How To Improve Your WordPress Page Speed- An Actionable Guide
Want to make your WordPress site run faster?
The faster your pages load, the better the user experience, the more page views you receive, and the better your WordPress SEO.
This article will discuss the most effective WordPress speed optimization techniques for enhancing WordPress performance and accelerating your website.
I went over why speed is essential, what slows down your WordPress site, and the steps you can take right away to make your WordPress site run faster.
What Is Page Speed?
Page speed measures how long it takes for a page to load fully and become accessible to users.
There is no denying the importance of fast page loading times to the success of your website.
The speed of your website depends on a lot of factors like the web hosting you use, image optimization, CDN service, and cache plugin.
It’s of crucial importance as a ranking factor and also in user satisfaction.
When there are dozens of other websites available on the same topic that load faster, neither humans nor search engines want to wait for your pages to load.
Why Is Page Speed Important?
Google confirmed the emergence of page speed in its ranking system in April 2010.
The key reasons that compelled them to include page speed as a ranking element were:
- Users enjoy faster websites and hit the back button if it takes too much time to load.
- Google wants to provide the best possible experience to users.
- Websites that load faster bring in more sales (and conversions in general).
In today’s world, page speed is more important than ever.
According to statistics, slow-loading websites are losing customers because most users are unwilling to wait more than three seconds for a website to load.
Furthermore, several studies have found a link between Google rankings and page speed.
Websites ranked first in Google load faster than websites ranked lower in the search results.
How To Measure Page Loading Speed?
The tools you’ll use for this task are:
- Google Page Speed Insights
- Pingdom Website Speed Test
1. Google Page Speed Insights
Google Page Speed Insights is a free tool provided by Google. The software examines a website’s content and provides recommendations on how to enhance its load time.
Go to Page Speed Insights and enter your domain name or specific page URL before clicking ANALYZE.
Pingdom Website Speed Test looks at a page on your website and gives you some valuable measurements, such as:
- How long it takes for the page to load in seconds
- The size of your page (in MB)
- How many times must a page be requested before it is fully loaded?
- How long it took for each part of the page to load
This tool is excellent because it lets you measure your website’s speed and see how it works in different parts of the world.
This is helpful if you live in a different country than the people you want to reach.
GTmetrix is a free tool on Google. The program evaluates the pages of a website and suggests changes to decrease loading times.
Just head on over to GTmetrix, plug in the URL of your site or page, then hit the ANALYZE button to get the results.
9 Actionable Tips to Improve Your WordPress Website Speed
1. Upgrade your hosting
Like a WordPress theme, hosting should come first. These providers save your website data on their server for internet viewing.
How do you pick from so many options?
First, decide what kind of website you want and how much storage and bandwidth you need. Starting a new website from scratch may not initially require much storage, bandwidth, etc.
Start a small blog or portfolio with a basic WordPress hosting plan.
High-traffic sites should avoid shared hosting because they must share server resources. This can affect your site’s performance when its traffic increases.
Cloud hosting or managed WordPress hosting are good options here. Both guarantee strong performance during traffic increases.
2. Compress and Optimize your Images
Website prettiness depends on images.
They are great for grabbing attention, showcasing a product, or inspiring emotion.
But large photos can increase a page’s size and load time.
Images account for about 45% of a page’s size.
Here are some WordPress image optimization tips:
- Always compress images before uploading them to your website either with help of a plugin or from a website like TinyPNG.
- Optimize the image size before uploading. Convert your larger image sizes into needed dimensions to reduce size.
- Use jpg for colorful images while using png image type for screenshots.
- Use Webp format of images to reduce the sizes of images even more without missing quality.
- Lazy-load photos. WordPress lazy loading loads images on demand. This increases site speed because images load only when the user scrolls down.
Follow the instructions. Image formats compress files differently. Some file formats are better for specific uses. Here are some classic image file types and their benefits:
- JPEG uses a smaller file, which means the image loses some information. Progressive JPEGs increase website usability and speed.
- PNG employs lossless compression to preserve an image’s resolution. For images and drawings, use PNG.
- Webp combines lossy and lossless compression, which is growing in popularity. Webp offers a high-resolution image smaller than JPEG or PNG.
Install a WordPress plugin like WP Smush to optimize images quickly.
WP Smush compresses and resizes photos in bulk and offers lazy loading.
However, using the best WordPress themes with the least code also helps in improving page speed.
4. Remove Unwanted Plugins
What should you do with your site’s unnecessary plugins?
Uninstall and delete plugins.
Inactive plugins still save data; thus, uninstalling them will not help.
Go to your WordPress Dashboard. Click Plugins. Here, delete unneeded plugins.
This may leave plugin database tables behind. To remove it thoroughly, manually clear these tables or use Advanced Database Cleaner.
5. Use AMP On Your Website
You should pay attention to mobile website speed.
Google also focuses more on mobile results than on desktop results.
Mobile consumers are impatient with page speed, if not more.
Accelerated Mobile Pages help speed up a WordPress mobile site (AMP).
Use an AMP plugin to implement AMP on your site. This improves SEO and mobile user experience.
6. Use CDN Service
We said that your site’s loading speeds could vary depending on the user’s location.
Because where your web hosting servers are located can affect how fast your site loads.
Say your site host has Indian servers. Thus, a visitor from India will observe faster loading times than a U.S. visitor.
Because the distance between the user and the server is reduced.
This can be solved using a Content Delivery Network (CDN).
A CDN consists of global servers in various places in the world. Each server stores “static” web files.
When using a CDN, users are delivered static files from the closest server. Since the CDN does much work, your web server will be speedier.
It is compatible with WordPress sites and enhances the performance of your existing WordPress caching plugins.
I recommend you use a free CDN service like Cloudflare which provides access to its global servers over many countries.
7. Use A Caching Plugin
Whenever a visitor clicks a link, the site’s content is retrieved from the database and assembled.
The back-and-forth of requests and data slows down your site.
By presenting cached web pages to visitors, you can solve this problem.
Under this, once a visitor visits your website for the first time, all the data is collected from the server itself.
However, further a small cache file is stored on the user’s device so that whenever a user visits again, the websites open as a saved version of the cached file.
Hence, WordPress cache plugins help in increasing site speed.
In addition, a cached version of your site minimizes database access and load time.
WP Rocket, WP Super Caching, and W3 Total Cache are popular WordPress cache plugins.
8. Reduce Redirects
A redirect changes a browser’s URL. This takes time, especially with too many redirections.
To speed up WordPress, eliminate redirects.
Screaming Frog may crawl your website’s links to count redirects.
So, remove dead URL redirects, 404 errors, and needless 301 redirect chains.
9. Enable Lazy Loading
Lazy loading helps sites with many photos, video embeds, and photo galleries.
Lazy loading downloads only the images and videos the user can see. It substitutes photos and videos with placeholders.
Your website loads images when a visitor scrolls down, making them visible in the browser: lazy-load photos, videos, WordPress comments, and Gravatars.
Lazy Load by WP Rocket optimizes images, iframes, and videos. See how to lazy load WordPress comments.
This wraps up our list of WordPress performance optimization tips for improved speed and efficient loading.
Following all these page improvement tips will help you to improve your google rankings as well as improve your site conversions and user experience.
So, did these actionable tips help in improving page speed? Is page speed really important?
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and share this with your friends if you liked it.