Enhancing the speed of your WordPress website is essential to preserve user involvement and ensure a great experience for visitors. In this blog post, we’ll look into various methods to help you enhance the speed of your website and attain a rapid WordPress site.
WordPress Site Speed
The world has been swept away by the immense power of WordPress as a content creation tool. In fact, the platform has been used to create over 75 million websites. To enhance the performance of your WordPress website, you’ll need to manage various elements such as plugins, themes, and images. These items can potentially slow down your site’s loading speed regardless of which content management system you use. However, there are ways to optimize your site speed by ensuring that all related content is efficiently loaded in the background before visitors engage with it. It’s important to note that a slow-loading page can negatively impact user experience and deter potential customers from exploring your website further.
Why Is Site Speed Important?
The sound of a dial-up modem screeching nostalgically to indicate that your webpage will eventually load is now a part of technological history. These days, consumers expect web pages to load fast. In fact, 40% reported that they would abandon a site if it takes longer than three seconds to load.
Optimizing the speed of your WordPress website is crucial for the success of your business. A slow-loading site can result in loss of traffic and revenue as online consumers tend to be impatient. Therefore, it’s essential to ensure that your website loads quickly to keep up with their expectations.In fact, over half of all mobile users admit to abandoning a page based solely on its slow loading time. It is important to mention that websites that load within 1-2 seconds have higher conversion rates nearly three times higher than those that load in 5-10 seconds.
Having slow website speeds can be detrimental to your business as it may cause potential customers to lose interest and move on. Additionally, slower websites can negatively impact your search engine rankings, making it harder for people to find you online. Google recently announced that page speed will become a ranking factor in mobile searches by July 2018. Having a slow website can have adverse effects on your SEO ranking, making it crucial to understand how to speed up WordPress sites. It’s essential to take action now and learn the necessary steps for optimizing your site’s performance.
Website Speed Is Even More Important for Mobile
While the ubiquity of mobile devices and mobile use is not exactly news, you might not know that speed plays a huge role in the way Google indexes mobile searches. Even if your website is not the fastest, as long as it remains relevant to specific search queries, it can still attain a good position in search engine rankings.However, Google does prioritize faster mobile sites.
Approximately 20% of the American population identifies as ‘mobile-only’ internet users. To ensure a positive user experience, it is advisable to consider utilizing contemporary WordPress themes and carefully selecting plugins that optimize loading times for your mobile site. that are built on the concept of responsive design.
How Fast Should a Site Load?
According to Google, it is recommended to maintain a loading time of three seconds or less for your website. Research suggests that if the loading time exceeds three seconds, there is a 32% chance that users will leave immediately (bounce rate). Furthermore, if the page takes more than five seconds to load, the probability of bounce increases by 90%. To prevent losing visitors and keep them engaged with your website, it’s crucial to aim for an average loading time of less than three seconds (and preferably faster).
How To Decrease Page Loading Times
To contribute to the optimization of WordPress speed for your website, there are several uncomplicated techniques you can implement. Enabling caching on your site is a straightforward method. Additionally, there are other tips that can be utilized, such as optimizing images and reducing HTTP requests. By following these steps, you can improve the performance of your WordPress site without relying solely on external tools.
1. Run a Site Speed Diagnosis
Improving your website’s performance involves knowing how quickly it loads. It is recommended to monitor site speed when implementing changes like installing a plugin, to see the impact on load times. The most common tool like the WP Engine Speed Tool used for analyzing load speed is Google PageSpeed. Upon entering your website’s URL, you will receive a personalized report on the speed of your site’s loading time. The report will also provide recommendations on how to improve its speed. Additionally, you have the option to analyze the load time of a particular page by inputting its URL.
Or if you’re a WP Engine customer, we recommend using Page Performance within the User Portal to track and test your web page’s performance against site changes. You can automate the process of setting up Page Performance tests by scheduling recurring tests to be sent to your email inbox. This way, you don’t have to manually set it up every time.
2. Delete Unused Plugins and Themes
Optimizing the performance of your WordPress website involves more than just updating plugins and themes. It’s also important to remove any unused plugins or themes, as they can pose security risks and slow down your site. To delete an unused plugin, start by deactivating it. Then, navigate to the list of inactive plugins and delete any that you no longer need. If you have unwanted WordPress themes installed, go to Appearance > Themes and delete them from there. This will help improve your website’s speed and overall performance.
3. Clean Up Your Media Library
To address performance problems on your WordPress website, a simple solution is to eliminate any media that is no longer necessary. As time goes by, you may accumulate images that are not being used anymore. To free up storage space and improve site speed, it’s recommended to get rid of these unused files. One way to remove unused media is by using the Media Cleaner plugin or doing it manually. If you choose the manual method, go to Add Media -> Media Library -> Unattached and delete any files that are no longer in use. For more information on how to clean up your WordPress media library, check out our guide.
