How to speed up a WordPress website

by | Dec 13, 2022

Are you tired of a slow loading WordPress website? Do you want to improve your website’s speed and performance? Wondering how to improve WordPress website speed?

Well, you’re not alone. A slow loading website can be frustrating for both the website owner and the visitors. Not only does it make for a poor user experience, but it can also hurt your search engine rankings and ultimately, your bottom line.

Did you know, according to Google, as page load time goes from 1s to 10s the probability of bounce rate increases 123%!

Google Report

That means, the slower your website, the more people leave and find an alternative- more likely your competition!

Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to speed up your WordPress website. In this article, we’ll go over some key strategies for improving your site’s performance and provide specific instructions for implementing them. By implementing these tips, you can improve your website’s loading time and provide a better experience for your visitors.

Before we dive in, it’s important to note that there are many factors that can affect your WordPress site’s speed. These include your hosting provider, the size and complexity of your site, the quality of your theme and plugins, and more. As such, not all of the following tips may apply to your specific situation. However, by following the general principles outlined here, you should be able to significantly improve your site’s performance.

Key tips on how to improve WordPress website speed

1. Choose a good hosting provider

Your hosting provider plays a crucial role in determining the speed of your WordPress site. If you’re using a cheap or low-quality host, your site will likely be slow, regardless of how well optimised it is.

When choosing a host for your WordPress site, look for one that offers fast page loading times, reliable uptime, and good customer support. It’s also a good idea to choose a host that specialises in WordPress, as they will typically have servers and infrastructure optimised for running WordPress sites. For more information on WordPress hosting options, we prepared an article on the Best WordPress hosting Australia has to offer.

2. Use a lightweight theme

The theme you use on your WordPress site can have a big impact on its speed. Some themes are designed to be lightweight and fast-loading, while others are more complex and can slow down your site.

When selecting a theme for your WordPress site, look for one that is optimised for speed and performance. Avoid themes that are bloated with unnecessary features and instead, opt for a simple and lightweight theme that will help your site load faster. This may be harder than it looks as there is differing opinions on all themes. Our WordPress services offer great options for quick themes.

3. Optimise your images

Images are an important part of any website, but they can also be a major source of slow loading times. To speed up your WordPress site, you’ll need to optimise your images to reduce their file size without sacrificing quality.

There are several ways to optimise images on a WordPress website in order to improve its performance and speed up the loading time of web pages. Some of these ways include:

  1. Compressing images: Using image compression tools, such as TinyPNG or Smush, can help reduce the file size of images without significantly affecting their quality. This can make the images load faster and save on bandwidth usage.
  2. Using the right image format: Different image formats have different strengths and drawbacks, and choosing the right format for your images can help optimise their performance on your website. For example, JPEG is a good choice for photographs, while PNG is better for graphics with transparent backgrounds.
  3. Specifying image dimensions: When inserting images into WordPress posts or pages, it is important to specify their dimensions in the HTML code. This tells the browser the size of the image, allowing it to reserve the appropriate space on the page and avoid unnecessary reflows and repaints.
  4. Lazy loading images: Lazy loading is a technique that delays the loading of images until they are visible on the user’s screen. This can help improve the initial loading time of web pages by only loading the images that are currently needed, and deferring the loading of other images until they are scrolled into view.
  5. Using a CDN: Using a content delivery network (CDN) can improve the delivery of images and other content to users by routing requests to the nearest CDN server. This can reduce the load on the origin server and improve the overall performance of the website. For more information see ‘Use a CDN’ point below. 

By implementing these optimisation techniques, you can improve the performance of your WordPress website and provide a better user experience for your visitors.

4. Use a caching plugin

One of the easiest and most effective ways to speed up your WordPress website is to use a caching plugin. Caching plugins create static versions of your pages and posts and serve them to visitors, reducing the number of resources needed to load your site. This can help improve your website’s overall speed and performance.

There are many different caching plugins available for WordPress, including W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache. These plugins are easy to install and configure, and they can make a significant difference in your site’s loading times. We are using WP Fastest Cache. It is easy to use and does a great job!

5. Minimise the use of plugins

Each plugin you use on your WordPress website adds extra code that needs to be loaded, which can slow down your site. To improve your site’s performance, try to only use the plugins that are absolutely necessary.

By minimising the use of plugins, you can reduce the amount of code that needs to be loaded, making your site faster and more efficient.

6. Use a content delivery network (CDN)

A content delivery network (CDN) is a system of distributed servers that delivers web content to a user based on the geographic locations of the user, the origin of the web content, and the content delivery server. This allows for faster delivery of content to users, as the content is delivered from a server that is closer to the user’s physical location. CDNs can improve the performance and reliability of a website by reducing the load on the origin server and providing a faster and more efficient delivery of content to users. This can be especially useful for websites with a large amount of traffic or for websites that are accessed by users in different geographic locations.

