June 01, 2019 | By Webandcrafts
12 Actionable Ways to Improve WordPress Website Speed
Is your WordPress site still loading slow? Do you want to make improvements to your page loading time? What are the actionable ways to improve WordPress website speed?
Getting into unnecessary chaos to enhance your site will take you to further complications. We have actionable yet straightforward tips for the WordPress sites that work with all environments.
Before getting into further thoughts, let us get into the importance of website speed.
A lightning fast website boosts the traffic and revenue of any website. Even a fraction of seconds difference in the loading time may cause a significant difference in the user experience.
If you still have no idea about the loading time of your site, try tools like Pingdom, GTMetrix, or WebPagetest to test the speed.
For a new visitor of your website, the major attracting factors include the page design and the loading speed. If the page doesn’t load within a fixed time, they may leave even without looking at the design. Also, the search engine is likely to list the high performing sites, so they put great value on the loading time.
That means if your site is loading slowly, you will lose good rank in the search engine and loss the traffic. In turn, you will lose the customers, and it adversely affects your business.
Here are 12 simple ways to hike your website loading page. Let’s get in detail.
- 1. Database Optimization
The database is the place where everything about the WordPress site gets deposited. Usually, it stores posts, pages, comments, settings, plugin information, upload, themes, etc., but differently than the physical files. Whenever a page gets loaded in the WordPress site, it first reaches the database.
The primary threat that happens at that time is the presence of a mash that gets accumulated in the database over time. With the presence of this unwanted mud, the site takes a long time to find the data and to get displayed. How can we address this disaster?
Regular Database optimization is a reliable solution to address this common problem. You can either go with WP-Optimize or WP-DBManager or WP-Sweep. Plugin. WP-Optimize help you to remove the clutters in the database viz revisions, post-draft, orphaned plugin options, spam comments, etc. While WP-DBManager helps you to back up, restore, repair, and optimize your database.
WP-Sweep, as the name indicates, removes unwanted comments, post revisions, duplicated metadata, unused terms in the database, spams, etc. As compared to the other two tools, WP-Sweep works better. The main reason is it performs WordPress Delete commands to perform the delete operation on the data. So no data will remain in the orphan category. But in the case of the other two tools we mentioned earlier, it is using the SQL Queries to perform the operations, which causes damage to the database design.
WordPress is a data-driven system and a healthy database effects the overall performance of the site. It is advised to back up the database every day, optimize it every 4 days, and repair it once a week. Try it and find the difference in the performance of your website. Also, try the below-mentioned ways to improve WordPress website speed.
- 2. Image Optimization
It doesn’t matter whether your web page contains a single image or a gallery; the size of each image matters in the loading speed of your website. The pictures take with the high-resolution cameras, and even mobile phones possess a 2MB size that points to the fact that a user who is visiting the website need to download that image first. It will be a disaster for slower internet connections.
Also, these images will occupy more space in the WP-content folder and sometimes much more than already allotted. The possible solution for this issue is image compression. You don’t need to showcase the image in the complete resolution. Reduce the resolution without harming the quality. Many tools are available now, like;
WP Smush: It is a 100% free WordPress Plugin with several optimization options.
Compress JPEG & PNG images plugins: It guarantees compression of 40% – 60% for JPEG images and 50% – 80% for PNG images, without a visible change in the quality.
- 3. Remove Emojis
Emojis meant a lot today in mobile phones and tablets. But it is not a perfect choice in the WordPress sites. Even the 4.2 version of the WordPress introduced it to the users, never go with that cute smileys. It will take an additional JS file on your site that reduces the site performance.
- 4. Content Delivery Network(CDN)
So how is it working? Imagine that your user is from Australia and f you are not using the CDN, the website content is supposed to deliver from your server and it took a specific amount of time. In the case of CDN, your user in Australia will get the content from the server in Australia. i.e., he will be served by the server that locates closer to him.
It makes the faster loading of websites into reality. The high traffic websites are using CDN to make the user experience more reliable. The CDN Service providers lie up with the telecom service providers to ensure that any other physical factors will not affect the loading speed. Also, the CDN will reduce your server’s bandwidth, and in the future, it will decrease the website loading time.
