GuideWordPress Tutorials

Speed up WordPress – Basics of WordPress Optimization

 

Do you want your website to load fast? We can definitely help to Speed Up your site.

We will Show You, how you can do it from Basics to Advance.

Myth About WordPress

Many folks claim that WordPress is slow in general as compared to other CMS which is just not true.

Look,

WordPress is a very powerful and popular Content Management System (CMS). As of January 2018 WordPress powers almost 30% of all the sites on the internet. That is 3 out of 10 websites are using WordPress

And, when Millions of beginners purchase cheapest hosting with garbage theme and unlimited plugins what they expect will happen?

The good example of companies using WordPress are EA, Bloomberg, ESPN, etc. all use WordPress to power their sites they are not slow so why should Yours.

Speed Up WordPress Website (In 10 Steps)

Even though WordPress is super popular, it can also come with a price. And that price is web performance.

Originally WordPress was created as a blogging platform. But it has evolved into much more than that. With that evolution comes the need for more functionality. And with so many different configurations out there WordPress can run quite slow if not set up correctly.

I will cover, step by step, exactly how you can speed up your WordPress Website. No matter what your background or level of expertise, you will be rolling soon.

Let’s Begin

1. Fast WordPress Hosting

Hosting is not just Backbone of any website but also the complete skeleton and without Good Hosting website will never run fast enough.

A bad hosting can not only ruin your brand reputation also can cost you your business.

Easiest and most important ways to speed up WordPress is to start with a solid foundation. And that means picking a reliable and fast Web Hosting provider.

I’m sure you guys see all the time people promoting Bluehost or Hostgator hosting.

Unfortunately, a lot of those sites are run by affiliate marketers simply trying to make a quick buck as they offer the big commission to bring clients.

And most of the time the affiliate marketer doesn’t use the same hosting they recommend, they just refer people to them for the sake of few quick bucks.

Picking a shared hosting like BlueHost is one of the worst decisions you could ever make when it comes to hosting your website.

Did you know that EIG owns BlueHost?

EIG is a corporation that owns all the crappy hosts like BlueHost and JustHost, Hostgator. Here is a full list of hosts belonging to EIG.

You can pretty much expect the same horrible service from all of them. The most Important, Same level of old technology which never let you rise in this competitive Internet market.

Yes, While it is true that I am an affiliate marketer, my passion for web performance has always trumped that. That is why I only refer you to web hosting providers that I currently use for my websites. And Can promise that you will be in right hand.

Having an excellent web hosting provider means that you don’t have to worry about downtime or speed. Below are two WordPress hosting providers that I fully stand behind.

Option 1 – Affordable WordPress Hosting – SiteGround

If you are looking for more affordable WordPress hosting, I highly recommend SiteGround. They offer shared hosting with HTTP/2, PHP7, SSD and tons of other features starting at only $3.95 a month! Make sure to check out our in-depth SiteGround review.speed up wordpress websiteSiteGround is great if you need a cheap host that still has some of the latest features that the bigger guys do. Once you start getting a lot of traffic though I recommend investing in a larger host like Cloudways.

Visit SiteGround

Option 2 – High-Performance Managed Hosting – CloudWays

If you are looking for high performance managed WordPress hosting, I have nothing but praise for Cloudways. CloudWays amazing features set them apart from the other managed WordPress hosting companies out there.speed up wordpress website

CloudWays is an intuitive cloud hosting platform that manages and makes it super easy to deploy applications on Digital Ocean, Vultr, Amazon EC2 servers, Google Compute Engine and Kyup.

Without banging your head with head with Terminal or Putty

You can host directly with Google Computing or Amazon Cloud services but if you don’t have experience in server management, Why the hell you want to waste your time.

What Cloudways does is optimize and setup all the necessary software for you on cloud servers. You don’t have to worry about installing Linux, MySQL, PHP, Varnish, Memcache, Apache, Nginx and other scripts on the servers, that’s just basics you will get a lot of features include, uptime monitoring via New Relic.

You don’t have to worry about installing Linux, MySQL, PHP, Varnish, Memcache, Apache, Nginx and other scripts on the servers, and just like shared hosting can Install Apps like WordPress with one damn click.

Plenty of features also included like automatic Backup every day, Server monitoring via New Relic free SSL is few of them.

