to have the whole server in your control.
There won’t be any other user or website into your server if you use only one.
You will have the full control and access on the assigned server as you wish.
When a visitor will request your site and there is no chance to response slower because of server allocation.
But there is something to consider that the quality of your dedicated server.
If your dedicated server is low configured and bad in quality, then it will not give the proper performance as you want.
For this, I prefer Bluehost dedicated hosting. Which is highest in quality and provides different types of configurations.
There are some special hosting services for WordPress platform to provide better performance.
These types of hostings are highly optimized for WordPress.
The providers of WordPress hosting offers a managed special configuration for your website.
They also provide better security and auto site backup and updates in your server.
This kind of hosting keeps the WordPress sites super fast.
If you have a corporate or moderate to a bigger business website and runs on WordPress, I highly recommend such kinds of hostings.
Sometimes some servers crush down and the website becomes offline which impacts your business very bad and you will lose lots of visitors.
That is why choosing a trustworthy and quality hosting is the most important task before starting a website.
And also you will get some third party apps in your hosting control panel and are these apps trustworthy?
If the Scripts and HTML tags are not updated and validated, it may hamper your website speed.
So, choose a quality hosting server carefully to optimize your WordPress website speed.
2. Choose a Quality WordPress Theme
Choosing a quality theme or framework is another important task before starting a WordPress website.
The used theme or framework is actively responsible for the slow or fast performance of your WordPress website.
There are some aspects you need to keep in mind while choosing a WordPress theme. Let’s see these;
A WordPress theme is mainly coded with PHP, HTML, CSS, and JS.
Firstly you should check the coding standard of the theme or framework you intend to use for your WordPress website.
The HTML, CSS and PHP codes must be validated and up to date.
The outdated and badly structured coded theme or framework will definitely hamper your page loading speed.
A badly coded theme may conflict with used plugins and terrifyingly crush your website.
So, choose a standard coded WordPress theme/framework for your website to keep your WordPress website faster.
Light or Heavy:
A heavy theme/framework will make your website heavy and a heavy site loads slower.
Different external scripts and unnecessary templates and options make the theme heavy.
On the other hand, a lightweight theme keeps the website light and make it faster to load.
So, always choose a light theme to keep your website loading speed faster.
A standard coded and lightweight WordPress theme/framework is very important to keep your website performance faster.
But where can you get such kinds of the theme as most of the theme/framework providers are not trustworthy?
Yes, there is a solution too.
Use the WordPress.org free themes from the WordPress theme directory or you can use advanced WordPress themes from Themeforest and Templatemonster which are the highly secured and most popular in the industry this time.
3. Keep Your Website Up to date
WordPress is a modern software and it updates frequently.
The moderators update the software fixing bugs, adding new features and keeping the codes up to date for the better performance of WordPress.
So, if you do not update the software, you will not get the new performance grade.
It is a good practice to keep the software up to date to have a better performance. In addition, you should keep your theme and plugins updated too.
The theme and plugins are also responsible for site performance. This has a good impact on the security issue too.
Updating WordPress software, you will get good performance and also a tight security.
4. Remove Unwanted and Bad Plugins
Excessive usage of unnecessary and bad plugins also slow down your WordPress website.
A plugin itself has a specific weight and that weight makes your website heavy.
And you know a heavy website loads slower.
Never keep unnecessary plugins to your dashboard and always use only needed plugins which are trustworthy.
Yes, the used plugins must be trustworthy.
Because a plugin from an untrusted source can give you a terrifying experience crushing your whole site and show you a paperwhite page.
I prefer WordPress directory to use plugins and also for more advanced plugins, I select Themeforest’s Codecanyon which is highly trusted to the WordPress community.
5. Optimize Your Media
Media is very important for web post but excessive use and big size media file can make your website very heavy.
A study shows that attractive images catches visitors mind and make the intention to hang out to the post.
Without the media files especially images, a post looks very dull and can not achieve user-friendliness.
So, you have to use images to your posts in a friendly manner.
Before using the image, you should use the image editor and resize it in a reasonable size as the smaller images consume small size of your server.
And also compress the image quality with the compressor tools.
And use only the reasonable images, not excess.
On the other hand, you need to notice that which types of images are you using such as png, jpeg, PSD etc.
In my website, I always use Jpeg images as these are the standard type for the web page and comparably the Jpeg images are the very lightweight which consumes very little space on your web server.
But you can use png images too while you need a transparent background image.
PNG images are bigger in size than the Jpeg/jpg images.
