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How To Make WordPress Website Faster – The Essentials (2021)

How To Make WordPress Website Faster – The Essentials (2021)

Website speed is a big deal. It has a direct influence on the chances of a visitor returning, conversion rates, customer satisfaction levels and even on your website’s ranking in search engines such as Google. In short, your website needs to be fast! How fast? Well, generally speaking, pages should be loading in less than three seconds, but, really, the faster the better (ideally more like one to two seconds). Here are the best ways to make WordPress Website Faster

WordPress is a well-maintained and highly streamlined system — when issues do arise, they’re generally down to the fact that hardly anyone uses a vanilla WordPress installation. To get the results you need, it’s likely you’re using scores of plugins, custom code or third-party themes — all of which have the potential to chip away at your site’s speed.

In this article, we’ll go through the root causes of these decreases, and look at what you can do to solve any issues and get your site back up to speed.

Four Factors That Affect WordPress Site Speed

wordpress performance boost

There are a few factors that determine the speed of a website — here are the ones we’ll look at in more detail:

  • Ping
  • Hosting quality
  • Code quality
  • Website requests

Ping

Ping is actually the time it takes for a query from your computer (or your guest computers) to arrive at your website server. This is measured in milliseconds, which may seem low, but these milliseconds add up quickly. If your website has too many requests, or 10ms ping can add up to one second or more.

Obviously you can’t ask users to come closer to your servers, but you can use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to lower pings on average. We will talk more about CDN services below.

Check Out – Best Drag & Drop Page Builder For WordPress (2021)

Hosting Quality

Hosting is probably the most important factor in the speed of your site. Not only does it affect user experience by providing faster caching and more powerful servers, but, with the right infrastructure, you will be better protected from traffic surges, while low-quality code results can also be minimized.

As a general rule, it is worth paying extra for a premium hosting service – especially if your business relies on the speed and time of your website.

Code Quality

Code quality affects site speed in many ways: Bad code takes longer to process; unrestricted code may be too strong for memory, or it may simply be larger, taking longer to download. That’s not to say the codeball effect is hard to keep – as more and more engineers can add more and more code to your code in a variety of styles, using a variety of methods, it will begin to degrade, including all of the above.

The problem is, unless you are an experienced developer, it is difficult to determine the quality of the code you are using. There are a few things that are easier to control than others, however, like choosing reliable plugins, which we will look at later.

Website Requests

The number of requests made by your website is related to the quality of the code, but it should be highlighted because you can control it to some degree. Whenever your site uploads an app – a photo, video, script (for example, tracking code) and a few other things – the request is made. Each alternative application takes time, which slows down your site, but there are a few ways to reduce the number of requests made by your site – we will look at some of the following.

How to Measure Your Loading Times

measure wordpress speed

Before you can learn how to reduce your loading times, you will need to know how to measure yourself. GTmetrix is ​​a great tool for this, allowing you to measure the performance of your site and get all kinds of information and activities for free.

Other options include Pingdom and WebPageTest, both of which are similar services.

When doing your performance tests, it’s important to look at a few things:

Variability – be sure to do a lot of testing at different times of the day, to get a full picture of the loading times of your site. Individual tests can vary, so you need to do a lot of tests if you want accurate data.

Test Location – try to choose a test location close to your audience, so you can capture their feeling accurately. Or, if you have a global audience, be sure to check in from different places around the world to see how different visitors will find your site.

Devices – more than 50% of Internet traffic is happening on mobile devices these days, but most people are still experimenting with desktop loading times. There are important differences between devices, however. For example, cheaper smartphones take longer to process JavaScript, which means that a heavier JavaScript website can download very slowly to mobile devices.

GTmetrix and WebPageTest both allow you to change test locations, devices and other variables.

WHAT’S A GOOD LOADING TIME?

slow wordpress loading time

First, it is important to remember that there is not a single time to load your site page. In addition to any configurations you have made, how fast your site load depends on other factors, such as visitor location, device (e.g. desktop vs smartphone), and connection speed (e.g. 3G vs high-speed wireless connection).

Additionally, the best download time on desktop actually does not match the best download time on mobile, even if the data is the same.

On mobile devices, Google recommends that you try to keep the download times less than three seconds. In addition, with the possibility of your visitor jumping away almost twice.

It’s hard to find the same desktop visitor data, but you’ll see the same jump in three seconds on desktop devices – at least according to this data from Pingdom. However, the increase in bounce levels is not nearly as great as for guest guests, suggesting that desktop visitors are less forgiving.

Usually, however, you want to shoot a maximum of three seconds.

How to Decrease Your Load Times and Make WordPress Faster

While some of these tips may sound a little technical, you’ll be able to perform all of the tactics in this first section without needing any special technical knowledge. Most of them involve making smart choices and installing WordPress plugins where needed.

