Wish to reduce the load time of your WordPress site?
Then this guide is for you. In this guide I’ll be sharing ten easy and proven tips that can be used to speed up any WordPress site.
How can you use the SemaSEO speed up WordPress guide?
The fact that this guide my seem beginner friendly, you need to be very keen to be able to make the most out of it.
What are you using WordPress for?
I’m asking this because not all WordPress site are the same it can be:
- Membership website
- WooCommerce website
- Learning management system
- Corporate WordPress Website
I’d suggest using Wp rocket to speed up WordPress site. This plugin does it all and is what we use here at SemaSEO.
If you can afford getting Wp-Rocket for now, I’ve also suggested a free plugin that can help boost your speed.
Have you measured the speed of your site?
Before anything else, you need to test your site’s speed.
Here are some of the tools you can use to test your site’s speed. Ensure to take a photo or a screenshot, this way, when done implementing the steps to speed up WordPress, you can re run and compare the before and after results.
Before you start fine-tuning your WordPress, you should take a backup of the WordPress database.
Since, we will be doing some optimization on the database level, taking a backup adds safety net, in case of an unavoidable situation.
Will all these tips and techniques work?
You should aim at using as many of these techniques as possible as your goal is to reduce your loading time as much as possible.
Why is speed important?
Fast load time helps search engine and also your readers. Not only it will give a fantastic user experience, but it will also help in reducing the bounce rate of your blog.
That known, let’s now dig in to our main topic of today.
Techniques to speed up WordPress and improve load time
1. Use the latest PHP
The latest PHP is PHP 7.4 that offers a tremendous boost in speed. Most WordPress users are still using as low as PHP 5.6 which depreciated a while back.
The PHP part is handled by your web-hosting company and either you can manually check your existing version of PHP on which your WordPress site is running on, or you could simply ask the customer support:
If less than 7.0 (Which is 5.6), you can ask them to upgrade to the latest PHP version.
2. Use only a few necessary plugins
Try as much to minimize the number of plugins on our blog and regularly do a database clean up with the help of advanced database cleaner plugin.
Ensure that you are using at least one cache plugin on your blog, and I’m suggesting WP-Rocket plugin. One thumb rule, get rid of outdated plugins.
3. Optimize images
Your goal with images on WordPress should be:
- Highest quality
- Efficient data compression
- Smaller files
Images play a vital role of the visual web and if you are using too many images in your article or pages, chances are your page may be loading slow.
Image optimization for speed is all need. There are a few things you can do right away to improve the performance of a photo-intensive WordPress website:
- Use a CDN: Preferably Stack Path
- Use the right image format
Another technology you should do is image compression and image lazy loading. Both of these methods are proven to speed up WordPress page which are using images.
Use ShortPixel plugin to optimize your WordPress images.
Why? It offers 100 free image optimization every month and also let you do following:
- Offer Webp image format (This is going to be really helpful)
- Convert existing .png images to .jpg or better webP format
- Various level of compression
- One-click compression of old images
- Automatic compression of new images
4. Use CDN Network
Normally, you’ll be hosting your Website on a particular Geo-location.
Bluehost for example, Your website is most likely to be located in the United States.
Now, when a user from an African country or even Australia will browse your site, it would take significant time to load your site.
Distance between the user & your server being the reason.
This is where CDN comes in. A CDN helps to solve this problem, and your Website will load quickly in every part of the world.
5. Use fast WordPress themes
Still using WordPress themes made 4-5 years ago? then you definitely need an upgrade. What you might not know is that there has been tremendous changes and now most latest themes are designed for speed.
Moreover, you should ensure that you are using a truly responsive theme to give a faster loading of your blog on mobile and tablets.
Looking for a recommendation? I’d suggest going for Astra themes.
6. Server location
The majority of web-hosting companies let you choose the data center where your website is hosted. If you know your target audience country, you should pick the data center closest to your idle customers.