In addition to improving performance and user experience, CDNs can also provide security benefits. CDNs can help protect against Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks by distributing traffic across multiple servers, making it more difficult for attackers to target a single server. CDNs can also help protect against malicious attacks by implementing security measures such as firewalls and encryption.

Overall, using a CDN can provide a number of benefits for websites, including improved performance, enhanced user experience, and increased security. If you are considering using a CDN for your website, it is important to research and compare different CDN providers to find the one that best meets your needs.

7. Optimise your database

Optimise your database by regularly cleaning up trashed posts, comments, and other unnecessary data.

To optimise a database in WordPress, you can follow these steps:

  • Backup your database:
    Before making any changes to your database, it is important to create a backup to protect your data in case anything goes wrong. You can use a WordPress plugin such as UpdraftPlus to easily create a backup of your database.
  • Delete unnecessary data:
    Over time, your WordPress database can accumulate a large amount of data that is no longer needed, such as post revisions, trashed posts, and spam comments. You can use a plugin like WP-Optimize to clean up your database and remove this unnecessary data, which can help improve its performance.
  • Optimise database tables:
    Just like a physical filing cabinet, a database needs to be organised in order to be efficient. If your database tables are not optimised, it can lead to slow query performance and other issues. You can use a plugin like WP-DB Manager to optimise your database tables and improve their performance.
  • Enable database caching:
    Caching is a technique that stores frequently accessed data in a temporary location, allowing it to be quickly accessed without having to query the database every time. This can greatly improve the performance of your WordPress website, especially for high-traffic sites. You can use a plugin like W3 Total Cache to enable database caching on your WordPress website.

By following these steps, you can optimise your WordPress database and improve its performance, which can help your website run faster and more efficiently. It is important to note that these steps can involve making changes to your database, so be sure to carefully follow the instructions and make a backup of your database before proceeding

Why is website speed important?

Website speed is important for a number of reasons, including:

  • Improved user experience:
    A slow-loading website can be frustrating for users and may lead them to leave the site before it has fully loaded. On the other hand, a fast-loading website provides a better user experience and can keep users engaged with the content.
  • Increased search engine rankings:
    Search engines, such as Google, prioritize fast-loading websites in their search results. This means that a slow-loading website may rank lower in search results, reducing its visibility and potential traffic.
  • Increased conversion rates:
    Faster-loading websites can improve conversion rates by providing a better user experience and reducing the likelihood that users will leave the site before completing a desired action, such as making a purchase or filling out a form.
  • Improved business reputation:
    A slow-loading website can damage the reputation of a business, as it can give the impression that the business is unprofessional or unreliable. A fast-loading website, on the other hand, can improve the reputation of a business by providing a positive user experience and demonstrating the business’s commitment to quality.

Overall, website speed is an important factor in the success of a website, and optimising the speed of a WordPress website can provide a number of benefits for both users and the business.

What is the best WordPress plugin to help optimise for speed?

There are plenty of plugins that help boost a WordPress websites performance. One of the best WordPress plugins for performance and our favourites is Perfmatters.

Perfmatters is a WordPress plugin that helps optimise the performance of WordPress websites. It offers a range of features and options that allow users to fine-tune the performance of their website in order to improve its speed and user experience.

Some of the features offered by Perfmatters include:

  • Script management:
    Perfmatters allows users to selectively disable specific scripts and styles on their WordPress website. This can help reduce the number of HTTP requests and improve the loading time of web pages.
  • DNS prefetching:
    Perfmatters allows users to add DNS prefetching to their WordPress website, which can improve the performance of external resources, such as fonts and images, by resolving their DNS before they are requested.
  • Local hosting:
    Perfmatters allows users to host specific files, such as Google Analytics, on their own server, reducing the number of external HTTP requests and improving the loading time of web pages.
  • Heartbeat control:
    Perfmatters allows users to control the WordPress Heartbeat API, which can be a resource-intensive feature that can slow down the performance of a website. Perfmatters allows users to disable or limit the Heartbeat API, improving the performance of their website.

Overall, Perfmatters is a useful plugin for WordPress users who want to optimize the performance of their website and improve its speed and user experience.

How to increase WordPress website speed without plugin?

As listed above, there are number of ways to improve WordPress website speed without plugins. Here is a quick run down on the options that we offer above that are not using a plugin.

Optimize images:

Large, unoptimized images can significantly slow down a WordPress website. To optimize images, you can use a tool like TinyPNG prior to uploading to compress them without significantly affecting their quality. Adobe Photoshop along with other image editing programs also have the ability to compress images before you upload them to your website.

