The Speed of your web page plays a vital role in the success of your website. An average visitor won’t even wait for more than 5 seconds to fully load your site. The more time to load the website means, the higher the bounce rate.
A slow website is not only bad for the visitor’s point of view, but also the search engine optimization. The result of a slow website can be fewer page views, loss in ad revenue as well as lower customer conversion.
Also, a slow website is not loved by search engines and has meager chances of ranking. Furthermore, Google and other search engines punish slower websites by pushing their ranking in search engine results.
According to statistics, a delay of one second in load time of a website causes 7% lower conversions, 16% less customer satisfaction, and 11% fewer page views. These are not small figures if you want a serious business from your website. A slower website annoys the visitors and can result in damage to brand reputation.
A fast website provides a better user experience to the users and helps you keep them engaged on your website. Plus, a fast website will always give you better conversion.
Another important reason is Speed being a high ranking factor in the Google search results. Google pushes the ranking of a website that loads faster and keeps the user engaged.
Here are some ways to make your WordPress website faster:
1. Choose the right Web Hosting Plan
A good hosting plan is directly proportional to the Speed of the website. On a typical shared hosting plan, you share the web disk space with several other websites which significantly impact the Speed of your website since you are sharing the same web space with various other sites.
Often when we start our website, we go for the cheapest option of a shared web host plan. But with time, the usage of the website as well as the content on the website increases, and your site end up being slower. You may need an upgrade of the hosting plan in such a situation to solve the speed issue of your website.
If a shared hosting plan does not solve the speed issue of your website, you can always opt-in for better web hosting plans such as a Virtual Private Server or a dedicated server. These hosting plans provide you with alone access to a single computer partitioned into multiple servers, each running a separate operating system.
If you are confused about which web hosting to choose from, then we recommend you to go for the Siteground web hosting plans. Our website is hosted on Siteground, and their every plan is Speed optimized to enhance the performance of your website.
How SiteGround helps with Speed?
WordPress officially recommends Siteground hosting. Siteground hosting comes preloaded with the latest speed technologies, which make a WordPress website load faster. Some of these technologies are:
NGINX – Based Caching
NGINX Based servers help to improve the site speed by storing the cache statistic asset within the server cache memory. The static assets of a website are the standard content like stylesheets, and scripts used by every page. The fetching of data from these high-speed servers is fast improving the performance of the website.
Using of SSD Drives for Storage
Siteground uses SSD drives, which enhances the load time of your website. The SSD drives are faster than the old HDD drives and give better performance.
A CDN makes copies of your website and saves in the different data centers of theirs around the world. Whenever a visitor opens your site, they are provided from his/her nearby datacenter giving the best user experience to them.
HTTP/2 optimizes the website connection without changing the existing application semantics, giving you improved performance, updated error handling, reduced latency, and overhead without changing your web applications.
2. Use speed optimized WordPress Theme
If your site is on WordPress, you need to have Speed optimized WordPress theme. A poorly coded and unoptimized theme can slow down your website, which in turn gives your visitor awful user experience.
WordPress Themes with a lot of images, sliders, social icons, widgets may look so appealing to the eye. But at the same time, they increase the page size causing the slow down of your website.
The best option is to use a lightweight WordPress theme. If you are confused about which themes are best optimized for Speed, then we have a few suggestions here, which might be helpful to you.
GuCherry Blog is a clean, minimal, and fast WordPress blog theme. This theme is developed with optimized codes to boost the Speed of your website and provide your visitors with the best user experience. It is a lightweight theme and loads very quickly.
This theme is useful to create a high converting authority website with its features and Speed. Also, this theme is developed with the implementation of best SEO practices to help your website rank higher in search engine results. The premium version of this theme is available with extended features and support.
Wishful Blog is a free WordPress theme useful to create high performing and blazing fast business and corporate websites. You can use this theme to create different types of business websites for agencies, firms, business house, restaurants, school colleges, and even e-commerce websites.