- 5. Choose themes wisely
Apart from choosing a single theme, it is advised to select a framework. It will give you the added benefits as:
- Upgraded speed
- Built-in security enrichment
- Basic search engine optimization
- Elegant designs
While choosing the themes, you should check the last update date and the security measures. It will be useless if you choose a beautiful UI theme but performs poorly in the loading time.
- 6. Code Minification
Usually, the source code contains thousands of lines. In addition to each plugin, the number of these lines will increase dramatically. It affects the overall performance of the website. The accumulated white space, comments, and unnecessary characters will increase the page loading speed. These factors should remove from the source code to improve WordPress website speed, and it is called Code minification.
Code minification is the process of removing unwanted characters and whitespace from the code without changing the functionality. The build-up of CSS, HTML, and other codes over time will make your website run slowly. It is a critical threat and should not get avoided. To perform it manually, you need to implement a Himalayan Task. We have the plugin such as Autoptimize to solve this issue. If you have W3 Total Cache to allot with the caching problem, then you already have the plugin for minification.
For a human, it seems to be a simple set code, but for a machine, it takes more time for the interpretation. So the minified code looks like;
Here, we made only a few changes. We just removed certain new lines, so that the computer won’t get stuck at reading the codes. You can also notice that we removed the last semicolon in the code. It seems to be simple, but imagine you are performing this task to thousands of lines of codes.
Manually minify CSS
- 7. Use Google Maps carefully
In a website, if you include the map, it will take more than 2MB of size and the user is down; loading it even he may not be interested in it. It slows down the website unknowingly. In WordPress sites, the added advantage is the presence of Google Maps Widget Plugins. It will only renter a thumbnail to your map. Instead of using Megabytes, it will take only a few KiloBytes of data to your site.
- 8. Reduce the number of HTTP Requests
When a user wants to visit your website, their browser will send a request to your server. It typically called as HTTP – HyperText Transfer Protocol. When your server receives the request, it will respond by sending the required files. These HTTP requests play a vital role in the performance of the website. Lower the number of HTTP requests to the server; the high will be the performance. How can we calculate the number of HTTP requests for your site? Here we go.
For the Chrome user, they can use the browser’s Developer Tools to calculate the HTTP requests. Also, we can use tools like GTmetrix and Pingdom to check the count.
How can we reduce the number of HTTP Requests to improve WordPress website speed?
- 9. Embed your video to WordPress Website
Using visually appealing videos on the website is a reliable way to communicate with customers. But the critical issue in this area is that it will drain the website. If you are directly uploading your video to the website, the loading speed will be affected adversely. So what is the possible solution? We have the free video hosting sites, and you can easily embed it to your site. It improves site performance. Youtube is one of the best platforms to upload your video, and it enhances the visibility too.
- 10. Hosting Service
Apart from all the above-discussed points, the hosting service that you choose for your site has a vital role in the loading time. If your site has a low traffic, then a shared hosting service will be ok. But in the case of websites having heavy/medium traffic, you can look for a dedicated server, managed WordPress hosting or Virtual Private Server(VPS).
For websites like Amazon and Flipkart, dedicated servers are being used since the daily traffic covers billions. VPS is used for the technically accomplished websites. Above all these choices, managed WordPress hosting is the better choice for a WordPress based website.
11. Allow GZIP Compression
It also referred to as HTTP or Browser compression, and it reduces the size of the files while transferring. Compressing the file size offers small size records to your server results in faster loading time.
To fix this GZIP compression, you need to do it from the server side. You cannot perform it through your WordPress site. But to fix it, you need to edit the delicate .htaccess file.
Add the following lines of code to your .htaccess file. It is always better to ask your hosting provider to set up this file for you.
12. Cache Plugin
Whenever a website is loaded many callbacks and procedures are happening at the back-end. Usually, the requested contents will take from the Server, and in case if you are using the Cache plugin, the required details will be loaded from the cache instead of the Server. It provides an added advantage of saving time.
To configure the Apache to the server, you need to add the below-mentioned line of codes to your .htaccess file. You can contact the hosting provider to finish the task.
Did you feel that these tips are useful to improve WordPress website speed? Don’t hesitate to include it in your workflow.
Many of the tips don’t need to spend even a single penny, yet the result will be drastic. Our team of WordPress developers always starts with the basic to improve website performance. Even in the choice of plugins and theme, they made critical decisions with the foresight of low loading time.