You need to make WordPress website faster, Right?

CHOOSE A FAST HOST

hostinger fast hosting service

A good host not only provides advanced services, such as backups, location monitoring and easy installation of new sites, but it also puts in place measures to ensure that your site loads quickly.

If you are looking for fast WordPress loading times, your best option is to choose a managed WordPress manager designed specifically for WordPress performance.

Three well-managed WordPress hosting services are WP Engine, Kinsta and Flywheel. All of this provides excellent hosting, and, despite their differences, I can trust my business in any.

One thing I would warn you about would be to use WordPress hosting management services that are focused on alternative hosting methods. These services are usually cheap and do not directly mention WordPress, the redesign of their shared or VPS plans. This is not to say that they are bad, but companies that specialize in WordPress services are the best at this type of thing

Check Out – Best Cheap WordPress Hosting Services (2021)

UPDATE EVERYTHING (ESPECIALLY PHP)

update wordpress website

First of all, make sure you always use the latest version of WordPress. Since version 3.7, WordPress has had automatic updates for minor releases and security updates. When a new update arrives, you will receive a notification from the administrator. Don’t throw it away as a recent activity – it takes less than a minute, and will increase the security of your website and possibly speed up.

Make sure your plugins and themes are also updated with a little buggy, most up-to-date, most secure and fast versions of these products.

That takes care of WordPress, but don’t forget your servers – especially your PHP version. PHP is the basic language in which WordPress is written, and the speed difference between the latest version of PHP and previous versions is staggering. For example, according to Kinsta’s WordPress PHP, PHP 7.4 processes more than three times the number of requests per second vs PHP 5.6.

Despite that huge difference, more than 25% of WordPress sites unfortunately, still use PHP 5.6 or lower.

Top notch hosts will handle this for you, or you can set which PHP version for your server to use from your hosting dashboard. If you can’t find out what to say about this, try to reach out to your guardian.

USE A CDN

cloudflare CDN

I have mentioned CDN resources before regarding reducing pings. A CDN is a distributed network that delivers content to your visitors from their immediate location. If I use an image with a CDN, US viewers can get the image through a Texas database, while Europeans can get it from a data user in Germany.

The downtime to go down reduces the reduction of transmission times and times, and reduces the stress on your site’s server, as your static content is now distributed worldwide.

An easy way to get started with a CDN is to use the Site Accelerator feature in the free Jetpack plugin. This will speed up your images and static files, such as CSS and JavaScript.

Or, you can also use the free Cloudflare app, or that takes more setup because you need to change your domain names.

You’ll also find a number of premium CDN services such as:

Many premium managed WordPress hosts also bundle in a CDN service at no extra cost. This is true for WP Engine (via StackPath), Kinsta (via KeyCDN) and Flywheel (via Fastly). This is yet another reason to use managed WordPress hosting.

USE PAGE CACHING (AT THE SERVER LEVEL, IF POSSIBLE)

When you submit a page to your viewers, the following happens: PHP code is generated and processed on the server, resulting in HTML code sent to the user. The resulting HTML is usually the same, but is still being processed.

Take a blog post, for example. It does not change unless it is updated, but the PHP code is still being processed.

Caches save valuable server time by ‘saving’ the performance results. The code is created and processed, and the resulting HTML is stored in the archive. Next visitors, processing is completely skipped and they get a stored HTML version.

Basically, your server has to do a little bit of work to deliver your site content to each visitor.

This not only speeds up your site, but can be very helpful in dealing with traffic surges, as the server does not need to process all requests.

The best way to use cache is to choose a WordPress managed manager that uses cache at server level. That way, your server doesn’t even need to load WordPress to use the cached page. WP Engine, Kinsta, and Flywheel all use temporary storage at server level.

If that is not an option, you can also add temporary backups with the WordPress plugin. This isn’t great because your server still needs to load the WordPress application before submitting a cached page, but it will still provide great improvements by not using any caching. Caching is one of the best ways to make WordPress website faster

Here are three of the best caching plugins:

  1. WP Rocket
  2. WP Super Cache
  3. WP Fastest Cache

Note: You only need one caching plugin, and you don’t need a caching plugin if your host has already implemented server-level caching.

OPTIMIZE YOUR IMAGES

On average, images account for about 50% of the web page file size. So, if you can reduce your images by using them properly, you can make great improvements in the loading times of your site page.

There are two sections to enhance your photos:

Resize – adjust the actual size of your image to suit your needs. For example, if your theme’s content area is only 800 px wide, you should use images at ~ 1,600 px wide (you want to double the width of your content area to rotate Retina screens).

Compression– reduce file size with no loss of quality (not cramped) or with small, often invisible (lost compression).

