WordPress Speed Optimization

The Ultimate WordPress Speed Optimization Guide

Are you facing ongoing issues loading your site? Do you desperately need to make your WordPress site faster? 

Your website needs to be at its best. But when you face issues with speed, there are a few ways to optimize your WordPress website. 

In this guide, we’ll take you through the whole process of optimizing your website’s speed and performance. Plus, we’ll add more tips to make it easy enough for WordPress beginners and intermediate owners to master. 

Since it is a lengthy process, we recommend you be patient and follow each step to get better results. However, we also understand if the process takes time and you might not lack the knowledge to do it, we offer you WordPress boosting services. 

What Slows Down Your WordPress Site?

Certain factors make your website load slowly, and the first step to improving speed and website performance is knowing the causes. So, who are the culprits slowing down your WordPress site? 

  • Images. Images are important for the outfit of your website, but they can also lower loading speed, especially when the image is not optimized. 
  • WordPress plugins. Stuffing your website with too many plugins can cause the loading speed to be slow. A poorly coded plugin also has similar effects. 
  • External Scripts. Font loaders, ads, and other scripts can cause your WordPress site to be slower. 
  •  WordPress Hosting. Sometimes the slow speed experienced by your website is not your fault. An external hosting service may lead to such issues. 
  • WordPress Configuration. If you don’t have cached pages on your website, WordPress can easily overload your web server, causing it to slow down or crash. 

How Fast Should a Website Load?

So, how fast does your website need to load? Reports from Google show that the ideal load time is usually three seconds or less. The studies further stated that once the loading speed takes longer than 3 seconds, there is a 32% chance of a bounce (people leaving the website). 

Surprisingly, if the loading speeds take more than 5 seconds, the bounce rate increases by 90%. Retaining customers is the top priority for small businesses, and you don’t want to lose them even before they see what you offer. So, an ideal loading time of three seconds puts you in a better position to get traffic. 

WordPress Speed Optimization Tips

Do a quick WordPress site speed diagnosis

Now that you know how an optimal-performing website looks, the next step is to check where you are. Tracking your WordPress website speed is vital, especially when you install a new plugin or make some other change to your site. So first, look for a suitable speed test tool to analyze load speed and check the statistics. 

Do away with unused plugins and themes

Plugins are great and have made websites look great and easy to navigate. However, if you have a plugin that doesn’t do anything or is otherwise outdated, now is the time to clean up. Not only do they reduce the WordPress site’s performance, but unused plugins also present security risks. 

To delete unused plugins, you’ll need to deactivate them first and then go to the list of inactive plugins and delete those you don’t need. To remove unwanted themes, head over to the “Appearance” tab, then to “Themes” and delete the ones you no longer want. 

Clean up your database

It is vital to check your database as it is easy to clutter. If you don’t want a slow website, ensure you do regular checkups and cleanup of your database. For example, post revisions usually take large memory, and a post as small as 80KB can accumulate data up to 800KB if there are ten revisions. 

You can clean data manually using phpMyAdmin, although it is a process reserved for the tech-savvy. The safer way to do this is by using a plugin to help you clean databases. Advanced Database Cleaner and WP-Sweep are safer options if you don’t know how to get around manually. They’ll help you sweep through your WordPress database removing files like spam comments, MySQL queries, old revisions, and more. 

Optimize images

Images are useful pointers for visitor engagement. While having beautiful images makes your site look more attractive, optimizing these images is always wise to get faster load times. There are many ways to optimize images, including adding alt text, titles, image sitemap, compressing images, etc.

Clear your media library

As your website gets more traction, you will start accumulating libraries of images. Therefore, it is best to free up some space by removing unused media. You can use Media Cleaner to speed up WordPress to do this manually. 

Do away with render-blocking javascript and CSS files

If you used a tool to check your page speed, you might have received this recommendation. In most testers, you’ll notice many javascript lines (.js files) loading before your start render line. 

Javascript files help perform specific actions on a website, such as an image slider or pop-up. Now, you can set your web page so that the javascript content loads later after the main website components. In addition, several plugins, including the WP Critical CSS, can increase site loads. 

Limit comments per page

While getting interactions on your page is a good thing, having hundreds of comments on one page can seriously slow down WordPress websites. The best way to reduce comments is to break down the comment sections into pages so that each page doesn’t have too much load. To speed up your WordPress, go to Settings> Discussions> and select the section “Break comments into pages” box. 

Choose a faster theme

Not all WordPress themes are made equal, and some are heavier than others. A beautiful WordPress theme has a balance between size and features. Ideally, go for a lightweight theme that’s trendy enough and made to fit what your company entails. 

Conclusion

As you can see, there are tons of solutions to help you increase the speed and performance of your WordPress website. Plus, this list is not exhaustive, and there are still plenty of ways to optimize your website, including content delivery network, minimizing javascript, and more. Nevertheless, we hope this guide was useful and that you were able to get a few tips to apply to your WordPress site. If we missed anything important, we’d love to hear from you! 

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