How to Speed Up Your WordPress Website, Step by Step?

Are you looking for ways to speed up your WordPress website? Speeding up your WordPress site will not only increase your site traffic but will also help your website Search Engine Optimization. In this article, we have put together different ways in which you can speed up your website, the reasons why you need to speed up your website and optimize your website performance.

Why You Need to Speed up your Website:

Human life is becoming busy day by day and hence they want everything to be done in seconds. A little delay in site loading can cause a huge effect on your site. Studies have shown that the human attention span is only 7 seconds and even a 1% delay in site loading can cause loss of traffic on the site and affect conversions. 40% of users abandon a website due to its slow speed and 47% of users expect the website to load within 2 seconds. To attain your viewers’ attention and to keep them on your site for a longer period of time you need to optimize the performance of your website.

Checking the speed of your WordPress Website:

Keep a check on your website speed because in different geographical locations different users have a different experience. You might not face while loading your website because it is stored in the cache, but first-time visitors to your website might face a problem. To keep a check on your website speed we recommend using a powerful WordPress speed test tool, IsItWP. It is a freemium tool that tests your website speed and gives you an accurate result.

Reasons for Slow WordPress Website:

Below are a few reasons which can affect the speed of your website;

  • Bad Web Hosting
  • Bad Plugins
  • External scripts
  • Size of the page.
  • WordPress Configuration

Ways to Speed Up your Website:

Below are a few ways that can help you to speed up the page loading time of your website. The best page loading speed is 2seconds.

1. Avail Quality Hosting

The hosting provider and Posting plan play a major role in how your website will perform. if you choose a hosting provider whose hosting is of bad quality then there are 95.5 % chances that your website will load slowly and will perform badly. Always look for the most recommended hosting provider. WordPress.org recommends using Bluehost, DreamHost, and SiteGround as hosting providers.

 

 

Moreover, your hosting plan can also affect how your website should perform. A lot of cheap hosting plans are available which will make you select them but keep in mind that the hosting plan you choose plays a major role in your website performance. Select the hosting plan that is provided by top hosting providers with a lot of features. Also, try to avoid shared hosting. Shared hosting can bring bad neighbors on your server which can directly fall affect on the speed of your website.

2. Disable Hotlinking:

Hotlinking is stealing bandwidth which directly affects the owner. It can cost you money and can also affect your server. Hotlinking occurs when a person uses the URL of the image on your website directly in their articles. It can affect the loading time of the source site. To disable hotlinking you can use the FTP client method. Look for .htaccess file in the root directory and paste the below code.

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www.)? yoursitedomain.com [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www.)?google.com [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www.)?yahoo.com [NC]
RewriteRule .(jpg|jpeg|png|gif)$ - [F]
Replace ‘yoursitedomain.com with your own domain and also include the search engines to allow them to crawl your images. Also, determine the file type in the last line on the code.

3. Add Expires Header:

Adding Expires header helps to determine a specific time for the browser to discard cache files and fetch new copies.  This helps to speed up the loading time specifically for your regular visitors.

To add Expires Header you need to find .htaccess file in your root directory and then paste the below code in it.

ExpiresActive On
  # Images
  ExpiresByType image/jpeg "access plus 1 year"
  ExpiresByType image/gif "access plus 1 year"
  ExpiresByType image/png "access plus 1 year"
  ExpiresByType image/webp "access plus 1 year"
  ExpiresByType image/svg+xml "access plus 1 year"
  ExpiresByType image/x-icon "access plus 1 year"
  # Video
  ExpiresByType video/mp4 "access plus 1 year"
  ExpiresByType video/mpeg "access plus 1 year"
  # CSS, JavaScript
  ExpiresByType text/css "access plus 1 month"
  ExpiresByType text/javascript "access plus 1 month"
  ExpiresByType application/javascript "access plus 1 month"
  # Others
  ExpiresByType application/pdf "access plus 1 month"
  ExpiresByType application/x-shockwave-flash "access plus 1 month"
</IfModule>

You can change “access plus 1 month/year” to your desired time.

