Even though I have done my best to make this tutorial as beginner-friendly as I could, it still requires your mindfulness to make most out of it. These days, not all WordPress website is the same. You might be using WordPress as a :
- Membership website
- WooCommerce website
- Learning management system
- Corporate WordPress Website
- Or it could be something else.
However, the majority of the methodology explained below is applied to all WordPress websites and some of them are used to a specific type of website. For example, at the later stage, I have shared in-depth of WordPress transient options, and this is more applicable to a membership site or any WordPress using WooCommerce or EDD.
Also, I did my best to suggest a free plugin for all the WordPress performance booster options below. However, it would be wise to use one plugin that does all of it.
I have found WP-Rocket to be best at this, and that’s what I use here at ShoutMeLoud. Just grab a license of WP-Rocket plugin,. So, now you won’t be needing to install 4-5 plugins as this single plugin offers all the features, which would have other required multiple plugins.
WP-Rocket will solve only half the puzzle, there is much more need to be done to attain that blazing fast WordPress website. As we move ahead in this guide, you will learn the fundamental of it and you should be able to implement it of your own.
Before getting started with WordPress SpeedUP Guide:
The first thing you should be doing is to measure the speed of your WordPress website.
Run Speed test:
Here are some of the WordPress speed testing tools you can use:
- Page Speed Insights by Google
- Web page test
Now, take a screenshot of the results and save it or just note down somewhere handy.
Once you are done implementing the WordPress speed optimization steps mentioned below, you can simply re-run the speed test and compare before and after results.
First thing first: Take a Backup of WordPress:
Before you start fine-tuning your WordPress, you should take a backup of the WordPress database.
Since, we will be doing some optimization on the database level, taking a backup adds safety net, in case of an unavoidable situation. You can use any of these WordPress backup plugins.
Should you apply all these WordPress speeds up techniques? Some of the tips can be applied instantly and you can gain a significant speed boost.
However, some of the tips which may require the involvement of a developer or need more technical know-how like implementing CDN, using premium DNS can be used over time.
Your goal should be to use as many of these tricks to reduce the loading time of the WordPress website.
Over the next few days, you should aim for implementing all the speed optimization tips to reach the ultimate goal of less than 1 second load time.
A few days back I informed you about Google started ranking website based on Speed and since that we all realized and understood why it’s not a necessity to offer a faster loading blog.
Fast load time helps search engine and also your readers. Not only it will give a fantastic user experience, but it will also help in reducing the bounce rate of your blog. None the less,
Today, I’m sharing seven tips that will help you to speed up WordPress and reduce the WordPress loading time. The end goal is to offer fast loading pages to your users.
Proven Tips To Speed up WordPress: How To Improve Loading time
1. Use Latest PHP – 7.0+: This single change alone could boost your WordPress speed by almost 1.5x. A lot of WordPress website is still using PHP 5.6 which is a depreciated version of PHP. The latest one is PHP 7.4 which offers a significant performance boost.
The PHP part is handled by your web hosting company and either you can manually check your existing version of PHP on which your WordPress site is running on, or you could simply ask the customer support:
Which PHP version your WordPress website is running on?
If it is less than 7.0 (Which is 5.6), you can ask them to upgrade to the latest PHP version.
2. Pick quality Web-hosting Optimized for WordPress and Speed:
This single change alone can speed up your WordPress website to a great extent.
Many of us make a mistake by picking up a local web hosting provider to host our WordPress site. Usually, such hosting is recommended by our designer/developer or someone known in our circle.
Are they the best?
Well, your speed test could reveal the same.
Do remember, you should pick only that hosting company that is well optimized for running WordPress blogs.
3. Don’t use too many WordPress plugins:
One of the most significant powers of WordPress is plugins, and some of you are so obsessed with it, that you are using more than 30-40 plugins on your blog. Well, not all plugin is bad, and I have covered a great write-up on how many WordPress plugins you should use.
Try to minimize the number of plugins on your blog and regularly clean up your database. Advanced database cleaner plugin can help you do that in no time.
Ensure that you are using at least one cache plugin on your blog, and I’m suggesting WP-Rocket plugin. One thumb rule, get rid of outdated plugins.
A lot of our users also asked “How do I speed up WordPress plugin”?
The best way to do that is by using fewer WordPress plugins. Whenever possible, get the custom codes to add a feature, that you need.
Another way is to use a plugin called Asset cleanup plugin, and block loading of scripts on specific pages. Watch the below video to learn how to do this:
4. Optimize your images for fast loading
The average website transfers 800-900kb of images per URL.
It’s good to make your posts illustrative by integrating relevant images, but too much of anything ain’t good.
What would you do if you have a photo-intensive blog?
Image optimization for speed is what you need. There are a few things you can do right away to improve the performance of a photo-intensive WordPress website:
If you have a graphics person in your team, ask them to compress the image using photoshop. In our experience, it has been the best way to lower the image size without losing quality.
Another technology you should use is image compression and image lazy loading. Both of these methods are proven to speed up any kind of WordPress pages which are using images.
5. Select modern & fast WordPress themes:
If you are still using an old WordPress theme which was designed in 2016-17, it’s time for you to make an upgrade. A lot has changed in the past few years, and now most of the themes are designed for faster loading.
Moreover, you should ensure that you are using a truly responsive theme to give a faster loading of your blog on mobile and tablets.
If you are looking for a recommendation for a fast loading WordPress theme then, I recommend Astra theme, which is the best WordPress theme out there.
6. Pick the server location closest to your idle audience:
The majority of web-hosting companies let you choose the data centre where your website is hosted. If you know your target audience country, you should pick the data centre closest to your idle customers.
Reason being, the distance between the user & your server.
What’s the solution?
A CDN helps to solve this problem, and your Website will load quickly in every part of the world.
Note: Cloudflare offers free CDN service which is idle for all kind of blogs.
7. Avoid too many advertisements and scripts
Don’t display too many ads on your blog. Many PPC ads are full of unnecessary HTML content and can affect your site’s loading time by a great margin.
If advertisements are a must, you should use Google AdSense or Media.net as it is well optimized and gives the best CPC.
8. Remove Transient options
By removing expired transient options you can gain a significant performance boost. Especially, if you are running a WordPress membership website, or using something like WooCommerce, EDD or even a social sharing plugin, this WordPress speed up tip is for you. Before everything else, let’s understand what is transient.
What are WordPress transients:
Transients API helps developers to store data in the database with expiration. Typically, expired transient in your database are removed automatically, but it’s not the case at all the time. Sometimes, they just stay there and bloat your database, costing you performance delay and a significant reduction in the load time.
The solution is simple: Remove expired transient options
This option is available in all database optimizer plugins or even in WP-Rocket. However, if you are looking for a stand-alone plugin to remove expired transient options, use this Transients manager plugin by Pippin Williamson.
After installing the plugin, go to tools> Transients to manage and delete WordPress transient options.
WP-Rocket plugin users can find this option under Database > Transients Cleanup.
Even if things like TTFB and first meaningful paint is high but your page is loading in less than 2 seconds, well, you can see the effect of this in your google analytics or any other stats program that you use.
Keeping your visitors in mind while optimizing will also help you to not let go of important scripts and functionalities that you have built over time. Along with speed, do keep conversion in your mind and that would help a lot in the longer run.
Alright, so these are a few simple steps that I can suggest to optimize your blog load time.