The average human attention span has shortened significantly and the rise of platforms like Tiktok is one such example. While it ranges in a few minutes for videos, it lasts for barely a few seconds when people are browsing the internet. So you have very little time to show them your content and that’s not going to happen with a slow website. You need optimizations and WordPress speed tips to make your website lightning fast so that you don’t lose any potential traffic. Here are a few tips to increase the performance and speed of your WordPress website:
Get the basics right
Let’s get the basic optimizations and WordPress speed tips out of the way:
- Check your website’s speed – Chrome, Safari, Edge and other modern web browsers caches a website you visit frequently from your PC. which means your website may appear fast to you when you access it from your computer. However, that may not be the case for everyone else. That’s why you should check your website’s speed to know if you require optimizations. Free online tools allow you to check your website’s speed and you should aim to bring it down to the bare minimum at around 2 seconds or less. Even milliseconds have a massive impact on the traffic you attract to your website.
- Change the host – Unlike people, all WordPress hosting services aren’t created equal. However, they play a big role in your website’s speed. You need a good host so that your website loads fast on any device in most geographical locations. If you’re on shared hosting, you share server resources with numerous customers and that means peak traffic on a neighbor’s website can slow you down. That’s why you should switch to a managed WordPress hosting service that optimizes resources best suited for your needs. Design Cavern is a full service digital agency that can suggest a good hosting service and do other optimizations to boost your website’s speed.
- Install a Caching Plugin – A caching plugin can make a tremendous difference in your website’s performance. It can make your websites up to five times faster. When a user visits your website for the first time, the caching plugin makes a copy of the page after it loads and shows that to users that follow. That means WordPress doesn’t need to dynamically generate your web pages for every user by going through multiple hurdles that involve PHP files, MySQL database, and conversion to HTML. It’s one of the most underrated WordPress speed tips that you need to implement or leave to professionals at Design Cavern.
- Image Optimizations – Images are an easy way to engage your users with colorful and captivating content. But they can drag down your website’s speed if not optimized. High-Resolution images captured by DSLRs, action cameras, and iPhones can have massive sizes. You need to compress and convert them to JPEG or PNG format to reduce their size so that they can load quickly on your website.
Major Optimizations for your website
Now that you’re done with the basics, let’s check out some major WordPress speed tips optimizations to further increase your website’s performance:
- Background processes need to be optimized – Several background processes run at the back end of your WordPress site to allow for search engines and other crawlers to search through your website, for publishing scheduled posts, for running plugins, and more. You don’t need to worry about background processes that publish schedule posts or check for updates. They consume negligible resources at certain intervals. However, resource-heavy processes like powerful plugin tasks and website crawling can slow down your website if unchecked. Design Cavern will optimize your website to run those processes at the right frequency when you have low traffic so that your website doesn’t slow down when it matters.
- Update your website regularly – WordPress is an open-source project that gets frequent updates and you need to keep up. You need to update all the plugins, themes, and stay on the latest version of WordPress to keep your website smooth and fast. These updates resolve bugs on the previous version and also fix many backdoors and security concerns. This WordPress speed tip is extremely important since it doesn’t just boost your website’s speed, but also helps you protect your website from security breaches and cyber-attacks.
- Use a CDN – You may have an excellent hosting service that is located in the US and Europe. That means your users in those locations will see fast load times for your website. However, users in Asia and Australia may not experience the same thing. That’s why you need a CDN(Content Delivery Network) to speed up your website in all locations. A CDN network is spread out throughout the globe so, when a user from another part of the world opens your website, CDN servers closest to the user will deliver those files quickly and increase your website’s speed. It also improves the speed of your hosting service since a significant bulk of the load is shared by the CDN.
- Use speed-optimized themes – You may come across a gorgeous theme with beautiful graphics and amazing animations. Before you install it on your website, you should check if it affects the speed of your website poorly. Creating gorgeous themes with poor coding is very easy and unfortunately, they flood the market. When choosing a theme try to stick to a modern, minimal, and simple theme that doesn’t shave away your resources with unnecessary features. Stick to reputed theme shops to get themes that are masterfully coded and optimized for fast load times.
Fine-tune your website
If you’ve implemented the above-mentioned tips, your website should be significantly faster now. However, there are even more optimizations that can be done. These WordPress speed tips will help you to gain milliseconds and together they can add to a significant second of reduced load time.
- Limit HTTP Requests from external sources – There are numerous themes and plugins that use many files from other websites like Facebook and Google. These include scripts, images, stylesheets, and more. These files are often optimized for loading quickly and there is no issue if HTTP requests from external sources are limited. However, too many requests can shave away at your site’s speed and deliver a poor user experience. The best way to resolve this issue is to merge those files into one. If that’s not possible, consider disabling unnecessary styles and scripts.
- Consider optimizing your WordPress database – If you’ve been using WordPress for a while you have used a ton of files and information that is sitting in your WordPress database. However, since the updates and optimizations or changes in web design, you may not need those files anymore. It’s best to get rid of that useless information to free up your WordPress database. You can do so manually or use a plugin for those revisions, tags, images, trashed posts, and more. An optimized and clutter-free WordPress database boosts your site speed.
- Reduce post revisions – Another thing that clogs your database is post revisions. In some cases, they can also affect the performance of your plugins during database queries. When your plugin includes post revisions in the queries it uses more resources than necessary. This can lead to a performance drop for both the plugin and your website. To avoid this, consider reducing the total number of revisions that can be maintained by WordPress for each post. Fortunately, this can be done by adding a single line of code:
define( ‘WP_POST_REVISIONS’, 4 );
This code limits WordPress to save the last four revisions of each article or page and automatically discards older revisions. By changing the number in the code, you can increase or decrease the number of post revisions you want WordPress to keep.
- Use a firewall at the DNS level – You already have a firewall plugin to prevent security threats like hacking attempts, brute force attacks, ransomware, and malware. However, if the firewall runs on your website, attackers won’t be blocked even if they reach the web server. While it won’t compromise your security, any downtime on the server isn’t ideal for performance. You should opt for a DNS level firewall that can block malicious activity even before they reach your website.
- Ask the hosting service to update PHP – WordPress is primarily written in PHP, a versatile programming language. It runs on your hosting server and if it isn’t updated to the latest version it can slow down your speed. Use a PHP version checking plugin to figure out the version of PHP used by your hosting service and ask them to update it if they aren’t on the latest version.
All of these WordPress speed tips are simple to implement. However, they can be time-consuming. Advanced optimizations demand even more research and precious time. A full service digital agency like Design Cavern can optimize your website for you so that you can focus on growing your website.