Developed by Matt Mullenweg, WordPress powers close to half of the internet. New WordPress websites are created every year. The Content Management System (CMS) is the go-to option for creating and managing websites. If you have a WordPress website and are looking for tips to increase its speed, you have come to the right place. We cover things that you can do to improve your website speed. So, what are you waiting for? Here is how you can speed up your WordPress website speed.
1. Use a WordPress Caching Plugin
One of the best ways to increase your website speed is by using a WordPress caching plugin. Since WordPress pages are dynamic, it means that they are built on the fly each time someone visits a webpage. To build the page, WordPress runs a process for finding the required information to display it for the user.
The process involves plenty of steps that slow down the website, especially when multiple people visit it at the same time. Hence, it is recommended that you use a caching plugin for your website. It will help make your website two to five times faster. This is possible as the caching plugin makes a copy of the webpage the first time it loads and serves the cached version every other time. WP Super Cache is the best free WordPress caching plugin that will make the difference.
2. Optimize Images for Speed
In the simplest of words, Domain Rating (DR) is a ranking metric that Ahrefs developed to determine the strength of the backlink profile of a website. A Domain Rate is given to websites on a scale of 1 to 100. When we look at Domain Rating VS Domain Authority (DA), it is crucial that you understand that Domain Rating solves one piece of the puzzle. You need to keep in mind that Domain Rating does not have a direct effect on the ranking of a page on Google. A website that has a high DR would rank much higher on the search engine results page in comparison to one that has a low DR.
When a website has a high DR, it means that it scores well on the ranking algorithms created by Google. You can use DR to gauge the link popularity of a website. It has the ability to help you improve your performance to get more traffic from searches.
3. Keep the WordPress Website Update
A major reason why your website is slow is that it has not been updated. Since WordPress is an open-source project, it is frequently updated. Not only does each update provide new features, but it also fixes bugs and security issues. Similar, the WordPress theme and plugins might also have regular updates. Hence, you must keep your website, theme, and plugins updated. If you fail to do so, your website will become slow and vulnerable.
4. Optimize Background Processes to Increase WordPress Website Speed
WordPress schedules background processes to run in the background. These involve the following tasks.
- Search engines and other crawlers fetching the content
- WordPress cron jobs checking for updates
- WordPress cron jobs publishing scheduling posts
- WordPress Backup plugin tasks
Although cron jobs like updates and scheduled posts have minimal impact on performance, there are other background processes such as excessive crawling by search engines and backup plugins that slow down the website. For the backup plugin, you must ensure that it only runs during low traffic time. Besides, you can adjust the frequency of data that has to be backed up and overall backups.
For instance, if you create a complete daily backup but only publish new content only two times every week, you will need to make changes. You can also use a SaaS solution if you require more backups. It is crucial that you monitor crawl reports as frequent crawls cause errors and slow the website.
5. Use Excerpts on Archives and Homepage
WordPress displays the entire content of each article on the archives and homepage by default. This leads to the homepage, tags, categories, and other archive pages loading slower. When you show the entire article on these pages, users would be less likely to view the actual article which would reduce page views and the amount of time users spend on the website. Therefore, you must set up your website to show excerpts rather than full content to speed up loading time. Head over to Settings > Reading and choose “For each article in the feed, show: Summary”.
Split the Comments into Pages
The next thing that you can do is split the comments into pages. Getting a ton of comments on the blog posts is amazing. However, it affects your website speed if all the comments are loaded on the same page. It is best that you head to Settings > Discussion and select “Break comments into pages”. It should help do the trick.
Use a CDN (Content Delivery Network)
Users in different geographical locations experience different loading times when accessing your website. The reason behind this is that the location of the web hosting servers affects speed. For instance, if your web hosting company has servers in the US, visitors from the US will experience a faster loading time in comparison to ones from India. To cater to a global audience or one that is located in different parts of the world, you must use a CDN. It will boost the loading time for every visitor.
Avoid Uploading Video/Audio Files Directly to WordPress
Even though you can upload audio and video files to the WordPress site, you are better off not doing so. If you host videos and audio, it will end up costing you bandwidth. The web hosting company could charge you overage fees or even shut down the website altogether even if you subscribe to a plan that offers unlimited bandwidth.
Besides, when you host large files, it increases the backup size and makes it difficult to restore WordPress. Instead, it is advised that you use a video and audio hosting service such as Sound Cloud, Daily Motion, Vimeo, or YouTube to handle the hard work for you. They already have the bandwidth for the job and WordPress offers a built-in video embed feature that only requires you to copy and paste the URL of the video in your post.
Use an Optimized Theme
A great way to increase WordPress website speed is by using an optimized theme. You must pay close attention to speed optimization when choosing a website theme. Most impressive-looking themes have been poorly coded and would only slow down the website. Thus, your best option would be to use a simple theme rather than one that has complex layouts, unnecessary features, and flashy animations. Besides, there are quality WordPress plugins to add those features.
Use Faster Plugins to Increase WordPress Website Speed
Speaking of WordPress plugins, you can use ones to boost the speed of your website. Poorly coded plugins are known for loading too much bloat regardless of whether the website even needs it or not. Despite the fact that it increases page load speed, it would end up slowing down the website. Focus on performance, user experience, and ease of use when picking out the best plugin. The following are some of the best plugins that you should consider using.
- All in One SEO: This powerful SEO plugin places an emphasis on website performance to ensure a higher SEO ranking.
- WP Forms: It is considered to be the fastest WordPress contact form plugin.
- Seed Prod: A great plugin that enables website owners to build blazing fast landing pages.
- Shared Counts: The fastest social media plugin for WordPress that does not load additional scripts.
- Monster Insights: An amazing Google analytics plugin that does not slow down the website and offers plenty of options to load.
Split Long Posts into Pages
There is no denying that readers love blog posts that are more in-depth and much longer. Besides, publishing longer posts ensures higher search engine rankings. The best way to ensure speed and depth is by splitting up longer posts into multiple pages. It will provide you with the results that you are looking for. WordPress already offers built-in functionality to do that. You should also consider limiting post revisions to further speed up your WordPress website.
Once you have finished reading the post, you will know how to increase WordPress website speed. From using a caching plugin to splitting long posts into pages, you can reduce the amount of time it takes for your website to load. Since the human attention span has dropped to 7 seconds from 12 seconds, nobody has the patience to wait a long time for a website to load. Hence, you must follow our advice.