WordPress Speed and Performance Optimization Tips

WordPress is one of the popular scripts and as per WordPress report, it is powered 42% of the web. WordPress is easy to use and anyone who has limited programming knowledge can also manage WordPress website. Default WordPress installation may not be optimized and it may affect the website’s performance. This can cause the bad user experience as well as it also affects your website’s SEO. In this article, we will discuss in details about WordPress speed optimization and how can you boost your WordPress site performance.

WordPress Optimization

In this tutorial, we will try our best to provide as much information as we can for WordPress speed optimization. To understand this in better way, we have created a table of contents to navigate each section in this guideline.

Table of Contents

WordPress Performance basics

Speeding up WordPress in few easy steps

WordPress Performance Optimization Best Practices

Advanced optimization (for Advanced users only)

  • Use latest compatible PHP version
  • Optimize WordPress database
  • Limit Posts revisions
  • Split long posts into pages
  • Fix HTTPs related errors without plugins
  • Reduce external HTTP requests
  • Use DNS level firewall

Why Speed is Important Factor for the WordPress Site?

With the current Internet speed Worldwide, most users do not wait on the website if it does not load within few seconds. That means, you have little time to load your contents for your website visitors. If it takes long time, most likely you lose the traffic for your website and the sales.

Study shows that delay in page load time can lead to loss in conversation for the eCommerce and other services which are being sold online. This has great impact on companies revenue.

Apart from it, Google and other search engines have already started penalizing the slower websites. This affects your search engine ranking and you may see drastic drop in your organic traffic coming from search engine like Google.

Now you understand, if you want more traffic, sales conversation, subscribers, revenue from your website, you have to optimize your WordPress website immediately. In this article, we will discuss about WordPress speed optimization.

How can you Check your WordPress Website Speed?

Most users think their website is OK just because it is just loading fine in their browser and they do not feel any slowness. This is the first mistake for the website owners. Most modern browsers like Chrome, FireFox, Edge etc. cache the static data and automatically prefetch certain URLs. This loads your website quickly in your browser.

This may not be the user experience for the first time visitors for the website. Visitors from the different geographical locations will have different experience. That’s why we recommend you to test your website using online tool like Google PageSpeed, GTMetrix.

Such tools are free and helpful to find your website’s speed.

Google PageSpeed - WordPress speed optimization

After you run the test, you may be surprised with the result. Ideal load time for a good website is under 2 seconds.

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What is the Root Cause of Slow WordPress Site?

Your page speed test report may show multiple recommendation for the speed improvement. If you are beginner, it may be hard to follow all steps. It requires little technical knowledge to address them.

The primary causes for a slow WordPress website are:

  • Web Hosting Server – If your web hosting server is not properly configured or it is oversold, it can affect your WordPress site speed and performance.
  • WordPress Default Configuration – If you are not using caching plugin, then it will serve all pages from your server. This can cause higher server load and it may affect your website performance.
  • Page/Post Size – If you have large page size or images are not optimized.
  • WordPress Plugins / Theme – You should only use require plugins and themes. Also, if you have poorly designed WordPress plugins/theme, it can slow down your website.
  • External scripts – External scripts such as fonts, custom ads etc have great impact on website performance.

Now you should have basic idea behind slow WordPress website. Let’s see how to optimize your WordPress website.

Importance of the best WordPress Hosting

Your WordPress Hosting plays an important role in your website speed and performance. A shared hosting provider like AccuWebHosting or Bluehost optimize their servers for the better speed and performance. You get adequate resources and better servers for your hosting platform.

We recommend AccuWebHosting as managed WordPress hosting provider. They have good servers as well as they provide WordPress optimized hosting environment. They also offer LiteSpeed server with LSCache support for caching and optimization.

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Speeding Up WordPress in Few Easy Steps

Once the website is setup, it may require further optimization. This can be problematic for many users (specially for the beginners). You are not alone in this boat. There are many non-technical users around the globe.

Don’t worry, we will try to guide you for WordPress speed and performance optimization. This will not require any coding knowledge.

We will show you how can you speed up your WordPress site with just few clicks and plugins.

Install a WordPress caching plugin

WordPress is a dynamic website built using PHP and MySQL. That means, it requires server side processing on each request to serve web pages. This involves several database queries and PHP page processing.

This can slow down your website if there are multiple visitors on your website.

That’s why we recommend all WordPress users to use WordPress caching plugin. Caching plugin can make your WordPress website faster. Let’s understand how it works.

