WordPress is considered as one of the most prominent online publishing platform that is currently powering 26% of all the websites. Every month WordPress network welcomes more than 409 million people who view more than 15.5 billion pages. Users make effective utilization of WordPress network to publish around 60.5 million new comments and 41.7 million new posts monthly. Almost everything on WordPress is free. Almost everyday, the WordPress network rolls out the updates like custom domains, VIP hosting partnerships, plans etc. for your free sites.
If you are WordPress Website fan, you are not going to like these stats : (
Speed matter a lot, whether it is WordPress website, a cloud app or an online project management tools platform because end user always try to get immediate solution from the available resources. No matter how good-looking your WordPress website is, your site page speed is important for the success. A study revealed that around 40% of people will leave the website, if it is taking more than 3 seconds to load. Not only does it adversely impact the SEO and traffic, but also have a deep impact on the conversion rate. Every extra second your site takes to load, your website’s pageviews drops by 11% and the conversion rate goes down by 7%. If you are running an online business on WordPress, you better make the improvements. A research has also revealed that online buyers are considered as the most impatient of the lot. Optimizing WordPress is very essential. A typical online buyer expect the webpage to load within a second. Besides, a slow loading wordpress website can be very frustrating to the user and can negatively impact the user experience.
You can easily perform a speed test by using various website performance and optimization tools available online. By using these tools or services, you will get all information from your page loading time, website performance grade, overall file size etc.
Why your WordPress Website is Slow?
Your WordPress site requires external plugins to increase the functionality. If these plugins are poorly coded (which is the case most of the times) it can easily mar your WordPress performance. It’s a shocking revelation but ‘nearly half of the WordPress sites are slow to load’. If your site is among many others, here is the reason why:
- Lack of Dedicated Hosting
- Inferior quality Web hosting
- Too much use of Plugins
- Content Delivery Network Improper
- Too large Images
- Lack of Cache Plugins
Worry not! : )
A fast loading WordPress Website can assist you increase pageviews, help improve sales and boost the user engagement. Here are 7 amazing steps to speed up WordPress Website.
Right hosting plan
Hosting plays a crucial role in influencing the speed of your WordPress website. Hosting your website on a shared hosting provider with ‘unlimited’ bandwidth, emails, domain space etc. is always a good idea. You have to keep in mind that the shared hosting provider offers good loading time, especially on the peak traffic hours. However, shared hostings tend to offer inferior performance as you share the the common server space with a number of other websites. Shared hosting also suffers from Insufficient RAM and CPU throttling. It is advised that you choose the hosting plan as per the needs and requirement. Choosing a free wordpress hosting server might not help you that much. For example if you are running a heavy Content Management System (CMS) or an eCommerce website, you are expecting a lot of traffic in that case avoid using the shared hosting plans. Depending on your need and requirement, you can choose from several hosting types like shared hosting plans, Virtual Private Server (VPS), dedicated hosting plans and managed WP hosting plans.
A faster and good quality WP theme
WordPress offers a number of themes, both in premium and free versions. Your theme should not be dependent on the images. A theme which uses the images throughout the design, will unnecessary add weight to your page making it slower to load. Apart from images other dynamic elements like sliders, social icons, widgets etc might look appealing but are immensely responsible for the slow loading of the website. Undoubtedly, a webpage loaded with images look amazing but it will also reduce the website speed. Choose a theme that is well-optimized for tablets, mobiles and desktop. It is better to choose a simple, Search Engine friendly and a suitable theme for your WP website.
Optimizing the images
Images play a crucial role in slowing down a website. Nevertheless, images are important. If you want to enhance the webspeed without compromising on the look and feel, you must optimize the images before uploading them. You can also reduce the number of images, but with little or no images your website becomes boring. Always optimize your images before uploading.