4. Clean Up Your Database
Over time, your WordPress database can accumulate unnecessary data that can slow down your site. This clutter needs to be regularly removed to reduce the size of your database and improve loading times. One major source of bloat is post-revisions. For example, if you have a 100KB post with five revisions, you’re wasting about 500KB of space. While cleaning up your database manually through phpMyAdmin is possible, it’s also risky if you lack technical expertise. A safer option would be to install a plugin designed for this purpose. WP-Sweep and Advanced Database Cleaner are both safe bets to broom through your database and get rid of things like old revisions, spam comments, MySQL queries, and more.
If you want to boost the speed of your website, it’s important to optimize its backend by minifying CSS, HTML and other source code files. This process involves removing unnecessary characters such as spaces, line breaks and comments from these files in order to reduce their size. By doing so, less data transfer is required when loading web pages which results in faster load times for visitors. To achieve this optimization, there are several plugins available that can help you minify your code effectively. Autoptimize is one of the top rated free plugins for this task. You might also try the premium plugin WP Rocket which helps with site optimization, including minification. CSS Compressor is another good option that simplifies CSS code.
7. Optimize Images
Images are imperative to keeping a site visitor engaged. While your site may contain a ton of beautiful imagery, it’s a good idea to optimize these images to achieve fast page load times. There are multiple ways you can optimize your images, including compressing images, adding alt text and titles, and creating an image sitemap.
8. Lazy-Load Long Pages
Lazy Loading is a useful technique for websites with long home pages or one-page sites. It works by delaying the loading of elements that are lower down on the page until the visitor scrolls to view them. This helps to speed up the rendering process as not all content is loaded at once, resulting in faster load times for your site. A common plugin used for this would be BJ Lazy Load.
9. Limit Comments Per Page
Receiving numerous comments on your blog posts is great, but it can also lead to slower page load times. To combat this issue, you may want to consider dividing the comment section into multiple pages. By doing so, you can reduce the time it takes for the comments to appear and improve overall page performance. To adjust the number of comments displayed per page, navigate to Settings -> Discussion and select the “Break comments into pages” option. From there, you can choose how many comments should be shown on each page (the default setting is 50). This simple tweak can have a significant impact on memory usage and loading speeds for posts or pages with a high volume of comments.
10. Reduce Redirects
While redirects can be useful in certain situations, having too many unnecessary ones like 301 redirects and redirect chains can significantly decrease website speed. It’s important to minimize the number of extra requests your server has to handle.
11. Reduce Post Revisions
If you’re experiencing slow site performance, it could be due to the fact that most revisions are being saved indefinitely. To improve your site’s speed, you can opt to restrict the number of revisions per post. This can be achieved by adding a line of code in the wp-config.php file.
define( ‘WP_POST_REVISIONS’, 4 );
In this context, the numerical value represents four, indicating that there will be four versions of each post created. You have the option to modify this number or disable revisions altogether by setting the value to 0 or false.
12. Disable Pingbacks and Trackbacks
While you might have never heard of pingbacks or trackbacks before, they are considered by some to be a legacy feature. Although it’s still a good idea to make sure they are turned off as they can cause slowness when it comes to page speed.
To disable pingbacks and trackbacks, simply go to Settings -> Discussion and make sure “Allow link notifications from other blogs…” is unchecked.
13. Run the Latest Version of PHP
Running the latest version of PHP can have a major effect on the speed of your site. To determine if your site is ready to switch to the latest PHP environment, try using WP Engine’s PHP Compatibility Checker plugin..
Updating to the latest version of PHP on your own is also easy and can be done by going to your user portal and following the steps.
14. Choose a Fast, Lightweight Theme
When it comes to WordPress themes, their quality can vary greatly. While a visually appealing design is important, it’s equally crucial for your site to load quickly and efficiently. Instead of choosing a theme with an abundance of features (which can result in excessive code that slows down your site), consider selecting a minimalist option that includes only the essential elements needed for optimal performance..
15. Use a CDN
To ensure that your website content loads quickly regardless of a user’s location, you may need to use a content delivery network (CDN). A CDN can help reduce lag in content delivery caused by distance. It does this by using an optimized server closest to the site visitor and storing static files and content in data centers around the world. This eliminates the need for multiple HTTP requests, as the static content is already available for immediate delivery. The choice of CDN depends on your website’s popularity and requirements. Popular WordPress CDNs include MaxCDN, Cloudflare, or CacheFly. WP Engine users can configure their MaxCDN solution through the User Portal.
FAQs in Relation to Speed Up WordPress
In conclusion, optimizing your WordPress site can greatly improve its speed and performance. If you’re looking to speed up WordPress for your business or eCommerce website, contact Amadeus Consulting today to learn more about our web development services.