If it suits your workflow, you can customize your photos before uploading them to WordPress using Photoshop preferences. All photo editors allow you to choose JPEG quality, so use the lowest setting. In most cases, you will not notice the difference between 100% and 60% quality, but the file size can be cut in half (or more).

If you are looking for an additional hand removal solution, there are also many plugins that can resize and compress images as you upload them to WordPress. ShortPixel and Imagify are two great options with free limited plans. Smush is another quality option with an unlimited free plan, but only allows you to apply non-lost compression unless you sign up for WPMU DEV.

REVIEW YOUR PLUGINS

wordpress plugins

If you have a lazy site, updating your plugins can be one of the best things you can do. I recommend going through your list of plugins twice. In your first update, find plugins you do not need or need, close them and remove them.

Now that you’ve removed any unnecessary plugins, it’s time to review the rest to see if there is room for improvement. Make sure each plugin is the best in the supply: There are thousands of plugins in the archive, so choose the ones that are reliable, tested and high quality.

You should aim to have as few plugins as possible, such as enhancing your use of the plugin * you will be reducing the number of requests your site makes, which increases speed and more. You can make WordPress website faster by deleting the unnecessary plugins

*Using more plugins won’t automatically slow down your site because it depends on what each plugin actually does and how well it’s coded. But, unless you have the knowledge to analyze a plugin’s performance by yourself, it’s best to stick with the rough rule that more plugins means a slower website.

Check Out – 10 Best WordPress Plugins for Blogs in 2021

ENABLE GZIP COMPRESSION

The size of web pages can contribute to faster downloads. By using gzip compression website (this is similar to using zip archives), you can reduce the size of your page, so it takes time to get it. On average, gzip can reduce file sizes by about 70%.

Many WordPress plugins / temporary storage plugins already have the feature of enabling gzip compression. These include WP Rocket, WP Super Cache and WP Fastest Cache. There is also a dedicated plugin called Enable Gzip Compression that focuses exclusively on gzip compression.

MINIFY AND CONCATENATE FILES

Merging (merging) files helps to reduce the number of requests made by the site. If your site contains ten JavaScript files and ten CSSs, you make 20 requests. If you combine all your JavaScript files into one file, or (and do the same with your CSS), you will reduce your request to two, which will save you a lot of download time.

Making small files is another easy way to reduce their size. The code is written for human reading, but the machines do not need all that extra space and various readable words. Minification discards all readings that need to be read, such as spaces, line breaks, and comments.

Some temporary / operational storage plugins include tools designed for this. For example, WP Rocket allows you to do both minification and concatenation.

If you already have a temporary backup solution (or your administrator is using a temporary backup), you can also use the free Autoptimize plugin to release and consolidate your files.

Development Tasks

As a website owner / user, there is only so much you can do to speed up your site. Many basic sins are committed in the code, and there is not much you can do about it – unless you are willing to get your hands dirty! Aside from getting into the nitty-gritty, here are some of the most common challenges you will face – and how you can overcome them.

PUT SCRIPTS IN THE FOOTER

Text loading takes up significant applications and bandwidth. While some require a loading in the header (part of the website that first loads), most will work best if loaded on foot – part of the site that loads most often. By the time the browser uploads to your website footer it will have uploaded your content, so that the viewer can start reading while the subtitles are downloaded.

The solution is to move as much as possible to the foot. In WordPress, you can do this using the wp_enqueue_script () function – see the linked texts for more details.

If you do not want to extract code, you can also use the free Async JavaScript plugin to at least undo some JavaScript downloads to your site.

LOAD IMPORTANT CONTENT FIRST

The same kind of concept can be applied to how your content is organized. If your sidebar is preloaded before your content and something goes wrong, it will catch up with you everywhere. If uploaded after your content, it may still cause the site to hang, but, by then, the main content will have been uploaded.

Organize your code in a way that allows your core content to be loaded very quickly, so if something goes wrong users have something to look at – and they may not even notice the issues.

OPTIMIZE YOUR DATABASE

mySQL database shrinking

Over time, any database will shrink. If your code gets too bad, this will happen very quickly. Fortunately, MySQL has great built-in tools to fix these problems. Big data consumes more RAM and delays queries, resulting in longer processing times, which can add up to ten seconds of upload time!

SiteGround has a short tutorial on expanding the MySQL database using SQL queries, and one using phpMyAdmin to add a database.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there is much you can do to speed up your website! Some methods are designed for developers (or more customized), but there are a lot of simple tweaks you can do as a regular user to increase the speed of your site, especially with the help of free or affordable plugins.

If you choose quality hosting, are smart about the plugins you use, and do some basic work (like image compression and page saving), you should have a WordPress website that can download in less than three seconds.

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