Best Practices to Make Your WordPress Site Load Faster
Unquestionably one of the most well-known platforms in the world, WordPress runs millions of websites across various genres. However, optimizing your WordPress site for improved speed and performance has become more crucial as the platform has gotten more complicated. In today’s digital age, speed matters. Online businesses may experience either success or failure depending on how quickly their websites load. A faster website enhances user experience and can improve search engine rankings, increase conversions, and ultimately lead to more revenue.
We’ll look at a few best practices in this post to help your WordPress site load more quickly. There are various techniques to speed up and enhance the performance of your website, from image optimization to caching plugins. Let’s begin, then, without further ado.
1. Choose a Fast and Reliable Hosting Provider
A preliminary step to making your WordPress site load faster is to choose a fast and reliable hosting provider. Your website’s speed and uptime depend on your hosting provider, so it’s essential to pick one that can meet your needs in both areas. Simply going with the cheapest option or the first provider in a Google search will not suffice.
When picking a host, search for one that provides the following:
- Fast and reliable servers: The speed of your website is directly affected by the speed of your server, so it’s essential to choose a provider with fast servers. A reliable server means your website will experience less downtime, leading to a better user experience.
- High uptime guarantees: Look for a provider that offers a high uptime guarantee, ideally 99.9% or higher.
- Good customer support: A good hosting provider should offer excellent customer support 24/7 to help you resolve any issues.
- The latest server technologies: Look for a provider that uses the latest server technologies, such as HTTP/2, PHP 7 or higher, and SSD drives, to ensure that your website loads as quickly as possible.
2. Use a Lightweight and Fast WordPress Theme
A quick and light WordPress theme is another technique to make your site faster. Many WordPress articles are bloated with unnecessary features and functionality, slowing your website. So choosing a piece best optimized for better speed and performance is recommendable.
Some popular lightweight WordPress themes include:
- Astra: It is a lightweight and customizable theme built for speed.
- GeneratePress: It is a fast and lightweight theme that’s easy to customize.
- Schema: Schema is a fast and SEO-friendly theme for bloggers and content creators. It’s also optimized for page speed.
- OceanWP: This lightweight, adaptable theme was made with speed in mind.
- Neve: Neve is a quick and lightweight theme created for startups and small companies.
3. Optimize Images for Web
Any website needs images to function, but they may also be a significant cause of delays. When large photographs take a long time to load, especially on slower connections, viewers may become impatient and quit your site. Optimizing your images for the web can significantly improve your website’s performance.
Consider putting these suggestions into practice to prepare your photographs for the web:
- Compress images: Compressing images reduces their file size, making them faster to load. Before posting your photographs to your website, you may compress them using Photoshop, GIMP, or TinyPNG.
- Use appropriate image file format: JPEG is best for photographs, while PNG is best for graphics and logos.
- Use the right image size: Using the appropriate image size can reduce the file size and make them load faster. Avoid using images that are too large for your website and resize them before uploading them.
- Use lazy loading: Lazy loading is a technique that only loads images when they are in the user’s view. This technique can significantly improve your website’s load time, especially if you have many photos. Several plugins can help you incorporate lazy loading on your website.
4. Minimize HTTP Requests
To minimize HTTP requests, consider the following tips:
- Content Delivery Network (CDN): CDNs route users to the server that is closest to them while delivering content from your website. Using a network of servers to cache content and deliver it to users, a CDN.
5. Utilize Caching
Caching is a technique that shortens the time it takes to get frequently requested website material by storing it on a user’s computer or server, such as photos and HTML files. When a user revisits your website, the cached data is loaded, reducing the load time.
To use caching on your website, consider the following best practices:
- Use a caching plugin: Several caching plugins are available for WordPress, such as WP Super Cache, W3 Total Cache, and WP Rocket. These plugins can help you implement caching on your website.
- Enable browser caching: Browser caching stores website data on a user’s device, reducing the load time they revisit your website. Browser caching can be enabled by adding code to the website’s .htaccess file.
- Use object caching: Object caching stores frequently used database queries and data in memory, reducing the load time. You can use a plugin like Redis Object Cache to implement object caching on your website.
6. Activate Gzip Compression
Before files are transmitted to the browser, they are compressed using the Gzip technology, which reduces their size and speeds up the loading process.
To activate Gzip compression on your WordPress website, add the following code to yours. htaccess file:
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
Alternatively, you may use a plugin with built-in Gzip compression options that can be configured with just a few clicks.
7. Optimize Your Database
WordPress stores website data in a database; over time, this data can accumulate and slow down your website. Optimizing your database can improve your website’s performance.
To optimize your database, consider implementing the following practices:
- Delete unnecessary data: Delete any unnecessary data, such as spam comments, post revisions, and unused tags and categories, from your database.
- Utilize a plugin: Plugins like WP-Optimize and WP Sweep may be used to assist you in optimizing your databases.
- Optimize the database tables: Optimize your tables to minimize database size and boost speed.
8. Minimize External Requests
External requests refer to the recommendations made to external servers for resources, such as fonts, scripts, and images. These queries could cause your website to load more slowly, especially if the external server takes a while to answer.
To minimize external requests, the following techniques can be used:
- Host resources locally: Host resources, such as fonts and scripts, locally on your website instead of on external servers.
- Using a content delivery network (CDN): Additionally, a CDN may host external resources, speeding up your website’s loading.
- Limit the number of external requests: Limit your website’s demands and only use necessary external resources.
9. Monitor Your Website’s Performance Regularly
Finally, it’s critical to frequently check the performance of your website to find any problems that could be causing it to lag.
To monitor your website’s performance, consider the following tools:
- Google PageSpeed Insights: Google PageSpeed Insights analyzes your website’s performance and provides suggestions for improving it.
- GTmetrix: Using GTmetrix, your website’s performance can be analyzed, and further improvements can be made per the report provided.
- Pingdom: Your website’s performance and uptime are tracked by Pingdom, which notifies you of any problems.
In conclusion, a sluggish website can drastically harm the user experience and increase bounce rates. One may dramatically reduce the load time of a WordPress site by adhering to the best practices described in this post, which will enhance user experience and engagement.