20 Practical Ways to Speed Your WordPress Website

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Do you want to increase the speed of your WordPress site? Increasing the loading speed of the site pages leads to a better user experience and increases the number of pages visited per user, and as a result, helps the website SEO a lot. In this article, we will examine this issue and tell you the solutions that will optimize the speed of your WordPress site and improve its performance.

Unlike other common and short articles in this field, in this article we have provided a comprehensive tutorial on optimizing site speed in WordPress. This includes topics such as why site speed is important, what slows down a WordPress site, and practical solutions to improve site speed immediately.

Why is speed important in WordPress sites?

Studies show that the range of human attention and accuracy has decreased from 12 seconds to 7 seconds from 2000 to 2016. But what does this mean for website owners?

In fact, your chances of convincing users to stay on the site have diminished. A very slow site causes users to leave before it is fully loaded.

According to a study on Amazon, Google and other major websites, a one second delay in loading the site resulted in a 7% reduction in conversion rates , an 11% reduction in page views and a 16% reduction in user satisfaction. Is.

More importantly, Google and other search engines have made site speed one of the direct factors in ranking sites in their algorithm, resulting in a very low ranking of slow sites. Decreasing the ranking also naturally reduces the site traffic.

The bottom line is that if you want more traffic, visitors, and revenue from your site, you need to speed up your site.

How to check the speed of WordPress sites?

Many novices think that because their website loads well on their computer, their website does not have a problem with speed. We have to say that this kind of perception is completely wrong.

Because you are constantly working on your site, your browser saves it in cache files and starts uploading files from its cache right after typing its address. This will increase the loading speed.

However, a regular user visiting your site for the first time will not have such an experience. Even the loading speed of the site will probably be different for users from different geographical areas. This is where we definitely recommend that you test your site with tools like Pingdom . This tool is completely free and you can use it to test the speed of the site from different geographical locations.

After testing the website with this tool, you will probably be surprised to see the numbers and change your opinion about the speed of your website. A good loading speed for a site should be less than four seconds. However, the lower the number, the better user experience you will convey to visitors.

What slows down a site in WordPress?

Your site speed test report probably contains several suggestions for upgrading it. However, many of them require technical knowledge that most novices do not have. But understanding the things that slow down a site is key to improving it and making better decisions in the future.

The most common reasons for a WordPress site being slow are:

  • Hosting : If the site host is not in good condition or not configured correctly, it can reduce its loading speed.
  • WordPress configuration : If your WordPress site does not have a cache system, a lot of pressure is put on the site resources and as a result we will face a very slow site in times of peak traffic.
  • Page size : Failure to optimize images and compress them will increase the size of the site.
  • Bad plugins : If a plugin with poor coding is installed on the site, we will probably slow down the site.
  • External scripts: External scripts such as ads, fonts and other resources will have a severe negative impact on the speed and performance of the site.

Now that we are familiar with the factors that affect the speed of the site, it is time to look at the solutions and how to increase the speed of the site in WordPress.

The importance of good hosting on the speed of the WordPress site

Your WordPress site host has an essential role in the site loading speed. A quality shared hosting or dedicated hosting will improve the performance and efficiency of your site.

However, server resources on shared sites are shared between multiple sites, and if your neighbors have a lot of traffic and use a lot of resources, your site speed will probably slow down.

Of course, there are quality shared hosts that maintain the efficiency of the site in any situation. For example, cloud hosting is one of the options offered to users of shared hosting so that problems such as high-traffic neighbors do not affect the efficiency of your site.

Speed ​​up WordPress with easy steps (no coding)

We are aware that configuring a website for beginners can be very stressful, especially for those who are not tech savvy at all. But do not worry, you are not alone. We have helped many WordPress users to improve the efficiency of their website.

In the following, we will show you how to increase the speed of the site with just a few clicks and without the need for coding.

1. Install a cache management plugin in WordPress

WordPress pages are dynamic. This means that these pages are processed at each visit and are created according to the requested information and putting the components together. This process requires more processing when many users enter the site at the moment and may slow down the site.

This is where we suggest users to install a cache management plugin in WordPress. The cache of original files in users’ browsers can double or five times the loading speed. By creating this system, instead of fully processing one page per visit, your cache management plugin displays a saved version that has already been processed and created. It then provides this version to any other user.

As you can see in the image above, when a user visits a WordPress site built with PHP, the site server requests the required information from the MySQL database and PHP files. This information is then processed and provided to the user in HTML. This process is relatively long, but can be shortened using a cache management plugin.

There are many cache management plugins in the WordPress repository, but we recommend the WP Rocket plugin . Implementing this plugin is easy and you can easily install and implement it.

2. Optimize images to speed up WordPress

Images make the content of the site more vivid and encourage users to interact more with it. Research shows that the presence of images increases the reading rate by 80%.

But instead of helping the content, optimized images can damage it. In fact, non-optimized images are one of the most common problems with speed on most novice sites.

