The Ultimate Guide to Boosting WordPress Speed and Performance

WordPress Speed

The Ultimate Guide to Boosting WordPress Speed and Performance

Do you want to speed up your WordPress site ?
Fast loading pages improve user experience, increase page views, and help with WordPress SEO .
In this article, we are going to share the most useful WordPress speed and performance optimization tips to boost WordPress performance and speed up your website .
Unlike other lists of “X best WordPress caching plugin” or general “X Tips to speed up WordPress” tutorials, this article is a comprehensive guide to optimizing WordPress performance .
We’ve tried to cover everything from why speed is important, what slows down your WordPress site, and actionable steps you can take to instantly improve your WordPress speed

Why is speed important to your WordPress site ?

Studies show that from 2000 to 2016, the average human attention span decreased from 12 seconds to 7 seconds .

What does this mean for you as a website owner ?

You have very little time to show your content to users and convince them to stay on your website .

A slow website means that users are likely to leave your website before it loads .

According to a StrangeLoop case study involving Amazon, Google, and other larger sites, a one-second delay in page load time can result in a 7% loss in conversions, 11% fewer page views, and a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction

Moreover, Google and other search engines have already started penalizing slow websites by pushing them down in the search results which means lower traffic for slow websites .
To sum it all up, if you want more traffic, subscribers, and revenue from your website, you must make your WordPress site fast !

How do you check the WordPres speed of your site ?

Beginners often think their website is okay just because it doesn’t feel slow on their computer. This is a huge mistake.
Since you visit your website frequently, modern browsers like Chrome cache your website and pre-fetch it automatically as soon as you start typing the address. This makes your website load almost instantly.

However, the average user who visits your website for the first time may not have the same experience .

In fact, users in different geographic locations will have a completely different experience .

This is why we recommend testing your website speed with a tool like IsItWP’s WordPress Speed Test .

It is a free online tool that allows you to test the speed of your website .

After running your own website speed test, you may be wondering what is a good website speed that I should aim for ?

A good page load time is less than 2 seconds .

However, the faster you can do it, the better. A few milliseconds of optimizations here and there can add up to a half or even a full second of load time .

What slows down your WordPress site ?

The speed test report is likely to have multiple recommendations for improvement . However, most of this is technical terms that beginners are difficult to understand .

Knowing what slows your website is the key to improving performance and making more intelligent decisions in the long run .

The main reasons for the slow website of WordPress on the web are :

  • Web hosting – when the web hosting server is not properly formed, it can quickly harm your website.
  • WordPress composition – If your WordPress does not serve the stored pages temporarily, this will increase the download on your servant, causing your website slow or completely disrupted.
  • Page – mainly the web images.
  • Bad additions – If you use an additional bad component, it can significantly slow down your website .
  • External textual programs – external texts such as ads, loaders loaded, etc. can be a great impact on your website’s performance .

Now that you know what to slow down your website on WordPress, let’s take a look at how to speed up your WordPress .

The importance of hosting a good WordPress

Your WordPress hosts play an important role in the website’s performance. A good hosting provider such as Bluehost or Siteground takes additional measures to improve your website’s performance on the web

However, when joint hosting, you can share server resources with many other customers. This means that if your adjacent site gets a large number of visits, this can affect the performance of the entire server, which in turn slows down your website .

On the other hand, the use of the WordPress hosting service gives you the best server configuration to run WordPress. WordPress hosting also offers automatic backup, automatic WordPress updates and more advanced safety configurations to protect your website .

We recommend using WpenGine as a WordPress hosting provider of our favorite orbits. It is also the most famous in the industry .

WordPress speeding up in easy steps (without encryption)

We know that making changes to your website’s composition can be a terrifying idea for beginners, especially if you are not an expert in technology .

But do not worry, you are not alone. Thousands of WordPress users have helped improve their WordPress performance .

We’ll explain to you how you can speed up your WordPress website with only a few clicks (it is not necessary to cord with) .

Install WordPress Caching Plugin

WordPress pages . This means that it is built on the fly every time someone visits a post or a page on your website.

To create your pages, WordPress must run a process to find the required information, collect it together, then display it to your user .

This process includes a lot of steps, and it can really slow down your website when you have several people who visit it simultaneously .

For this reason we recommend each WordPress using an additional ingredient for cache. Temporary storage can make your WordPress site anywhere faster than 2x to 5X .

