We all know how important is Speed for a WordPress blog in terms of SEO and User Experience. It’s a fact a user will leave your site if it takes a lot of time to load, either it should load in 2 seconds or the user closes the page. Therefore, it’s important that you work on Performance optimization.
Despite the large number of WordPress users, theme and plugin developers, hosting providers. The speed of a WordPress blog remains an issue. Yes, all these things have an impact on the load time of WordPress based websites.
Recently while working on a WordPress website, we were able to decrease the load time of website from 2.07s to 1.03s with some simple and easy techniques. It took us about 40 minutes and we were able to speed up the WordPress website significantly.
During the WordPress Speed Optimization process, we were able to decrease the load time, page size and number of requests and other things that helped us in improving the speed of WordPress blog and optimize the performance of WordPress blog.
In this WordPress tutorial, you will see the most effective and tested tips for WordPress speed optimization. These are personally tested ways to optimize a WordPress blog for speed and these simple tips have huge impact on the load time of WordPress blogs and will help you in the optimization of your WordPress blog performance.
You do not need any technical knowledge to implement these tips in order to speedup your WordPress website. You should have only basic knowledge of using WordPress. We will go through all the steps one by one.
I am sure these tips will speed up your WordPress website.
Tips For WordPress Speed Optimization
Enable GZIP Compression
Follow Tutorial: How to Enable GZIP compression?
Leverage browser caching
In most of the cases these files do not change frequently, therefore by caching these files in users browser, we can improve the user experience. Even if the user visits multiple pages on your WordPress website in the same session there will be no need to download these resources again and again.
This is really helpful in optimizing the overall user experience.
Follow Tutorial: How to Leverage Browser Caching in WordPress?
You can use a caching plugin like W3 total cache to minify these files.
By minifying these files, you will be able to reduce the size of your WordPress website which will ultimately improve the speed of your website.
Minimize the number of HTTP requests
Number of http requests does have a huge impact on the load time of your WordPress website, by reducing the number of http requests you can improve the speed of your WordPress website.
Factors responsible for number of http requests:
- Number of CSS files (Themes and plugins both can have CSS files)
- Number of Images (Most of the images are used by your posts)
How can you reduce the number of http requests:
- See, if you can combine the CSS files. You can try plugins or use a caching plugin.
- You can try merging two images into one, as each image makes one http request.
Use a caching plugin
A caching plugin can help you a lot in reducing the response time of your website.
In order to check what difference does a cache plugin can make in a WordPress website, we tested a WordPress based website with and without a plugin. The result is shown below as you can see there isn’t much difference in size or request but the load time has decreased significantly improving the speed of WordPress blog.
In this case the load time has decreased mainly due to caching of pages, the cache plugin creates a cache of pages and when a user requests for the pages, they get served from this cache. We have used W3 Total cache for this test.
Remove Unnecessary plugins
Plugins can make your WordPress website load slowly and plugins play an important role in deciding the speed of your website. Therefore, it is recommended that you remove any unnecessary plugin. You can also see if you can get the required functionality of the plugin in the theme itself.
Check load time of plugins and change the plugins that take too much time to load
If a plugin is taking too much time to load, you can consider removing the plugin or changing the plugin with a better one.
Check Your theme
Your theme also plays an important role in the loading time of your WordPress website.
The theme defines the whole structure and everything about your blog, it tells how the code will be executed and how and what will be loaded. The code itself takes time in getting executed and lots of other things.
Therefore, it’s important that you choose a properly written WordPress theme.
Optimize your WordPress database
WordPress database is the place where your blog data is kept and stored, there are various things that can make the WordPress database big and bigger like revision posts and spam comment.
The size of WordPress database will not have a huge impact on the load time of site but it may have if the database is too large. However, you can optimize the database using plugins.
Follow Tutorial: Optimize WordPress Database
Decrease number of fonts you use
If you are using fancy fonts or too many different types of font on your pages, you should remember that this will have a huge impact on your website loading time.
You should use only one type of font in your whole blog.
If you use google fonts, you can see the impact of fonts on the loading time at the google fonts website (An example image is shown below). Choose a font which has minimal impact on the load time of your website.
Images comprise more than 50% of the size of any website. They are an essential part of any website but at the same time, they are responsible for the large size of the website. Therefore, it’s important that the images you are using on your blog are optimized properly.
Compress Images: Compress the images you are using on your WordPress blog, you can automate this whole process using WordPress plugins.
Follow Tutorial: Best WordPress Plugins to Compress Images.
Scale Images Properly: You have to display an image of size 500*400 but you are loading an image of size 1240*820 and then displaying it in the size of 500*400. Obviously, this is wastage of resources, you could have loaded the image in the required form which would result in decreased image size and will ultimately improve the load time of website.
Therefore, scale your images properly, you can define the size of images you want to use from settings > media.
Choose a good host
Obviously, the hosting provider plays an important role in the load time of your website.
Therefore, it’s necessary that you go for a good hosting provider.
These were some of the important and effective tips for WordPress Performance optimization, which will help you in improving the speed of your WordPress blog.