CloudWays pricing structure range from $7 a month all the way up to $3000 per month. Now at first glance, you might think that is super expensive. It is little expensive you used to pay. But remember, it’s not meant to be cheap “Performance Have No Price.” Read Full Review

If  You don’t know yet, They offer free 15 days without any credit card information. Also, You don’t have to pay in advance for years.

Visit Cloudways

Step 2. Leight Weight Theme

WordPress themes are double edge sword;

When you buy any theme don’t just buy it for the sake of look… Yes I know, Look or functionality is Important for any website but that doesn’t mean you have to compromise with the slowest theme available on the Internet.

Always Buy your themes from respected Developers.

There are tons of bloated themes out there which can bring your site to crawl. When you are looking for a WordPress theme, you want to make sure you are buying from a reputable company with good developers and support. Without compromising on Speed.

I use MyThemeShop on a lot of my websites and couldn’t be happier. I saw a 350ms decrease simply by changing themes, without anything else! Kudos to the team over at MyThemeShop because they know how to code correctly, keep things lightweight, and still include schema markup and rich snippets, which are things most competitors don’t. It Can take your SEO ranking to the next level.

I went from MyThemeShop to ThemeForest, and am back on MyThemeShop.

Yes, I was stupid.

I won’t make that mistake again. I’m not saying that all developers at ThemeForest are wrong, but unfortunately a lot of developers only add bloat to increase their sales. If you are interested, I am currently running their socialMe theme. Feel free to check out my MyThemeShop review.

Head over to MyThemeShop and grab a super fast theme!

Step 3. Content Delivery Network ( CDN )

No matter how Great and fast your server is, you can never beat the latency issue. When you host your website, it is always stored on a single server somewhere in a data center.

For visitors across the country or from another continent, things are much slower because it has to download everything from another side of Globe.

Now Imagine:

What if your visitors can access your site resources from multiple locations

cdn to boost website speed

A CDN fixes the latency problem by storing copies of your assets, like images, CSS, and JavasScript on servers, also known as POPs, around the globe.

It also caches them. This way when a visitor from across the globe is looking up your website, the content is delivered from the local POP instead of your web server.

I am using Key CDNat the moment. KeyCDN has a simple, web services interface that lets you get started in just minutes. The Best part of keyCDN is that you will only pay for what you use. There is no monthly membership fee. You can use it for free for Month. Get Free $10 When you sign up no Credit Card Required

key cdn for fast website

Technically, CDN doesn’t cost you much maybe few pennies, … Yes even if they do, at the same time it cut down the burden on your server and bandwidth cost. You can serve your website from smaller server results reduced hosting bill. (Win- Win oh Yeah)

Go to  https://keycdn.com for sign up

Step 4. Don’t Install UnNecssary Plugins

I know, You need plugins if you want to add extra features and functionality. Without plugins, WordPress would be a limited platform regarding what you can do with it.

Look:

Plugins impact site performance in two distinct ways: additional HTTP requests and extra database queries.

In fact, You should try to keep the countdown to the absolute bare minimum of needed plugins? You should have no problem with standard plugins up to 15 although the type and quality of plugin do matter. In short “less is better.”

One of the main reason I use MyThemeShop themes is that the features I use are built-in the theme. I was able to get rid of many plugins includes, but not limited

  • WP Lightbox 2: A super lightweight lightbox is already coded into MTS theme
  • Scroll to Top Button: scroll to top buttons already included in MTS theme
  • Yuzo – Related Posts: Beautiful related posts already built into MTS theme
  • Column Shortcodes: Responsive columns are correctly coded already in MTS theme
  • Standout Color Boxes: Similar shortcode already in MTS theme)

Step 5. WordPress Caching

Obviously, everyone knows by now the importance of caching for your WordPress site. There are free caching plugins out there like wp super cache.

I am currently using W3 Total Cache, as you know it is a powerful plugin but you have to make sure your settings are right according to your server. For example, you can’t enable Varnish and Memcache If your server does not support it.

Again, I am jubilant with SiteGround they also offer server-side caching not only for static files but also for dynamic content.

They have built-in caching mechanism based on NGINX reverse proxy. It speeds up dramatically the serving of the dynamic content of the sites too. Our SuperCacher also allows website speed optimization through Memcached and Google page speed.

Step 6. Keep CSS to Bare Minimum

No matter what theme you buy, most likely you need to make some changes for different styles and when you ask your theme developer most of the time they give you piece of CSS codes to fix the issue.

