Want to make your WordPress site faster? Every site owner is concerned about website loading speed because if your site is slow people will leave it instantly. Here we’ve collected 10 great tips to make your WordPress site faster:
Why is pages speed optimization so important?
People leaving your site is not the only reason why you would want to optimize the page loading speed. Here are some other factors to consider:
- You can get a lot higher in rankings if your site loads faster. Search engines will assign a higher value to better-operating websites.
- The loading speed is the major decisive factor for customers. Again, when the site loads too slow, people lose interest right away.
- Your profits may suffer from people leaving the sales funnel. Say that your visitors had enough patience to wait for the site to load. Now, their attention span is limited and considering the length of a purchasing process, the chances they will leave are very high.
What’s the loading speed of my website?
Before you embark on the journey of page speed optimization, you need to know the loading speed of your site. Here is how you can find it out:
- Try WebPageTest.org. Enter the homepage address into the field and see the results.
- Go to Tools.Pingdom.com and do the same thing.
- Similarly, PageSpeedInsights helps you identify measures needed to make your website faster.
You want to check your homepage first and then check each singular page. There are different factors that affect page loading speed and they vary from page to page. So even though your homepage might be loading fast, it doesn’t mean that other pages do too, and other pages might contain the most important information for the customer.
Finally, here are all the tricks for increasing your website pages loading speed:
1. Change your hosting
One of the most important factors that affect a website loading speed is the choice of a hosting provider. There is no shortage of hosting providers available these days, yet they might not be all suitable for your business. For example, a shared hosting might be cheap and easy to set up but it hosts thousands of other websites. With a shared hosting, you can’t tell how well the folks at the hosting company work to optimize the servers and how many other websites are hosted on the same server. Shared hosting is great when your website isn’t your main source of leads and new prospects.
A dedicated hosting solution from Amazon Web Services or Google Compute Engine will cost you more money but they are also more reliable. The only drawback of such service is that you have to set up the servers from scratch and this can easily turn into a nightmare.
2. Optimize image sizes
Optimizing image sizes is the most effective way to reduce the page loading speed. You optimize your images by reducing their sizes all the while preserving the quality. This can be achieved with tools like Chrome PageSpeed Insights or a special WordPress plugin. We recommend using a plugin since other tools might take longer to optimize your images. Here are some image optimization plugins you can use:
3. Use a different WordPress theme
Some WordPress themes look great but load slowly due to the overwhelming amount of images, sliders, social icons and many more design enhancing features. You want to keep the balance between the speed and visual appeal because no matter how great your site looks, people will not be able to enjoy the design to a full extent if they leave a website early.
Choose a lightweight WordPress theme that doesn’t contain unnecessary design elements. You can also try a theme built on Bootstrap since these are known to speed up a WordPress performance.
4. Use caching
W3 Total Cache is a WordPress plugin helps you add caching rules to your site. Also, check out Varnish – a caching mechanism. Coupled with W3 Total Cache, Varnish is a great way to speed up your WordPress site.
5. Take a look at JS and CSS files
A code is an integral part of your website. JS and CSS are part of the code and if you can optimize them well, your site speed will increase significantly. Optimizing JS and CSS means reducing the number of calls and the size of the files.
Take a look at Autoptimize plugin, that can help you optimize JS, CSS and HTML files on your site. You can also research information online and try optimizing JS and CSS manually.
It’s surprising for many people to know that the location of the user might influence the site loading speed. If the visitors are located far from where your servers are, they will likely experience page loading delays. To solve the problem look into CDNs – Content Delivery Networks. CDNs can minimize the effect user location has on a site loading speed. The way CDNs work is simple. They basically keep a copy of your website in datacenters located all over the world, so that the website can be served to visitors from the nearest to them location.
7. Use GZIP compression
GZIP is a technology that compresses your website and then unzips it whenever a visitors tries to access your site. Similar to keeping the files on your computer, using GZIP compression will reduce the bandwidth usage and can significantly increase the speed of your site.
8. Work on your database
This is a no-brainer and yet so many people don’t pay enough attention to their website’s database. If you make a deliberate effort to keep your website database clean and organized, remove old files, spam comments, old post drafts, and images, you can significantly improve your website loading speed.
9. Minimize the number of plugins
The common rule for Page Speed Optimization is to remove everything you don’t need or use. Just like in real life getting rid of an old baggage makes you a more productive and happy person, removing plugins that you don’t use can help improve page loading speed. We recommend keeping the number of plugins to a minimum and using third party services such as Zapier and IFTTT.
10. Disable pingbacks and trackbacks
Pingbacks and Trackbacks send you an alert every time your blog or website receives a backlink. If you’re actively engaged in link building this might be a good option to stay informed. However, pingbacks and trackbacks slow down your website by occupying your server resources. Pingbacks and trackbacks, essentially, keep WordPress busy by generating requests everytime a pingback or trackback is created.
To turn off pingbacks and trackbacks go to Settings >> Discussions and deselect “Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks)”.
It doesn’t take much to increase the loading speed of your website, but the benefits of doing so are great. Not only your visitors will enjoy the new optimized website experience, but you will also experience a surge of traffic because page loading speed can greatly affect your search engine rankings.
What are other ways to optimize a website loading speed? Comment below!