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7 Steps to Make Your WordPress Website Faster
There’s nothing worse than a slow website. You’re trying to make a business decision or view a particular page and the site takes an eternity to load. It’s just not fun! If this sounds like your site, then I have good news for you: you can actually do something about it! In fact, we’ve listed 7, actionable steps that will help speed up your WordPress website in no time!
At Ticksites, we help website owners, agency partners, and freelancer partners install, integrate, and optimize their sites. Whether you’re managing SEO for WordPress website or a 1,000, we’ve got your back!
Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights to identify issues that need fixing
To optimize your website’s load time, you need to first analyze the current speed. Keep in mind that this may vary from page-to-page because of various factors:
- The size or weight of that particular page.
- The number of requests it is generating.
- Whether it has cache storage or not.
- Does it have dynamic or static content?
The home page of a website is often used as a reference to check the loading time. Our preferred tool for checking all these factors is Google Page Speed Insights.
Get a fast hosting plan
Web hosting is an integral part of a fast WordPress site. It’s important that you choose both the web host and plan to meet your bandwidth and performance requirements. Most web hosts offer several types of hosting: shared, dedicated, VPS, or managed plans for WordPress sites.
A managed WordPress hosting solution may be your best bet when choosing between shared, VPS and dedicated plans. Shared hosts offer website owners a low price point with moderate performance but it could suffer if other websites on the server are maxed out or penetrated into by cyber attackers targeting multiple sites at once. There are many companies today that offer such plans like Hostgator, A2 Hosting, Blue Host, Name Cheap, etc.
When your website becomes popular and attracts a larger number of visitors, you’ll need more server resources to ensure the site loads quickly. When this happens switch from shared hosting plans to VPS or managed hosting service providers that offer enough server power for any type of traffic spike.
Optimize your images
Large images can be a serious problem when it comes to the speed of your site. To increase performance even more, make sure you reduce image sizes without sacrificing quality so that users don’t have trouble seeing what’s going on in all those big pictures.
Using Photoshop, you can quickly and effectively compress files to reduce the size of your images. You could also try out a WordPress plugin like Smush, Imagify, or EWWWW Image Optimizer for this task.
When you run a website with many images, it’s important to consider lazy loading your photos so that they load more quickly and don’t take up too much bandwidth. You can configure this with something like WP Rocket or Autoptimize.
Caching is a popular way of speeding up WordPress sites. It helps in loading pages faster by caching the content on user’s browsers, which can help decrease page load time and increase performance for your site visitors! There are several plugins available that can add sophisticated caching mechanisms along with other tools like minification, database optimization, and Gzip Compression to make any website run more smoothly without sacrificing security or functionality!
People know that there are WordPress cache plugins available, but what they don’t realize is the fact that these only provide client-side caching. If you’re not careful with your configuration and settings on a regular basis then it can do more harm than good.
However, the fastest full-page caching is server-based. This means that by installing specific server-caching plugins or messing around with the configurations in Nginx you can achieve significantly improved performance scores. We don’t know anything about that here, so we’ll move along.
There are different types of plugins you can use to optimize your website. For example, there is a plugin called W3 total cache that works pretty great out-of-the-box and will deliver pages more efficiently but it’s not as fast or reliable as using server-based caching.
Remove all unnecessary plugins and themes
In order to keep your WordPress site running at its best, you should always delete unused plugins and themes. Unused items not only pose a security risk but can also slow down page loading times which is the last thing that any business owner wants for their customers!
To delete a plugin you must first deactivate it, after deactivating it you proceed to delete it.
To delete themes that are not being used or are unnecessary, just go to Appearance > Themes and delete the ones you don’t need. Same thing for plugins.
Enable Gzip compression on your site’s web server
Utilizing GZIP compression is an excellent way to reduce your bandwidth usage. This technique will also help make it easier for people to visit your website and interact with the content you provide more quickly, which can lead to increased customer loyalty.
GZIP compresses files so that a visitor’s browser must first unzip the website before accessing it. This decreases bandwidth usage considerably and provides better page load times due to smaller file sizes.
You can use plugins such as PageSpeed Ninja, which allows GZIP compression on your website.
Use a CDN
A Content Delivery Network can help you reduce poor performance on your website. These networks are designed to decrease the distance between where a webpage is located and who’s viewing it, which will provide better load times for international users or those in remote areas.
A CDN is a global collection of servers that store copies of your website’s essential files. When a user requests any page on your site, the server closest to them sends these files out in real time–making for faster loading speeds and better reach around the world.
Setting up a CDN on your website is easy and takes minimal effort. As long as you’re using WordPress, there’s a good chance that the hosting provider will offer their own service to handle all of this for you with ease. And if they don’t have one already – no worries! There are plenty of services out there like Cloudflare or StackPath (MaxCDN) which can be purchased separately without any hassle at all.