Page speed load time has a great impact on your website ranking and conversion. If you want to speed up WordPress site, you’re at the right place.

In this post, I’m going to show you how to improve your page speed load time.

First, you’ll understand why page speed matters.

Then, I’ll show you 10 tested and proven tips to speed up WordPress site loading speed and get better ranking.

Sound good? Let’s dive right in…

 

Why Page Speed Matters?

According to a study by Kissmetric:

  • 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less.
  • 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.
  • A 1-second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.


via GIPHY

Let’s face it. Nobody likes to wait for a website to load.

In addition to that, Google begins to use page speed as a ranking factor. Google favors faster loading websites and ranks them higher on the search result pushing slow loading websites down to the bottom.

 

Before You Get Started

First of all, check your current page load time so you can measure the improved performance once you started applying these tips one by one. You’ll understand what works best for your site and hosting, and what doesn’t.

I recommend using the following things to check your page load time. Do run the test a couple of times to get a more accurate result.

  1. Pingdom
  2. GTMetrix

Finally, you should back up your website. You will experiment a lot with your WordPress configuration and often times, you might break some functionality on your website.

Before you start freaking out when things break, keep in mind you have a backup somewhere. So feel free to test out and experiment as much as you want to get the best result.

Don’t have a website? What are you waiting for? Check out our complete guide to start your own blog now.

Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning if you choose to buy them, I will earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Please know that I have experience with all of the following resources and I recommend them because they are great.

 

10 Ways to Speed Up WordPress

1. Minify CSS and Javascript Files

WordPress themes and plugins come with tons of CSS and Javascript files. These files are responsible for adding extra functionalities and behavior to your sites such as the page builder you’re using or the gallery plugin on your website.. you get the idea.

As a result, if you run your website on Google PageSpeed Insight, Google will recommend you to optimize your CSS and javascript files.

Minifying the CSS and Javascript files on your WordPress site could reduce its file size, making them load faster and speed up your WordPress site. Consequently,  Google will love your website and improve your PageSpeed score.

To do this in WordPress, you could install and activate the Autoptimize plugin. This plugin will do all the heavy lifting for you.

Autoptimize will minify HTML, CSS and Javascript files on your site making it smaller for a web browser to download and cache these files for even faster loading.

The other thing that worth mentioning is you could inline “above the fold CSS” or mostly known as “Critical CSS” while defer loading the remaining CSS files.

What it means is you could eliminate the infamous render blocking CSS on Google PageSpeed Insight and improve your score.

You could also install WP Rocket alongside Autoptimize. The page caching feature from WP Rocket works best with Autoptimize and would further improve your site’s loading time even more.

 

2. Optimize Your Image

A lot of things could go wrong with the images on your site. I’ve seen many travel or lifestyle bloggers out there uploaded an 8MP or 12MP photos taken from their phones or digital cameras to their site.

Guess what?

These images are often used as a small thumbnail or in article image that only warrants a 700-pixel wide image.


via GIPHY

Images are your most important assets on your site but using the wrong image size on your site could impact your site performance negatively.

Three things you could do to optimize images on your website.

1. Resize or crop your image before uploading it to your website.

This will greatly reduce the file size. A study by CNET shows that the average file size for a still photo taken on iPhone 6 Plus (8MP) is 2.59MB. Compared that to a 600px wide JPG image which ranges from 20-200KB only.

That’s over 90% decrease in file size.

2. Compress your image before you upload it to your site.

You could use websites such as tinypng.com to compress your image.

TinyPng - Compress Images

My favorite tool that I always use to compress images is ImageOptim. It free and it works really great to reduce file size while still preserving the quality. Simply drag and drop your images and ImageOptim will handle the rest.

ImageOptim - Optimize Image

What I like about ImageOptim is that it gives you the option to remove EXIF metadata from your image such as GPS position, camera model. This works great for me cause I always worry about exposing too much private information on the net.

3. Install and activate WP Smush plugin on your website.

While I always try to follow the first 2 steps mentioned above to optimize the image, but I have to admit, sometimes I take the shortcut.

When I’m under the pressure of time to publish a new article, I always try to find any images I could use and just upload it to my site without checking.

Luckily I have WP Smush plugin installed. This plugin will always check for any uploaded image and smush it for you. They are like the last defender.

 

3. Clean Up Your Database

Do you know WordPress saves a revision of your post every time you saved a draft or updated a published post/page?

WordPress Revisions CountIt’s great cause what it means is WordPress keeps a copy of your post every time you saved or made any changes to it so you could always revert back to it.

However, these revisions could hurt your website performance over time.

