GUEST POST: In today’s post, Ekta will be sharing 7 easy ways you can speed up a WordPress site! So, if you’re trying to speed up your site, this post is for you!
According to the Small SEO tools, around 79% of readers won’t return to a slow loading site. With such statistics in mind, it becomes crucial to speed up your WordPress site. Google also prioritizes sites that have a quick loading time. Because it wants to deliver information to its readers as fast as possible. The reason is enhanced user experience. Do you know that an ideal loading time of a website to be ranked by Google moved from 7 seconds to 2 seconds? It is because of the decreasing attention span of a human being. Meaning, a good website must load within 2 seconds. The quicker a site loads its content the better are its chances of getting ranked higher on the search results (ignoring the other factors such as SEO).
Therefore, it becomes important to have a low site speed. For that you must know what is the site speed of your blog. If your WordPress site takes less than or equal to 2 seconds then brilliant! But if your WordPress site is loading a bit late then this post is exactly for you.
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HOW TO SPEED UP A WORDPRESS SITE?
Let’s start with site speed.
WHAT IS WEBSITE SPEED?
“The average time taken by a website to display its fully loaded elements upon the request of a visitor.”
The process of loading a site is very big behind the scenes. Very basic, it is something like this.
- When a visitor clicks on a link, he commands the server to display the desired results.
- To process the command the server downloads the file.
- The time taken by the server to download the files completely is displayed by a loading sign to the visitor and once the files are downloaded the data is displayed.
- The files can be CSS, images, and etc.
Now that you know what is site speed it’s time you check site load speed of your website to understand better.
HOW TO CHECK YOUR SITE SPEED?
There are many free tools you can use to check your site speed. I use these two to regularly check out my site speed.
- GTMETRIX – This tool gives you detailed information about the total page loading time of your site along with other important details such as page size, total loading requests and other.
It also displays your site results in a structural view that tells you how much time is taken by each element.
- GOOGLE PAGESPEED INSIGHTS – It is a free tool by Google. It does not directly tell you the exact time taken by your site to display the content but it tells you the issues.
You can fix them easily with the help of the articles given next to them.
Use the tools and check the total loading time of your WordPress website.
Great! Did you check out some of the articles to help you fix those issues? If you are a non-technical like me, you won’t have understood those articles.
Therefore, these 7 ways described below are some easy fixes that if implemented can help you reduce your site speed automatically.
7 EASY WAYS TO SPEED UP A WORDPRESS SITE
1. MOVING TO A BETTER WEB HOSTING
We are looking for all the possible ways for a slow site. You can’t ignore the hosting provider when it comes to site speed. A big reason for your slow loading site can be the poor host or should I say the type of host you are using. What do I mean by this?
Some hosting platforms get your site hosted on their shared hosting plans. Making your site sharing the server with many other websites. Meaning, your site is running with so many other similar sites on the same server. This takes time and hence slows down your website. Nowadays, there are awesome web hosting solutions available at affordable prices. My top three choices are Bluehost, Dreamhost and Siteground.
These are great because WordPress also recommends them. When I started my blog I picked Bluehost as it was great for beginners. And it is still great for my blog. If your blog is taking years to load it is time to move to a better hosting.
2. CHOOSING A LIGHT AND FAST THEME
Sometimes the problem can be your currently installed theme. It’s your theme’s fault that causes so much embarrassment to your site.
What happens is, there are themes that have extra files that are automatically installed when you install the theme. Now whenever your site is loaded those additional files are also downloaded and this causes slowing down the website. Sometimes the codes are messy.
So a lightweight and quick theme is important. Out of so many options available even for free, anyone can easily pick a bad theme.
The good news is you can easily move to a better theme. For example, The Astra Theme is known for its quick loading time.
Here are my top picks for great WordPress themes.
3. REDUCING IMAGE SIZES
You may be surprised to know that all those attractive images that you use on your site are often the largest file sizes. Yes, the image files are one of the biggest reasons why your site can be slow. Actually, the quality of the image and it’s size are related. The higher the quality the bigger its size. And these large images drastically affect the site speed. Fortunately, you can compress the images without reducing their quality.
You can do it in two ways.
- Tinyjpg – This free tool will allow you to compress (reduce) your image. The only thing is that you have to compress each image before uploading them.
- Using Plugins – There are plugins that will automatically compress the images. Two great plugins are Smush Compressor and Shortpixel.
4. USING A CONTENT DELIVERY SYTEM
Content Delivery System (CDN) is a way to deliver content quickly to anyone across the world. Let me explain it clearly.
Suppose you hosted your site on the server of country A. That simply means that the content on your site is quickly accessible to the people of country A but for country B, C, D and more it won’t be that quick. Because the server of each country has to download the data (files) and then display it. That downloading takes time. The work of CDN is to save a copy of your site in the form of a cache to every country’s server.
So that whenever a user from anywhere in the world requests access to your site he is displayed the cached version of your site quickly.
An incredible CDN that is also free is Cloudflare. It is also super easy to connect your site with Cloudflare.
If you have not already you must connect it quickly. Check out this article to connect your WordPress site with Cloudflare.
5. REMOVING UNWANTED PLUGINS
It is important to keep your site clean and updated.
I know plugins are great. Doing all the big work easily. But they are also taking up the space.
The plugins that you don’t use anymore are doing no good.
So you must regularly check for any plugins update, WordPress update and remove the unwanted images and plugins.
6. USING AN ADVANCED CACHING SYSTEM
One of the easiest ways to improve your site health magically is to install a caching plugin.
If you remember, I told you that whenever a user requests the access to your site the server has to first download the data and once they are downloaded then the content is displayed. But after installing CDN the cache is saved. As the updates on a website are regular it is required to remove the old cache and update it with the newest version of the cache to display the newest version of the website.
A Cache plugin does that. But it also takes care of other things like
- Image lazy load – to load an image only when shown.
- Gzip Compression.
- Browser caching etc.
7. USING FILE TRANSFER PROTOCOL (FTP)
I’m sure you have connected your site with your social profiles like facebook, you tube, etc to make sharing your content easier. And you should do that. But these third party connections often take a lot of time to load. And this reduces the speed of your site.
What you can do is when you embed big files (generally greater than 500 MBs) like you tube video you can send them through an FTP system.
This way you are not uploading files directly on your site space but in a different place so all the server has to do is to extract the files from your FTP account and display it to your audience.
A good and free FTP solution is filezilla. Check out this article to learn how to connect your WordPress site with Filezilla.
So these were 7 easy ways to speed up site on WordPress. I know that seeing your site loading slowly is heartbreaking. But after trying these easy tips you can magically reduce the loading time of your site. You have to make sure to keep your site always fresh, updated and to its newest version. Remember the unwanted files are taking up important space on your site so you must regularly delete unnecessary files and keep updating your blog posts. I hope this helped you. If you have any questions please feel free to ask me in the comments section.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hey there! I’m Ekta. I write about blogging tips. I love trying new things on my blog and share them as blogging tips to help beginner bloggers. If you want more blogging tips check out my blog.
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Thank you for sharing these helpful tips with us, Ekta! Having a fast WordPress website is very important, especially if you’re trying to rank on google! So, I hope you all found these 7 tips to speed up your wordpress site helpful. Which tip did you find most helpful? Let me know in the comments below!
Until next time,