Every webmaster must know that the speed in which a webpage loads will directly impact the success and popularity of the site. After all, when visitors come to your website, the first thing they notice is the page loading speed, and then the web design and content. Therefore, if you site does not load fast enough, the visitors won’t see your attractive layout and compelling content, because they will leave before everything is on the screen. Besides, Google has already included the website loading speeds into the ranking algorithm, which means if your webpages load slowly, you may lose the ranking in Google searching results, thus leads to less traffic. These are main reasons as why we come out these creative tips to speed up WordPress sites.
Primary Reasons for the Slow Speed
Slow speed is a result of various factors. With the knowledge of the possible factors, you can find the specific ways to remove their bad influence from your WordPress website. In the long run, you will better avoid repeating the mistakes of the past. Below is a list of the primary reasons which should have your attention.
- File size: It takes a longer time for websites to load heavy files, such as, high-solution images, flash graphics, improper formats, ads, and so forth. Files on your website have not been optimized for better speed.
- Plugins: Plugins allow your website to extend the functionality. However, the plugins you are using are not clean and valuable.
- Web host: From the beginning, you have chosen a wrong web host to accommodate your website. It lacks the ability to deal with a sudden spike in web traffic.
- Server location: Visitors from other continents have to wait a longer time for answering the requests. The long distance between target audience and server location have a bad influence on the delivery speed of website content.
- Hosting services: You ignore the need to upgrade your plan. Based on shard hosting, your web server cannot deal with too many requests at once.
How to Speed Up Your WordPress Powered Site
It is worth investing some time and energy to increase the loading speed of your website. And in this article, we have given you a comprehensive introduction of the methods you can take to speed up your WordPress site. Therefore, just spend a few minutes reading and implementing the tips mentioned below, thus make a huge difference of your site.
Tip 1: Measure the Previous Loading Speed
This first thing you need to do is figuring out your websites’ current performance for future references or benchmarks. After all, if you have no idea how well your site is performing, how can you improve it accordingly? Here, we highly recommend you using Pingdom, which is the most widely used website monitoring tool, allowing you to stay on top of your website performance.
Besides, this tool will test your website in a 5 minutes interval, and send the results to you with beautiful graphs for a clean-cut overview, thus you can make data-driven decisions on speed improvements. Follow the link to learn about more performance monitoring tools.
Tip 2: Minimize the HTTP Requests
Tip 3: Remove Spam Comments
Having some comments on each of your article is undoubtedly a good thing, but keeping thousands of spam comments in your database is definitely a different story. You have to regularly delete spam comments from your website; otherwise they will slow down the speed of your webpages dramatically. To remove them, just click Empty Spam button in the Comments section from your WordPress dashboard.
Tip 4: Remove Post Revisions
Just like spam comments, the post revisions will also slow down your website. Therefore, we highly recommend you installing a plugin called Better Delete Revision to delete your old post revisions. Once you have added it to your site, just go to Setting, click the Check Revision Posts button, and then delete them
Tip 5: Add Caching
Caching is a process that transparently stores the data of your webpages, and converts them into static pages. Therefore, once people want to view your content, the requested data can be served by simply reading the cache, instead of being fetched from the original database each time, which in turn decreases your page loading speed considerably.
To add caching to your website, simply install an easy to use plugin called W3 Total Cache.
Tip 6: Optimize Images
This step is important, but often been overlooked. You have to upload images with the correct formats and appropriate sizes. For instance, the 8-bit PNG is preferred for a simple and limited-color screenshot, and the 24-bit JPG is preferred for a color-rich photographs. Sometimes, you may really need pictures which contain a ton of extraneous metadata thus drastically increase the sizes of the image files. At this time, you have to compress and resize them before uploading them to your site.
With free tools like Tiny PNG, and Image Optimizer at your disposal, you can optimize images easily. Click here to learn more about image optimization.
Tip 7: Pay Attention to Your WordPress Plugins
Using too many plugins can create great burden to your websites, and slows down the speed. Thus, one of the easiest ways to make WordPress perform better is to deactivate and delete some plugins which are not necessary or don’t add much value to your sites, and only retain the plugins you need, not the ones you may want.
