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How To Speed Up WordPress? A Complete Guide.

 So, to speed up WordPress, every simple trick in this quick post should be applied to optimize sites’ performance.

But first…

Why should you boost WordPress site’s speed?

There are many reasons that ring alarm bells, some of which might even cause major concerns for you:

  1. Google now includes site speed in it’s ranking algorithm. That means that your site’s speed affects SEO, so if your site is slow, you’re now losing visitors from impatience and reduced rankings in search engines.
  2. Studies have shown that site-loading speed of more than 3 seconds usually results in about 57% of people bouncing off the website. So, to keep about half of your visitors interested, you should increase your WordPress site’s speed.
  3. When a person lands on your site for the first time, you only have a few seconds to catch their attention to convince them to hang around.

How to speed up WordPress?

1. Choose a good web host

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A web host has a huge impact on the speed of your website, among many other important performance-related things.

If you are just starting out, then we recommend Siteground which is an official WordPress recommended hosting provider to provide top-notch service.

If you can afford to spend a little more, then go with WPEngine. They are a managed WordPress hosting provider which means they will take care of all things WordPress for you.

2. Use a great caching plugin

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Using cache is a form of storing processed data (on your hard drive or RAM) that the next user will not need to send a query to retrieve data again, thus significantly reducing page loading time.

There are many types of cache. If you use Shared Host, WP Super Cache plugin should be used because it is very good, easy to install and compatible on almost platforms.

If you want to use multiple types of caches at the same time (such as Disk, Browse Cache, Opcode Cache, Cache Object, etc.), you can use W3 Total Cache plugin.

And if you do not have any cache plugin yet, WP Super Cache is a good choice to get started.

3. Use a lightweight WordPress theme / framework

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Behind every WordPress site, there is a theme or framework. In fact, the more beautiful and applicable the theme is, the bigger the risk affecting WordPress speed is.

Imagine that a news theme has a display function with categories, and it will show in many different categories. This means that it will generate many queries from visitors sent to the server, the server will take a lot of resources and overflow.

Secondly, to create effects, figurative themes always use CSS and JavaScript, which are causes leading to take more time to load the website.

Therefore, to speed up WordPress websites, you should use a theme which is simple as possible. If you need a complicated theme, choose themes from prestigious providers because many premium themes will contain many bugs.

4. Use a content delivery network (CDN)

CDN (Content Delivery Network) is a technology transmitting static data (images, CSS and Javascript files, etc.) through CDN servers’ proxy; it will automatically detect the user’s address and direct to the closest servers  that it can support through proxy. CDN is extremely useful if you use foreign hosts and a large amount of images on the website.

About the free service, CloudFlare CDN is quite good, it also saves static files’ cache to speed up WordPress. And paid service, the Amazon Cloudfront service is highly recommended.

5. Reduce image sizes

The image is the main cause leading to consuming more time to load website and more bandwidth because the large image size is not small, especially computer wallpapers.

When upload images to the web, you should scale down to the size of 800 × 600 and use the  image compressing software before uploading. If you want your visitors can see high-quality photos, you can package and upload the zip file, and they can download high-quality images for viewing.

6. Cleanup WordPress database

WordPress has a tendency to start slowing down if you don’t keep your database optimized. It is also necessary to delete spam comments, fake users, old drafts of your content and maybe even unwanted plugins as well as themes. All of this will reduce the size of your databases and web files, and thus make your WordPress site faster.

7. Diagnose your plugins

Keeping unwanted plugins on your WordPress websites will add a tremendous amount of junk to your web files. Moreover, it will also increase the size of your backup and put an overwhelming amount of load on your server resources while generating backup files. It is better to get rid of the plugins that you don’t use, and also look for alternate methods to use third-party services for automating or scheduling tasks (like sharing of your latest posts to social media).

IFTTT or Zapier are two web services that help in automating such tasks and reduce the burden on your website and server resources.

8. Minify HTML, CSS and Javascript

If you run WordPress themes, you will probably be notified about minimizing the size of your CSS and JS files. Minification is a technique combining CSS and JS files on your website into a large file, so that users can download the entire contents in just a single query. This large file will be cached on the user’s browser to help them to access faster in the second time, and you can improve the site-loading speed.

On WordPress, you can use the following 2 plugins:

9. Minimize Redirects

When you make changes of domain name from http to https or from www to non-www (www.abc.com to abc.com) or vice versa, some old links are still remained, so you have to make consistent changes for all links in order to speed up WordPress by minimizing the time redirecting from one to another.

You can use the Better Search & Replace Plugin to make changes on all links, for example, replacing all the links of the form http://www.abc.com with http://abc.com.

10. Turn off pingbacks and trackbacks

Pingbacks and trackbacks are two core WordPress components that alert you whenever your blog or page receives a link. Trackbacks are manual and pingbacks are automatic, they both end up in your comment moderation. 99% of all trackbacks and pingbacks are spam. And if you start getting too much of it, your site speed can potentially be affected.

Go to Settings > Discussions, under Default Article Settings disable the pingbacks and trackbacks.

Conclusion

This is a quick round-up of simple measures you can put in place to speed up your pages.

Optimizing your site can make a big difference in site speed, encouraging them to stick around and engage with your content.

How do you speed up WordPress? Tell us in the comments below.

I'm the content marketer at ThemesPond. In addition to writing blog posts, I edit our blog, and manage our many content contributors. Also, I’m a member of the WordPress community. I’ve devoted my time on delivering all necessary elements in the WordPress ecosystem, like WordPress tutorial, plugins, themes.

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