13 Tips How To Speed Up WordPress Site (Beginner Friendly)

Website load time is crucial. Your number one priority with WordPress should be to speed up WordPress site. When a visitor arrives at your website for the very first time, you just have a couple of secs to get his focus and encourage him to spend time browsing your site.

A lot of research studies have confirmed that you have a very brief time to load your website before visitors click away, especially if they’ve come to your site from another link.

The causes of slow site speed are various. Poorly coded theme, too many plugins, poorly optimized images, numerous widgets, etc. It could be anything. A slow loading website can hurt business by turning away visitors who expect fast load times and smooth online experience. One weak point that WordPress deals with is its normally very slow load time.

Without taking the best measures, you might wind up with a slow-moving website that will certainly not just be an inconvenience for repeat site visitors, but will make you lose subscribers and also customers as a result of the impatient nature of people.

If your page is slow, you might lose visitors even before you had a chance to convert them into customers. Google has even included website speed in its ranking formula.

That indicates that your site’s speed affects SEO. If your site is slow, you are not simply losing site visitors; you are also losing them by having lower positions in search engines.

So let’s speed up WordPress blog you have been working on for so long. I recommend testing page speed before and after these tips to see if any significant changes in load time were made. You can use GTmetrix, Pingdom or Google PageSpeed Insights.


Tips To Speed Up WordPress Website

Here are tips you can apply to improve your site speed:

#1 Keep only plugins you need

With many plugins out there promising to do amazing things for your website, it’s easy to get caught up and catch plugin fever. Soon, you’ve got plugins controlling every function and feature on your site.

That is not okay. More plugins, more problems. The more plugins you have, the more work your website has to do while it’s loading. Also, not all plugin are coded properly. Some may be outdated.

Keep just ones you need. Get rid of multiple plugins that perform the same functions, plugins that you’re no longer using, and those that were created more than two years ago and have never been updated.


#2 Choose carefully hosting provider

While starting out, a shared host could seem like a deal (unlimited disk space usage, unlimited bandwidth). But it comes with another price: unbelievably slow-moving site rate as well as constant downtime throughout high traffic durations.

You’re killing yourself by running your WordPress website on shared hosting if you plan on doing serious business. Don’t be a victim; purchase appropriate hosting. You can check best cheap WordPress hosting providers in my post where I have compared them based on features they provide.


#3 Too many widgets on homepage

In most cases, the homepage is the first page visitors see. You might have designed it to show off everything you have. Sidebar here and there, just one more widget I promise. All to impress visitors.

But the more widgets and content you have on the front page, the longer your site takes to load. Keep in mind that a clean design is just as impressive. Don’t stick sharing widgets everywhere on your homepage.

Save them for the end of your blog posts, where they’ll have the most impact. You can also speed up load times using the WordPress options to show excerpts instead of full posts and limit the number of posts per page to 12.


#4 Good WordPress theme

Well coded and optimized WordPress theme is essential. It is like foundations of your house. There would be nothing without it. It is true you can’t exactly know if a theme is well coded until you install and activate it. Check out what others are saying and read reviews to find out.

If you are not sure to go with paid or free WordPress theme, maybe Free vs. Paid WordPress Theme post guide will help.


#5 Image optimization

The higher the size and quality of an image, the longer it takes to load. The more images you have, the more site becomes slower. There are solutions for this so don’t be afraid to use images on your site.

Before uploading images to my sites, I always resize them in Photoshop and when saving pick option “Save for WEB.” That keeps image quality but optimizes them for use on the website.

After uploading, I run images through image optimization plugin. I have used Image and PDF Optimizer plugin but now I prefer ShortPixel.

You can also have Lazy Load plugin installed. It is a process that loads only the images appearing “above the fold,” or on the part of the site a visitor is viewing.

You can do this automatically with the jQuery Image Lazy Load plugin (this plugin is no longer updated and supported. I suggest finding alternate plugin).


#6 Use caching plugin

WordPress plugins are quite useful. Caching plugins drastically improve page load time, and best of all, all of them on WP.org are free and easy to use. You can try W3 Total Cache, WP Rocket, Super Cache or LiteSpeed Cache plugin. Those are most popular and should speed up WordPress site.

Some features and settings may be overwhelming, and you might get lost. So be careful what will you enable. There are also a lot of tutorials available for best set up of caching plugin so check them out too.

For more info you can check WP Rocket vs WP Super Cache vs W3 Total Cache vs Hyper Cache comparison.