Tip 8: Use CDN
It copies your content in multiple servers which are strategically located around the global, so once people visit your sites, the desired contents will be delivered from the nearby serve, which increase the speed to the largest extent. While there are so many CDN providers available, we have listed the top 5 ones. What’s more, as there are many CDN on the market, we highly recommend the following 4, with which you can enjoy the most budget friendly prices and easy-to-use dashboards:
- Amazon S3
- Max CDN
- Media Temple CDN
- Free CDN
Tip 9: Optimizing CSS, Java scripts
Compress and combine CSS and Java scripts can improve the page loading speed of your WordPress sites, for compressing the 2 decreases your overall page size, and combining multiple files into a single file reduces the number of HTTP request to your web server. Some of the powerful compress and combine tools are listed as below:
- For CSS: Minify CSS, CSS Compressor
Tip 10: Choose Good Web Host
Apart from optimizing your WordPress site, there is another thing that you need to do at the same time– ensure that you have a reliable WordPress hosting company. Each site needs a web host, and choosing the right hosting provider is one of the most crucial ingredients to the success of a WordPress site. There are 3 best WordPress hosting companies recommended not only by our specialized editors, but also a large number of webmasters. They are InMotion, BlueHost, and HostMonster.
All of the 3 web hosts are 100% compatible with WordPress, supporting the latest versions of MySQL, dual version of PHP (5.2x and 5.3x), the mod_rewrite Apache module, and up to 256MB PHP memory_limit (far exceed the minimum WordPress technical requirements) at affordable prices ranging from $2.95/mo to 4.89/mo.Besides, with the 1-click WordPress installers (BlueHost and JustHost utilize SimpleScripts, InMotion Hosting utilizes Softaculous) included in the powerful cPanel of the 3 companies, webmasters, especially newbies, can install WordPress quickly and easily with a few simple clicks.
Last but not the least, WordPress sites hosted with these companies are always blazingly fast, with at least 99.9% uptime even when receiving sudden increases in traffic. By the way, the technical support of the 3 web hosts are top-notch, and customers can get their problems resolved perfectly with the help of a group of professional support staffs available 24/7 via phone, e-mail, and live chat. Here is one overall table for those companies’ highlights.
Tip 11: Start with a Solid Template
No matter what kind of website you are starting and running, a beautiful theme must be a necessity to help you catch people’s eyes and retain them. However, not all the themes are good for your page loading speed. Some of them come with the bloated frameworks and massive of extensions so as to slow your website down for responding all the requests sent to servers.
In this case, for the faster website running, you should choose a theme that is lightweight or is optimized for speed. Never start with an attractive theme that is poorly coded.
Tip 12: Optimize Your Homepage Exclusively
The homepage is one of the most crucial parts of your whole site for people might be landing here more often. In this case, you’d better optimize its speed by doing the following things.
- Remove the unnecessary sharing parts or widgets.
- Delete the inactive sidebar widgets.
- Reduce the total number of posts on the homepage or the sidebar.
- Display the excerpts to replace the full content.
Tip 13: Pay Attention to Database Optimization
The optimization of WordPress database can be a little bit tricky and technical. In this case, we highly recommend common webmasters or new users to make use of the related WordPress plugins like WP-Optimize.
Generally, when your site runs for a long time, it is unavoidable that there will be some poor codes or data left by your removed plugins, themes, widgets, images and web contents. In this case, you should optimize your database regularly to remove these trashes so as to better speed up your website.
Tip 14: Educate Your Clients and Users
Sometimes, you are not creating your website for you, but for your users and clients. If so, you should educate these people and warn them do not do something harmful to your website running speed. Here, you can consider adding the end-user guide or documentation.
Tip 15: Disable the Leeching and Hotlinking of Your Web Content
The content leeching and image hotlinking can be regarded as a way of bandwidth theft. The situation will happen when other websites direct your image links from their blog posts. This will make your server loading high to support their readers.
In this case, you should prevent hotlinking practice to better protect your web content and server resources usage.
Tip 16: Add the Expire Header to Your Static Resources
Tip 17: Use the Latest Version of WordPress
On the way to run a website, a regular popup is at the top of your admin panel, asking for your permission to keep WordPress updated. If there is a popup, replace the old version with the latest one which has corrected the errors. This practice also applies to your plugins.