One of the most common questions I get asked is how to speed up a WordPress website. And it’s no wonder why; according to surveys, website speed is now one of the most important ranking factors for Google.
Your WordPress website’s loading speed is important for several reasons. First, it affects your website’s user experience. If your website takes too long to load, visitors are likely to get frustrated and leave before they even have a chance to see your content. Second, your website’s loading speed is a ranking factor for search engines. So if your website is slow, it’s likely that you’re not getting as much organic traffic as you could be.
In this post, look at everything you need to know about WordPress speed optimization. I’ll show you how to test your site speed, identify common speed issues, and give you actionable tips on how to speed up your WordPress website.
So if you want to learn how to increase WordPress website speed, keep reading!
How to Measure Your WordPress Site Speed
One of the great things about WordPress is that it’s so versatile. You can use it for a small business website, or a large corporate site with tens of thousands of pages. But no matter how big your site gets, you want it to load quickly for your visitors. So how do you test your WordPress site speed?
There are many tools available online that will help you test your website speed. One such tool is GTMetrix. Just enter the URL of your website into the box on their home page, and click “Analyze”. GTMetrix will then analyze your website and give you a report on its performance, including its page loading time and external resources slowing your page down.
Another good tool for testing web page speeds is WebPagetest. Enter the URL of your webpage into their homepage form, select one of their locations from the list provided (or choose “Auto Test”), and then click “Start Test”. WebPagetest will then start testing your webpage using different browsers at different connection speeds, giving you an overall grade for how well it performs.
Common Issues Slowing Down WordPress Sites
Many potential speed issues can affect your WordPress site. By being aware of the most common ones, you can take steps to address them and improve your website’s performance.
One common issue is excessive HTTP requests. This occurs when a browser has to make too many requests to load all the elements of a page. You can reduce HTTP requests by minifying and combining scripts and stylesheets, using lazy loading for images, reducing the use of external libraries and optimizing your database queries.
Another common issue is slow server response time. This can be caused by overloaded servers or insufficient resources such as memory or CPU power. You can improve server response time by optimizing your PHP code, caching static files, and using a content delivery network (CDN).
A third common issue is a bloated WordPress codebase. This happens when plugins and themes add unnecessary code to your website’s pages. You can trim down your codebase by disabling unused plugins and themes, using only necessary plugin features, and using well-coded WordPress themes and plugins.
How to Increase Your WordPress Site Speed
There are a few things you can do to speed up your WordPress site.
1. Use a caching plugin
A caching plugin creates static files of your website pages so they don’t have to be regenerated every time someone visits your site. This can really improve the speed of your website. Some of the most popular caching plugins include WP Super Cache, W3 Total Cache and WP Rocket.
2. Optimize your images for web use
When you upload an image to WordPress, it is automatically resized and compressed for display on the web page – but this may not be the best size or compression setting for all images depending on their use case (e.g., featured image, thumbnail, etc.). You can optimize individual images using a free online tool like TinyPNG or JPEGmini, or you can use a plugin like WP Smush which will automatically optimize all of the images on your site as they are uploaded.
3. Use a fast WordPress hosting
Choosing a fast WordPress hosting service helps increase your website speed drastically. Ensure that you’re using an optimised hosting service – preferably one with servers located close to your target audience.
4. Use a content delivery network (CDN)
A CDN stores copies of your website files on multiple servers around the world so that visitors near those servers will download them faster than if they were served from just one location – this is called content delivery optimization (CDO). Services like Cloudflare offer free CDN services, and there are also many paid options available as well.
In all, it is important to note that there is no perfect solution to a fast website. It boils down to testing and retesting, and finding the balance between what we need our site to deliver and how fast we get it there.
Let me know in the comments if any of the above steps work for you.