Here’s how it works

Instead of passing the process of creating the entire page at a time, the additional component of temporary storage creates a copy of the page after the first download, then this version is hidden to each later user .

As you can see in the graphics above, when the user visits your WordPress website, the server recovers information from the MySQL database and your PHP files. Then it collects it together in the HTML content it is presented to the user .

It is a long process, but you can skip a lot when using temporary storage instead .

There are a lot of additional additional ingredients for temporary storage in WordPress, but we recommend using the WP Rocket (Premium) or WP Super Cache (free) .

Several WordPress hosting companies such as Bluehost and Siteground provides temporary storage solutions as well

Sitegend SG Optimizer

If you are using Sitegend, your wordpress will be installed in advance with SG Optimizer. This additional component contains all the strong features that you will get through an additional ingredient for the WPPRESS temporary storage such as WP Rocket .

The best part is that it has been specially improved for Siteground Google Cloud servers to give you super performance results .

Aside from the cache, you can also get many other performance settings, convert a webp image in WordPress, improve the database, reduce CSS, press GZIP, and more .

It also has dynamic storage features to help you accelerate your e -commerce website .

Bluehost Caching

If you are using Bluehost, go to My SITES »Performance Department to turn on cache .

If you are using a managed WordPress host, you will not need an additional ingredient for temporary storage because it is built and restricted by default .

Improving images for speed

Pictures give life to your content and help promote sharing. The researchers have found that the use of colored visuals makes people more likely to read your content .

However, if your photos are not improved, you may be more harmful than help. In fact, the improved images are one of the most common speed problems that we see on beginners web sites .

Before downloading a direct image from your phone or camera, we recommend that you use the photo editing program to improve your web .

In their original formats, these images can have huge file sizes. But on the basis of the image file and pressure you chose in your editing software, you can reduce your photos of up to 5X .

At DR-WP, we only use two photos : JPEG and PNG .

Now you may ask : What is the difference ?

Well, Png image format is not compressed. When you press a picture, it loses some information, so the uncomplicated image will be the highest quality with more details. The downside is that it is a larger file size, so it takes longer to download .

On the other hand, JPEG format is a compact file format slightly reduces image quality, but is significantly smaller .

So how do we decide to coordinate the image we choose ?

If our image has a lot of different colors, we use JPEG. If the image is simpler or we need a transparent image, then we use PNG.

Most of our photos are JPEG files .

Below is a scheme compared to file sizes and the various pressure tool that we could have used for the STRANGELOOP image used above .

As you can see in the graph, the image format you use can make a big difference in the performance of the web site .

Best practices to improve the speed and performance of WordPress

After installing an additional ingredient for cache and improving your photos, you will notice that your site will start loading faster .

But if you really want to keep your website as soon as possible, you will need to use the best practices listed below .

These tips are not very technical, so you don’t need to know any code to implement it. But its use will prevent the common problems that will slow down your website .

Keep your wordpress update

As a well-maintained open source project, WordPress is updated frequently. Not only will each update introduce new features, but it will also fix security issues and bugs. The WordPress theme and plugins may also have regular updates .

As a website owner, it is your responsibility to keep your WordPress site, theme, and plugins updated to the latest versions. Failure to do so may make your site slow and unreliable, and leave you vulnerable to security threats .

Background process optimization

WordPress background processes are scheduled tasks that run in the background of your WordPress site. Here are some examples of background tasks that run on a WordPress site :

  • WordPress Backup plugin tasks
  • Also WordPress cron jobs for publishing scheduled posts
  • WordPress cron jobs to check for updates
  • Search engines and other crawlers try to fetch the content

Tasks such as cron jobs for scheduled posts and updates have minimal impact on website performance .

However, other background processes such as backup plugins and excessive crawling by search engines can slow down a website .

For backup plugins, you need to make sure that your WordPress backup plugin only works during low traffic on your website . You also need to set the frequency of backups and the data you need to back up .

Use excerpts on the homepage and archives

By default, WordPress displays the full content of each article on your homepage and archives . This means that your homepage, categories, tags, and other archive pages will load slower .

Another disadvantage of displaying full articles on these pages is that users do not feel the need to visit the actual article. This can reduce the number of page views and the time users spend on your site .

In order to speed up load times for archive pages, you can set your site to display excerpts rather than the full content . So You can go to Settings » Reading and select “For each article in the feed, show : Abstract” instead of “Full Text” .

Divide comments into pages

Do you get a lot of comments on your blog posts ? Congratulations! This is a great indicator of an engaged audience .

