In today’s fast-paced digital world, website speed is more important than ever. Slow loading websites can lead to higher bounce rates, lower search engine rankings, and a poor user experience.
In this article, we will explore various WordPress speed optimization techniques to improve the loading speed of your WordPress website. From basic tweaks to advanced caching solutions, we will cover everything you need to know to make your website load faster and provide a better experience for your website’s audience.
But before digging into the WordPress speed optimization guide, we will explore what is meant by website loading speed and what are reasons that cause your WordPress website to load slow.
What is Website Loading Speed?
Website loading speed is the amount of time it takes for a website to load in a browser. It is measured when the user presses the enter key and when all its resources have loaded. Website loading speed is measured in milliseconds; from the time you type an address into your browser until the time it takes to display the first byte of content on the page. The higher the number of milliseconds, the slower your website is.
Many factors affect site loading speed your WordPress site. Factors like how fast your server is, how many images and videos you’re using, how many files are being downloaded at once, etc. In addition to those factors, there are some things you can do to make sure people don’t see an error message when their browsers try to load your site.
When people visit a website, they want to navigate it without waiting for pages to load. To make this happen, websites need to load quickly so users can get where they want to go as quickly as possible. Website loading speed plays a vital role in determining user experience. If a website takes too long to load, users will lose patience and move on to other websites.
It has been observed that most internet users start searching for another website when their current one takes more than 3 seconds to load. So, it is important to make sure that your website loads as quickly as possible.
Reasons for Slow WordPress Website
WordPress is one of the most popular CMS for many reasons. Many people choose WordPress to built their business and personal websites. While WordPress is constantly improving its performance and security, there are still some instances where you may experience a slow WordPress website. If you’re experiencing slowness or lag while navigating your site, it could be because of several reasons:
1. Unreliable Hosting Services
Your hosting service is the backbone of your website. If you choose a reliable web host, you’ll be able to focus on optimizing other aspects of your site and not worry about it crashing.
Unfortunately, there are many unreliable hosting services out there that may cause severe performance issues for your WordPress website. A common sign that you have an unreliable hosting service is if your site keeps going down unexpectedly. This can result in lost sales, customers and opportunities.
Do you want to avoid the mentioned problem? If so, then make sure that before signing up with any web host you do some research. Research about their reliability history and read reviews from actual customers who’ve used their services before. The customer reviews can tell you first-hand how well their services performed over time and if any issues arose.
You should also look for a web host with a good reputation for customer service and technical support. This will help you solve any problems that come up quickly. If you avoid researching the reliability of hosting providers, ask questions about how often their servers go down and what kind of uptime guarantee they offer.
2. Bulky Theme and Frameworks
One of the most common issues with WordPress websites is using themes and frameworks that are not optimized for speed. These are usually bulky, feature-rich themes that have a lot going on.
When installed on your website, these more complex themes can significantly slow down your site’s performance. This can lead to poor user experience and ultimately cost you money due to a drop in conversions or increased bounce rate. This indicates that people are leaving your site before they even begin reading.
If you are using such a theme, it might be time to take action by switching over to something more lightweight and efficient.
Optimized theme will also help to improve your WordPress SEO optimization score. If you are using a theme optimized for speed, then other factors must be considered. The most common issue we see is the use of too many plugins, especially those that cause conflicts with other plugins or WordPress. This can lead to slow load times and crashing issues on your site.
3. Excessive Plugins Installation
To ensure your WordPress site is running smoothly, you need to reduce the number of plugins you use. The more plugins you have installed on your website, the slower it will run.
The best way to start this process is by removing any unnecessary plugins from your site. You can do this by searching for each plugin in your WordPress dashboard and deleting it if there’s no apparent reason why you should keep it. If a plugin doesn’t have any settings or options on its page, then there’s no point in keeping it as part of your overall setup.
You should also consider removing all duplicate plugins from your website. This is because these will result in further problems concerning memory usage and performance issues. In addition, disabling any unused themes or widgets will also help speed up things considerably and free up valuable resources within WordPress itself.
4. Post and Page Redirects
You might redirect old URLs to new ones or redirect from a non-www subdomain to the www equivalent. These can cause slow load times and bad user experience because they may require additional resources like HTTP requests and DNS lookups.
Redirects are also often used for security purposes. Redirect fails automated bots crawling your site and prevent your WordPress website from hackers by blocking their attempts with 404 errors. But if you’re redirecting too much you could end up slowing down your site instead of speeding it up.
A good rule of thumb is only to redirect users when absolutely necessary. If you have many 301 redirects going on, it might be time for an entire site audit or redesign. Similarly, URLs should be as clean and straightforward as possible. Try not to use dynamic parameters in your URLs. This is because they can make it difficult for search engines and other visitors to find what they’re looking for.
5. Too Many Ads
Ads are an essential source of income for your website, and you may want to test out different types, such as sponsored posts or affiliate links. However, too many ads can slow down your site’s speed by adding unnecessary weight to it. Not only that, but some types of ads may be malicious or annoying to users, which could lead them away from your site entirely.
Unfortunately, if this happens often enough, it could result in a drop in revenue and even cause people who used to visit regularly not to come back. This will occur because users don’t want anything more than an ad-free experience on their device/browser.