You can easily optimise the images by:
- Changing the image resolution
- Cropping the image
- Compressing the image
- Decrease the colour depth
- Delete image comments
- Choose JPEG over PNG and others
- Do not use TIFFs or BMPs
Minifying and Optimizing JS and CSS files
If you are running your website through Google PageSpeed Insights tool, you must have been notified about reducing your JS and CSS file sizes. This means that by reducing the numbers and the size of JS and CSS files, you can easily enhance the website loading speed.
You can do that in two ways:
- Gzipping / compression – It can easily reduce the size of the file from 200KB to 40KB. Simply by enabling the compression at the server, your visitors will experience a smooth and a high-speed navigation from both mobiles and desktop.
- Minification on the other hand helps in removing comments, semicolons whitespace, and reducing the hex code lengths.
For best use, it is advised that you use both gzipping and minifying together. If not, you can choose from a number of plugins to minify the JS and CSS files for your WP website. Some of the popular plugins include Autoptimize, WP Minify and more.
Installing a Cache Plugin
Caching ensures storing the components of your website. The parts are required to be loaded once and not every time your user visit the website. It is mainly done to assist the returning visitor. A caching plugin enables your website to publish a static HTML instead of the dynamic files. It is the most reliable way to enhance the website load time. Some of the popular caching plugins include W3 Total Cache, WP Super Cache, WP Fastest Cache etc. You can combine it with caching mechanisms like Varnish to further enhance the website loading speed.
Monitor the Plugins
Before installing any new plugin, always ask yourself a question ‘Is it really necessary?’. Plugins are one of the many reasons that causes your website to slow down. The more plugins you install the more performance issues you face. There can be various reasons including persistent calls to external server, bad coding, WordPress database updation and more.
In every 6 months, review and analyze your plugins. If you find any of the following criteria, remove the plugin straightaway.
- If you are not using it
- It is ‘calling deprecated functions’
- It is not functioning the rightway
- There are improved plugins that can perform better
Besides eating up the space, outdated plugins are also responsible for the security breach. It is like a third-party package coding your website. Removing the unused and unnecessary plugins and keeping them updated is essential to boost up your WordPress Website speed.
Using a Content Delivery Network
With every passing day, the websites are getting fancier, cooler and richer leading a drastic slow down. So, whenever you installing a plugin, code or a media rich content, always ask yourself that what impact will that have on the speed of my web pages?
It is really imprudent to sacrifice your website speed to install a new tool or make it look flashy.
By lowering the website’s load time you are able to tremendously enhance the user experience and with Search Engines giving so much importance to the web pages speed, it has now become essential to have a fast loading website. Many believe that it’s an expert’s job to optimize the website. It’s a false believe. Almost 95 percent of your wordpress optimization can be done following ethical practices and making best use of the CDNs and Caching. How did you find the article? Do share your feedbacks in the comment section below. Thank you for patient reading.
Ankur Kumar is an experienced blogger and content manager. He likes to write on various topics including technology, digital marketing and environment. He is an active member of FindNerd, a social tech community. An avid biker, traveller, motivator problem solver and nature lover. He is straight forward in his approach and believes in minimalist lifestyle.
This Post Has 6 Comments
Bruce Chamoff5 Aug 2016
Great comments. I definitely agree with using cache plugins as a lot of people do not. I think when you said Lack of Shared Hosting, you meant lack of dedicated hosting?
Tesla18 Aug 2016
Yeah, you are right (Dedicated Hosting) :). I just fixed that.
wpxif9 Sep 2016
It is good to choose a speed optimized theme
Angela4 Oct 2016
Linda Moore4 Oct 2016
Great guidelines to make a WordPress websites faster. The websites that loads slowly that creates imaginative impact on users and users will immediate leave a website that loads slowly. So, it is extremely important today to have a website that loads fast to provide a good user experience.
shreelatha6 Jun 2017
Speed is critical. Everyone likes things fast. Why the wait? Speed optimizing any website will give it an extra edge over its competition. I always implement speed optimization to all my clients regardless if they pay for it or not.Speed optimizing a website should be essential but not all web developers are implemtenting such practice. Would this also effect ranking? I do think that google may consider this as part of their ranking algorithm.