Are you looking to boost up your WordPress website? A fast loading website can enhance your user experience and increase the page views, which helps your WordPress SEO. WordPress acceleration is one of the most needed strategies in website management these days. Sadly, WordPress websites tend to slow down over time if left unattended.
Over some time, these websites collect big data, get complicated and unresponsive. Though it is bound to happen, there are specific ways to prevent your WordPress website from slowing down.
Longer page loading time has a far more significant impact on traffic, bounce rate to conversions, user experience, and finally, profits. For this reason, we have created a detailed guide on how to increase your success in WordPress.
We will discuss the importance of page loading speed, factors influencing the rate, and how to get past it. Additionally, we have put together the best methods to reduce your page loading times.
It is an amalgamation of basic to intermediate and advanced skills, so there is something in it for everyone.
Why is Website Speed Critical to WordPress?
In the last five years, the average human attention span has reduced from 12 to 8 seconds. According to a report, 47% of users expect a page to load within two seconds or less. Up to 40% of users abandon a website if it takes more than three seconds to load.
For instance, Amazon calculated that a one-second delay in their page load time would cost them USD 1.6 billion in annual sales.
Website speed is also critical to search engines. It is one of the factors they use as a filter in providing their users with the best possible results.
A website that irritates users with slow loading time doesn’t rank high on search results. A slow-loading website exponentially increases your bounce rate. If this happens, Google will downvote your website, thinking that users don’t like the website and leave immediately.
12 Effective Tips to Boost WordPress Performance
As now we have understood the importance of faster loading speed, in this section, we will discuss the tips to boost your WordPress performance.
- Invest in Good WordPress Hosting
One of the first fundamental steps to increase website performance is to invest in a good WordPress hosting for your website. We understand that there are abundant, low-cost providers out there.
It is imperative that hosting is one of the avenues where you get what you pay for. As we have seen the importance of speed, this is one area where you should not cut back.
Avoid shared hosting if you can. Doing this reduces the risk of having bad neighbors on your server that can slow you down. Also, when you don’t have a tremendous website and budget to run your server, it is advisable to go for a dedicated server.
For this specific reason, VPS is your best bet. It is explicitly designed to balance cost, comfort, and speed (most importantly).
- Update your WordPress and its components
WordPress is a popular open-source project and hence updated periodically. Each update will offer new functionality and will get rid of existing security issues. The same is the case with your WordPress theme and plugins.
When you own a website, it becomes your sole responsibility to keep your theme and plugins updated to the latest version. Not updating your plugins will affect the speed of your website and additionally pose a security concern.
Eventually, nothing will slow you down more than a jeopardized website.
- Regular Database Maintenance
Databases get bogged over time, just like the good old’ WordPress core. It is inclined to take up disk space and unused data from post revisions and uninstalled plugins. Hence, regular database maintenance is essential to keep your database clean and usable.
If you are an expert, you know about the importance of database maintenance and manually. Alternatively, there are various tools available in the market for regular database maintenance.
I highly recommend WP-Optimize, a comfortable way to clean your database. A pro-tip is to keep the wp_options table in check. It will drastically slow your website down if it gets out of hand. First, take backup and then use Advanced Database Cleaner.
- Image Optimization for Speed
Images help boost engagement and make users 80% more inclined to read your content. But, if your photos are not optimized, it could lead to more harm than good.
Non-optimized images are a common issue leading to increased page load times on new websites. It is recommended to optimize your images for the web before publishing.
Raw images tend to have a huge file size, but you can reduce it five times in your editing software. The most common image formats used are PNG and JPEG.
PNG is an uncompressed image that gives a high-quality picture without compromising on detail. On the other hand, JPEG is a compressed file format that cuts back on the image quality slightly but provides a significantly smaller image file.
- Use of Videos on your website
As we discussed, image compression, videos are also responsible for high page load times. Produce videos like a pro to increase engagements with your audiences. It is known that WordPress is capable of hosting videos. However, one should refrain from doing so.
Firstly, it will eat up your bandwidth, a critical issue if you have a limited hosting account. Additionally, it will make your WordPress site considerably larger and inconvenient to back up.
Alternatively, there are heaps of fast video hosting websites that are better equipped than your server. Also, it is straightforward to use Auto Embeds to add videos in your content via copying the YouTube or Vimeo link and pasting it into the WP Editor.
- Install a WordPress Caching Plugin
WordPress pages are dynamic. It is built to update every time a user visits a post or page on the website. WordPress has to undergo a process to find the information and merge it to present it to the user. It is a cumbersome process and can slow down the website when multiple users are visiting at once. Hence, this is where a WordPress caching plugin comes in handy. Caching can increase your website speed by two to five times quickly.
The caching plugin generates a copy of the page after the first load, and it displays the cached version to every successive user. There are various good useful WordPress plugins. However, we recommend using either WP Super Cache (free) or WP Rocket (premium).
- Minimize the use of CSS/HTML files
A crucial aspect of your website is to reduce the HTML, Jscript, and CSS files. It will be a sure way to boost your site’s loading speed. It is running through Google’s Page Insights tool.
This process will eventually optimize the website backend and help it run smoothly by eliminating empty spaces, line breaks, and comments. Your website will finally run faster with minimized data transfer.
It is best to use WP Rocket or Autotomize plugins to minimize CSS/HTML files. Additionally, you should also enable GZIP compression to reduce the file size of the web pages.
- Minimize the plugins on your website
The best approach is to reduce the number of plugins on the website as the junk on your web files can increase. In return, this will result in an overwhelming amount of load on the server’s resources to create your backup.
To overcome this, conduct regular database maintenance by uninstalling unwanted plugins from your website. Unused plugins continue to utilize temporary disk space and data. What if you don’t know which plugin takes up lots of space?
You may try to disable each plugin to test server performance. This way, you can quickly determine which unwanted plugin is affecting your website.
- Set up a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
Loading time is dependent on the user’s location, and hence it is responsible for inconsistent user experience. To address this issue of web hosting providers, a CDN is essential.
CDN is a crucial factor on your website as it protects and reduces the page loading time. Furthermore, it also improves your website’s security and overall performance.
- Use of HTML over PHP
It is best to use HTML wherever possible. HTML dynamically changes your posts like static texts, date, copyright, and more, which is not possible with PHP.
PHP makes your job easier by eliminating the need to input the same information again, though it uses a lot of server space. Hence, it is advisable to use HTML over PHP.
- Optimize your Media Library
At times we forget to clear the number of images or media files that come with your default WordPress theme. We would advise you to delete the photos if you do not intend to use them.
You should bear in mind that as your website gets older, you will keep uploading images or media, which will take up more space. If you keep cleaning the media library, it will provide more space to load the website faster.
- Try to use Lazy Loading if possible
If you use a lot of media in your blog posts, your website can benefit from lazy loading. Lazy loading downloads only those media files that will be visible to the user’s screen. It replaces other pictures/videos with a placeholder image. It is better than loading all pictures/infographics/videos at once.
As the user scrolls down, the website automatically loads images positioned in the user’s viewing area. You can use it for photos, videos, or even user comments.
Wrapping Up: Keep Your WordPress Running Excellently
There is an excellent benefit in speeding up your WordPress website. It is essential to create an efficient user experience and also improve your search engine rankings. If you used any of these suggestions, leave a comment below.