WordPress is an outstanding platform, with over 39% of the web being powered by WordPress. While this is a strong metric, it also implies that there are thousands of technologies, plugins, and themes that have to co-exist. This could easily become a nightmare for WordPress users when their site begins to bottleneck, and they have no clue how they should begin to troubleshoot the issue.
Site speed is very important. Fast loading pages increase your page views, improve user experience and contribute positively to your WordPress SEO. The average human attention span is very short, which means you have very little time to show your site visitors your content and convince them to stay a little longer. Read on for expert tips on how to speed up WordPress performance.
Choose a good web hosting provider
Your WordPress hosting service plays a crucial role in your WordPress site performance. For a shared hosting provider, you share resources with several other sites. This implies that if your neighboring sites get a lot of traffic, it affects the performance of the entire server, which will impact the performance of your site.
A good shared hosting service should take steps to optimize your WordPress site for performance. On the other hand, managed WordPress hosting service offers optimized server configurations. They also offer automatic WordPress updates, automatic backups, and other advanced security configurations.
For optimized speed performance, we recommend you run your WordPress site on Ubuntu. Learn how to install WordPress on Ubuntu 20.04 and speed up your sites with this guide from SpinupWP.
Use a lightweight WordPress theme
WordPress themes with several dynamic elements, social icons, widgets, and sliders are appealing to the eye, but they can cause your web server to take a beating. This is especially the case when they have higher page sizes and too many elements. To avoid this, be sure to use lightweight themes. You can opt for default WordPress themes, or you can choose a theme that uses a good framework for a feature-rich website.
Reduce image sizes
Overly large images can result in a huge decrease in the speed of your webpages. The solution for this is to reduce image sizes without compromising their quality. Doing this manually can be draining and time-consuming. Luckily, there are several plugins and tools for image optimizations to help you with this.
Use a CDN (Content Delivery Network)
Your site visitors can come from different places around the world, and the speed of the site will differ depending on the location of the visitor. If a visitor is located far away from where your WordPress is hosted, they will experience low site-loading speed. This is where a CDN comes in. It keeps copies of your website in various data centers in different regions. The aim is to serve the web page to site visitors from the nearest possible location.
Enable GZIP compression
In the same way that you compress files on your computer to save space, GZIP allows you to compress your files on the web. The compression works well for reducing bandwidth. For instance, when a person visits your website, their browser will have to uncompress the files that reduce the bandwidth use. There are several beneficial plugins that you can use, such as Tiny PNG and Optimus.
Clean up your WP database
Too much data in your database can slow down your site. Take time to clean up the database by deleting unwanted data. Look out for unnecessary backups, spam comments, fake followers, and drafts that you will never publish.
You can also get rid of unnecessary themes. Deleting them frees up the database and increases your site’s speed. Create time to clean up your database. Target things like images or posts without any value to your website.
Delete and uninstall plugins
Plugins are useful, but you don’t need too many of them, which is why you should delete and uninstall those that are unnecessary. They create too many junk files on your database that you cannot afford to hold if you want your website to load faster.
Instead of investing in excessive plugins, use alternative means like outsourcing. Tasks like sharing your posts on social media are easy to manage. You can copy a post link and share it on all your social media pages instead of adding a plugin to do it automatically.
Disable trackbacks and pingbacks
Pingbacks and trackbacks are essential, but too many will overwhelm your database. Several links to your blog deliver too many trackbacks, which are at times unnecessary. Google webmaster tools can do that and save you all the unnecessary junk mail. When people want to link to your site, links are sent to WordPress back and forth. They strain your server resources and slow down your website.
Minify JS and CSS files
It is essential to minify JS and CSS files. Google Page Speed insight tools make recommendations on when to reduce the files. Reducing the files increases the load speed. During theme installation, look into ways of customizing the files. Manual fixing on themes helps you reduce sizes that can overload your database. If that sounds like too much work for you, you can use plugins like Autoptimize. It can help to minimize JS, CSS, and HTML files.
As your WordPress site grows with the addition of new content and installation of new plugins, it will begin to slow down. The good news is that a caching plugin is an easy and effective way to improve your WordPress performance. It creates a static version of your site’s content, thereby removing the several steps that happen when a page is generated dynamically.
Keep external scripts to a minimum
External scripts reduce your site speed. Decide which external scripts you want on your site and lose the rest. Reduce the external scripts by getting rid of tools that you rarely use. All you need is to keep the essentials like Google analytic tools and comment tracking tools.
The biggest advantage of speeding up WordPress performance is that it improves user experience. The case remains the same regardless of whether the visitor is using a mobile phone or a computer. Lowering your site’s loading time also increases your ranking on the search engine results page.