Sometimes that CSS code actually starts hurting your site speed with additional requests to the server or Increase the page size.

Few lines of custom CSS code isn’t a big problem. But when you add 100’s line it’s Big NO-No

speed up wordpress website

You can try to combine CSS code if it’s possible for example:  Instead of using something like

.taster a:link, a:visited {
    text-decoration: none; 
    color: #FFFFFF;
}

.contact a:link, a:visited {
    text-decoration: none; 
    color: #FFFFFF;
}

You can use

.taster a:link, .contact a:link, a:visited {
    text-decoration: none; 
    color: #FFFFFF;
}

Both examples in above CSS code serve the same function without compromising any functionality.  You can ask your theme developer if you feel there is too much custom CSS code.

That is why good theme support is Important.

Step 7. Minify HTML, CSS, JavaScript

Many folks out there don’t take minifying seriously or don’t minify everything properly. Minifying alone can reduce the speed time up your website up to 60%.

There are many ways to minify HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. ‘W3  Total Cache’  does offer minifying but it just put everything in a big file which makes it render blocking and this process can have opposite effect on your site.

I prefer to use Autoptimize which can also inline ‘above the fold'(web page human eye see before scrolling )  CSS into HTML.

Normally browsers don’t show page content until browser download CSS and Javascript for the page. So if you can include CSS in your HTML code it will not need to download separately.

Step 8. Google Fonts Optimize

The typical way WordPress themes add different web fonts by importing it from third parties web Fonts like Google Fonts or Typekit.

Third party fonts are often the slowest option to display web fonts. This applies in particular for mobile.

Because of Third party fonts, loads the fonts from another server than your own.

Did you know Google fastest fonts ‘open serif’ will add at least 200ms extra time on your web page?  Extra time wasted in loading fonts is way too much If you want your website to load under 500 ms or half a second.

There are several ways to add fonts to your site.

Best way to leverage google fonts cache problem is  Host Google Fonts Locally on your server or much better on CDN

Recommend and safe way to serve your web fonts. What are the benefits to hosting font locally?

Well, the most significant advantage is

  • No reliance on third parties,
  • Modern and well-documented method
  • Caches extremely well ( No leverage browser cache warnings)
  • Support for most browsers and devices

Basic Implementation

@font-face { font-family: 'MyWebFont';
url('webfont.woff') format('woff'), /* Modern Browsers */
url('webfont.ttf') format('truetype'), /* Safari, Android, iOS */
}

CSS instructions provide the paths to different font files. The browser uses this to choose what font to download and then does so.

How to host google fonts locally

Step 9. Installed the Gonzalez Plugin

If you are not familiar with the Gonzalez plugin do yourself a favor and buy it right now it does cost $29 though.

speed up wordpress website

Did you know that plugins like slider, map or contact form load CSS and JS files on each page?  They are busting your website performance and negatively affect page speed score. This Plugin will load CSS and JavaScript conditionally, depending on the page you’re visiting. Surprised? It’s that simple.

It is pure genius. For example, the social warfare script is my social counter plugin. That only needs to load on posts, not my homepage. So I disabled it.

speed up wordpress website

If you are looking for the free plugin, Try Plugin Organizer which also do the same job.

Step 10. Optimize Images

I tried a lot of tools like Wp-smush (premium) most of them perform the work but are not Best. When I say best means If I upload image around 500 kb, I want to make it just under 20 kb without losing much contrast of the picture or in simple words without making it look like a low-quality website. Optimize Images will sharply reduce page size result in fewer HTTP requests and super blazing fast website. Now, don’t say that’s mean or not possible.

I use imagify. It is developed by WpRocket Cache Team and works like magic. You will get 500 Mb free for every month, which should be enough for a standard website.

However, If you use plenty of Images their premium plan start from $4.99 for 1 GB worth of images optimization.

Test Results – Speed Up WordPress Website

And here are my speed test results after I did everything above.

Note: Tests results vary from page to page depends on what resources loading on the particular page.

speed up wordpress website

Conclusion

It does need a bit of effort and right tools to make your website super fast. It’s for your good. Hope,  I help you to speed up a WordPress site, Now if you have any question or would like to add anything. Please, feel free to leave a comment below.

Show More

Related Articles

Close
Close