The downside, however, is that loading all of these comments can affect your site’s speed .

WordPress comes with a built-in solution for that. Simply go to Settings » Discussion and check the box next to the ‘Split comments into pages’ option .

WordPress Speed

Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

Remember how we mentioned above that users in different geographic locations may experience different load times on your site ?

This is because the location of your web hosting servers can have an impact on the speed of your site .

For example, let’s say your web hosting company has servers in the United States. A visitor who is also in the US will generally see faster load times than a visitor in India .

Using a content delivery network (CDN) can help speed up load times for all of your visitors .

A CDN is a network of servers all over the world. Each server will store “static” files used to configure your website .

These static files include immutable files like images, CSS, and JavaScript, as opposed to “dynamic” WordPress pages as described above .

When using a CDN, each time a user visits your website, they are served these static files from the server closest to them. Your web hosting server will also be faster since the CDN does a lot of the work .

We recommend Sucuri, Bunny CDN, or Cloudflare .

It works well with WordPress websites and complements existing WordPress caching components for faster load times .

Don’t upload audio/video files directly to WordPress

WordPress Speed

You could directly upload audio and video files to your WordPress site and it will automatically display them in the HTML5 player

But you should never do that !

Audio and video hosting will cost you bandwidth. Your web hosting company may overcharge you, or they may shut down your site altogether, even if your plan includes “unlimited” bandwidth .

Hosting large media files also greatly increases backup sizes, and makes it difficult for you to restore WordPress from a backup .

Instead, you should use an audio and video hosting service like YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion, SoundCloud, etc. and let them do the hard work. They have the bandwidth for that !

WordPress has a built-in video embed feature, so you can copy and paste your video URL directly into your post and it will be automatically embedded .

Use optimized templates for speed

WordPress Speed

When choosing a template for your website, it is important to pay special attention to optimizing speed. Some of the pretty impressive templates are actually poorly coded and can slow down your site .

It’s usually better to use a simpler template than to opt for bloated templates with complex layouts, flashy animations, and other unnecessary features. You can always add these features with premium quality WordPress plugins .

Premium WordPress theme stores like StudioPress, Themify, CSSIgniter, and Astra offer well-coded templates that are optimized for speed .

Use faster plugins

WordPress Speed

Poorly coded WordPress plugins often load a lot of extras whether your site needs them or not . This makes your page load faster and slows down your site .

To help you choose the best plugins, we often publish our expert pick of the best WordPress plugins deals. We pay special attention to usability, user experience and most importantly performance .

Here are some of our picks for the most popular WordPress plugin categories .

  • WPForms : The fastest and most friendly contact form plugin for WordPress .
  • All in One SEOA WordPress SEO plugin that focuses more on website performance to help you get better SEO rankings .
  • MonsterInsights : The best Google Analytics plugin for WordPress that doesn’t slow down your site. Also includes options to load gtag.js locally to speed up your Google Core Web Vitals score .
  • Shared Counts : Social media plugins load additional scripts not securely. Shared Counts is one of the fastest growing social media plugins for WordPress .
  • SeedProd : Drag and drop landing page WordPress plugin that helps you create fast landing pages .

Apart from our own recommendations, you can do your own tests. Simply run speed tests before and after installing the plugin to compare its impact on performance .

WordPress Speed Fine Tuning (Advanced)

By using the above WordPress optimization best practices and basic speed tips, you should see a significant improvement in your site load times .

But every millisecond counts. If you want to get the fastest speed possible, you’ll want to make a few more changes .

The following tips are a bit more technical, as some of them require editing your site’s files or having a basic understanding of PHP. You’ll need to make sure you back up your site first just in case .

Divide long posts into pages

WordPress Speed9

Readers tend to love longer, more in-depth blog posts. Longer posts tend to rank higher in search engines .

But if you are posting long articles with lots of images, it can hurt your load times .

Instead, consider splitting your long posts into multiple pages .

WordPress comes with built-in functionality to do just that. Simply add the <!––nextpage––> tag in your article where you want to split it to the next page. Do it again if you want to split the article to the next page as well .

Reduce external HTTP requests

WordPress Speed8

Many WordPress plugins and themes load all kinds of files from other websites. These files can include scripts, style sheets, and images from external resources such as Google, Facebook, analytics services, and so on .

It’s okay to use a few of these. Many of these files are optimized to load as quickly as possible, so it’s faster than hosting them on your website .

