10 Ways to Speed Up Your Slow WordPress Website

WordPress owns nearly 60% of the market share for content management systems due to its classy interface and simpler operations. Released for the first time in 2003, it has been developed to match exact user requirements keeping the developer’s technical acumen in view. One of these elements focuses on the speed of WordPress

There is a WordPress community which constantly works on bringing new additions, upgrades and fixing the bugs in the software. Spread of this community is worldwide, so it is imperative to have the best of the minds from all over the world working on WordPress.

WordPress is developed using PHP as a programming language and supports MySQL for database. It has many themes, templates, plugins which help increasing the functionality of the website.

Over the years, you may find the website to start slowing down or feeling sluggish, That is, if you don’t take proper measures. Slow sites may result in losing visitors and in turn losing your precious business.

The Importance of Site Speed

Site speed can be defined as the quickness of your website while loading when it is accessed by a visitor. There have been so many technological advancements in the recent past which has improved Internet access. Which means the visitor is relatively sure the connection to your content is not his or her problem.

Websites shouldn’t take anymore than a handful of seconds to load on a visitor’s device. If such is the case, it is apparent that you should take all the steps to reduce the loading time of your website.

The success of any product lies in the time it takes to capture the visitor’s eye. It is applicable even for your websites. When it loads, the site should catch a visitor’s attention in first few seconds. Otherwise, you might lose the visitor and potential business.

Additionally, slow speed of your website may have an adverse effect on your website ranking on popular search engines.

So, what can you do to improve the performance of your pages?

10 Ways to Speed Up

Here are the some potential ways to increase your site speed.

  1. Using Default Themes
    Keeping your website simple is the mantra for many. Instead of using customized and fully-loaded website layouts, use default themes to make your website look simpler and load faster.
  2. Choosing Appropriate Host
    The different kinds of hosting can directly affect performance for a WordPress website. For instance, the difference between shared hosting and dedicated servers can vastly affect site speed if you accumulate several hundred thousand visitors per month. Find WordPress hosting that is perfect for your needs, though. Small business sites may not need the overall power of dedicated servers.
  3. Pay Attention to Caching Plugins
    Caching plugins can make a profound impact in performance. For instance, setting up something like W3 Total Cache saves regularly accessed materials such as images in a separate file. This means visitors access those caches instead of loading up data from scratch. This drastically cuts the load time of resources on your site.
  4. Use of Content Delivery Network
    The main aim of Content Delivery Network, or CDN, is to provide content to the users with high performance and high availability. Essentially, networks like CloudFlare CDN store copies of your site across the globe in servers which are closer to specific visitors. Distance is less of a factor when it comes to opening website content.
  5. Image Optimization
    Image use is one of the biggest culprits of a slow website. This is often caused when people use graphics that are way too big or set at ultra high resolutions. Always use the correct size for the image you’re using. And look for image optimization plugins such as Smush. It’s among some of the most essential plugins for WordPress to boost performance and functionality.
  6. Make Your Homepage Simpler
    You can minimize the content on your homepage without practically reducing it, thus increasing speed of the website. Here are some simpler ways:

    • Reduction in number of posts per page
    • Showing only the excerpts of content instead of the whole post
    • Do not include sharing widgets on the homepage and remove those which are sparingly or not at all used
  7. Control on the Post Revisions
    Revisions while writing posts are inevitable, and not letting them impact your website speed is in your hands. WordPress keeps storing all the revisions you make to your post. Controlling it will surely help you increasing the speed of the website. In this instance, you want to cleanup and optimize the WordPress database. Less clutter helps the system retrieve data more efficiently.
  8. Replacing PHP with HTML (static)
    You might have to do a bit of coding here, but replacing PHP with static HTML certainly helps reduce loading time of the website. However, you want to be careful about the elements you replace. The wrong code can easily break your entire website.
  9. Turn off Trackbacks
    You can try and limit the pingbacks and trackbacks which are given to your websites by other blogs. Disabling this feature in WordPress settings frees up a few resources and allows the site to operate unhindered.
  10. Lazy Loading Your Images
    As the webpage unfolds, the images are loaded; this process is called Lazy Loading. It is very useful in increasing speed of the website. For example, images and content are not loaded until a visitor scrolls down to see them. Depending on how many images you have, it can cut load time exponentially for the user. This also works for lazy loading the comment section and other areas of your site.

Focus on Site Performance

The overall performance of your site will affect its success on the Internet. Taking steps to keep it quick and user-friendly will work to your advantage and keep people coming back for more content. Don’t settle for a slow load time. It will surely hurt your online reputation, sales and visibility.

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