So, always use Jpeg/jpg images and use PNG images only when you need transparent images.
Optimize you image media file carefully to keep your server light and speedy and this is a good practice.
6. Do Not Upload Videos Directly
WordPress is a mind hacker CMS and it has all kind of solutions what a CMS should have.
When you need to upload media files like video, audio, and images, WordPress offers this convenient dynamically and you can directly upload them through your dashboard.
When you upload a video file on your WordPress website, it will show the video by the HTML5 video player.
But uploading video files directly on the websites is not a good practice.
Videos are a very big file and when you upload a video file on the website, the video will consume a big number of server bandwidth and disk space.
For this, the website becomes too heavy and you lose the space and bandwidth for other contents.
Thus the server slows down and the website takes too much time to load and it hinders the website speed.
So, you should not upload video files directly to your WordPress dashboard directly.
If you have some important videos to share on your website, you can upload them to the video playing websites like Youtube, Dailymotion, Vimeo and take an embedded link from the sites.
Then share the embedded link on your WordPress post or page with the text editor of your dashboard.
Thus it will not take any space of your server and show as a Youtube, Dailymotion or Vimeo player.
7. Use a WordPress Caching Plugin
As you know WordPress is a dynamic platform and it is made with PHP and MySQL database.
But when a visitor requests a site, the browser shows an HTML version of the website.
The dynamic websites need to convert into an HTML version and then the visitor can view the site Front-end.
When it comes to WordPress, after a visitor’s request in the WordPress site, the PHP accepts the request and send it to MySQL and the MySQL puts everything together as an HTML version.
The visitor can access the HTML page. Isn’t is a long process?
I think so. But when a visitor requests an HTML site, it will not take this long process and direct response to the browser and it loads faster.
That is why you need to use a caching plugin on your WordPress website. A caching plugin takes all the dynamic process and creates a cached version of a site.
When you use a caching plugin in your site, it will retrieve the request from the visitor and directly show him/her the cached version which is directly HTML version without requesting to PHP and MySQL.
So, I recommend every WordPress users to use a good caching plugin to minimize your website’s loading time.
For caching my WordPress websites, I prefer W3 Total Cache plugin which is available in WordPress.org plugin directory it is the most popular caching plugin this time.
There is another popular plugin called WP Super Cache which is also available in WordPress.org plugin directory.
These two plugins are free to use and very easy to install and run.
Just install the caching plugin from the WordPress dashboard’s plugin directory and make the simple configurations of these plugins and it will start its job.
In this process, you are going to have the most efficient action to speed up your WordPress site.
When you are using the WordPress hosting, then you do not need to use any caching plugin. The WordPress hosting automatically does that job for you.
8. Use Cloudflare
Cloudflare is another important thing to use to speed up your WordPress website. It slightly works as a CDN and makes your website faster.
The Cloudflare has a very good relationship with the caching plugin W3 Total Cache. The configurations of both are very relative and easy to use.
If you use both Cloudflare and W3 Total Cache plugin, you are done with most of the works to speed up WordPress site.
Using both free service will improve your site speed and also enhance your security and firewall.
You know spamming is also responsible to slow down a website, the Cloudflare will solve the spamming issue too.
So, I recommend every WordPress user to use this free and amazing service to speed up WordPress site.
9. Integrate Content Delivery Network(CDN)
CDN is the obvious way to improve website loading speed. Most of the big websites use Content Delivery Network to optimize their website speed.
I mentioned before that server location is important for website speed. The nearer the visitor from the server location the faster the loading speed is.
When a visitor visits a site, he/she will see the front-end or static files (HTML, CSS, JS, and Images) only on a website.
The CDN takes the static files and delivers to the visitors from the nearest location and thus the visitor can load the site very fast.
It means, when you use a CDN, you are setting up multi-location and providing every visitor the nearest server location. Using a CDN is also very good for WordPress SEO.
So, using a CDN is obviously a very good practice to speed up WordPress site and improving site SEO.
There are many CDN providers on the net and the MaxCDN is the most popular and most of the developers in the industry recommend MaxCDN.
I have a personal tip for you that if your website is very big then you should use a CDN.
But you have a very simple and small website, you do not need to use CDN as the website weight is very light. This is my personal opinion.
Note: All the tips and tricks above I described from my personal experience.
Many may have different though and different strategy but these are the best effective way to speed up WordPress site in my opinion.
If you have further query, put a comment below or directly contact me.
If you follow the ways I described to speed up WordPress site, I guarantee that you are going to have a very fast WordPress website.