If you are looking for ways to speed up WordPress performance, look no further. In this article, I’ve compiled a list of 11 easy-to-do steps that you can follow to make sure your site is optimized as much as possible.
Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
A content delivery network (CDN) is a network of servers located around the world that hosts files for your website. When a visitor types your domain into their browser, they’ll be automatically routed to the closest server. This means the web page will load faster because it isn’t having to travel across locations and countries just because you live in London and your visitors are in New York City, or vice versa.
Using multiple servers also allows you to use something called DNS failover which means if one server goes down then another one will take its place without any disruption to users. These two factors combined mean that users get a better experience when using your site while you benefit from increased speed and reliability as well as cost savings by using fewer hosting packages at once!
Enabling Cache for an Instant Speed Boost
Using a plugin like W3 Total Cache will improve your site's performance and speed things up for visitors, by a lot. W3 Total Cache (W3TC) improves the SEO, Core Web Vitals and overall user experience of your site by increasing website performance and reducing load times by leveraging features like content delivery network (CDN) integration and the latest best practices.
W3TC is the only web host agnostic Web Performance Optimization (WPO) framework for WordPress trusted by millions of publishers, web developers, and web hosts worldwide for more than a decade. It is the total performance solution for optimizing WordPress Websites.
Speed up your site tremendously, and improve core web vitals and the overall user experience for your visitors without having to change your WordPress host, theme, plugins or your content production workflow.
- Improvements in search engine result page rankings, especially for mobile-friendly websites and sites that use SSL
- At least 10x improvement in overall site performance (Grade A in WebPagetest or significant Google Page Speed improvements) when fully configured
- Improved conversion rates and “site performance” which affect your site’s rank on Google.com
- “Instant” repeat page views: browser caching
- Optimized progressive render: pages start rendering quickly and can be interacted with more quickly
- Reduced page load time: increased visitor time on site; visitors view more pages
- Improved web server performance; sustain high traffic periods
- Up to 80% bandwidth savings when you minify HTML, minify CSS and minify JS files.
- Compatible with shared hosting, virtual private / dedicated servers and dedicated servers / clusters
- Transparent content delivery network (CDN) management with Media Library, theme files and WordPress itself
- Mobile support: respective caching of pages by referrer or groups of user agents including theme switching for groups of referrers or user agents
- Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) support
- Secure Socket Layer (SSL/TLS) support
- Caching of (minified and compressed) pages and posts in memory or on disk or on (FSD) CDN (by user agent group)
- Caching of feeds (site, categories, tags, comments, search results) in memory or on disk or on CDN
- Caching of search results pages (i.e. URIs with query string variables) in memory or on disk
- Caching of database objects in memory or on disk
- Caching of objects in memory or on disk
- Caching of fragments in memory or on disk
- Caching methods include local Disk, Redis, Memcached, APC, APCu, eAccelerator, XCache, and WinCache
- Minification of posts and pages and RSS feeds
- Minification of inline, embedded or 3rd party CSS with automated updates to assets
- Defer offscreen images using Lazy Load to improve the user experience
- Browser caching using cache-control, future expire headers and entity tags (ETag) with “cache-busting”
- Import post attachments directly into the Media Library (and CDN)
- Leverage our multiple CDN integrations to optimize images
- WP-CLI support for cache purging, query string updating and more
- Various security features to help ensure website safety
- Caching statistics for performance insights of any enabled feature
- Extension framework for customization or extensibility for Cloudflare, WPML and much more
- Reverse proxy integration via Nginx or Varnish
- Image Service API extension provides WebP image format conversion from common image formats (on upload and on demand)
Choose the Right WordPress Theme to Speed Up WordPress Performance
When you’re choosing a theme for your website, it's important to consider the performance of that theme. Here are some things to look out for:
- Responsive. Themes should be responsive, which means they'll adjust themselves depending on how the user is viewing them (a desktop computer or mobile). This is important because if a site isn't optimized correctly for mobile devices, it can significantly slow down page load times.
- SEO friendly. Your new WordPress theme should be search engine optimized (SEO) so that its content will be more easily indexed by search engines like Google and Bing. A poorly coded website could get penalized by search engines as they crawl through millions of pages looking for relevant information; this would cause your site's rankings to drop in popularity on SERPs. If you're serious about getting results from organic traffic, make sure your web designer knows what he or she is doing!
One of the easiest ways to speed up your WordPress website is by optimizing images. You should optimize all images before you upload them, because this will make the process faster and easier. There are a couple of ways you can do this:
- Use a compression tool like TinyPNG or Optimizilla to reduce file size (but keep in mind that some image editors only let you save as JPEGs)
- Install an image optimization plugin for WordPress like WP Smush Pro or EWWW Image Optimizer
- Use an online tool such as TinyPNG, which offers lossless compressing (keeps quality high), or Regenerate Thumbnails from WPMU DEV
On a more Technical Note:
Remove Unnecessary Embeds from Posts
You should also look for embeds in your posts and comments, widgets, plugins, themes, child themes and custom post types. Embeds can be found with a simple search through the core files of your WordPress installation or by using a plugin like WP-CLI (the command line interface for WordPress).
If you need help finding any specific embeds within your site I would recommend using this guide for removing them from your site:
The defer attribute is supported by modern browsers but not Internet Explorer 9, 10 and 11 (IE9-11).
To enable this feature in WordPress you'll need to install and activate a plugin called “Defer Page Load”
Compress Your Web Pages
You may want to consider compressing your web pages. To do this, you'll need to use a tool like YSlow or PageSpeed Insights. These tools will help you identify which files are slowing down your site, and then they can compress them so that they load faster. You can also use GTMetrix for the same purpose.
What's more, by compressing content with these tools and optimizing images on your website (by converting them into JPEG format), it will be easier for search engines like Google and Bing to crawl through those pages faster and index them more effectively in their search results pages!
If you don't know how to edit or create these files, contact us and we'll help out!
Remove Query Strings From Static Resources
Query strings are used by search engines to categorize your content, so they can be useful if you want to rank well in search results. However, they can also slow down your site and make it load slower. To remove query strings from static resources (like images), use a plugin like W3 Total Cache or WP Fastest Cache.
Now that you’ve taken the steps to optimize your WordPress website, it’s time to check your progress to see if everything is working correctly as it should be!
To do this, we’ll be using Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools. If you don’t have an account with either of these services yet, I highly recommend signing up for one—they are both free and very useful for tracking user activity on your site.
The first thing we want to look at is our speed results from Pingdom:
We can see here that our load time has dropped from over 5 seconds down into the 1-second range! This is fantastic news because it means anyone who visits our site will spend less time waiting around before they can view content or complete their desired action within the application (which in this case would be buying something). This translates directly into higher conversion rates which makes everyone happy 🙂
I hope that you’ve found this article helpful and are able to implement some of these tips on your own website. If you have any questions about how to speed up your WordPress site or if you need help getting it off the ground, you can reach me at email@example.com for a consultation.