The download speed of your site greatly affects its successful existence. Visitors to your site will not want to wait for a long download. In addition, search engines take into account this factor, sending their bots to you for exploration. What can I do to get your site loaded quickly? I divided the material into several sections in complexity so that you can understand how to speed up your WordPress website.
These methods can be used by people without special technical skills since they are easy to use and can be implemented right now.
1. Compress the images
Before adding a new image to your site, use some compression service. The smaller the dimensions of your images, the faster your page will be loaded. If you did not know about this before and already downloaded the raw files, then you should compress the already used files on your site.
2. Use fewer plugins
Some plugins very much hamper the work of your site. It also happens when there are a lot of them. Deactivate or remove plugins if you are sure that they are not being used on your site.
3. Deactivate unused settings in plugins
Some plugins will work faster than disabling unnecessary functions.
4. Update WordPress
CMS with updates, in addition to adding new features, also optimizes its code.
5. Update the plugins
Plugins are also optimized from time to time by some developers, which allows them to work faster.
6. Update the theme
The old version of the theme can slow down the performance of your website.
7. Use Cache Plugins
8. Optimize the database
For example, the plugin WP-Optimize.
9. Use the code minimization plugin
For example, Autoptimize.
10. Use the CDN for images
There are special services that allow you to place images on fast servers. This will greatly accelerate the loading of the site if it has many images.
11. Use JPEG instead of PNG if possible
JPEG files are smaller, but if you need to use a transparent background, then you can not do without PNG.
12. Use other services to post the video
Use the built-in video, for example – YouTube.
13. Test themes and frameworks
Set themes and demo content, then check them for speed, if the speed is too low, then it is possible to refuse it and choose another one.
14. Check the quality of your hosting
Perhaps your hosting is too bad and the most effective that you can do is just change it.
15. Install the Lazy Load plugin
With this plugin, the images will be loaded after you have scrolled to their location on the page.
16. Turn off Emoji
If you do not use it, then turn it off.
17. Uninstall unused plugins
If you do not need any plugins, it’s best to remove them.
18. Delete unused topics
Do the same with themes – delete unnecessary items.
19. Delete unused images
Find unused images and also delete them.
20. Change the location of the server so that it is closer to the target audience
Some hosting providers provide the ability to select/change the location of the server. Usually, it costs money, but if the location of the server does not match the location of your target audience, then you need to take care of this issue.
21. Do not use sliders
Most people do not like when something moves on the site without their actions. In addition, the sliders very much hamper the work of the site. It is better to make several sections with headings. It will definitely be better.
22. Show part of the post, instead of everything in the list
Do not use the full articles in the categories and in the list of all articles. Some frameworks and themes allow you to display this in the wrong way. Firstly, it is inconvenient for the user, since he wants to see only the most likely headings in the list. Secondly, this page with this bunch of full articles will be loaded for a long time.
23. Use pagination
Display only part of the articles – about 10 per page. If you do not want to make the pagination, then there is a way using the “load more” button and the load when scrolling down. Parts of the articles also contain pictures and text, and a large number of them per page will overload the site.
24. Choose an image size so that it is not scaled
If you have a maximum element width of 500px, then using an image with a width of 1000px for this element is not correct. It will take up more space, but it will still be displayed at 500px (but do not forget about Retina monitors).
25. Do not overload the site with scripts
Some people try to make the site more dynamic by adding a bunch of js files, thereby spoiling the site. Believe me, it’s more important to have a static and still fast site than a lot of animated objects. It is better to use more forces for quality content. (Of course, there are niches in which a dynamic site is needed, so for them, this method probably does not fit).
26. Reduce redirects
Redirects also take the time of your site. Get rid of redirects if possible.
27. Check the site on all possible browsers and devices
It happens that errors and bugs are only when certain browsers and devices are used. And they already slow down your site.
Medium difficulty Ways:
For this type of advice, you will need some knowledge at the file editing level and a basic understanding of how the site backend works.
28. Follow the recommendations of the services that check the speed
Use services, for example, Google PageSpeed Insights, it gives some tips that you need to accomplish.
29. Use PHP 7
Most WordPress sites still work on version 5.6. The productivity growth is about 15%. I changed the version for the site where you are currently reading this article, and processing on the server side has decreased from ~ 800ms to ~ 300ms. So think about it. Look at your hosting site or create a ticket to learn how to change the version of PHP. Also after the update, check for errors and compatibility with your current site.
30. Correct the console errors
Press F12 in Google Chrome and then to “Console”, if you see the red text, then fix these errors.
31. Correct the PHP errors
Put the correction mode by adding the line “define (‘WP_DEBUG’, true);” to the wp-config.php file, and correct as much as possible all warnings and errors.
32. Use gzip compression
Using the .htaccess file, you can specify gzip compression on your hosting, you can find instructions on both the site itself and find manuals on other sites.
33. Use expires for headers
They will indicate how long to store images and other files in your browser’s cache.
34. Make the number of revisions smaller
When you make another change to a page or post, then after the save, a revision is created, in which case you can restore the previous version. These revisions are stored in the database, hence it follows that the more of them, the slower the processing of the database and the loading of the site. Limit the maximum number of revisions or clean them regularly.
35. Download scripts only on those pages where they are used
If the script is not used on the page, then make it not run there, it slows down the work.
36. Use CSS3 instead of images
If you have non-standard elements (for example, a button in the form of a circle with a frame around), then try to find their CSS3 code, instead of just cutting and using them as an image.
37. Update the version of the scripts used in the custom themes
If you created a theme (or someone created it to you), then it probably uses a very old version of the script and is not very optimized. Try to find such scripts and update them.
38. Use .min versions of CSS and JS files
If you want to connect the Bootstrap framework, use the bootstrap.min.css and bootstrap.min.js files instead of bootstrap.css and bootstrap.js. The code in them is maximally optimized and they weigh less.
39. Postpone loading the JS file
40. Connect part of the JS and CSS libraries
You can not include the default CSS style if your design is quite different. Or do not use some js files, if you can do without them.
41. Replace the old and slow PHP and WordPress commands
Some functions are similar, but the execution time, for them, is different. Some functions become obsolete and replaced by others. At high loads on the site, this can affect the speed. Check the functions to ensure that they are the fastest possible.
Here you will need a good knowledge of web programming and/or a lot of time.
42. Reduce the number of HTTP requests
The number of such requests slows down the site, try to reduce them.
43. Remake all static images in the image sprite
A sprite is an image file that consists of many pictures. Using coordinates and changing the size of the object, we get the image we need. This will reduce the number of requests to the server.
44. Get rid of a lot of CSS overrides
When using ready-made solutions, there are often property overrides, and those lines that have been redefined become meaningless, but everyone also takes up too much space.
45. Combine as many CSS files as possible into one
As mentioned before – fewer requests, less load on the server. Combine the CSS files into one.
The same for JS files, combine all the possible files into one.
47. Make the loading of CSS and JS files asynchronously
In this way, consider that when you move these files, you must take into account that some of them depend on each other.
48. Optimize PHP code
Some developers like to write unoptimized code that does not work very efficiently. You can redo it and try to find which particular piece of code works slowly.
49. Redo the entire structure of the site
Sometimes the previous methods are not enough. A site can be built on some slow framework, or it is not designed to work with a lot of data. In this case, it is worth reworking the site using a different framework.
50. Create a clean website without frameworks and plugins
Perhaps the most difficult and suboptimal option, but you can control every step. Perhaps someone will do it.