#7 Use content delivery network

All big sites use CDN. Content delivery network or CDN takes all your static files you’ve got on your site (CSS, JavaScript, and images, etc.) and lets visitors download them as fast as possible by serving the files on servers as close to them as possible.

If your site is still small, you probably don’t need paid options of a content delivery network like Max CDN to speed up a WordPress website. Instead for start use free CloudFlare plan.


#8 Optimize WordPress database

This can be done in very tedious, extremely boring manual fashion, or… Yes, another plugin. You can simply use the WP-Optimize plugin, which I use on every site I manage.

Though it was not updated for 1 year, it still does the job without problems or conflicts with other plugins. You could try WP-Sweep as alternative.

This plugin lets you do just one simple task: optimize database (spam, post revisions, drafts, tables, etc.) to reduce their overhead.


#9 Disable hotlinking

Hotlinking is a form of bandwidth “theft.” It occurs when other sites direct link to the images on your site from their articles making your server load increasingly high. This can add up quickly if many people “scrape” posts of your site as it becomes more popular.

Place this code in your root .htaccess file:

disable hotlinking of images with forbidden or custom image option
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www\.)?sparringmind.com [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www\.)?google.com [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www\.)?feeds2.feedburner.com/your feedburner name [NC]
RewriteRule \.(jpg|jpeg|png|gif)$ – [NC,F,L]

You’ll need to put your feed’s name in “your Feedburner name” otherwise your images won’t appear correctly there.


#10. Add expires header to static resources

An Expires header is a way to specify a time far enough in the future so that the clients (browsers) don’t have to re-fetch any static content (such as a css file, javascript, images, etc.). This way can cut your load time significantly for your regular users.

You need to copy and paste the following code in your root .htaccess file:

ExpiresActive On
ExpiresByType image/gif A2592000
ExpiresByType image/png A2592000
ExpiresByType image/jpg A2592000
ExpiresByType image/jpeg A2592000

The above numbers are set for a month (in seconds). Change them as you wish.


#11 Enable HTML compression

HTML compression helps decrease each file size across the website. It reduces the file size by shortening URLs safely, removing all the standard comments and untidy white-spaces from an HTML document file.

Usually in WordPress, each post is formatted in an HTML document, so obviously, if we enable the HTML compression, we’ll get the best chance to save bandwidth and ensure near-immediate content delivery to our readers while improving the Google rankings.

If you have some caching plugin activated it should have the option to enable HTML compression.


#12 Enable HTTP compression

It’s much like HTML compression, but HTTP compression targets all the files including JavaScripts, CSS, HTML, XML, Plain, Favicon, etc. It’s being the most popular method of loading websites faster by Gzipping the rest of content in WordPress sites.

It reduces more than 60% – 80% page size. To Enable the HTTP Compression use the following line of codes in your .htaccess file:

 # compress text, html, javascript, css, xml:
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/plain
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/css
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xhtml+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/rss+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/javascript
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-javascript
AddType x-font/otf .otf
AddType x-font/ttf .ttf
AddType x-font/eot .eot
AddType x-font/woff .woff
AddType image/x-icon .ico


#13 Minify CSS and JS

JavaScript and CSS files usually contain unused spaces and comments. To remove those unused spaces and comments, it is good to enable minify rather than editing each file at a time. If you have caching plugin activated or CDN (Cloudflare), there should be an option to enable CSS and js minify.


Speed Up WordPress Summary

Hope this tips will help you speed up WordPress site. I’d like to point that while speed is extremely important, it is not everything. Always keep in mind what the goal of your website is.

The techniques I mentioned range from basic to intermediate improvements that you can implement to optimize your WordPress site.

This combination of tools and plugins should help create a faster site without spending any money. Another thing you need to know, too many plugins do not necessarily slow down your site provided they are quality plugins.

Now over to you. What have I missed? If you have your tips, let me know in comments below.

DISCLOSURE: Posts may contain affiliate links. If you buy something through one of those links, I might get a small commission, without any extra cost to you. Read more about it here.

2 thoughts on “13 Tips How To Speed Up WordPress Site (Beginner Friendly)”

  1. Great tips here! It’s incredible how many methods & plugins exist to help solve problems that WordPress website owners face. A great tip I personally found to speed up WordPress was removing unused Javascripts which WordPress adds to the header and the footer. This sped my site up significantly, especially removing Jquery since I wasn’t using it on my site anyway.

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