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How To Speed Up WordPress Site: 16 Easy Tips

Everyone loves speed. I ardor it too. Here as a web administrator I want to discuss my site speed. The speed of my WordPress based website.

One of the most considerable hindrance that WordPress sites agonize is that they are usually slow. To the best of my knowledge, I guess WordPress sites are only slow because of the lack of proper performance and speed optimization. They are only slow because the site administrators have not taken necessary steps to speed up WordPress site.

Why Site Speed Is Important?


If you are thinking about why speed is so important to the success of your site; let me give you two examples.

Reason 1: A visitor comes to your site which is slow. The same visitor also visits another similar site that loads 10 times faster. 99% of those kind of visitors are going to visit again and purchase services or products from the faster site. Now, just think the visitor way. You are also going to visit faster site to save your time. Isn’t it? This is simply human nature.

Reason 2: As cited by the Google itself:

Our users place a lot of value in speed — that’s why we’ve decided to take site speed into account in our search rankings.

Read complete article at Google Webmasters Blog.

From the above two reasons raised it is clear that a highly optimized WordPress site can give higher search rankings and increased web traffic thus helping you create a successful website or blog.

How To Check Your Website’s Speed?


Yahoo Yslow, Google Page Speed, Pingdom are some of the advantageous online tools that you can use and to check website speed.

SEE MORE: Free Tools To Check Site Speed

After you have performed the website speed test, the next big question is how to speed up your WordPress site?

In this post I have compiled a list of 16 easy ways to speed up your WordPress blog. All the tips are elementary to implement and in case you face any issues, just let me know via your comments.

How To Speed Up WordPress Site?


1. Update To The Latest Versions

The first most critical thing to do is to stay updated with the current stable versions of both WordPress and the installed plugins. If you don’t update, you are putting your site vulnerable to security risks too. So update now and make your site stable and secure.

2. Minify HTML, CSS and Javascript

The second thing that you should do for speeding up WordPress site is to remove all comments and white spaces from your code files including HTML files, CSS files and Javascript files. The comments and white spaces are only used to make your files human readable and there is probably no need and reason to serve those comments and white spaces to your server and eventually to your visitor as these spaces only add up to the file size and making your WordPress blog slower.

Minify HTML, CSS and Javascript

3. Split Long posts into Several Pages

If you are creating a huge tutorial or some huge post containing 100 images, It is better to split your Megapost into multiple pages so each smaller single page load faster and thus benefiting you with both faster load time and more page views.

You don’t need to install anything to accomplish this as WordPress already has the inbuilt functionality to create multiple pages. All you have to do is write the below tag within your post where you want to split your post:

<!--nextpage-->

Note – Make sure that you write this tag using the text view instead of visual view in your post editor.
Also make sure that your single.php contains the below code for the pagination to work.

 <?php wp_link_pages(); ?>

4. Use Excerpts and limit post count

There is no need to display full posts on your home page. Most of the blogs use 8-10 posts on their home page. If you started using full-length posts for all these 8-10 posts, then your home page will become excessively stagnant and consume an immense amount of server load. Use excerpts of 35-50 words and afford a read more link with them.

5. Remove Unwanted Plugins

Why not eye at your plugins list and detach the ones that are inactive and the ones you don’t need. Carefully choose your plugins and install and keep only those which you really need. Remove all unwanted plugins to speed up WordPress admin panel and blog.

6. Delete spam comments

Another thing that is advocated is to delete your spam comments regularly. Thousands of spam comments in your database slows down the speed of your website. Bear in mind to regularly remove spam comments from your database to improve WordPress speed.

Delete spam comments

7. Delete Post Revisions

Just as your spam comments, old post revisions also deplete lots of space in your database thus making your database heavier and slowing down the overall speed of your WordPress dashboard and your website. Be sure to delete your old post revisions habitually.

You can run the below query to delete all unnecessary post revisions and the associate metadata.

DELETE a,b,c FROM wp_posts a WHERE a.post_type = 'revision' LEFT JOIN wp_term_relationships b ON (a.ID = b.object_id) LEFT JOIN wp_postmeta c ON (a.ID = c.post_id);

Make sure to backup your database before running the above query.

You can even try the Better Delete Revision plugin to remove old revisions.

8. Optimize Your Images

Yes, the images enhance the looks of your blog post but there is no need to use high-resolution images.

Use the option  – “Save image for web” if you use Adobe Photoshop to create or edit images.

speed up wordpress optimize your images

Additionally, you can also use Yahoo Smush.it or install a WordPress plugins like EWWW Image Optimizer or WP Smush to deflate the size of your images while uploading.

You can also try the WordPress inbuilt functionality to reduce the resolution of your uploaded image.

Interestingly, there are Lazy Load plugins which displays the images only when user views it and hence saving your bandwidth, resource usage and increasing overall site speed.

9. Optimize your database

This could prove to be worthy if your WordPress Dashboard responds very slowly.

You can install the following plugins to speed up WordPress dashboard and database from within your dashboard.

Or you can do it manually by opening your PhpMyAdmin -> Select your database from the left navigation -> Check all to select all tables and choose the Optimize option from the drop down list present at the bottom.

Optimize your database - speed up wordpress site

10. Use Caching

WordPress is completely dynamic which means every time a page is loaded, it executes a couple of queries to render the page properly and thus causing heavy load on your server. This problem can be solved by serving static pages to your readers. W3 Total cache is one of the best WordPress cache plugin present so far that can be used to cache your pages. The plugin can be used to minify Html files, CSS files and cache your database as well.

11. Use CSS Sprites

Passed are those days when slicing was done to create multiple images and birdbrain the viewers that page is loading faster. Multiple images increase the HTTP requests and making your page slower.