But if your plugins are making a lot of these requests, it can slow down your website tremendously .

You can reduce all external HTTP requests by disabling scripts and styles, or by combining them into a single file .

Reduce database calls

WordPress Speed6

Note : This step is more technical and will require basic knowledge of PHP and WordPress template files .

Unfortunately, there are a lot of poorly coded WordPress themes out there. They ignore standard WordPress practices and end up making direct calls to the database, or a lot of unnecessary requests to the database. This can really slow down your server by giving it a lot of work to do .

Even well-coded themes can have code that makes database calls just to get your blog’s basic information .

In this example, every time you see <?php , this is the start of a new database call :

You can’t blame the theme developers for that. They simply have no other way of knowing the language of your site .

But if you are customizing your site with a child template, you can replace those database calls with your own specific information to reduce all those database calls .

Review the main appearance of such cases that can be easily replaced by static information .

WordPress Database Optimization

WordPress Speed5

After using WordPress for a while, your database will contain a lot of information that you probably don’t need anymore. To improve performance, you can optimize your database to get rid of all that unnecessary information .

This can be easily managed with the WP-Sweep plugin. It allows you to clean up your WordPress database by deleting things like deleted posts, reviews, unused tags, etc. It will also optimize your database structure with just one click .

Define post reviews

WordPress Speed 3

Post reviews take up space in your WordPress database. Some users believe that revisions can also affect some database queries managed by plugins. If the plugin doesn’t specifically exclude post revisions, it can slow down your site by searching through them unnecessarily .

You can easily limit the number of revisions WordPress keeps for each article. Just add this line of code to your wp-config.php file .

This code will limit WordPress to saving only the last four revisions per post or page, and discard older revisions automatically .

Disable Hotlinking and Leaching of your content

WordPress Speed2

If you are creating quality content on your WordPress site, the sad truth is that it will likely get stolen sooner or later 

One way this happens is for other websites to serve your images directly from their URLs on your website, rather than uploading them to their own servers .

In fact, they steal web hosting bandwidth, and you don’t get any traffic to view them .

Just add this code to your .htaccess file to prevent hot linking to images from your WordPress site .

Note : Don’t forget to change with your own domain .

Use lazy loading if necessary

WordPress Speed 1

If you add many images, multiple videos, and photo galleries to your blog posts, your site can benefit from slow loading .

Instead of uploading all of your photos and videos at once, lazy download only downloads those that will be visible on the user’s screen. Replaces all images and other video embeds with a placeholder image .

As the user scrolls down, your website loads images that are now visible in the browser’s viewing area. You can lazy upload images, videos, and even WordPress comments and gravatars .

For images, iframes, and videos, you can use the Lazy Load by WP Rocket plugin .

Use DNS Level Website Firewall

WordPress Speed

A WordPress firewall plugin helps you prevent attacks, hacking attempts, and malware. However, not all firewall plug-ins are the same .

Some of them run on your website, meaning attackers are already able to access your web server before they get blocked. This is still effective for security, but it is not optimal for performance .

This is why we recommend using a DNS level firewall such as Sucuri or Cloudflare . These firewalls block large requests even before they reach your website .

Fix HTTPS/SSL errors without the plugin

WordPress Speed

If you are converting your site to HTTPS / SSL, it is possible that you may run into mixed content errors .

The easiest way to fix this is to install a plugin like Really Simple SSL . However, the problem is that these plugins capture all URLs first, and then change them to HTTPS before sending them to the user’s browsers .

This has a small but noticeable performance impact. You can reduce this by fixing all URLs manually .

Use the latest version of PHP

WordPress is primarily written in the PHP programming language. It is a server side language, which means it is installed and running on your hosting server .

All good WordPress hosting companies use the most stable PHP version on their servers. However, it is possible that your hosting company is running a slightly older version of PHP .

The latest PHP 7 is twice as fast as its predecessors. This is a huge performance boost that your website should take advantage of .

You can find out which version of PHP your site is using by installing and activating the Version Info plugin .

Upon activation, the plugin will display your PHP version in the footer area of your WordPress admin dashboard .

WordPress Speed

If your website is using a version of PHP lower than 7, ask your hosting provider to update it for you .

We hope this article helped you learn how to improve WordPress speed and performance. Go ahead and try these techniques .

Don’t forget to test the speed and performance of your website before and after implementing these best practices. You will be amazed how these changes will boost your WordPress performance .



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