Do you want to speed up your WordPress site? According to reports, 40% of users said that they abandoned websites taking longer than 3 seconds to load. In fact, it is estimated that on average a website suffers from a 7% loss in conversion rates for each second delay in loading a page. That’s huge!
Furthermore, Google has also listed a site’s loading speed as one of its ranking factors. This means that a slow loading WordPress website would not only experience increased bounce rates, but also a reduction in incoming traffic.
Taking all this into account, you can clearly see that your site’s loading speed is a crucial factor in building your online success. With this in mind, we have put together a list of the best tips and tricks to help speed up WordPress site.
So without further ado, let’s get started.
1. Use A Content Delivery Network
Using a Content Delivery Network or CDN is an excellent way to improve your site’s loading speed, especially for your global audience.
You see, your website is hosted on a server that is located in a particular region. Therefore, people trying to visit your website living nearer to the region will experience faster loading speeds compared to visitors who leave far away, let alone on the opposite side of the world.
This is where a CDN comes in!
A CDN service has a globally distributed network of servers. They can store a cached version of your static website. Now, when a user tries to access your website, the CDN will deliver your site content from one of their servers located near the user. As you can imagine, this help speed up WordPress sites for your global audience.
Now, if you don’t know where to get started, here are some popular CDN services worth looking into:
2. Install A Caching Plugin
By caching your website, you are effectively storing (temporarily) recently accessed information by the visitors straight on to their hard drive. As a result, the next time the visitor tries to access that content, it will get loaded from their system without having to wait for your server.
This can effectively improve the apparent loading time of your website. But do remember, caching only works on your static content, like HTML and CSS files. It will not work with dynamic content – that is, information that needs to be dynamically generated or fetched from your database.
Regardless, it is still one of the most effective ways to speed up WordPress site. Here are some notable WordPress caching plugins to help you out:
As such, you should try to remove unnecessary JS and CSS files from your site’s code. Another alternative would be combining the different JS and CSS files, and also minifying them so they take up less space and can be quickly executed.
Now, this might seem a bit technical, but there are dedicated WordPress plugins to help you out. If you are trying to optimize your JS, CSS, and HTML files, then the following plugins are worth looking into:
4. Clean Up Your Database
You should also consider cleaning up your WordPress database on a regular basis. Over time, your database gets filled with unnecessary files and entries. This includes stuff like spam comments, pingbacks & trackbacks, old drafts, orphaned post meta items, and so on.
As these unwanted data begin to pile up, it can start affecting the loading speed of your WordPress website and start slowing it down. However, similar to all other WordPress related problems, you can install a plugin to solve it in a matter of clicks.
We recommend the following plugins to help clean up your database:
5. Reduce and Compress Images
Almost every modern website uses images and graphics to add a little flair to its design. This includes all the featured images, thumbnails, gifs, and so on. However, these multimedia files are heavy and can slow down your WordPress website.
Now deleting them isn’t exactly a solution. What you can do is to optimize the images by compressing them to lower file size. In fact, there are plenty of image optimization plugins that can help you reduce an image’s file size without affecting its quality.
Some notable examples of WordPress image optimization plugins include:
6. Delete Unnecessary Themes and Plugins
One of the best things about WordPress is its access to thousands of plugins and themes that can help you integrate all sorts of functionalities, and tweak the site’s design in any way you like.
But with that being said, these plugins and themes also take up space on your database. As such, you can potentially slow down your WordPress website by the weight of the plugins and themes that run it.
This is why it is always important to remove/delete any theme or plugins that you are not using. Also, consider installing themes and plugins that are relatively lightweight so it doesn’t affect your load times and overall performance.
7. Switch Hosting Provider
After trying out all the above-mentioned tips and tricks, if you still suffer from slow loading speeds, then it might be the fault of your hosting provider. Maybe your website has outgrown your current server’s capacity in terms of incoming traffic, or the amount of content (albeit optimized content) on your website.
If that is the case, then talk with your hosting provider on upgrading your hosting plan. And if there is no upscaled plan that fits your requirement, then you might even need to migrate your website to a different hosting provider.
I hope this guide helped you learn how to speed up WordPress site. You may also want to see our handpicked list of best pricing table WordPress plugins.