CSS Sprite works by mapping all your images on a single image, call it once and shift it around using different coordinates. Thus saving the overhead to call multiple images. You can visit Sprite Me to generate the sprite and its required code.

12. Reduce Database Calls

By making your site less dynamic, you can save your load times. Remove the PHP code from your files and try to use only the Html code where ever possible. You can try the following changes to reduce your load times and speed up WordPress database:

  • Make your stylesheets URL static.
  • Make your Blog info static.
  • Make your Feed URL static.
  • Make your social media profile links static.

13. Disable Hotlinking & Leeching

Hotlinking is a bandwidth theft. It occurs when some other site links your images on their articles thus causing double load on your servers.

Place the below code in your .htaccess file to prevent your bandwidth theft.

 #disable hotlinking of images with forbidden or custom image option
 RewriteEngine on
 RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$
 RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www\.)?webloggerz.com [NC]
 RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www\.)?google.com [NC]
 RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www\.)?feeds.feedburner.com/web-bloggerz [NC]
 RewriteRule \.(jpg|jpeg|png|gif)$ – [NC,F,L]
 

14. Use a Content Delivery Network / CDN

Most of the big sites including Stumbleupon, WP Engine use CDN for faster site speed.

CDN could prove to be a jumbo jet for your site speed. What CDN does is that it displays your site to your visitor from the closest possible location. The best CDN service that I can recommend to you is the Max CDN. Their prices are affordable and their dashboard is easy to use.

15. Switch to Solid Framework or Theme

There are many theme authors selling their themes for cheap prices but choosing the best theme framework that can prove handy in terms of faster page loads and SEO could be tedious.

From my personal experience, themes from Elegant Themes, Templatic and Mythemeshop are the fastest loading themes.

16. Buy Good Hosting

After trying everything above, the last but yet again an important step to optimize your site speed is to buy a proper hosting. If you are hosted on a shared host and thinking of becoming successful one day; Seriously forget it. Most of the shared hosts are extremely lethargic and suffer frequent downtime during peak traffic hours thus killing both your traffic and search rankings. Don’t try to save a few bucks and compromise your fast growth. Spend a few extra bucks on a host that is reliable, has strong servers and offer unmatched support.

Some good hosts that I can openly recommend to you are:

WP Engine is primarily focused on WordPress sites. And if you are running only WordPress sites, then I guess WP Engine is the best option for you to speed up your WordPress blog. You can read my post covering a detailed review of WP Engine to read more about them.

Any Other Way To Increase The WordPress Speed?

What tricks do you use to improve WordPress speed? Share your thoughts with us.

Editorial Staff at Web Loggerz is a team of Web Technology lovers led by Ansh Gupta.

17 Comments

  1. Great post ANSH.

    I’m addicted to speed too, slow websites irritate me so much, so I make sure mine run fast.

    • Thanks Aassif,
      I really hope it helped you.. :)

  2. Site speed is much important as it attracts you reader to easily get into the content instead of waiting for loading.

    • Yes Himanshu. Not only it increases readability but also improves your search rankings.

  3. Some good tips here! Regarding removing unwanted plugins, there is this cool plugin you could use called P3 (plugin performance profiler) which will tell you which plugins are affecting your website’s load speed the most. By using this plugin, I was able to choose what plugins I would be willing to give up, and was able to decrease my website’s loading speed by over 50%!

  4. Ansh, thanks for the relevant Information and by using good hosting anyone can speed up sites i like WP-Engine but its too costly :P

    Thanks and regards
    Gagan

  5. thanks for giving that much ideas for maintaining a good site speed. Site speed is a crucial factor in reducing the bounce rates for your site as it pleases the guests when they find a particular site or page opening quickly.

  6. Hi Ansh,

    Really useful and informative post about increasing page load speed and certainly it’s beneficial for your audience and your website ranking as well.

  7. Hey!

    Nice tips you got there. I can’t agree more with hosting. My old hosting is crazy bad. Now, pretty stable and once everything picks up, I am heading over to WP Engine. All in one package (with a small price to pay). Haha!

    I didn’t know spam will create issue in terms of loading speed but thanks for sharing that info buddy!

    Reginald.

    • Of Course Refinald,
      Hosting plays a crucial role. If your site is slow or remains down, then you are going to lose your potential visitors, readers and customers.

    • as stated by ansh, hosting plays a really vital role in the site speed. Also, while you talk about the spams, I would like to tell you that you should try GASP or any other anti spam plugin as they (spams) also reduce the site speed.

  8. Wonderfull post.well written. thank you so much.

  9. Nice tips,i always try to remove all the revisions and plugins that are not being used,just removed some more plugins.

  10. Hi Ansch, thanks for sharing your useful tips, I cannot wait to give ’em a try! Actually, I have been satisfied with wp.com’s CMS and hosting service for many years now, but I’ve experienced some loading speed issues in the last couple of weeks. I hope I can figure out what the problem is, I bet it’s going to be the image size optimization (I’ve just uploaded the photos from iPhoto)

  11. Hi Ansh,

    Thanks for sharing these tips most of them are very effective. I know about CDN but never tried , have you ever tried CDN if you can explain a bit about it?

  12. This is one of the best posts I’ve found on website performance and speed. I use most if not all of the practices here in a unique way. I was using CDN’s and caching plugins before they were mainstream! Anyway, great article and this is HUGELY beneficial for anyone that doesn’t know this stuff!

  13. Great tips, I do love to empty my blog spam and draft always but many time I do lost some post due to poor network coverage when I hit publish and it doesn’t published as a result of poor network when I empty my draft without verify whether the post has been published or not.

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