Website speed plays a vital role when it comes to ranking and conversions. Research shows that if your website takes more than 3 seconds to load, more than 53% of visitors will abandon it. And with all the competition nowadays they don’t get short in options. This article will show you how to speed up a WordPress website in 9 easy steps.
So you already understood that a slow website speed and the download time affect your site’s traffic and affect your brand’s credibility. As such, you must fix this issue immediately to enhance the user experience and boost your conversion.
Now, on the one hand, while WordPress is an excellent CMS to start your website or blog with, on the other hand, if it is not well-maintained, it could slow down your website considerably, making it sluggish.
Thus, if you want to speed up and optimize your WordPress site’s speed and performance, then here are nine easy steps to help you achieve it.
Why Website Speed Matters?
A simple fact, if a customer lands on your website and it doesn’t load in seconds, chances are that he will get frustrated and move on to another site.
In this fast-paced world, where there are plenty of options available, no one has the time to hang around, and thus, you are losing out on potential leads if you fail to make an excellent first impression.
Moreover, Google loves faster websites. In 2020, Google announced an update that will occur around May 2021, which will focus on Core Web Vitals. This means that how fast your website loads will highly impact your rankings. And we know that keyword drops can mean up to 80% of traffic loss. You can’t afford this.
Hence, you must regularly test your site’s speed using tools like Web.dev by Google, GTMetrix, PageSpeed Insights, and Pingdom and fix all issues & errors to facilitate faster search engine indexing and provide visitors with a superior browsing experience.
9 Easy Steps To Speed Up Your WordPress Website
Bellow, you will find nine steps you should take to improve your website speed, which will give you better rankings, an improved user experience, and ultimately more sales.
1. Switch To A Faster Host
The host’s speed and the hosting package you have purchased play an essential role in your website page speed and load time.
While shared hosting is a good option for beginners, it does limit your site as it begins to grow, the reason being that you are sharing hosting resources with other customers, which impacts the server speed.
Similarly, the speed of the host largely depends on the server infrastructure and technology being used. Thus, if your site is sluggish, you need to check your hosting resources and upgrade to a new plan or switch to a faster host to speed up your WordPress website.
2. Pick a Lightweight and Faster WP Theme
Choosing a theme that looks great but consists of too many unnecessary features can harm your site’s speed, and as such, you need to be judicious when selecting a theme for your WordPress website or blog.
The best way to handle this issue is to pick a WordPress theme that is simple, lightweight, and optimized for speed, as this would ensure that your website is functioning optimally at all times.
3. Uninstall Unnecessary WordPress Plugins
One of the best things about WordPress is the availability of tonnes of valuable plugins. However, having too many plugins unnecessary plugins on your site can decrease your site’s speed.
Hence, you must deactivate or uninstall plugins that are not in use to optimize your database, which, in turn, will help boost your website speed. Furthermore, you can quickly identify and remove plugins that are slowing down your website with the help of this fantastic plugin – P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler).
4. Install an Effective WordPress Caching Plugin
By enabling browser caching and site compression, you can make your site load faster, especially repeat visitors. Serving a cached version of your site will reduce server process time for each new query.
Thus, you must install a useful caching plugin like W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache if you want to speed up your WordPress website drastically. If you’re looking into paid solutions, I recommend you WP Fastest Cache and Wp-Rocket as they come with more plug-and-play features. We’ve tested both here on Monetize.info with excellent results.
Check our WP Rocket Plugin Review to see precisely how it speeds up your WordPress website.
5. Minify JS and CSS files
Minifying means removing any extra spaces or unwanted white spaces from your website’s coding. By doing this, you can reduce these files’ size, making them lightweight and more comfortable to download, improving the site’s load time and performance.
The best part, for a hassle-free process, you can make use of the Autoptimize plugin that will help you to minify not only JS and CSS files but also help optimize the HTML files on your WordPress website.
For more technical optimization you should do to your website, check our Complete SEO Checklist.
6. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
A server’s location can have a significant impact on your site speed and loading time. For example, if your hosting server is located in India, then a visitor from India can view your site faster than a visitor in London, and this where a CDN comes into the picture.
A CDN, or a content delivery network, helps bridge this gap by taking all your static files and serving them to your visitor on servers closest to them, ensuring that your website loads faster for all across the world. Thus, for a faster load time, using the right CDN like MaxCDN or Cloudflare is imperative.
7. Optimize Your Site’s Images
Large media files and unoptimized images are some of the biggest reasons for a sluggish website speed. When uploading images or other media files to your site, you need to ensure that they are well-optimized, as this could greatly help reduce your site’s page load time.
The best part is several plugins such as WP Smush it (check there WP Smush Pro) and Image Recycle that can help you automatically optimize your images and compress them effectively. If you use WP-Rocket or WP Fastest Cache, both these plugins come with built-in add-ons to auto-optimize images right after upload.
Also, if we talk about images, you should optimize your images for Google Search.
#8 – Optimize WordPress Database
Over time, as you are using WordPress, your database tends to be filled with unnecessary data such as post revisions, trashed drafts, new tags, tables, etc., which could affect your site speed if left unattended.
Thus, to prevent this, you need to optimize your WordPress database regularly. Moreover, while you can manually perform this task, to save time, I would recommend that you use a plugin like WP-Optimize or WP-DBManager to help you optimize your database at-a-click of a button automatically.
#9 – Clean Up Spam Comments, Trash, and Media Library
Spam comments can take a lot of your website space affecting your site’s speed, and as such, you need to delete these permanently. However, instead of manually doing this task, you could make use of the Askimet plugin, which automatically checks and blocks spam, saving you disk space and speeding up your WordPress website.
Similarly, any post, page, or media file moved to trash will continue to take database space until they are permanently deleted, leading to slow loading of web pages. Thus, this is yet another culprit that you need to deal with.
Lastly, temporary and redundant media files in your WordPress media library can clutter up your storage space big time, slowing down your website. Hence, to optimize your site, you need to remove these files, easily accomplished with the Image Cleanup plugin’s help.
Optimizing your site to improve its speed and performance is crucial if you want to get a higher ROI. The above easy steps will help you enhance your site’s loading time and as such, make sure to implement these on your site to reduce bounce rate and increase website traffic & ranking.