How to speed up your Wordpress site

WordPress logo on a pink watercolor splashed backgroundWordPress logo on a pink watercolor splashed background
Table of Contents

Introduction

Do you want to make sure your WordPress website loads fast? It's a good idea. Google has confirmed that site speed is one of the most important factors it uses in ranking sites, and according to Kissmetrics, 53% of users state that slow websites affect their purchase decisions. So it's not just about keeping visitors happy—it's about making more sales! In this article, I'll show you how to optimize WordPress for performance so your pages will load faster on any device using only free tools like CDNs and caching plugins.

Leverage browser caching and Gzip compression

Here's something you probably already know: your browser is caching files from our website. That means it's storing a copy of our files on your computer so that when you return to the site, the next time you visit, those files don't have to be downloaded again. This helps speed up your experience by reducing the number of requests made to our server and reusing previously downloaded assets whenever possible.

Now here's something you might not know: we can do this too! We can store copies of our assets (like images) in a special folder on your computer—called a cache—and use them later when they're needed without having to download them again from our servers. This makes pages load faster because there's less data being transferred between us and you!

Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a network of servers that stores your website’s files and serves them to your users. Your hosting company probably has a CDN built into the hosting package you choose, but if not or if you want to enhance it, there are many companies out there that offer them as add-ons.

When someone visits your website for the first time and downloads its CSS, JavaScript and images from their own computer rather than from a server close by (like one belonging to your host), it means that the transfer speed slows down significantly because each of these files needs to travel further distances back and forth between their own computer and those belonging to you before they can even start downloading. A CDN can help speed up this transfer process by storing these files in multiple servers around the world so they’re closer together.

Optimize your images.

You can speed up your WordPress website by optimizing your images. You’ll want to use a good image editing tool and compression tool.

The right format, size, resolution and quality are important factors so we will cover all of this in this article.

Minify your CSS and JavaScript files.

  • Minify your CSS and JavaScript files. The process of minifying your CSS and JavaScript files will condense them into smaller file size, which means less HTTP requests and faster load times. You can do this with a plugin such as WP Super Cache or Autoptimize.
  • Use GZIP compression on your server so that all images are served in compressed format to the browser. This works by compressing the size of an image file before sending it to the client/browser and decompressing it when requested by the client/browser.
  • Use a CDN (Content Delivery Network). A CDN is essentially a network of servers spread across multiple locations around the world that host copies of your site’s files so that they can be delivered closer to where users are accessing them from, resulting in faster loading times for everyone!

Clean up your WordPress database.

Now that you've got a handle on the size of your database, you can take an inventory of what's in there. You'll want to check the number of tables in your database, as well as how many queries are being performed, rows and records being added or deleted, and fields being updated.

To do this, go to Tools > Database Utilities > Table Management.

From here you can see all the tables currently installed in WordPress and their respective "tablespace." The tabledata column shows how many records are stored in each table:

Avoid excessive use of plugins, widgets and fonts.

We know you want to push the boundaries of your website design and functionality, but there’s a limit to how many plugins you want to use on a single site. Your WordPress installation could be slow if it’s overloaded with too many modules.

It is also a good practice not to create multiple instances of the same plugin. This will cause serious performance issues for your site because each instance duplicates code that may already exist in another part of your website (e.g., header). As an example, we recommend avoiding duplicate header tags or stylesheets because these elements are already built into every WordPress theme by default (and therefore don’t need repeating).

Reduce the number of 404 errors on your website.

If you’re a WordPress user, then you know that one of the most annoying aspects of using this platform is dealing with 404 errors. You might be surprised to learn that there are ways to reduce these errors on your website.

You can use a plugin like Redirection or Broken Link Checker to redirect 404 pages from your website. You can also block bots from crawling 404 pages by using a plugin like Wp-Noindex-Robots .

Update WordPress regularly and delete unused themes and plugins.

Regularly updating your WordPress installation is one of the best things you can do to make sure it's running as quickly as possible. If you're not sure how to update WordPress, check out our guide on how to update WordPress.

There are two main ways that updates help speed up your website:

  • Updates fix bugs and security issues with the software, which helps eliminate any problems that might slow down your site.
  • Updates add new features, making the platform more stable and efficient for users in general.

We also recommend deleting any unused themes or plugins from your site before proceeding with this tutorial since they could be slowing down your site without you even realizing it! To delete themes or plugins from WordPress (without affecting other sites running on the same server), head into "Plugins" under "Tools" in your admin panel (or go directly here). From here, select each plugin individually and click "Deactivate" next to it; once all activated plugins have been deactivated successfully, choose Delete option under Actions dropdown box at top right corner of page when prompted by clicking on individual plugin name again (you may need an administrator account). Once all unwanted content has been removed safely without affecting any other sites hosted by same hosting platform as yours (this only works if all websites share same account), head back into Tools section where you should now see two new extra options appear underneath Update available...and Update now..."

Conclusion

There you have it. If you follow these steps, your WordPress website will be faster than ever before!

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