Before uploading a photo from your phone or camera to the host, it is best to optimize it for the web using a photo editing software. These photos may be large in their original format. But depending on the selected format and the amount of compression, their volume can be reduced to 20%.

Most sites use PNG and JPG formats for photos. But what is the difference between these two common formats?

The PNG format is often uncompressed. When you compress a photo, some of the photo information is lost. Therefore, an uncompressed photo has more detail and volume. The downside of using uncompressed photos is the higher volume and slower loading of site pages.

JPEG format is a compressed version of photos that is slightly lower quality but much smaller and more efficient.

But how do we choose between these two formats?

  • If our photo has different colors, we use JPEG format.
  • If our photo is very simple or transparent in terms of color variation, we use the PNG format.

Most of our photos are in JPEG format. In the image below, we have compared the size of the photos according to their compression tools.

As can be seen from the table above, image formats can play a significant role in site performance.

3. Create Lazy Load capability for images

One of the things that can be done with site images is to create a Lazy Load feature in them. This feature means that the bottom images of an article are displayed by scrolling the user. This will not load many of the site images at the user’s initial request, which will speed up the upload.

One of the best plugins to do this is BJ Lazy Load , which is also very easy to use.

The best practical solutions in optimizing WordPress speed

After installing a cache management plugin and optimizing site images, you will notice an increase in site loading speed. But if you want to get the best out of your site, you need to take other steps, which we will discuss below.

These techniques are not very technical, so you do not need to know any code to do them. By executing these commands, we eliminate possible problems that may cause the site to slow down.

4. Keep your WordPress site up to date

The WordPress content management system is regularly updated due to its open source nature. Each update adds new features and fixes security issues and bugs of the previous version to some extent. Also, the skins and plugins installed by you will probably be updated from time to time.

As a site owner, you are responsible for updating WordPress, skins and plugins. Failure to make updates may slow down the site and expose it to security issues.

5. Use summary content on the home page and archives

By default, WordPress displays all the content of an article on the main page and archives. This slows down the loading of pages such as the home page, categories, tags, and other archive pages.

Another drawback of displaying full content on these pages is that other users are no longer interested in visiting the content page, and this has a negative effect on the number of pages visited by users and when they are on the site.

In order to increase the loading speed of the main pages and archives, it is better to put the summary under the title of each article. To do this, go to Settings »Reading and select” Summary “instead of” Full Text “.

6. Divide the comments into several pages

Existence of many comments on a site indicates a high percentage of user participation in the site. But its negative effect is that it slows down its loading.

WordPress has built-in settings to solve this problem. To set this section correctly, go to Settings »Discussion and select” Break comments into pages “.

7. Use of Content Distribution Networks (CDNs)

The geographical location of the user and his distance from the physical location of our hosts can affect the speed of the site. For example, suppose the location of your site server is in Iran. On average, it can be said that the speed of Iranian users accessing the site will be faster than a user in Europe or the United States.

Using a CDN or content distribution network can greatly help speed up the site for users in different geographical locations.

A CDN is a network of servers in different parts of the world. Each server has the ability to store static files on the site. Static files are fixed files that do not change. These files on the site include site images, CSS and JavaScript files.

When your site uses a CDN, the site’s stick files will be uploaded to a server that is closer to the user. Also, your hosting server will respond faster to the user because it removes a lot of activity.

8. Do not upload videos directly in WordPress

In WordPress, you can upload videos directly to your host and play them in HTML5 in users’ browsers. But you should never do that!

Hosting videos requires a lot of bandwidth. It also puts a lot of costs on your hands. Even if your web hosting subscription is unlimited, you will probably be penalized for high bandwidth consumption and your hosting service will be suspended.

Also, hosting videos increases the volume of the site and of course increases the volume of backups. As a result, restoring your WordPress site from its backup will be very difficult and time consuming.

WordPress has the ability to embed (embed) videos and through this you can upload videos to video sharing sites, put only the relevant code in the post.

9. Use optimized skins

When choosing a theme for your WordPress site, it is important to consider how well it loads. Many beautiful layouts have poor coding and slow down site loading.

It is better to always use a simple skin with quality and required plugins instead of using skins with complex layers and many animations.

10. Use the quick slide plugin

Sliders are one of the parts of the website that usually slow down the loading of pages. Even if the slideshow is optimized, its poor coding still results in a loss of users when uploading.

In a review we did to compare WordPress slider plugins, the Soliloquy plugin scored better than other plugins. The full result of this comparison is shown in the image below.

11. Use the gallery plugin faster

If you own a photo website or have displayed a lot of portfolio on your site, you are sure to use a photo gallery plugin to display site images. Optimizing the loading speed of your gallery plugin is very important.

We suggest using Envira Gallery plugin , which is one of the best image gallery plugins in WordPress. This plugin allows you to display beautiful images of your site with maximum speed.