These revisions could grow very big pretty fast on a large site or even on a smaller site if you’re actively creating content.

Imagine you have 50 posts with each post has 100 revisions. You easily have 5,000 extra rows on your database.

These rows contribute to your database size, and huge database could slow down your website.

You could install and run WP Optimize plugin to clean up your website database. WP Optimize would clean up your post revisions, auto-saved draft, and spam/unapproved comments.

WP Optimize Database
WP Optimize

If you have WP Rocket plugin installed, you could schedule a regular database clean up in WP Rocket to keep everything running smoothly.

WP Rocket Database Optimize
WP Rocket Database Optimize

 

If you run your website through Google PageSpeed Insight, you would often encounter the following message:

Eliminate render-blocking JavaScript and CSS in above-the-fold content

To give a context to how your browser parses HTML document (Normal Execution):

HTML Parsing Javascript
Credit: W3Reign

When the browser parser reaches a <script> tag on the HTML, it stops to load and run the script. This becomes a problem when you have several javascript files on the page. This behavior will block the page from rendering.

A quick way to fix this is to move your javascript files to footer area before the closing </body> tag.

 

5. Defer Loading Javascript Files

Deferred loading tells your browser to only execute these scripts once the HTML document has fully loaded. Therefore, it ensures that your page will load first without delay. As you can see from the illustration below:

Defer Loading Javascript Files
Credit: W3reign

WP Rocket has built-in support for “Defer JS Loading”. Simply check the checkbox next to “Load JS files deferred” and you’re all set. Don’t forget to turn on “Safe Mode”.

Additional resources on defer loading javascript:

  

6. Use a Caching Plugin

When it comes to optimizing your website for faster load time, setting up a caching plugin might just do the trick.

How does caching work?

Whenever someone visits your website for the first time, your server will try to process the requests and run a database query to fetch and display the information.

A caching plugin will create a static HTML version of the content and serves it to the next persons that come to your website. These cache files are often called snapshot.

Your hosting server could load these static HTML files to your site visitors much faster than the time it needs for WordPress to process the request again and again.

Hence, that’s how caching plugin could help you load your site faster.

The caching plugins that I recommend are WP Rocket and WP Super Cache. WP Super Cache is free and much easier to configure as compared to W3 Total Cache and it works great.

In terms of performance and features, WP Rocket is the best caching plugin for WordPress. It has tons of features that free caching plugins don’t provide.

If you’re using a managed WordPress hosting, you don’t need to install a caching plugin as they have a proprietary caching plugin setup for you.

Do you know that WP Rocket is the ONLY caching plugin allowed on WP Engine?

Do you know that WP Rocket is the ONLY caching plugin allowed on WP Engine?Click To Tweet

 

7. Reduce Latency with Content Delivery Network (CDN)

A Content Delivery Network (CDN) could make loading of static content on your site much faster by bringing these content closer to the user.

How does a CDN work?

A CDN has Points of Presence (PoPs) or collections of servers located all around the world. When a browser makes requests to load static content, these requests will be re-routed to the PoP or server closest to the browser location.

This reduces the round trip time from the browser to the server, also known as latency. As a result, it helps the content load quicker.

You could get started with Cloudflare for free. Cloudflare isn’t just a CDN service, they have tons of features that could speed up your site.

With Cloudflare, you could minify Javascript, CSS and HTML file to reduce file size.

Cloudflare Auto Minify HTML, JavaScript, CSS

Cloudflare has a feature called “Rocket Loader”. Rocket Loader would load your javascript files asynchronously. It means these javascript files won’t block your page from rendering.

Do take note that this feature might break your website as it depends on the theme and plugins you’re using.

Cloudflare Rocket Loader

 

8. Use HTTP/2

HTTP/2 is a major revision of HTTP1.1 that provides huge improvement and performance benefits for everyone.

In a nutshell, when a browser sent a request to a web server with HTTP1.1, requests are being processed one at a time. So for a website with tons of assets (CSS, Javascript, images) to load, this is a huge drawback.

On the other hand, HTTP/2 supports multiplexed streams, it means multiple requests could process at the same time. Hence, it gives faster page load time and better search engine ranking.

Check out the demo by ImageKit.io to find out the difference in performance.

Most importantly, you don’t have to make changes to your existing codebase.

To enable HTTP/2, you only need an SSL certificate installed and server that supports HTTP/2. You could first install free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate on your server if you haven’t done so. And use KeyCDN’s HTTP/2 test tool to see if you’re supported.

Website Performance - HTTP/2 Test
www.typeeighty.com supports HTTP/2.0. Yay!