This theme features a clean and responsive design which provides a great user experience to your visitors and keep them engaged on your website. This theme comes with various features such as mobile-friendly design, Speed optimized, Schema.org compatible, RTL compatible, translation ready, and many more. The premium version of this theme is available with more extended and useful features with dedicated support.
Arya Multipurpose Theme is a clean, minimal, and blazing fast, free WordPress theme specially designed to create every type of websites. You can create a beautiful, attractive, and super-fast website with this theme for business, office, corporates, and various other type of websites.
It is a highly customizable theme and allows you to customize every part of your website as per your desire. This theme is rigorously tested and optimized to obtain faster load time of the website. Furthermore, it is SEO optimized to help your site climb heights in search engine ranking and gain more visitors.
3. Keep your WordPress version updated
Every new version of WordPress comes with additional features, security patches, bug fixes, and many more. The updated features of WordPress enhance the Speed of the website and prevents it from slowing down.
Also, using the updated version of WordPress enhances not only the Speed of the website but also prevents security vulnerabilities. The older version of WordPress codes might not be compatible with the latest version of PHP, which may cause conflict and even crashing down of your website. Hence, always keep your WordPress version updated.
4. Optimize the images
Images often increase the size of the webpage as they require more space than texts and CSS. Hence, you need to optimize the images you are going to post on your website. It is essential to reduce the size of the photos without compromising much with the quality.
The best method to reduce the image size is by compressing them before uploading them on the website. It can be done using Photoshop using Save for Web option. But, if you do not want to install additional software on your system, then there are sites like TinyPNG, and TinyJPG, an online service that will reduce the size of your image.
Also, you can use plugins like WP Smush and EWWW Image Optimizer, which will optimize your image while you upload them on your website. Both plugins will compress the size of the photos you upload to your site.
Also, WordPress creates different sizes of images whenever you use image content on your website. In this way, you can upload the image of the size it appears on the site.
5. Remove unused and unnecessary plugins
Plugins are a great way to add functionality and features to the site. But at the same time, using too many plugins on your WordPress website can slow it down.
Clean up the plugins which you do not use or have just installed to test some features.
To delete the unused plugins, go to plugins, and deactivate the plugins. Once you disable the plugins, you can quickly remove them permanently from your website.
6. Minimize External HTTP Requests
Most of the WordPress themes and plugins fetch different files from other websites. These files can be stylesheets, scripts, and images from different external sites like analytics services, Facebook, Google, and many others.
Some examples of external scripts that may be slowing down your website are:
- Facebook Like boxes
- Icon set packs like Font Awesome when used with a CDN
- Bootstrap if used via CDN
- Website analytics services
- External Fonts
- A commenting system like WPDiscuz
Sometimes they are quite necessary as they give an analysis of the website. Most of these external requests are optimized to load quickly as it is better than hosting all of those files on your website.
But if your themes and plugins make a lot of these requests, it can result in slowing down your website.
You can minimize all these external HTTP requests by merging all the scripts and stylesheets into one file or disabling them.
How to reduce HTTP requests?
Some of the ways of minimizing the HTTP requests are:
- Optimizing the images
- Lazy Loading
- Using a CDN
- Limit external images
- Use a caching plugin
7. Optimize your Homepage
You should keep your homepage clean and minimal to make it load quickly. There are few things which you can do to optimize your homepage so that it loads fast.
The homepage of your website needs to be fast as it is an essential part of the site, and the visitors would be landing there most of the time.
Here are some ways to optimize the Speed of the homepage:
- Reduce the number of posts on the homepage
- Show excerpts instead of full posts
- Keep the homepage minimal. The visitors come to read your articles not to see the design of your homepage.
- Remove inactive widgets and plugins if you are not using them.
- Remove the unnecessary sharing of widgets from the homepage. You can keep them on the posts page.
