We will give you 9 Easy Ways to Speed Up Your WordPress Site If you have been part of virtual world for some time, it’s least likely that you haven’t heard about WordPress, but did you know?
I think this might give you a hint of how popular WordPress is right now (and its popularity doesn’t seem to halt anytime soon!).
And oh, my bad, I forgot to mention these few bits:
Fact of the matter is that WordPress serves amazingly well as an efficient CMS platform, but it can slow down as well if it’s not optimized rightly. And trust me, you don’t want this. Why? Because a study by akamai.com shows that:
- 47% people showing up on a website expect the page to load in less than two seconds.
- 40% are likely to move elsewhere from a web page that takes over three seconds to load.
- 52% of online shoppers confessed to show loyalty to a site whose web pages load quickly.
Speed Up Your WordPress
So, here I am with these 9 tips to help you get the best of WordPress in speed.
1. Start with a fast and reliable web hosting company
One of the simplest (and yet overlooked!) ways to improve your WordPress site is to resort to a fast as well as reliable web host. I recommend not going for cheap shared hosting solutions, as those are really overcrowded and you might end up sharing your hosting resources with hundreds of other users.
So many hosting companies impose various limitations to their shared hosting plans, hosting (read hording!) hundreds of sites on just one server to slash hosting fees, which chokes the resources. The better alternative is to go for a VPS or managed WordPress hosting depending upon your site visitors, business niche and financial viability.
2. Choose an efficient framework/theme
This is where sometimes even people having years of experience can make a mistake, i.e. choosing an inefficient and heavy framework/theme. Many people trade speed and efficiency of a WordPress framework/theme with unnecessary features, which can affect them seriously.
It’s better to keep away from bloated frameworks loaded with fancy features (which a serious web contender seldom needs) that can delay the process of crawling your site. Similarly, too much plugins also take a toll on your site speed. So, make sure you equip your website with only what it needs to keep up with its functionality seamlessly.
3. Resort to helpful caching plugins
Talking of plugins; instead of falling for some fancy plugins that might choke the speed of your site; go for caching plugins, which are designed to help improve page loading time significantly. The best thing is that you can get all of them on WP.org free of cost and they are not complicated to use at all.
Based on my personal experiences, I would recommend W3 Total Cache rather than trying anything else. It is loaded with all features that can help you better your site speed. It doesn’t take either much of time or effort in downloading, installing and using it.
4. Make use of a CDN (Content Delivery Network)
You might have never heard of this, but all those big blogs out there that you like so much, are making use of CDN, also known as Content Delivery Network. It is one great way of reducing loading time of a webpage.
There is also another aspect to this. Since the content of your site is being loaded from multiple servers in different locations, any traffic spike is least likely to bother visitors.
5. Leverage image optimization
Many of you must have used or at least heard of Smush.it, a wonderful image optimizer used by Yahoo. It helps you reduce image file size drastically, more importantly, without affecting quality of the image.
The good news is that you can do the same on WordPress with a plugin called WP-SmushIt for free. In fact, if you have it installed, it will optimize all images that you choose to add to your site by itself, automatically, leaving not much on you to worry about.
6. Don’t forget about WordPress database optimization
Fact of the matter is that you cannot expect a database-driven website (all CMS-based sites including WordPress) to work well without optimizing your database.
There are a few things you have to consider in this regard, starting from monitoring code for slow queries. For sites on VPS or dedicated server, enabling query caching and optimizing database server configuration does the trick.
Or, you can resort to a wondrous tool like WP-Optimize plugin, which will take care of all such concerns without even letting you know when and how it’s done.
7. Homepage needs optimization too
Call it tweaking if too much of ‘optimization’ is driving you crazy, but you can’t overlook it if you want your WordPress site speed up. Though whole of your site should be fast enough, but homepage remains the most important part of your site, as majority of people will land there more than anywhere else on a website. Some of the things you can do to optimize homepage of your website include:
- Limit the number of posts to be seen on a page.
- Display a brief excerpt as an intro with your posts rather than showing full post.
- Cut down the number of social sharing widgets on homepage
In short, these are just a few things to help you make your homepage load quick; ultimately do everything possible to keep it this way.
8. Introduce LazyLoad
Well, this is another great way of serving your visitors with a quickly loading webpage. It involves loading only those images on a webpage that are above the fold (the images which visitors can see in their browser windows). The next set of images is loaded as soon as a visitor scrolls down, minimizing loading time ingeniously.
This not only results in your page loading quickly, but it also helps in saving your bandwidth, as less data is loaded for users who don’t scroll down through the end.\
9. Avoid Pingbacks and Tracbaks
WordPress is designed to respond to the requests from other blogs featuring pingbacks and trackbacks by default, which ends up harming more than charming when it comes to site speed. Turning this intrinsic feature off in your WordPress settings will not affect the backlinks strengthening the position of your website; it will just reduce extra labor.
Over to you now
This is where my list to improve WordPress site speed ends for now, but this can’t be all about it, surely. That’s why I am handing it over to you now; feel free to share your experiences and opinions with us on this in the comment section below.