Do you want to reduce the loading time of your WordPress website?
Well, I share nine clever tricks that you can now use to speed up a WordPress website.
How to use ShoutMeLoud WordPress SpeedUP Guide:
SML = ShoutMeLoud
Although I’ve done my best to make this tutorial as beginner-friendly as possible, your mindfulness is required to make the most of it. Not all WordPress websites are the same these days. You may be using WordPress as:
- Membership website
- WooCommerce website
- Learning management system
- WordPress website for business
Or it could be something else.
However, most of the methodology discussed below is applied to all WordPress websites, and some of them are used for a specific website type. For example, I later published detailed information about temporary WordPress options. This is more true for a member site or WordPress that uses WooCommerce or EDD.
I also did my best to suggest a free plugin for all of the WordPress performance booster options listed below. However, it would be advisable to use a plugin that does everything.
I’ve found that WP-Rocket is best here, and that’s what I use here at ShoutMeLoud. Simply get a license for the WP-Rocket plugin. So now you no longer need to install 4-5 plugins, as this single plugin offers all the functions that other plugins would require.
WP-Rocket will only solve half of the puzzle. Much more needs to be done to reach this lightning fast WordPress website. In the further course of this manual you will learn the basics and should be able to implement it yourself.
Let’s go ahead and do that ..
Before you start with WordPress SpeedUP Guide:
The first thing you should do is measure the speed of your WordPress website.
Run speed test:
Here are some of the WordPress speed testing tools you can use:
Now take a screenshot of the results and save it or write it down in a convenient place.
Once you’ve implemented the speed optimization steps below in WordPress, you can simply run the speed test again and compare before and after the results.
First thing first: Back up WordPress:
Before you start fine-tuning WordPress, you should make a backup copy of the WordPress database.
Since we will make some optimizations at the database level, creating a backup will add a safety net in the event of an unavoidable situation. You can use any of these WordPress backup plugins.
Should you use all of these WordPress acceleration techniques?
Some of the tips can be applied immediately and you can get a significant speed boost.
Some of the tips that may require developer involvement or more technical expertise, such as implementing CDN, can be used over time.
Your goal should be to use as many of these tricks as possible to shorten the loading time of the WordPress website.
In the next few days, you should implement all speed optimization tips to achieve the final goal of a load time of less than 1 second.
A few days ago, I informed you that Google started rating websites based on speed. Since then we have all recognized and understood why it is not necessary to offer a blog with faster loading.
Fast loading time helps search engine and also your readers. Not only does this provide a fantastic user experience, it also helps reduce your blog’s bounce rate. Yet,
Today I share seven tips to speed up WordPress and shorten WordPress loading time. The ultimate goal is to offer your users fast-loading pages.
Best tips for speeding up WordPress: How to improve loading time
1. Use the latest PHP – 7.0+
This single change alone could increase your WordPress speed by almost 1.5 times. Many WordPress websites still use PHP 5.6, an outdated version of PHP. The newest is PHP 7.4 that offers a significant performance boost.
The PHP part is managed by your web hosting company. Either you can manually check your existing PHP version that your WordPress site is running on, or you can just ask customer support:
What version of PHP is your WordPress website running on?
If it’s less than 7.0 (which is 5.6), you can ask them to update to the latest PHP version.
If you are using Bluehost hosting, you can follow this tutorial to update the Bluehost PHP version.
2. Choose high quality web hosting that is optimized for WordPress and speed:
This single change alone can speed up your WordPress website considerably.
How should i know
Because that’s what I experienced when I switched ShoutMeLoud from simple hosting to a managed hosting called Kinsta.
Many of us make a mistake by choosing a local web hosting provider to host our WordPress site. Such hosting is usually recommended by our designer / developer or someone known to us.
Are you the best?
Well, your speed test could show the same thing.
Keep in mind that you should only choose the hosting company that is well optimized for running WordPress blogs.
SiteGround undoubtedly offers the highest quality servers in the shared hosting category, which is inactive for most of us.
If you are running a business website on WordPress or have a professional blog, you should let Kinsta host you.
Kinsta offers many advanced features that instantly reduce the loading time of a WordPress site. Some of these functions are:
- Premium DNS
- Free CDN
- PHP 7.4
- Kinsta MU (built-in cache)
Kinsta uses the Google Cloud infrastructure to host your WordPress website. This allows you to choose from a variety of data center options.
