Although I have tried my best to make this tutorial beginner-friendly, I still need your caution to make the most of it. These days, not all WordPress websites are the same. You can use WordPress as one:
Learning management system
However, most of the functionality described below applies to all WordPress websites and some of them are used for a specific type of website. For example, at a later stage, I have shared the depth of the WordPress transient options, and the same applies to a WordPress site or any WordPress using WooCommerce or EDD.
In addition, I tried my best to suggest a free plugin for all the WordPress performance booster options below. However, it would be wise to use a plugin that does all this.
I found WP-Rocket to be the best at this, and what I use here in ShoutMeLoud. Just grab the WP-Rocket plugin, and it will speed up WordPress with just a few clicks.
WP Rocket will only solve half the puzzle, much more needs to be done to achieve that blazing fast WordPress website that is liked by our readers and customers.
Let’s go ahead and do it ..
Before you begin:
The first thing you should do is to measure the speed of your WordPress website.
Run speed test:
Here are some WordPress speed testing tools you can use:
Page Speed Insights by Google
Web page test
Once you use the speed optimization tips shared below, just do the speed test again and compare the results before and after.
Before you start fixing your WordPress, you should back up the WordPress database.
Since, we are doing some optimization at the database level, in case of an unavoidable situation from backing up, the safety net adds up. You can use any of these WordPress backup plugins.
Should I implement all these WordPress speed techniques?
Some tips can be implemented immediately and you can increase a significant speed.
However, some tips may require developer involvement or may require more technical information such as implementing CDNs, using premium DNS over time.
Your goal should be to use many of these tricks to reduce the loading time of a WordPress website.
In the next few days, you should aim to implement all speed optimization suggestions to reach the final goal of less than 1 second.
A few days ago I informed you that Google started ranking websites on the basis of speed and since then we all felt and understood why it is not necessary to offer fast loading blog.
Fast load time also helps search engines and your readers. This will not only give a great user experience, but it will also help in reducing the bounce rate of your blog. None the less,
Today, I am sharing seven tips that will help you speed up WordPress and reduce WordPress loading time. The ultimate goal is to offer fast-loading pages to its users.
Speed up WordPress: How To Reduce Loading time of WordPress
1. Use the latest PHP – 7.0+
This single change can increase your WordPress speed by about 1.5 times. Many WordPress websites are still using PHP 5.6 which is a depreciation version of PHP. The latest one is PHP 7.4 which provides a significant performance boost.
The part of PHP is handled by your web-hosting company and you can either manually view your current version of PHP on which your WordPress site is running, or you can simply ask customer support:
What PHP version is your WordPress website running on?
If it is less than 7.0 (which is 5.6), you can ask them to upgrade to the latest PHP version.
2. Pick quality Web-hosting Optimized for WordPress:
This single change can speed up your WordPress website to a great extent.
How do I know?
Because this is what I experienced when I moved from basic hosting to SteinMaud to managed hosting called KINSTA.
Many of us make a mistake by picking up a local web-hosting provider to host our WordPress site. Typically, such hosting is recommended by our designer / developer or someone known in our circle.
Are they the best?
Okay, your speed test can reveal the same.
Remember, you should only choose the hosting company that is well optimized to run a WordPress blog.
If you are running a business website on WordPress or have a professional blog, I suggest you get hosting from Kinsta.
Kinsta offers several advanced features that will directly reduce the loading time of a WordPress site. Some of these features are:
Kinsta MU (In-Built Cash)
Kinsta uses the Google Cloud Infrastructure to host your WordPress website and allows you to choose from a plethora of data center options.
3. Don’t use too many WordPress plugins
One of the most important strengths of WordPress is plugins, and some of you are so obsessed with it, that you are using over 30-40 plugins on your blog. Okay, not all plugins are bad, and a great write up cover on how many WordPress plugins I have used.
Try to reduce the number of plugins on your blog and clean your database regularly. The Advanced Database Optimizer plugin can help you do this in no time.
Make sure you are using at least one cache plugin on your blog, and I am suggesting the WP-Rocket plugin. A rule of thumb, get rid of old plugins.
4. Optimize your images for fast loading
Your goal with images on WordPress should be:
Efficient data compression
Images are the backbone of the visual web and if you are using too many images in your article or on your product pages, chances are your page may be loading slow.
The average website transfers 800-900kb of images per URL.
Speaking good to make your posts illustrative by integrating relevant images, but too much of anything ain referring good.
What would you do if you have a photo intensive blog?
Image optimization for speed is what you need. There are a few things you can do right away to improve the performance of a photo intensive WordPress website:
Use a CDN: Preferably StackPath (Formerly MAXCDN)
Use the right image format:
Using the right image format significantly reduces the size of the image. At times, just changing the file format from .png to .jpg has given us 80% reduction in size.