While using caching plugin, it makes a copy of your page after first loading. Instead of going whole page, it will serve cache page to the subsequent visitors. Thus it will bypass whole page generation process and improve your website loading speed as shown in the following image.

PHP Page Request

As you can see in the above image, it takes more time to serve the page if it is not served from cached page.

There are lots WordPress caching plugin available but we recommend one of the following plugins:

Free Plugins: LiteSpeed Cache, WP Super Cache

Premium Plugin: WP Rocket

Please understand that you can only use one caching plugin at a time. Also, you can use LiteSpeed Cache plugin only if your hosting server has LiteSpeed Web server. Hosting providers like AccuWebHosting offer WordPress hosting with LiteSpeed Web server.

You can also use third party service like CloudFlare or Sucuri to maximize the performance. Such service provides additional security and performance to your WordPress site.

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Optimize Images for faster loading

It is important that you use optimized images in your website. This will help to load images quickly. Most websites use PNG and JPEG image formats. Before uploading images in your website, you should compress them as much as you can. That will reduce the size of your image. You can also use the WordPress Image compression plugin.

If you compress the images, depending on its format, it can reduce the image size with minimum quality impact. For example, PNG image format is uncompressed. When you compress an image it loses some information, so an uncompressed image will be higher quality with more detail. The downside is that it’s a larger file size, so it takes longer to load.

JPEG, on the other hand, is a compressed file format which slightly reduces image quality, but it’s significantly smaller in size.

WordPress Performance Optimization Best Practices

After installing WordPress caching plugin and optimizing your images, you may notice the significant performance improvement in your WordPress website. It should load much faster than earlier.

If you wish to keep your website faster as much as possible, we recommend you to follow the below best practices.

Our guidelines are not complex or too much technical so even if you do not have programming knowledge, you will be able to manage them.

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Keep your WordPress site updated

WordPress Update

WordPress is an open source and WordPress is updated frequently to patch the security issues as well as bugs. In addition to this, your plugins and theme may have regular updates. It is important to keep your core WordPress, themes and plugins up to date.

Use Optimized WordPress theme

WordPress theme plays important role in website speed and performance. It is highly recommended to use optimized WordPress themes for the better performance and speed.

If you are looking for the good free WordPress themes, you can try OceanWP, Astra. For premium WordPress themes, you can go for Divi, Astra Permium, OceanWP Premium, StudioPress. To use premium WordPress theme, it requires to purchase necessary license.

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Use excerpts on homepage and archive

By default WordPress shows the full blog contents of each post on homepage and archive. This may be different depending on the theme. That means your homepage, archive, tags, categories will load slower because of full contents.

In order to speed up your loading times for archive pages, you can set your site to display excerpts instead of the full content.

You can navigate to Settings » Reading and select “For each article in a feed, show: Summary” instead of “Full Text.”

WordPress excerpts

Avoid using too much WordPress plugins

Generally users install too many plugins and many of them are unwanted for their websites. It is recommended to install only required plugins. Also, you should not keep your unwanted plugins in “Deactivate” status. You should remove them.

Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

Content Delivery Network (CDN) helps to deliver the static contents i.e. images, js, css from the visitor’s nearest locations. This helps to load the static data quickly on your website.

Optimize WordPress background processes

You should avoid background tasks like WordPress virtual cron, unwanted cronjobs.

Tasks like scheduled posts, updates have minimum impact on the speed and performance. However other background processes like backup plugins, crawling etc. can affect your website speed.

While backup is essential, you should run it during low traffic time on your website. You should adjust the backup frequency and data as per your requirements. If you are not updating your website daily, you really do not need daily backup. You can either set weekly or other schedule as per your need.

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Advanced optimization (for Advanced users only)

Following the some advanced optimization tips for the advanced users. It can certainly help in WordPress speed optimization and performance improvement:

  • Use latest compatible PHP version
  • Optimize WordPress database
  • Limit Posts revisions
  • Split long posts into pages
  • Fix HTTPs related errors without plugins
  • Reduce external HTTP requests
  • Use DNS level firewall

We will discuss all of them in detail later. Stay tuned to get more information on advanced WordPress optimization.

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That’s it. We hope this article will help you in WordPress speed optimization and performance improvement. We will keep this article up to date with more information on regular basis.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Kyle

    Thank you for sharing the detailed steps on WordPress speed and performance optimization. This really helped me to boost my WordPress site performance and now it is even passed from Google core web vitals which was previously failing.

    Thank you so much!

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