You can test out different types of ads and see what works best for your site. Try using a service like Google AdSense. That will allow you to choose where the ads are placed on your site and how often they appear.
6. Failure to Use a CDN
When it comes to hosting and site speed, a content delivery network is a system of servers that are distributed geographically. It can serve content like images, video and CSS files from the nearest location possible.
Using a C.D.N. can improve your loading speed by distributing resources worldwide. This makes it more likely that users will load resources from the closest server rather than one on the other side of the planet. This also reduces bandwidth costs by only serving static files instead of streaming them every time someone visits your site.
C.D.N.s are especially useful for large sites with a lot of traffic. But they can also help smaller sites that don’t have the bandwidth to serve their content. If you host your site on a traditional hosting plan, you may consider switching to a C.D.N. if it makes sense for your business. And if you fail to use a C.D.N. effectively and adequately, your WordPress site will slow down.
7. Too Many External Scripts
When used in moderation, these scripts can enhance your website’s functionality by providing users with useful features like social sharing buttons or real-time chat support. However, excessive external scripts can slow down your website considerably and may even result in timeouts or crashes due to resource exhaustion when too many requests are backlogged.
To avoid this problem, you should limit the number of external script files being loaded on any given page. This is especially important if they’re being called multiple times within one page.
WordPress Speed Optimization Techniques
Speed is an important factor when it comes to WordPress. Due to its nature and the fact that it’s a C.M.S., it needs to be fast for you to have a good user experience. Speed optimization is about getting your website up and running quickly and making sure that users can easily navigate through it without any problems or delays.
There are many variables affecting how fast your website loads. But there are some things that everyone can do to make their site faster than ever before. Now, we will go over some of the most common ways of speeding up your WordPress site and other tips on improving loading times even further.
1. Reliable and Faster Hosting
There are many factors that determine the speed of a website. The most important of them is hosting, i.e., where your site will be stored online and accessed by users. For this reason, it’s crucial to choose an appropriate host for your WordPress website that can provide reliable and fast hosting services.
A Good Uptime: The uptime or downtime of a web server refers to how often the server is available for use on the Internet. An uptime of 99% means that your website will be accessible 99% of the time within 24 hours. According to our research, good uptimes are more than 99%.
Good Support Service: Suppose you encounter any problems with your blog while using their hosting service. In that case, they must offer quality customer support service with a quick response time so that you can get help with your issue quickly.
A Good Link: Your host must be easily accessible through a good link, so if someone wants to visit your site, they can do so easily.
2. Simple Web Layout
A simple web layout means that the homepage of your website consists of only one or two sections, such as a header, navigation bar and content. A static home page does not change according to user behavior or time. For example, if you have a blog on your site that displays the latest posts in the sidebar when they are published, this would be dynamic but not static.
It helps avoid technical issues like slow loading times and increases user engagement if you keep your sidebar to a minimum by removing unnecessary widgets. You can also improve search engine optimization by using template tags instead of custom PHP code for styling elements like titles in posts or pages.
If possible, try to use single-column layouts rather than multi-column ones. This is because they tend to load faster due to fewer browser resources required for rendering them.
3. Use C.D.N.
While you can use a C.D.N. for a site of any size, it’s beneficial for sites that receive considerable traffic. A CDN is essentially a network of servers set up all over the world.
When your users request content from your site, they are redirected to one of these servers—the nearest one to them geographically. This can help speed up load times by several milliseconds and reduce bandwidth costs since the content is provided from nearby servers rather than yours in every location around the world where users could potentially be located.
Another advantage of using a C.D.N. is that it can help reduce the amount of time it takes for your site to recover from an outage. If a server goes down, users are redirected to a different one. This means that even if yours comes back soon after, some people may still be accessing content from another server.
4. Avoid Unnecessary Plugins
The next practical thing you can do to speed up your WordPress site is to avoid unnecessary plugins. We all have our favorite plugins that we don’t think we could live without. But if a plugin isn’t providing a service that you actually need or aren’t using, consider removing it from your website entirely.
Plugins are great for adding features and functionality, but they also need memory space and processing power to work. This means more work for the server and browser when visiting your site.
The more unnecessary plugins you have running on a page with heavy traffic or complex content, the slower things will become once too many simultaneous requests max out those resources.
The best way to avoid this is by ensuring that you only have the necessary plugins for your website. If you don’t use a feature or function provided by a plugin, then consider removing it from your site entirely. You can also try disabling plugins one by one in order to see which ones are slowing down your site and decide whether or not they’re worth keeping around.
5. Use Light WordPress Themes
If you’re concerned about your site’s load times and are looking for ways to speed things up, choosing the right WordPress theme is very essential. Lightweight WordPress themes are faster than most other types of themes because they don’t contain as many features. Features such as multiple menu display options or advanced widgets.
The best part about using a lightweight theme is that it won’t slow down your website when visitors arrive and load up all those fancy animations, images and videos that are so common in today’s websites.
Also, suppose you need extra functionality not provided by the base theme. In that case, plenty of plugins are available through the WordPress repository. Those will extend its functionality without slowing down page loading times or adding unnecessary code to your website’s pages.