If you have a graphics person in your team, ask them to compress the image using photoshop. In our experience, it has been the best way to lower the image size without losing quality.
Another technology you can use it is image compression and image lazy loading, which is useful when you have too many images on a blog post.
Use this plugin called ShortPixel to customize your WordPress images. It offers 100 free image optimizations every month and lets you follow:
Provide webapp image format (this is going to be really useful)
Convert existing .png images to .jpg
Different levels of compression
One-click compression of old images
Automatic compression of new images
5. Select modern & fast WordPress themes:
If you are still using an old WordPress theme that was designed in 2016-17, then it is time for you to upgrade. A lot has changed over the years, and now most themes are designed to load faster.
Furthermore, you should make sure that you are using a really responsive theme to make your blog load faster on mobile and tablet.
If you are looking for a recommendation for a fast loading WordPress theme, I recommend Astra Theme, which is the best WordPress theme out there.
Here are two more that are quite popular in 2019:
6. Choose the server location closest to your inactive audience:
Most web-hosting companies allow you to choose the data center where your website is hosted. If you know the country of your target audience, then you should choose the data center closest to your passive customers.
If you are going to Kinsta, you can use the GCPing tool to see the latency from your location to the various data centers served by the Kinsta server.
7. Use CDN Network for faster delivery:
In most cases, you will be hosting your website in a particular location.
For example, if you purchased hosting from Bluehost, your website is most likely located in the United States. Now, when a user from an Asian country or even Australia will browse your site, it will take significant time to load your site.
Reason, the distance between the user and your server.
What is the solution for this?
Well, you can use a CDN network.
A CDN helps solve this problem, and your website will load quickly in every part of the world.
Note: Cloudflare provides free CDN service that is inactive for all types of blogs.
8. Avoid too many advertisements and scripts
Not many advertisements are displayed on your blog. Many PPC ads are filled with unnecessary HTML content and can affect your site’s loading time by a large margin.
If ads are necessary, you should use Google AdSense or Media.net as it is well optimized and gives the best CPC.
9. Reduce DNS lookup:
DNS lookup can be one of the reasons that increases the load time of your WordPress website.
This is a very common issue as we all use 3 ton party scripts for analytics, statistics, conversion optimization or other reasons.
Here’s what you should do first:
Go to Toolss.pPN.com
Run speed test
Scroll to the bottom and load the result based on DNS load time
You can easily see that all 3rd party scripts are loading on this website and how long it is taking DNS to consume it. It is a good idea to run the test 3-4 times after an interval of 60 minutes. The idea here is which host is taking the maximum DNS lookup time.
Now, here are some ways by which you can reduce DNS lookup.
1. Remove or replace the script:
If the script is taking a high DNS lookup time, get rid of it or replace it with something more appropriate.
2. Use a fast DNS provider
If your domain is purchased from services like NameCheap, GoDaddy or any other, the DNS resolver is not as quick as offered by Cloudflare, Amazon Route 53, or even Google Domains.
You can consider moving your domain to Cloudflare or Google Domain. I personally am a fan of Cloudflare for hosting domains because they provide value for money.
If you do not want to transfer the domain, you can still place your domain on an existing registrar and configure Cloudflare to use a free DNS service like Premium.
3. Start using CDN
I have previously talked about using CDN and again I am adding it here. My idea here is to help you understand in what situations CDN is going to be of maximum help.
If you found DNS lookup to be a slow load to a WordPress website, then you should use CDN immediately.
Using CDN will significantly reduce the number of DNS lookups and give you an instant boost. IMHO, using CDN is no longer an option if you really want to speed up WordPress.
10. Remove Transient options
You can provide a significant performance boost by removing expired transient options. Specifically, if you are running a WordPress membership website, or using something like WooCommerce, EDD or even a social sharing plugin, then this WordPress speed tip is for you. First of all, let us understand what is transitory.
What are WordPress Customers:
Customer API helps developers store data in database with expiration. Usually, expired transients in your database are automatically removed, but not all the time. Sometimes, they just stay there and blow your database, giving you performance delays and a significant reduction in load time.
The solution is simple: remove the expired transient option
This option is available in all database optimizer plugins or even in WP-Rocket. However, if you are looking for a stand-alone plugin to remove expired options, use this Transactions Manager plugin by Pippin Williamson.
After installing the plugin, go to tools> Transients to manage and delete WordPress transient options.
WP-Rocket plugin users can find this option under Database > Transients Cleanup
Speed is believed to suffer, but instead of relying only on the numbers shown by tools like GTMetrix or Phatt, focus on a more user-friendly matrix.
Even though things like TTFB and the first meaningful paint are more, your page is loading in less than 2 seconds, well, you can use your Google Analytics or any other statistics program you can use Are.
Keeping your visitors in mind while optimizing will help you not to let go of the important scripts and functionalities that you have built over time. With speed, keep the conversion in your mind and it will help a lot in the long run.