Nobody likes a site that loads slower than it should. In today’s digital world, a page response delay of even one second results in fewer clicks, lower user satisfaction, lower conversion rates, and lost revenue.
What’s more, site speed is now part of the ranking factors in Google‘s ranking algorithm, which means that your site’s speed affects search engine optimization (SEO). The snowball effect of this exposure is the loss of visitors due to impatience and a drop in search engine rankings.
Why is your WordPress site running slow
WordPress offers an excellent platform for setting up and running your website. Without proper security measures, you can end up with a sluggish website.
Here are some of the main reasons your WordPress site is loading or slow.
- No content delivery network
- Dirty code on your site
- Poor quality, slow or misconfigured hosting.
- Images are not compressed or optimized for the web.
- Slow, poorly coded or outdated plugins.
- Old or obsolete PHP version.
- Your site is not serving cached pages, which leads to server overload
- You are not using HTTPS or HTTP2.
- External scripts such as font loaders or ads.
How to Speed ??Up Your WordPress Site
Websites today are not only about content, but also about speed and efficiency. Here are some of the most common ways to quickly resolve a problem.
1. Analyze your site’s loading speed
According to Google, it’s best to keep your website load time at three seconds or less. If your site doesn’t load in less than 3 seconds, users are more likely to leave immediately, so you need to spend 3 seconds or faster.
These tools not only help you track your site’s speed, but they also offer tips for improving your site’s speed. Also, if you make changes or install a plugin, you can see how such changes affect the site load time.
2. Get rid of unused themes and plugins
Unused WordPress plugins and themes can slow down your site’s performance, but they also present security vulnerabilities.
To remove unused plugins, you need to deactivate the plugins first and then go to the list of inactive plugins to remove the ones you don’t need.
If you have unwanted themes on your WordPress site, go to Appearance> Themes to remove them. If you can, it might be worth paying for an audit and getting help cleaning up your site.
3. Remove unused media
Over time, you can accumulate images, videos, and other media files in your gallery or media library that you no longer use.
To manually remove media files and free up space, go to Add Media> Media Library> Not Attached in your WordPress dashboard and remove unnecessary media. Alternatively, you can install a plugin like Media Cleaner to clean up your media library and uninstall it as soon as you’re done.
4. Clean your database regularly
Over time, clutter builds up in the database, which can slow down your WordPress site. Regular cleaning will ensure that the database size is reasonable and will help your site load faster.
You can clear the database manually or by installing a plugin. If you don’t know how to do it manually via phpMyAdmin, use a plugin like Advanced Database Cleaner or WP-Sweep to clean up your database.
5. Use a light theme
There are thousands of WordPress themes that you can choose from – free or premium – if you want your site to look good. However, using a simple theme with the right elements will ensure that your site performs well and loads quickly.
WordPress themes are designed differently, but it’s better to take a minimalist approach than a feature-rich theme. This is because rich themes include a lot of code that needs to be loaded every time a user visits your site.
One of the starter WordPress themes focused on speed and simplicity is Underscores
6. Moving from shared hosting to managed
The host of your site can significantly affect the speed of your site.
For a faster WordPress site, you can opt for managed hosting, that is, get a dedicated server entirely for yourself. Managed hosting is expensive, especially if your site isn’t getting a lot of traffic. However, managed hosting offers root-level server access, scalable performance and storage, and heightened security.
Shared hosting is cheaper, but does not offer server-level access or control and tends to overflow servers. This means that your site may be slow if another site on the same server receives a lot of traffic.
In addition, if something happens on other sites that share the server with your site, it could leak onto your site. You can also talk to your host as they have technicians who can often spot the problem (s) and quick and easy tweaks to help speed up your WordPress site.
7. Use CDN
A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a network of servers located all over the world that serve copies of your content, so they are always fast, no matter where your server is actually located.
CDNs eliminate the latency (time or delay) associated with transferring data over the network. When set up, CDN speeds up page loading as your site will use an optimized server that is closest to the user based on their location.
8. Optimize your images
Images help keep your site visitors interested. However, as beautiful as large images are, image optimization can help you reduce page load times. You can use a tool like ShortPixel to compress your images.
Make sure your posts don’t have large images above the fold by turning off background images and / or featured posts in front of the content. On mobile devices, make sure the image is placed in the post below the fold, because when they are above the fold it can slow down your site’s speed.
9. Remove entry point ads
If you are monetizing your WordPress website with ads from media networks, those same ads can really slow down your site.
10. Use browser caching
Every time a user loads your site, the browser fetches all items from the host server. With browser caching, the user doesn’t have to endure this whole process.
Browser caching “remembers” the resources that were previously loaded by taking a snapshot of the page so that the user sees the cached pages and files from the browser
You can implement browser caching to increase the speed of your WordPress site when people visit your site and take the load off your server. You can use a plugin like WP Rocket for this. After installing WP Rocket, enable the lazy loading setting, save your changes and the cache will start working.
11. Implement AMP
AMP articles do not have much formatting, which means they load almost instantly. Thus, it will be more convenient for users to work with mobile devices.
Users can visit your site and navigate between different articles without leaving the web page. This is a great way to speed up your WordPress site, increase conversions, and improve visitor retention.
You can follow the AMP tutorial to do this manually, or you can use a WordPress plugin like AMP for WP if you’re less tech-savvy or have no HTML experience.
Other things to try
Other things to try
There are many other things you can do to speed up your WordPress site, for example:
- Run the latest PHP version
- Modify and optimize your .htaccess file.
- Create all your posts directly in WordPress (never use a page builder).
- Limit the number of comments per page.
- Reduce unnecessary redirects.
- Disable pingbacks or backlinks.
- Remove related post plugins.
- Reduce the number of emails sent from your server.
Speed ??Up Your WordPress Site
We’ve covered a few simple and effective steps that you can use to speed up your WordPress site. You can use other more technical methods, but these 11 steps will get you on the right track.
Are there specific tips and tricks that have helped you speed up your WordPress site? Share with us in the comments.