How to speed up your WordPress website
As a company that puts enormous effort into the culture and promotes the core values, we are also in love with open source contributions that people all around the world are delivering daily. The contribution people behind WordPress have delivered to us is unmeasurable, yet we can benefit from it daily. According to some sources (like the "techjury"), there are 75 million WordPress websites out there. So, let's see what can be done to speed up your WordPress website.
There are few things we wanted to share with you in terms of WP optimization. By optimizing your WordPress website, you can improve user experience, speed up your page loading time, increase your website page views, and improve your website SEO.
In this post we will share some useful tips on how to improve WordPress website speed.
Why is optimising your WordPress website important?
Having a high page loading time, you are risking losing your potential users. Some of them might leave the website before it loads.
7 seconds - it is an average human attention span. This means that you have little time to show your content to your users. So, you have to deliver your content as fast as you can, but that can not happen if your page loading time is very slow. A significant number of visitors leave the website after just 4 seconds of waiting for the content to load.
Besides all of this, Google and other browsers may downrank your website position in the search results, because of its slowness. So, if you want more traffic, you must have a fast-loading WordPress website!
How to check your WordPress website speed? – GTmetrix
GTmetrix is a tool that will help you check your website speed. All you need to do is to enter the URL into the search field and press the button - Test your site.
After few seconds, you will get the results about your website. Below you can see the picture with the analysis for our company website - http://bluegrid.io/
As you can see, the Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) (e.g., hero image or heading text) is below 3 seconds, which is good. To provide a good user experience, the website should have 3 seconds or less of LCP. LCP shows us how much time is needed for the biggest image or text block to be rendered when the page first started loading.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) indicates how much layout shift is experienced by visitors as your page loads. For a good score, it should be 0.1 or less.
Below this report, you can find what are the Top issues for the website. There are detailed explanations on how you can improve your speed in each of the sections.
Always strive to have a positive score, and the lowest page loading time.
What slows down WordPress websites?
GTmetrix might have multiple recommendations on how to improve your WordPress website speed. So, learning what slows the website is really important. Try to learn and understand as much as you can.
One of the primary things that slows the WordPress website are:
- Web hosting – having a good hosting provider is one of the most important things to have. Make sure you are using a reliable hosting provider.
- Image size – try to reduce the image size as much as you can.
- Caching Plugin - try installing a plugin for caching.
- Update WordPress website, plugins, and themes – keep your WordPress website updated regularly.
- Inactive plugins and themes – delete plugins and themes that you don’t use.
- CDN – use a Content Delivery Network
- Use audio/video hosting services – do not host your audio/video directly on your WordPress website
These are some things we recommend you implement. We will go through each in the text below.
Having a good hosting provider plays an important role in your website performance. There are different types of hosting, so choose what suits you best:
- Shared Hosting: It is the best option for low-traffic websites, and also, one of the cheapest solutions. This means that you will be sharing a server with several other websites. This can affect the overall speed of your website.
- Managed Hosting: Ideal for users who are not experienced in managing the hosting servers.
- VPS Hosting: In short, for users who are outgrown shared hosting.
- Cloud Hosting: For users who need scalable resources.
- Dedicated Hosting: If you need to be in full control over the server, this is the package for you. This also means that the server is rented only for you. Also, this choice is meant for websites that have a significant amount of traffic on their website. Of course, this is one of the most expensive choices.
- Colocation Hosting: This is the most expensive solution, but it gives you full control of hardware and software.
Of course, images are one of the most important pieces of content on the website. They bring your website to life. It also makes people more intrigued to read your website content. Before uploading an image to your website, make sure to optimize it. Optimizing your images can greatly improve your website speed. If you are having large-sized images on your website, it will take the browser more time to render them, making your website slow.
One of the tools we recommend for optimizing your images before the upload is - TinyPNG – smart PNG and JPEG compression. It is a simple tool yet effective. What you need to do is to go to the TinyPNG website and upload the desired image and the website will do the rest.
There also plugins for image optimization directly on the website. We will name few:
Caching plugins will help you improve the speed of your WordPress website. A cache is a list of temporarily stored data that can be accessed quickly when required. Information is usually stored on a hard disk in computers. A device must run multiple processes before the information can be shown when it is requested.
Caching addresses this problem by processing frequently requested data and storing it in a temporary storage area or memory. This enables computers to perform a variety of tasks. WordPress websites may benefit from the same caching principle to increase efficiency and speed up loading times.
WordPress is, after all, a complex content management system. This means that when a user visits your website, WordPress pulls data from the database and then performs a series of other tasks before sending the web page to the user's browser. If a large number of people visit the website at the same time, it can slow your website down.
Caching helps you to skip a number of measures on your WordPress account. Your caching plugin allows a copy of the page after the first load, and then serves that cached version to every subsequent user, rather than going through the entire page generation process every time.
Some of the plugins that can help you with caching are:
Update WordPress website, plugins and themes
WordPress is regularly modified as a well-maintained open-source project. Each update will include not only new functionality but also fixes for security and bug issues. Your WordPress theme and plugins will also need to be updated on a regular basis.
It is your duty as the owner of a website to keep your WordPress domain, theme, and plugins up to date. If you don't, your site can become slow and unreliable, as well as vulnerable to security threats.
Pressing the button Updates (see the picture above), you will open a new window from where you can update your WordPress, plugins, and themes.
Inactive plugins and themes
Even if inactive plugins aren't harmful, they are still executable files. These files may be corrupted or used to install malware on your site in the event of a hacking attempt. You should uninstall any unused plugins that you do not wish to use as a WordPress security precaution. Plus, why should they take up space for no reason?
Go to the Plugins and delete the unnecessary plugins (see the picture below).
If you are having users in different parts of the world, they can have different loading times on your site. This is due to the fact that the position of your web hosting servers will affect the speed of your website.
Let's presume the web hosting company's servers are located in the United States. Visitors from the United States will usually experience quicker loading times than visitors from China. Using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) will help your visitors load your website faster. A CDN is a global network of servers. The “static” files that make up your website will be stored on each server.
Use audio/video hosting services
You should never host audio/video directly on your WordPress website. Yes, we are aware that there is an option to host audio/video on WordPress directly, but instead of using that, you should use services like YouTube, Vimeo, SoundCloud, etc. Also, hosting large audio or video files can cost you your bandwidth.
Hosting massive media files also increases the size of your backups, making it more difficult to restore WordPress from backup. Since WordPress has a built-in video embed function, you can simply copy and paste the URL of your video into your post, and it will automatically embed.