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How To Speed Up Your WordPress Website 2022

Why Speed is Important for Your WordPress Site?

The average human attention span is 7 seconds. This means you have very little time to get your users’ attention and convince them that they should do business with you.

A slow website means that users may bounce and get to the nearest competitor.According to a StrangeLoop case study that involved Amazon, Google, and other larger sites, a 1 second delay in page load time can lead to 7% loss in conversions, 11% fewer page views, and 16% decrease in customer satisfaction.

How to Check Your WordPress Website Speed?

We recommend using Google Page Speed or Gtmetric. These are free online tools that you can input your website’s URL and see how your rank for speed.

What’s a good website speed that I should aim for? A good page load time is under 2 seconds.

However, the faster you can make it, the better it is. A few milliseconds of improvements here and there can add up to shaving off half or even a full second from your load time.

What Slows Down Your WordPress Website?

Your speed report will have many recommendations to improve your page speed. There will be a lot of technical speak which can be hard for beginners to understand.

When we learn what is slowing down your website it will help us make key strategic decisions for your website moving forward.

The main causes for a slow WordPress website are:

  • Web Hosting – When your web hosting server is not properly configured it can hurt your website speed.
  • WordPress Configuration – If your WordPress site is not serving cached pages, then it will overload your server thus causing your website to be slow or crash entirely.
  • Page Size – Mainly images that aren’t optimised for the web.
  • Bad Plugins – If you’re using a poorly coded plugin, then it can significantly slow down your website.
  • External scripts – External scripts such as ads, font loaders, etc can also have a huge impact on your website performance.

Now that you know what slows down your WordPress website, let’s take a look at how to speed up your WordPress website.

Importance of Good WordPress Hosting

Good WordPress hosting plays a major role in your website’s performance. Good shared hosting packages are available from many online companies like Bluehost or Siteground.
 
The issue with shared hosting is that the resources are shared with lots of other websites around the world. This means that if another site on the shared hosting receive lots of traffic one day then your sites performance might become impacted. 

We recommend WPEngine as our preferred managed WordPress hosting provider. They’re also the most popular one in the industry. 

How to speed up your WordPress Website?

We know that making changes to your website can be a daunting prospect for beginners, especially if you know nothing about websites. Don’t worry it can be done easily using a few simple steps.

 

1: Install a WordPress Caching Plugin

WordPress pages are built to be dynamic. This means they are built every time someone visits your page. To build your pages, WordPress has to run a process to find the required information, put it all together, and then display it to your user. This process involves a lot of steps, and it can really slow down your website when you have multiple people visiting it at once.

A caching plugin can speed up your site by 2-5x.

It works by the plugin creating a copy of your page on the first load and serving that cache version to the user every time they open your website page.

That’s why we recommend every WordPress site use a caching plugin. Caching can make your WordPress site anywhere from 2x to 5x faster.

Here’s how it works.

Instead of going through the whole page generation process every time, your caching plugin makes a copy of the page after the first load, and then serves that cached version to every subsequent user.

We recommend these plugin to use on your website:

WP Super Cache

WP Fastest Cache

W3 Total Cache

2: Optimise Images for Speed

Images play an important role in your website make up. They help engagement and bring your content to life. Researchers have found that using coloured visuals makes people 80% more likely to read your content.

However, if you don’t optimise your images they could be damaging your website’s optimal performance. Did you know that non-optimised images are the most common speed issues when it comes to WordPress websites.

Before you add an image to your website, we suggest that you use photo editing software to reduce the size of your images for web.

If you upload images in their original format the file size can be huge and slow down your website.

If you have already uploaded the images to the website and want a quick solution you can use a plugin called Smush.

As you can see in the chart, the image format you use can make a HUGE difference in website performance.

3: WordPress Performance Optimization Suggestions

After installing both a cache plugin and image optimisation you will begin to notice some difference.
But if you want to take it a step further you’ll need to use these best practises.
These tips aren’t too technical, so you don’t need to know any code to implement them. But using them will prevent common problems that will slow down your website.

 

4: Keep Your WordPress Site Updated

WordPress is updated frequently. Each update offers security issues and bugs. Your WordPress theme and plugins may have regular updates, too.

As a website owner, it’s your responsibility to keep your WordPress site, theme, and plugins updated to the latest versions. Not doing so may make your site slow and unreliable, and make you vulnerable to security threats.

5: Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

Remember how we mentioned above that users in different geographical locations may experience different loading times on your site?

That’s because the location of your web hosting servers can have an impact on your site speed.

For example, let’s say your web hosting company has its servers in the United States. A visitor who’s also in the United States will generally see faster loading times than a visitor in India.

Using a Content Delivery Network (CDN), can help to speed up loading times for all of your visitors.

A CDN is a network made up of servers all around the world. Each server will store “static” files used to make up your website.

These static files include unchanging files such as images, CSS, and JavaScript, unlike your WordPress pages which are “dynamic” as explained above.

When you use a CDN, every time a user visits your website they are served those static files from whichever server is closest to them. Your own web hosting server will also be faster since the CDN is doing a lot of the work.

We use recommend using SucuriBunny CDN, or Cloudflare.

6: Don’t Upload Audio/Video Files Directly to WordPress

Hosting videos and audio will cost you a lot of bandwidth. You could even be changed additional fees by your hosting provider. 

Instead, you should use a video hosting provider like YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion, SoundCloud, etc., and let them take care of the hard work. 

 

7: Use a Theme Optimized For Speed

When choosing a WordPress theme for your website it is recommended that you test the speed of it before you decide to go ahead with it. Some very impressive theme are poorly coded and can slow down your website considerably. 

It is usually better to go with a simpler theme than to go with a complex design because with complex design can sometimes mean complex code, which will slow down your website.

8: Use Faster Plugins

Poorly designed plugins can use the resources of your website and slow down your site.

Following are some of our picks for the most common WordPress plugin categories.

  • WPForms – Fastest and most beginner friendly contact form plugin for WordPress.
  • All in One SEO – Powerful WordPress SEO plugin that puts extra emphasis on website performance to help you get higher SEO rankings.
  • MonsterInsights – Best Google analytics plugin for WordPress that doesn’t slow down your site. Even includes options to load gtag.js locally to speed up your Google Core Web Vitals score.
  • Shared Counts – Social media plugins load additional scripts and not so gracefully. Shared Counts is one of the fastest Social media plugins for WordPress.
  • SeedProd – drag & drop WordPress landing page plugin that helps you build blazing fast landing pages.

Apart from our own recommendations, you can run your own tests. Simply run speed tests before and after installing a plugin to compare its impact on performance.

That’s it for now. We hoped this article helped improve your speed on your WordPress Website.

Try some of the suggestions above and see if it helps to achieve an overall faster website and experience for your user.

Thanks,

Ben.

 

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