8. Minify and Combine CSS and JS Files
If you check your website Speed through Google Page Insights tool, you will notice that it shows to minimize the CSS and JS files to improve the page speed. It means that reducing the CSS and JS calls and extra lines and spaces between these codes, you can adjust the load time of your website.
By reducing unnecessary spaces, line breaks, and so on will help you speed up, fetching, and executing these codes. This simple way can help you save the bytes of data from your web page, and every little space counts while calculating the Speed of the webpage. You can minify the CSS and JS codes using tools like Autoptimize.
9. Make use of CDN
The visitors to your website could be from any part of the world. The website speed can be slower to the visitors who browse your site from the location that is far away from the server location of your website.
A CDN (Content Delivery Network) helps you maintain the Speed of your website in every part of the world. A CDN makes copies of your site and saves it in various data centers around the globe.
Whenever someone opens your website, the CDN serves the webpage of your site from the visitor’s nearest possible location. This helps in keeping the load time of your website minimum for visitors from different countries.
There are various CDN services available these days. MaxCDN and Cloudflare are among the popular CDN services which you can use for your website.
10. Do not upload videos on your WordPress website
With the multimedia features, you can directly upload videos to your WordPress website. WordPress, by default, displays videos using HTML5 player.
But we recommend you not to upload videos on your WordPress website directly.
Videos take a lot of space and slow down your website. Also, you will be charged with additional fees by your hosting provider, or they may shut down your site. Hosting videos will increase your website backup size and makes it difficult to restore.
Instead of uploading videos directly to your website, you can take into the use of a video hosting websites like YouTube, Dailymotion, Vimeo, etc. you can directly paste the link of the video or embed them on your WordPress website which won’t affect the Speed of your site nor take your bandwidth.
11. Use an effective caching plugin
The caching plugin will help the visitors to access the web page more quickly as the database and other files of your web page would be cached in the visitor’s browser.
The thing with the caching is that it is beneficial for frequent visitors. The first time visitors won’t have the web page cached yet, as the web page needs to load files once before it stores them.
You can use the caching plugins like W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache; they are the most popular caching plugins. Just install and activate any of these plugins, and your page would load faster as the page elements are cached.
12. Split longer posts into pages
The visitors love to read blog posts that are lengthy and provides detailed information to them. Also, the search engine loves longer content, and they tend to rank higher too.
But if you are posting more extended content with so many images and graphics, it may reduce the load time of your web page.
What you can do is split the long post into multiple pages.
WordPress features a function to split a single post into multiple pages. In the post editor, switch to “Text” mode rather than “Visual” mode and add the code <!–next page–> wherever you want to split your post.
13. Cleanup WordPress database
WordPress database stores a lot of information that you won’t need in the future. You need to optimize your database by deleting all those stuff which is not required anymore to Improve the Speed of your website.
You can take into use the WP-Optimize plugin, which is a useful WordPress plugin, to clean and optimize your database and enhance the Speed of your WordPress website.
14. Disable Trackbacks and Pingbacks
Trackbacks and Pingbacks are the core features of WordPress, which alerts you whenever your blog or page receive a link. It may be useful, but there are tools like Google WebMaster and other services to check your website links.
Trackbacks and Pingbacks can take up space in the database, which in turn will slow down your website.
You can disable the Trackbacks and Pingbacks by going to Settings -> Discussion and make sure “Allow link notifications from other blogs…” are unchecked.
15. Delete unused media from your library
There might be images and graphics which you may have used in the older posts which have been removed as of now. The media of a post are not deleted while deleting a post.
So, make sure to delete those unused images, videos, GIFs, or graphics from your WordPress media library. It will help you save the webspace along with optimizing the Speed of your WordPress website.
WordPress is not the fastest CMS to build a website, but you can always optimize your website to make it load faster and provide your visitors with the best user experience. The methods mentioned above will be much helpful to optimize your site and decrease the load time.