 

4. Use a Light Theme:

The type of theme you have selected can be a key factor in your website performance. Themes with tons of features can become a mess while loading the page. Heavy themes consist of features with codes and they can take time while loading. Try to use the themes with fewer features or which are lightweight. GeneratePress, Neve, Astra, OceanWP, etc. are some of the lightweight themes of WordPress.

These themes not only have all the features but are also very lightweight and takes less time while loading. They can optimize your website performance.

 

5. Database Maintenance

A fast database can ensure a quality experience to the users and also optimize your site performance. Database stores crucial details like comments, posts, pages, and visitors’ details. So it can sometimes get accumulated with temporary disk space, old drafts, spams, and unused data.

You need to regularly optimize your database so that your website can perform well. There are several plugins available in WordPress which can help you with your database maintenance. Some of the best database maintenance plugins are WP-Sweep, Advance Database Cleaner, and WP- Optimizer, etc. To install the database maintenance plugin, navigate to your WordPress Dashboard, click on plugins then click on Add New, and search for Database maintenance plugins. Install the plugin and activate it.

6. Media Library Clean-Up:

Your Media library storage might get full of videos, documents, and images, etc. which can become problematic in site loading and can affect the speed of your website. To speed up your website loading time you need to use plugins that can clean up unnecessary media files. A few recommended plugins are Media Cleaner, WPS Cleaner, WP-Optimizer, etc.

To install media cleaning plugins, go to Plugins from your dashboard and then click on add new. In the search, the panel enters the plugin name. Select the desired plugin, install, and activate it. After activation, the plugin will automatically detect unnecessary files and delete them.

7. Optimize Media:

Optimizing media can help you speed up your website because the large size of media files can hinder the loading speed of your website. It is important to optimize the size of the media without losing its quality. TinyPNG, WP Smush, ShortPixel, and EWWW Image Optimization are the best choices to optimize your media especially images. They will automatically optimize your image after you upload it to WordPress.

8. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN):

A content delivery network or CDN is a proxy server spread around the world. The CDN hosts copies of your static files on several servers distributed around the world. It can create a flawless and faster user experience regardless of their geographical location by delivering your site content more quickly to them. CDN not only speeds up the loading time of your website but also secures it.

There are a few recommended CDN services such as StackPath, Cloudflare, Google Cloud CDN, etc.

CDN can also make your website more crash-resistant and from going down due to high traffic. You can install CDN in your WordPress Website from the plugin option. To install CDN, navigate to Plugin Option from your Dashboard, click Add New, Search for CDN in the search bar and install and activated the most recommended CDN plugin.

9. Enable Gzip Compression:

Just like image optimization, you can also optimize your website by compressing it. You can compress the website files. You can use Gzip Compression to compress your website. If Gzip is not enabled on your website then you can implement it using a caching plugin or add the below code to the .htaccess file in the root directory.

<IfModule mod_deflate.c>
# Compress HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Text, XML and fonts
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/javascript
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/rss+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/vnd.ms-fontobject
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font-opentype
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font-otf
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font-truetype
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font-ttf
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-javascript
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xhtml+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE font/opentype
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE font/otf
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE font/ttf
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE image/svg+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE image/x-icon
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/css
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/javascript
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/plain
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/xml

# Remove browser bugs (only needed for really old browsers)
BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4 gzip-only-text/html
BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4.0[678] no-gzip
BrowserMatch bMSIE !no-gzip !gzip-only-text/html
Header append Vary User-Agent
</IfModule>

This will compress your website and will help to speed up your website loading time.

10. Update WordPress and PHP

Always use the updated version of WordPress. Moreover, WordPress and PHP both undergo active development. Every day new features are uploaded, security increases, bugs are fixed and performance is improved.

Try to update your WordPress and PHP from time to time so that your website runs smoothly and users face no issue while uploading your website.

Ending Notes:

This article throws light on the ways that can help you Speed up your website loading time. It has also discussed why speeding up your website is important and what are the factors which can slow down your website loading time. Some popular tools are also mentioned which can help to speed up your website loading time.

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