Are you tired of waiting for your WordPress website to load? Are you frustrated with how long it takes for your web pages to render? If so, you’re not alone. A slow website is one of the most common complaints among web users. According to Google Consumer Insights in 2022, 53% of mobile site visitors will leave a page if it takes more than three seconds to load.
That’s why today we’re going to share some tips on how to help your site in WordPress speed up. By following these simple tips, you can dramatically reduce the loading time of your pages and improve the user experience for your visitors. So, let’s get started!
Why is Site Speed Important?
Site loading time is important for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it affects user experience. A slow website is frustrating to use, and it can leave visitors feeling unhappy and unsatisfied. In addition, slow site loads can also hurt your website’s SEO. Google takes load time into account when ranking websites, so a slow website will likely receive a lower ranking than a fast one. Finally, slow loading times can also cause lost revenue. Google’s research shows that the chance of a bounce increased by 32% when a page load time went from one to three seconds, and by 90% when the page load time went from one to five seconds.
How Fast Should a Site Load?
In order to ensure your website is running as quickly as possible, you need to first understand how fast it should be loading. The average load time for a website is around three seconds, but you may need to make your site faster than that in order to keep up with the competition. If your website is loading slowly, you’ll want to aim for a load time of two seconds or less.
Why is my Site Speed Slow?
There are many factors that can contribute to a slow-loading website. In some cases, it may be due to server issues beyond your control. However, in other cases, it may be due to problems with your website itself. Some common causes of slow loading times include:
- Large file sizes
- Too many plugins or heavy themes
- Unoptimized images
- Slow hosting
How Can I Make my WordPress Speed Up?
Now that we’ve covered some common reasons why your site may be loading slowly, let’s get into how we can get your WordPress site to load faster. In this section, we’re going to outline some of the most effective methods to speed up WordPress websites.
1. Use a caching plugin
One of the best ways to speed up your WordPress site is by using a caching plugin. Caching plugins create a static version of your website which is then served to visitors, instead of loading the entire site each time someone visits. This can help reduce server load times and make your site run faster.
2. Optimize your images
Images can often be the biggest culprit when it comes to slow loading times. But by optimizing your images for the web, you can reduce their file size without compromising quality. There are a few ways you can do this, such as using an image compression plugin or tools like ImageOptim or TinyJPG before uploading the images to the WordPress media library.
3. Minimize HTTP requests
Another way to speed up your WordPress website is by minimizing HTTP requests. This means reducing the number of files that need to be loaded when someone visits your site. One way you can do this is by using a CSS file instead of inline CSS.
4. Use a content delivery network
A content delivery network (CDN) is a global network of servers that deliver cached static files to visitors based on their location. This can help speed up your site because the files are being delivered from a server that is closer to the visitor’s location.
5. Enable gzip compression
Gzip compression is a method of compressing files so that they take up less space on your server. This can help speed up your WordPress site because it reduces the amount of data that needs to be loaded when someone visits your site. You can enable gzip compression in your .htaccess file or use a plugin like WP Super Cache.
6. Use a faster WordPress theme
If you’re using slow or default WordPress themes, this can be one of the biggest factors slowing down your site. A good way to test how fast your WordPress themes are is by using the Google PageSpeed Insights tool. This will give you a score for your mobile and desktop versions, as well as provide suggestions on how you can improve your speed.
7. Upgrade to a faster web host
If you’re using a shared web hosting plan, you may be sharing server resources with other websites. This can sometimes lead to slower load times if another site is using up a lot of resources. If you find that your site is slow, you may want to consider upgrading to a faster web host or VPS.
8. Disable hotlinking and leeching of your content
If you’re finding that other sites are linking to your images or content without your permission, this is called hotlinking. Not only is this bad for your bandwidth, but it can also slow down your site. You can prevent hotlinking by adding a few lines of code to your .htaccess file.
9. Clean up your WordPress database
Over time, your WordPress database can become cluttered with unnecessary data. This can lead to slow query times and an overall slower site. You can clean up your database by using a plugin like WP-Sweep or WP-Optimize.
10. Implement lazy loading
Lazy loading is a method of deferring the loading of images until they’re needed. This means that images below the fold (the part of the page that’s visible without scrolling) won’t be loaded until the visitor scrolls down. Lazy loading can help speed up your site because it reduces the number of HTTP requests that need to be made.
You can implement lazy loading by using a plugin like lazy Load Images or Lazy Load XT.
12. Prefetching DNS records
DNS prefetching is a method of resolving DNS records before they’re needed. This can help reduce the amount of time it takes to load a page because the DNS lookup is done in the background. You can add the following code to your header to enable DNS prefetching:
<link rel="dns-prefetch" href="//domain.com">
13. Specifying a character set in your HTTP headers
When a browser requests a page, it has to first parse the HTML to find out which character set is being used. This can add a small amount of time to the loading of a page. You can specify the character set in your HTTP headers, which can help reduce the time it takes to load a page. You can add the following code to your header:
<!DOCTYPE html> <html lang="en"> <head> <meta charset="utf-8"> ...