If your server doesn’t support HTTP/2, you could leverage on CDN. For example, Cloudflare enables HTTP/2 supports by default.

Additional resources on web optimization:

  

9. Removed Problematic and Unused Plugins

How many plugins do you have installed on your WordPress site?

There are plugins for almost everything you want to do in WordPress. But that doesn’t mean you should just go ahead and install all the plugins you need.

Likewise, you shouldn’t keep plugins you don’t use.

Installing many plugins on your site could slow down your website by adding more requests to load.

In addition to that, installing a bad plugin could open up security holes and provide access for hackers to attack your website.

An easy way to speed up WordPress site is by going through a list of installed plugins, identify which plugins you don’t need and remove it from your site.

Don’t just deactivate it, you need to completely remove it.

 

10. Switch to Managed WordPress Hosting

If you’re a personal blogger or you’re blogging for fun, you should use a shared hosting to host your website.

However, if you’re blogging for business or you’re treating your blog as a business, switching to Managed WordPress hosting is a good investment in the long run.

Slow hosting server is one the main reasons your website loading is extremely slow. Often times, it boils down to shared hosting.

Hosting your website on a shared hosting means you’re sharing resources with dozens or hundreds other websites on the same server. While it sounds bad, it’s what makes hosting company able to let you host your website for the same amount of money you spent on a coffee every month. That’s how that cheap it is.

An alternative to shared hosting is to use a managed WordPress hosting. Managed WordPress hosting is tailored and optimized for WordPress website performance. It’s guaranteed to speed up your WordPress site. They will help you maintain your website and ensure your website always load fast.

The best Managed WordPress hosting in the world is WP Engine, hands down, with over 80 thousand paying customers in 140 countries.

Among many others, WP Engine offers real-time security threat detection so you can make sure your online business is secure. The hosting comes with an EverCache proprietary caching technology and a global CDN so you don’t have to pay for another CDN service or install another caching plugin on your website.

The WordPress experts will also manage WordPress patches and updates on your website so have even fewer things to worry about.

 

Final Thoughts

The journey to speed up WordPress site could be daunting and terrifying especially if you don’t have proper technical knowledge about it.

My take on these tips for you are:

1. Use a CDN to get an easy and quick performance boost. If you don’t use any CDN at the moment, start with Cloudflare’s free plan. It’s easy to set up and it plays well with the best caching plugins, such as WP Rocket, WP Super Cache, and W3 Total Cache.

2. Use a caching plugin. Caching plugin in WordPress could be tricky and hard to configure. Personally, I prefer WP Super Cache over W3 Total Cache. W3 Total Cache has tons of options that you can configure up to your preference but I want something that I could set up and configure easily and WP Super Cache does just that.

3. Use a plugin that does more than one thing. There are a few plugins I mentioned in this post that great at what they are doing but they are just doing one thing.

Autoptimize is great at minifying HTML/CSS/JS but they don’t provide page caching that’s essential for improving performance.

WP Optimize is great at optimizing database and it doesn’t do anything else.

WP Super Cache is great at caching your website, but they don’t provide options to defer loading your javascript.

On the other hand, a few optimization tips above can be easily achieved with WP Rocket, and it does a lot more. Check out the full feature list. With all things considered, you’re installing fewer plugins for a lot more optimization features.

Unfortunately, it’s not free. WP Rocket costs $39 for a single site. But if you’re seriously looking at improving your page load time, I recommend you to get WP Rocket.

4. Switch to a managed WordPress hosting. For a business owner, time is money. Spending your time trying to optimize your site, probably isn’t your biggest things to do. That’s where WP Engine could help you. WP Engine takes care of your site security, performance to ensure your website is always up and blazing fast.

Only for TypeEighty, you could sign up here to save 20% OFF your first payment with WP Engine, that’s 4 months free on any annual subscription.

I want my 20% Off WP Engine


Yuyu

I am a Front-end developer, design lover, coffee addict, technology enthusiast. Has strong passion for productivity, new ideas and problem solving.

All author posts
Related Posts

12 Best Social Sharing Plugins for WordPress in 2018

No one's sharing your content on social media? Learn how you can…

iphone - notebook - TypeEighty

How to Install a WordPress Plugin: A Step by Step Guide

In this guide, we will cover how you can install a WordPress plugin.…

iMac - TypeEighty

How to Install a WordPress Theme

Now that your WordPress site is up and running, you’re probably can’t…

DON’T MISS OUT!
Subscribe To Newsletter
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
Stay Updated
Give it a try, you can unsubscribe anytime. . No spam, I promise.
close-link
Share
Tweet
Pin