We have also compared the loading speed of some of the most popular related plugins, the results of which you can see in the image below.

12. Transfer scripts to site footer

Scripts can add attractive features to the site, but there are costs to using them, and one of the most important costs is slowing down the site.

WordPress downloads scripts by default at the beginning of the load, if this is not necessary. By delaying their upload and moving them to the bottom of the page, a better user experience can be conveyed to site visitors. This can be done using the Scripts To Footer plugin .

Correct WordPress settings to maximize its speed (Advanced section)

By using the tips we have mentioned so far, you have certainly encountered a significant increase in site loading speed. But reducing every hundredth of a second in this process can have a big impact in the long run. If you want to maximize the speed of your site, you need to make a few more changes.

The following solutions are a bit more technical, and some of them require site editing and a basic understanding of PHP. It is best to back up your site before making any changes.

13. Divide long posts into several pages

Most site visitors like longer, more comprehensive posts. Also, long posts usually rank higher in search results. But publishing very long posts that have a lot of images can negatively affect its upload time.

Instead, you can split such posts into several pages. WordPress has the ability to split pages. To do this, just put the <! –– nextpage ––> tag in the part of the content you want to go to the next page. You can repeat this several times on one page to divide your long post into several pages.

14. Reduce external HTTP requests

Many WordPress templates upload files from other websites. These files can be in the form of scripts, style sheets and images from external sources such as Google, Facebook, statisticians and so on.

Limited use of these items does not pose a problem. Many of these files are also optimized to load as quickly as possible (even faster than if they were on your own website).

But if the site plugins issue a lot of requests for these files, this can negatively affect the speed of the site. You can reduce these requests by disabling scripts and styles or merging them together.

15. Reduce call from database

This step requires little technical skills and general knowledge of PHP and WordPress files. Unfortunately, the number of poor templates in WordPress is not small, and many of them ignore the WordPress standards and end up calling the site database repeatedly. This puts a lot of pressure on the server and reduces its efficiency.

Even good templates sometimes have code that calls the database just to get the blog site information.

In this example, each time the command “>

You can not complain to the template developer in this case, because he has no other way to know the language of the site. But if you want to customize this template, you can replace the above code with the following sample code to avoid unnecessary database calls.

Examine the site template and correct examples like this by replacing static information.

16. WordPress Database Optimization

After a while using a WordPress template, your database may contain a lot of information that is no longer needed. To increase productivity, you can optimize the database and get rid of unnecessary information.

This can be done using the WP-Sweep plugin . This plugin allows you to delete extras such as deleted posts and unused tags with a single click.

17. Restrict post modifications

Post corrections in the WordPress database take up space. Some users believe that fixes can negatively affect parts of the database that are managed by plugins. If plugins do not ignore fixes, they may slow down the site due to unnecessary searches.

You can limit the number of tweaks stored for posts and content in WordPress. This can be done by putting the following code in the wp-config.php file:

define (‘WP_POST_REVISIONS’, 4);

This code limits the number of corrections per post to four and deletes the previous ones.

18. Prevent bandwidth theft in WordPress

If you are producing high quality content on your site, sooner or later people will start stealing it. One of these methods is that other websites, instead of uploading a photo of your content on their site, put your site’s photo address on their website, in other words, use your bandwidth to upload the photo. This will steal your site bandwidth without generating traffic to your site.

Avoid stealing your bandwidth for photos by putting the following code in your site .htaccess file:

#disable hotlinking of images with forbidden or custom image option
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond% {HTTP_REFERER}! ^ $
RewriteCond% {HTTP_REFERER}! ^ http (s)?: // (www \.)? example.com [NC]
RewriteCond% TP HTTP_REFERER}! ^ Http (s)?: // (www \.)? Google.com [NC]
RewriteRule \. (Jpg | jpeg | png | gif) $ – [NC, F, L]

Note that in the code above, put your domain instead of example.com.

Some content copying websites steal their content using the site feed. In this case, you should disable the site feed or make new site posts appear in the site feed shortly after publication.

19. Enable Gzip compression

Gzip compression technology allows web servers to compress some of the site’s resources and then send them to the user.

This compression system is very effective on the site speed and can reduce the initial volume of the site by 30 to 40%. For many webmasters, the easiest way to implement Gzip is to install its plugin. The W3 Total Cache plugin, in addition to its other great features, can enable Gzip on your WordPress site.

Other Gzip activation methods include:

  • Ask site hosts to enable Gzip on your site.
  • You can enable this compression system manually via the .htaccess file.

20. Upgrade PHP version

Upgrading a website to the latest version of PHP can be tedious, but it can be very rewarding. Scripts in newer versions of PHP can run up to 30% faster, and this will greatly affect the speed of large sites. Many articles have been published in recent times that show the speed of scripts in PHP 7.1.

We hope this article has been noticed in increasing the speed of your WordPress site. If you have a question about this article, you can share it with us through the comments section.

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