14. Specifying a Vary: Accept-Encoding header
The Vary: Accept-Encoding header tells the browser which types of compression are supported by the server. This can help improve the performance of your site because the browser doesn’t have to guess which type of compression to use. You can add the following code to your header:
<IfModule mod_headers.c> <FilesMatch "\.(js|css|xml|gz)$"> Header append Vary: Accept-Encoding </FilesMatch> </IfModule>
12 Tools to Help Reduce WordPress Website Loading Times
Some great resources and tools for optimizing your WordPress site speed are:
1. Google PageSpeed Insights
This tool will give you a score for your mobile and desktop versions, as well as provide suggestions on how you can improve your WordPress site’s speed.
This plugin helps clean up your WordPress database by deleting unnecessary data.
This plugin also helps clean up your WordPress database and optimize it for faster query times.
4. a3 Lazy Load
This plugin enables lazy loading on your WordPress site, which can help reduce HTTP requests and improve page speed.
This service offers a free CDN and security features that can help speed up your WordPress sites.
This plugin includes a feature called Photon that can help speed up your site by optimizing images and serving them from the WordPress.com CDN.
7. W3 Total Cache
This caching plugin can help improve your WordPress website’s performance by caching static files and reducing the number of HTTP requests.
8. WP Super Cache
This caching plugin can also help improve your WordPress performance by caching static files and reducing the number of HTTP requests.
9. WP Smush
An image compression plugin that can help optimize your images.
10. Google PageSpeed Insights
A tool that evaluates your site speed and provides suggestions for improvement.
A tool that lets you test your site speed from various locations around the world.
A tool that lets you compress your images to reduce file size.
Speed is a critical aspect of any website. By following the tips and resources in this blog post, you can help speed up your WordPress website and improve the user experience. We hope that you find these tips helpful and that they help you achieve faster load times on your website.
If you would like additional help optimizing your WordPress website speed, contact Digital Operating Solutions for a quote!
Frequently Asked Questions
Will updating WordPress affect my site speed?
Updating WordPress can sometimes affect site speed, depending on the plugins you are using and how well they are coded. Always make sure to test your site after updating WordPress to ensure that there are no compatibility issues. If you notice that your site is running slowly after updating WordPress, try disabling some of your plugins or upgrading to a more recent version of WordPress.
For more information on this, read our blog on how updating WordPress can affect your site.
Is WordPress good for site speed?
Yes, site speed on WordPress is typically good. However, there are a number of things you can do to improve it even further. Follow the tips and resources in this blog post to help speed up your WordPress website.
If you’re looking to build a WordPress website, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide with pros and cons of using WordPress.
Do plugins slow down WordPress sites?
Adding new code to WordPress increases load time. Almost all plugins halt the site, but performance effects are negligible with small plugin designs. A third point should be avoided using plugins that are “do everything” or simply “Swiss army knife plugins”.
What is a CDN and how can it help improve website speed?
A CDN, or content delivery network, is a service that hosts copies of your website’s files on servers around the world. This can help improve your website’s performance by serving your files from a location that is closer to your visitors. Cloudflare is a popular CDN service that offers free features that can help speed up your WordPress site.
What metrics should I track for my WordPress Website?
Some of the key metrics that WordPress users should track to ensure a successful WordPress website include:
Website uptime – You should track how often your website is down and investigate any problems that might be causing downtime.
Website speed – You should track your website’s load time and investigate any problems that might be causing it to slow down.
Website traffic – You should track how much traffic your website is receiving and investigate any problems that might be causing a decrease in traffic.
Website conversions – You should track how many conversions your website is generating and investigate any problems that might be causing a decrease in conversion rates.
Website revenue – You should track how much revenue your website is generating and investigate any problems that might be causing a decrease in revenue.
What is an HTTP request?
An HTTP request is a request sent by a web browser to a web server in order to load a web page or download a file. Each time a web page is loaded, the browser sends an HTTP request to the server. The server then responds with the requested file or page. The number of HTTP requests made by a web browser can have a significant impact on website speed. Reducing the number of HTTP requests made by a web browser can help speed up WordPress.
What is a VPS?
A VPS, or virtual private server, is a type of hosting that allows you to have your own server without having to pay for a dedicated server. A VPS can be a good option for WordPress websites that are starting to outgrow shared hosting.
What is caching?
Caching is a technique that stores frequently accessed data in a temporary location so that it can be quickly accessed the next time it is needed. Caching can help improve website speed by reducing the amount of time that is needed to access data.