Lighter themes are also easier to customize because they don’t have as much code built into them. If you’re interested in changing a site’s background color or logo, then lightweight and Premium WordPress themes are probably your best bet.
6. Don’t Host Video on Own Server
Hosting videos on your own server is a bad idea. Video files are large and take up a lot of space which indicates that they can slow down your site’s load time.
Additionally, video files are often slow to load and upload when you host them yourself. If you’re using a C.D.N. for hosting videos and other media assets, that’s likely where your visitors will be coming from anyway. And if they’re local to the physical location where these files are stored, they’ll still be waiting longer than necessary.
So, if you’re using a C.D.N. to host your videos, you should be okay with it. But if not, then you might want to rethink that decision.
7. Install Cache Plugin
A cache plugin stores a copy of your site on a server. It then serves that copy of your website to visitors, which speeds up their browsing experience.
Another benefit of using a cache plugin is that it keeps track of what the visitor views on the page and only updates those pages when necessary. This prevents unnecessary reloading and can also reduce bandwidth usage if multiple people access the site at once (such as during peak traffic hours).
8. Optimize Website Media
There are three essential things you can do to optimize images. First, make sure your images are as small as possible by zipping them up or compressing them with an image compression plugin.
Second, use a plugin to compress your images on the fly when you upload them. Finally, use a caching plugin so that it doesn’t have to re-compress and resize every time they load in the browser.
Video optimization is also vital because video can be especially heavy on-site performance due to its large file size and bandwidth consumption. Video content should be compressed with an automated tool before uploading it into WordPress.
You may also consider using an optimized video hosting service, if possible, instead of hosting videos. The last thing anyone wants is for their users’ videos not to play because someone forgot about those pesky details. When it comes to optimization, it’s always better to be safe than sorry so as to ensure your site is fast.
9. Limit External Scripts
Limiting the number of external scripts you use will also help to speed up your website. The more external scripts, the slower your website will be.
You can also test whether any particular script is slowing down page loading. You can do that by disabling it through the WordPress admin panel and seeing if there is any significant difference in page loading time after disabling that specific plugin/theme or script files itself.
10. Paginate Comments
Paginating comments allows you to organize your comments in a more organized and efficient way. When your blog has a lot of comments, pagination allows your visitors to access all their content without having to scroll endlessly down the page. It also makes it easy for them to find specific posts or discussions. This is because all the relevant information is on one page instead of being spread out over multiple pages.
With WordPress, paginating is easy. Just turn on the “comments” setting in Settings > Discussion and then select “Paginate long comments pages into separate pages” under “Limit Comments Per Page.” This will automatically create an extra set of navigation links at the top or bottom of each post, allowing viewers to browse through older or newer comments.
The pagination is automatically generated based on the number of comments in the thread. So if you have a lot of comments on a post or page, you may want to decrease the limit per page to speed up the WordPress site.
11. Limit Post Revisions
One of the most important things you can do to improve page speed is to disable post revisions. Post revisions are automatic backups every WordPress site keeps for all posts and pages.
If you’re using a plugin, that could mean hundreds or even thousands of old revisions. The problem with this is that it takes up valuable server space, slowing down performance and increasing load times because your visitors are downloading more data than they need.
The solution to this problem is to disable post revisions. Depending on your setup, there are a few different ways you can do this. If you’re using a plugin, there’s likely an option within it that allows you to turn off post-revisions. If not, you can also look at your database and manually delete all post-revision data.
12. Use the Latest PHP Version
Using the latest version of PHP on your WordPress site is essential. This is because each new version of PHP offers better performance and security than older versions. Some of the major improvements you can expect from PHP 7 include two things. First is better memory management. And the second is the ability to run multiple processes at once using multi-threaded architecture instead of using one single thread for all operations, such as sending emails and cleaning up cache files.
Better memory management means that if you have a lot of RAM, then you will experience an improvement in performance on your WordPress site. And multiple processes at once indicate that your site can support more concurrent users without slowing down or crashing.
13. Use Lazy Load Plugin
The lazy Load WordPress plugin helps to reduce the loading time of images. It loads images only when they come into view, thus saving a lot of bandwidth and making your website faster. This technique is beneficial for sites that have lots of images.
Lazy Load is available on the WordPress.org plugin repository. To use this plugin, simply install it from Plugins > Add New page in the WordPress dashboard and activate it when prompted by clicking the Activate Plugin button at the bottom of your screen.
Now visit Settings > Lazy Load options page from your WordPress admin panel and then choose which type of content you want to load by checking the appropriate option under the “Enabled:” box. This handy plugin can reduce the loading time of images on your WordPress website.
In conclusion, optimizing the speed of your WordPress website is crucial for providing a smooth user experience and improving your search engine rankings. By utilizing techniques such as caching, media optimization, and minifying code, you can significantly improve the load time of your website.
Additionally, using a content delivery network (CDN) and a reliable web hosting service can also play a key role in boosting your website’s speed. With a little bit of effort and the right tools, you can significantly improve the performance of your WordPress website and give your visitors a faster and more enjoyable experience.