Use a content delivery network (CDN):

A CDN can improve the delivery of content to users by routing requests to the nearest CDN server, reducing the load on the origin server and improving the overall performance of the website. To use a CDN on a WordPress website, you can sign up for a CDN provider, such as Cloudflare, and add their DNS to your domain.

Use a lightweight theme:

The theme that you use on your WordPress website can have a significant impact on its performance. Choosing a lightweight theme that is optimized for speed can help improve the loading time of your website. You can find a variety of lightweight themes on the WordPress theme repository or from third-party providers.

By implementing these optimisation techniques, you can increase the speed of your WordPress website without using a plugin. It is important to note that these techniques can involve making changes to your website’s code and settings, so be sure to carefully follow the instructions and create a backup of your website before proceeding. So if you are looking to improve WordPress website speed plugin free you know have a number of options under our belt.

Summary

By implementing these optimisation techniques, you can improve WordPress website speed and the performance of your website to provide a better user experience for your visitors. Your website speed is imperative to your online success. Now you know the top tips on how to speed up a WordPress website, once implemented, you should see a boost in ranking and conversions.

If you’re looking for personalised advice, we would love to discuss your website speed and how we can assist in improving your website. Please get in touch with us via the contact page and let us know more about your WordPress website, such as the version of WordPress you’re using, the themes and plugins you have installed, and any other details about your site’s setup.

Additional information on how you can improve WordPress website speed and performance

Additionally, you can test your site’s performance using a tool like Google PageSpeed Insights to see where there may be room for improvement. This can help you identify specific areas of your site that may be slowing it down, and provide more targeted advice for how to improve WordPress website speed.

Improve WordPress website speed FAQs

Why is my WordPress website so slow?

There are several possible reasons why a WordPress website may be slow, including:

Large, unoptimized images: Images are an important part of a website, but large, unoptimized images can significantly slow down a WordPress website. To improve the performance of your website, you can use a tool like TinyPNG to compress your images without significantly affecting their quality.

Excessive use of plugins: WordPress plugins are a useful way to add functionality to your website, but using too many plugins can slow down your website. To improve the performance of your website, you can minimize the use of plugins by only using the ones that are necessary, and regularly removing unused plugins.

Inefficient theme or coding: The theme and coding of a WordPress website can also affect its performance. Choosing a lightweight theme and optimizing your website’s code can help improve the performance of your website.

Insufficient server resources: If your website receives a large amount of traffic, it may require more server resources, such as memory and storage, to perform well. If your website is hosted on a shared server, it may be competing with other websites for resources, which can slow down its performance. To improve the performance of your website, you may need to upgrade to a dedicated server or a hosting plan with more resources.

By identifying and addressing the underlying causes of a slow-loading WordPress website, you can improve its performance and provide a better user experience for your visitors.

How can I speed up my WordPress site without plugins?

Four easy ways to speed up your WordPress website without plugins are:
– Optimize images prior to uploading to your website
– Use a content delivery network (CDN)
– Use a lightweight theme
– Enable Gzip compression

What impacts site speed WordPress

There are several factors that can impact the speed of a WordPress website, including:
– Large, unoptimized images
– Excessive use of plugins
– Inefficient theme or coding
– Insufficient server resources

What is the best WordPress website speed test

There are several tools that you can use to test the speed of a WordPress website, including:

Google PageSpeed Insights:
This is a free tool offered by Google that analyzes the performance of a website and provides recommendations on how to improve its speed. To use Google PageSpeed Insights, simply enter the URL of your website and the tool will provide a score and a detailed report on its performance.

Pingdom Website Speed Test:
This is another free tool that allows you to test the speed of your WordPress website and identify potential performance issues. To use Pingdom, enter the URL of your website and the tool will provide a detailed report on its performance, including the time it takes to load and a breakdown of the individual elements on the page.

GTmetrix:
This is a free tool that combines the PageSpeed and YSlow scores to provide an overall performance score for your website. To use GTmetrix, enter the URL of your website and the tool will provide a detailed report on its performance, including the time it takes to load and a list of recommendations on how to improve its speed.

By using these tools, you can test the speed of your WordPress website and identify areas for improvement. It is important to regularly test the performance of your website and make changes as needed in order to maintain its speed and effectiveness.

Greer Rowley

Meet Greer, a digital marketing expert with a passion for creating custom marketing solutions for businesses. With a background in website design and a deep understanding of digital marketing, Greer is dedicated to providing the best possible marketing plan for your business. Greer is a true believer in the power of digital marketing, and has honed her skills to provide the most effective strategies for businesses of all sizes. With a broad skill set, she is able to cover a range of marketing elements, and can work within your business and budget to provide the best results. Greer is all about collaboration and customer-focused solutions. She loves working closely with clients to bring their marketing visions to life, and is passionate about creating websites that are both functional and beautiful. If you're looking for a marketing partner who will put your business first, look no further than Greer.

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