If you are using the WooCommerce platform, only use these hostings:
3. Don’t use too many WordPress plugins
One of the most important things WordPress does are plugins, and some of them are so obsessed with using more than 30-40 plugins on your blog. Well, not all plugins are bad, and I’ve detailed how many WordPress plugins you should use.
Try to minimize the number of plugins on your blog and clean up your database regularly. The advanced database cleaner plugin can help you do this in no time.
Make sure you use at least one cache plugin on your blog. I suggest the WP Rocket plugin. A rule of thumb to get rid of outdated plugins.
Many of our users also asked: “How do I speed up the WordPress plugin?”
The best way to do this is to use fewer WordPress plugins. If possible, get the custom codes to add a feature you need.
Another option is to use a plugin called Asset Cleanup Plugin and block scripts from loading on certain pages. Watch the following video to learn how:
4. Optimize your pictures for quick loading
Your goal with images on WordPress should be:
- Highest quality
- Efficient data compression
- Smaller files
Images are the backbone of the visual web. If you use too many images in your article or on your product pages, your page may load slowly.
The average website transfers 800-900 KB images per URL.
It’s good to make your posts illustrative by integrating relevant images, but too much of anything is not good.
What would you do if you had a photo-intensive blog?
Image optimization for speed is what you need. There are a few things you can do right now to improve the performance of a photo-intensive WordPress website:
- Use a CDN: Preferably StackPath (formerly MAXCDN)
- Use the correct image format:
By using the correct image format, the image size is significantly reduced. Sometimes it just helped us to change the file format from .png to .jpg 80% size reduction.
If you have a graphic person on your team, ask them to compress the image with Photoshop. In our experience, this was the best way to reduce the image size without losing quality.
Another technology you should use is Image compression and delayed loading of images. Both methods have been shown to speed up any type of WordPress site that uses images.
Use this plugin called ShortPixel to optimize your WordPress images. It offers 100 free image enhancements every month and lets you do the following:
- Offer the webp image format (this will be very helpful)
- Convert existing PNG images to JPG
- Different levels of compression
- One-click compression of old images
- Automatic compression of new images
Watch the following video to learn how the ShortPixel plugin works:
5. Choose modern and fast WordPress themes:
If you’re still using an old WordPress theme that was developed in 2016-17, it’s time for you to upgrade. A lot has changed in recent years and now most topics are designed for faster loading.
You should also make sure you use a really engaging theme to make your blog load faster on mobile devices and tablets.
If you are looking for a recommendation for a fast loading WordPress theme, I recommend the Astra theme, the best WordPress theme ever.
Here are two more that will be very popular in 2019:
6. Select the server location that is closest to your unused target group:
Most web hosting companies allow you to choose the data center where your website is hosted. If you know your target country, you should choose the data center closest to your unused customers.
If you choose Kinsta, you can use GCPing tool to see the latency from your location to different data centers offered by the Kinsta server.
Here is the list of the fastest WordPress hosting you can choose from.
7. Use CDN Network for faster delivery:
In most cases, you host your website in a specific geographic location.
For example, if you bought hosting from Bluehost, your website is most likely located in the United States. When a user from an Asian country or even Australia searches your website, it takes a long time to load your website.
The reason for this is the distance between the user and your server.
What is the solution?
Well, you can use a CDN network.
A CDN helps solve this problem and your website loads quickly in all parts of the world.
Note: Cloudflare offers a free CDN service that is inactive for all types of blogs.
Here at ShoutMeLoud, other contributors have reported extensively on CDN, and you can follow the links below to become a CDN expert:
8. Avoid too many ads and scripts
Don’t put too many ads on your blog. Many PPC ads are full of unnecessary HTML content and can significantly slow down your website’s load time.
If advertising is a must, you should use Google AdSense or Media.net as it is well optimized and offers the best CPC.
9. Reduce the DNS lookup:
DNS lookup could be one of the reasons that increases the loading time of your WordPress website.
This is a very common problem as we all use a lot of third party scripts for analysis, statistics, conversion optimization or other reasons.
