10 Easy Steps To Speed Up Your WordPress

WordPress is a Out-Of-Box platform to build any type of websites, blogs. The only problem, is it can be quite slow.

It is entirely up to you to take of this issue and come up with a lightening fast website.

If your site is really very slow then it can leads to loss of your customers and subscribers at any stage.

In this quick post, I’ll cover all of the best ways that I’ve used to consistently speed up WordPress websites practically.

Why Site Speed Is Crucial?

When a person lands on your site for the first time, you only have a few seconds to capture their attention to convince them to hang around on your website.

If your site takes too long to load, most people are gone just after few clicks. Even, I too do not like to waste my time on a slow site and maybe you too!

The Google now includes site speed factor in it’s ranking algorithm. That means that your site’s speed effects your website’s SEO. So with a slow site, you are now losing valuable visitors and reduced rankings in the search engines. I hope you won’t do that for you!

Let’s fix the SPEED of your site.

How To Speed Up WordPress

I am describing the steps in a order but you can start from any step because there is not a fix scenario to follow.

I am sharing everything I’ve learned/used about speeding up page loads on WordPress for my clients.

I guarantee that using even a few of the steps will help speed up your WordPress.

1. Select a Faster/Well Known Host

If you are planning to choose a host then always avoid shared hosting. That’s my point of view. It depends on you but when it comes to site performance then the shared host can damage your brand especially during high traffic periods.

I suggest you to invest in proper hosting and well known host.

My Top 3 Recommendations:

WP Engine

Hostgator

Bluehost

2. Go With a Solid WordPress Theme/Framework

Yes, it can save your time and life. A well written WordPress theme like default theme “Twenty Fifteen” can play a major role in site speed. It is light weighted and speedy.

From my experience, the fastest loading premium framework is definitely the Thesis Theme Framework. It will not let you down after custom changes or installation of plugins.

Always, choose a best framework for your, do research on this and forget the speed issues!

3. Best Caching Plugin

The WordPress plugins are obviously quite useful, but some of the best fall under the caching category, as they drastically improve page loads time. They are very easy to use and configure.

my favorite, i used in my practice, is W3 Total Cache. I wouldn’t recommend or use any other caching plugin, it has all of the features you need and is extremely easy to install and use. It can improve your site’s performance even faster then before just right from the installation.

4. Use of a CDN (Content Delivery Network)

All of your favorite websites, blogs are making good use this technique. The CDN, or content delivery network, takes all your static files you’ve got on your site (CSS, Javascript and Images etc) and lets visitors download them as fast as possible by serving the files on servers as close to them as possible.

I recommend the Max CDN Content Delivery Network or CloudFlare.

5. Optimize Images (Use of Plugin: Automatic Optimization)

Yahoo! has an image optimizer called Smush.it that will drastically reduce the file size of an image, while not reducing quality.

Fortunately, there is an amazing, free plugin called WP-SmushIt which will do this process to all of your images automatically, as you are uploading them. No reason not to install this one.

6. Say NO to Use of Official Media Buttons & Widgets

For most website owners, social media traffic is second only to search engine traffic. Which is why social media sharing buttons are so prominent on website designs.

Official sharing buttons are popular as they denote the number of shares a page has had. Unfortunately, official sharing buttons from services such as Facebook and Twitter can increase loading times immensely due to the calls they make to external required files (JS, CSS, etc).

Recently, I was working on one of my clients WordPress website, faced an exact situation where they used a FB box to show their sharing on FB. You won’t believe, the box was killing website speed by 5+ seconds then I request them to remove that and they understand because they loved their site performance without that box.

 

7. Minify and Combine CSS and Javascript

Each call to your CSS and Javascript files is an HTTP request. This means that when someone visits your web page, their computer sends a request for a file and then the server sends it back. The more requests there are to your server, the longer it will take for your pages to load.

There are a number of WordPress plugins available that will minify your CSS and Javascript files. I recommend you to do it manually rather than use of any plugin.

8. Enable Browser Side Caching

Some of the largest files on your website rarely change. This includes CSS files, Javascript files, your website logo etc. One way to take advantage of this is to enable browser caching.

Browser caching allows internet users to speed up the loading time of their favourite websites by storing a cached copy of your website locally. This reduces calls to your server and saves the user from downloading the same files again.

You can enable browser caching through site’s .htaccess file.

9. Choose Your Advertisements Wisely

Adding advertisements from third-party advertising networks can increase loading times due to the calls that are made to external servers. Even localised ads tracking scripts (JS, CSS etc) can hurt your site performance.

Of course, advertisements are necessary for most websites to survive, therefore you need to strive for the right balance between speed and income. If you optimize all other areas of your website design, a few advertisements will not be too damaging. Just be sure you are fully aware of what load each advertisement adds to your site by testing your website speed in the Google Insights or any other testing tools before and after adding the advertisement.

10. Monitor Your Plugins/Use Only Required Plugins

Before you install any plugin on your site, ask yourself “Is this plugin really necessary for my website?”.

Plugins are one of the biggest causes of websites being slow. The more plugins you install without research, the more likely you will face performance issues.

The required number of plugins you have installed is not the reason a website can slow down.

 

Overview

Optimizing your website is no longer an option because the search engines placing so much importance on the speed of web pages, it is vital to your website’s success to have fast loading web pages.

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