Why should you speed up WordPress?
After battling too hard on SEO, writing content and not ranking as we expected, we decided to explore the ultimate – website speed.
Most of our website if not all run on WordPress and there the Research topic became:
How to speed up a WordPress Website.
Facts about Website speed
Google ranks faster websites above slow websites and therefore if you need to improve SERPs, your website speed is most critical.
Research as highlighted on Cloudoon.com websites loading with more than 2 second may lose up to 47% traffic. Amazon back in 2012 estimated that 1 second website delay would cost them 7% loss of sales.
Just imagine if your website takes 6 second to load like one of our website before this research..?
Website speed could be the ultimate business development undertaking you need today.
What determines Website Speed..?
There are a few things that affect time taken by you website to load, including:
- The size of the particular page
- Is the content Cached or not
- Number of request made to load the page
- Speed of the requests made to load a page
- Type of content – static or dynamic
How to test a website loading time of the website
We usually measure the loading time of homepage, some of the most popular tools include:
Page insights is very important, it display areas that need to be worked on to speed the WordPress website.
Ways to speed up WordPress Website
Choose the right webhosting company.
1. Choose a better web hosting provider
Shared hosting is most popular hosting service with the promise of unlimited resources at fraction of the cost. However, uptime for many webhosting company is below 99.99% and especially at peak time.
Web hosting companies tend to pack websites in un-optimized servers.
I would recommend Truehost cloud where have worked for we went great height in optimizing servers, ensuring 99.999% uptime in secure cloud service.
For large websites, Truehost Cloud also provides managed Virtual Machines and Virtual Private Servers as good as Digitalocean.com, Google Cloud, Azure, Alibaba Cloud, Amazon Web Services.
Managed Servers allow one click deployment of WordPress. The major factor that influences the speed of a website is the hosting of your WordPress website.
2. Check your Theme/ Framework is not bulky.
Make sure to keep your Theme and Framework are lightweight. Delete unnecessary objects, themes, assets that may make you theme bulky to load
Try to go for Bootstrap powered themes, they are usually lightweight.
3. Compress or optimize image sizes.
Image sizes contribute to the largest share of page sizes. Images can be compressed without loss of quality using a number of tools available freely on the internet.
It’s important to upload the optimum dimensions, and most compressed size. It’s now possible to optimize and compress images as you upload
Some of the most popular WordPress plugins include:
- EWWW Image Optimizer
- Compress JPEG & PNG images
- ShortPixel Image Optimizer
- WP Smush
4. Minify CSS and JS Files
Minify means combining CSS and JS files to reduce the number of calls and the size of CSS and JSS file to reduce website loading speed.
Check out the size of CSS and JS Files using Google Page Speed Insight tool. Developers can minify files by combining files manually. However, there are some pretty good WordPress plugins that can help to minify. Check out Autoptimize – its pretty good at optimizing HTML, CSS, and JS for your WordPress website.
5. Employ Advanced Caching
Caching in WordPress improve website speed, WordPress has many caching plugins, W3 Total Cache is one of the finest caching plugin in WordPress, Varnish, WP Super Cache, and WP Rocket are some of the popular new.
6. Deploy a CDN
CDN refer to Content Delivery Network, CDN is very important in modern computing. Edge computing has grown to popularity with the need to serve content near consumer in a timeless manner. CDN allows content websites to store and load content from edge nodes near to the client and therefore reducing the time taken to load a page.
There are many CDN services such as Cloudflare, MaXCDN and recently and hottest player Cloudoon.
7. Enable GZIP compression
GZIP compression is one of the most important file compression technology that reduces web files and cutting down bandwidth.
GZIP compress files and serve to the browser, browser unzip the files to load the website, thereby cutting bandwidth and website page load.
GZIP compression can be enabled in three popular ways
- Enable GZIP from Cpanel
- Use plugins such as Page Speed Ninja and others
- Use .htaccess to include the following lines
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/plain
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/css
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xhtml+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/rss+xml
8. Clean up bulky WordPress database
The size of database affect website speed. Ensure spam comments are deleted, any old plugins, trashed web content and backups.
Delete unwanted data to keep you database light.
9. Remove (Deactivate and Delete) Plugins
The more the plugins, a WordPress website has the slower it is likely is.
Check any unnecessary plugin, Deactivate and Delete it. Additional plugins increase server load and therefore reduce server response time. Checkout plugins that can do more than one task.
10. Ensure minimum external scripts
External scripts increases page load time, by making external request. Only include the most crucial external scripts like chat, Google analytics e.t.c
11. Disable pingbacks and trackbacks
Pingbacks and trackbacks are WordPress core functionalities that keep track links on pages and posts.
However, pingbacks and trackbacks are server intensive, the two are also popular vulnerabilities to DDoS attacks.
Utilize Google Webmaster Tools to track of new links to your pages and posts.
How to disable WordPress pingbacks and tracebacks
You can turn it all off in WP-Admin → Settings → Discussion. Just deselect “Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks).” This will help you speed up WordPress some more.
A mobile page takes 15 sec on average to fully load. – Google
47% of consumers expect a page to load in 2 sec or less.
1 sec delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.
1 sec load lag would cost Amazon $1.6B in Sales/Year (2012) – Amazon.
Rank higher on Google Search Engine through improved Website Speeds.