You should do the following first:
- Go over there tools.pingdom.com
- Do a speed test
- Scroll down and load the results based on the DNS load time
- You will see a result like a screenshot below:
You can easily see which third-party script is loaded on this website and how much time it takes to search for DNS. It is a good idea to run the test 3-4 times after an interval of 60 minutes. The goal here is to find out which host needs the maximum DNS search time.
Here are some ways you can minimize DNS lookups.
1. Remove or replace the script:
If the script needs a long DNS lookup time, remove it or replace it with a more appropriate one.
2. Use a fast DNS provider
If your domain is purchased by services like NameCheap, GoDaddy, or others, the DNS resolver isn’t as fast as that of Cloudflare, Amazon Route 53, or even Google domains.
You can move your domain to Cloudflare or Google domains. I personally am a fan of Cloudflare for hosting domains because they offer good value for money.
If you don’t want to move the domain, you can still keep your domain in the existing registrar and configure Cloudflare to use the premium-like free DNS service.
3. Start using CDN
I’ve already talked about using CDN and will add it here again. My idea here is to help you understand the situations in which CDN will be of maximum help.
If you have determined that DNS lookup is responsible for the slow loading of the WordPress website, you should use CDN immediately.
Using CDN significantly reduces the number of DNS searches and you can see a speed boost immediately. IMHO, using CDN is no longer an option if you really want to speed up WordPress.
4. Implement DNS prefetching in WordPress
Another technique that improves the speed of WordPress is using the DNS prefetching technique. Here’s how the Google Chromium Dev project works explains DNS pre-fetching:
DNS prefetching is an attempt to resolve domain names before a user tries to follow a link. This is done using the computer’s normal DNS resolution mechanism. No connection to Google is used. If a domain name is resolved and the user navigates to that domain, there is no effective delay due to the DNS resolving time.
The most obvious example where DNS prefetching can be helpful is to look at a page with a lot of links to different domains, e.g. B. a search results page. If there are hyperlinks on the pages, we extract the domain name from each one and resolve each domain into an IP address.
All of this work is done in parallel with the user reading the page, using minimal CPU and network resources. When a user clicks on one of these pre-resolved names, they save an average of about 200 milliseconds in their navigation (provided the user has not recently visited the domain). More important than average savings, users habit In the worst case, there are usually delays in DNS resolution that are regularly greater than 1 second.
At the time of writing, all common browsers support DNS pre-fetching
In WordPress, you can enable DNS prefetching using plugins or custom code.
The easiest is to use the WP-Rocket plugin. It’s a premium cache plugin that costs around $ 47 a year, and I use that here on ShoutMeLoud. This plugin provides the ability to prefetch DNS requests, which significantly increases performance.
Alternatively, you can use Simple DNS prefetch plugin that does the same job.
10. Remove the temporary options
By removing expired temporary options, you can significantly improve performance. Especially if you run a WordPress membership website or use something like WooCommerce, EDD or even a social sharing plugin, this WordPress acceleration tip is just right for you. First of all, let’s understand what’s temporary.
What are WordPress transients:
The Transients API helps developers to store data in the database as it expires. Expired transients in your database are usually removed automatically, but this is not always the case. Sometimes they just stay there and inflate your database, resulting in performance delays and a significant reduction in load time.
The solution is simple: Remove expired temporary options
This option is available in all database optimization plugins or even in WP-Rocket. However, if you’re looking for a standalone plugin to remove expired temporary options, use it Transients Manager plugin by Pippin Williamson.
After installing the plugin, go to Tools> Transients to manage and delete WordPress temporary options.
WP-Rocket plugin users can find this option at Database> Transient Cleanup
SML WordPress performance speeds up conclusion: Think from a user perspective
It’s okay to be obsessed with speed, but instead of just relying on the numbers displayed by tools like GTMetrix or Pingdom, you should focus on more user-friendly metrics.
Even if things like TTFB and first sensible color is high, but your page will load in less than 2 seconds. You can see the effect in your Google Analytics or any other statistics program you use.
If you take your visitors into account when optimizing, you cannot let go of important scripts and functions that you have created over time. In addition to speed, keep conversion in mind, and that would help a lot in the long run.
Alright, So these are a few simple steps that I can suggest to optimize your blog’s loading time.
Let me know of other tricks that can help us improve the speed of a WordPress website?
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