10 Tips to Improve WordPress Page Load Time
Let's break down 10 tips to improve your WordPress page load time to keep your customers engaged and your website competitive.
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We all know how annoying it is to stare at the white desktop and simply waste your time because the website takes an eternity to load. Even a couple of seconds seem like a waste of time. In fact, studies have shown that 40 % percent of consumers will not wait longer than 3 seconds for a website to load. This means that no matter how good your content is you can potentially lose your customers, because of your website’s speed.
But don’t worry, we’re going to lay down all the important tips of speeding up your WordPress so that you have a fast website that will beat all of your competitors! By the way, if you want to check how fast your website is right now, you can do so with this cool speed optimization tool that shows your PageSpeed score. Keep in mind, that the good score is 90+ while everything below means that you still have work to do.
Now, Let’s Get Straight Into Our 10 Tips.
1. Choose a Good WordPress Hosting Provider
Much of your WordPress speed depends on the hosting provider you choose. Most of the time, if you’re completely new to WordPress, you’ll jump into the shared hosting ads that claim to be an easy and cheap solution. However, soon enough you’ll find out that your website speed is significantly low and this is mainly because you share your server with lots of other users.
However, luckily for us all, there is a good alternative to shared hosting: the managed hosting. These types of hostings manage your website for you and take care of its security, performance, and most importantly speed. Most of the time the main reason that people avoid managed hostings is their expensive pricing, but nowadays you can get yourself a cheap managed hosting which will speed up your page and still be affordable.
In short, with managed hosting, your website is way faster than with the shared one, but it still depends on which hosting provider you choose.
2. Choose a Good Theme
3. Get Yourself a Good Caching Plugin
First of all, let’s understand what caching is: it refers to the process of creating static versions of your page or post which will be shown to your visitors. These copies are generally rendered faster which means you overall get better performance for your page and improve your WordPress speed. Now to do that, you need to upload and activate a good caching plugin. WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache are both good solutions which are a hassle-free way to add intricate caching rules to your website.
4. Optimize Your Images
This seems like a little detail, but in fact, optimizing your images can really help to make your site load faster. What you want to do is to reduce your images’ size without sacrificing its quality. Now, this is easier said than done. Many users will optimize their images manually with Photoshop or other intricate tools which might take a lot of time. However, it doesn’t have to be so hard. Instead, you can use good image optimization services which will optimize your images automatically and save you a lot of time.
5. LazyLoad Your Images
Lazy loading is (as the word hints it) when your images are loaded lazily, that is when your customers enter your website only the images that are seen to them are loaded. The other images begin to load only as your customers scroll down, that is when the other images too need to be visible. Because many visitors might not scroll through all of your content and all of your images, lazy loading your images can help you to save a lot of bandwidth and will make your website faster.
6. Use Content Delivery Network
Content Delivery Network also referred to as CDN is a group of servers distributed in different locations, used to bring faster delivery to your customers. In other words, when you use CDN your customer will get his content from the server that is geographically closest to him which will make your website load quicker for him. CDN also helps with caching, prevents service interruptions, and makes your website more secure.
7. Limit Your Post Revisions
We all know the process of saving hundreds of drafts before actually publishing a post. Now, of course, this is very natural, but consider the fact that for WordPress each of these drafts is stored separately which slows down your website. That is why try to keep your drafts to minimal (2-3 max.) in case you need to do revisions, but make sure you delete all of the extra ones. You can also use the Revision Control plugin for that.
8. Don’t Use Too Many Plugins
Although we’ve already advised a couple of plugins here, it does not mean you should use all of them and stuff your WordPress with too many plugins. In fact, the less they are the better. Plugins. It’s generally advised not to exceed 20 plugins if you want your website to run fast and stay secure. Moreover, if you are using shared hosting, you better not go over 5 plugins, because you’ll certainly have to sacrifice your website’s speed. So make sure, you upload only the best plugins that are essential for your WordPress.
9. Never Upload Audio and Video Files Directly to Your WordPress
Technically speaking, you can upload video and audio files to your WordPress and they will be displayed in HTML5 player, but you really shouldn't do so. This will cost you too much bandwidth and will drastically increase your backup files. Instead, you can use YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion SoundCloud, and other famous platforms to incorporate video or audio or video into your website.
10. Beware of Hotlinking and Leaching
Hotlinking is when a website is linking to an image that is hosted on another website ( which means on an external server.) Unfortunately, this can happen to your website too. If you start to produce quality content on your website your images may start to get stolen in this manner. The worst part in hotlinking is that other websites not only steal your content ( for instance images) but also steal your bandwidth. To avoid that, make sure you follow all the required precautions which are listed here.
Having a fast website is an essential part of website building. It helps you to attract customers, keep them, rank high, and in general boost your website’s rankings. These ten tips will help you to easily boost your website’s speed, so that the next time your customers visit your page they pay attention to your content, instead of anxiously waiting for your page to load.
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