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A sluggish website can adversely affect the user experience of your website, it even frustrates your users to exit your web pages.

According to a study by Kissmetrics, 47% of the users expect a web page to load within 2 seconds. And if this does not scare you, then according to another study, a one-second delay in page load time can decrease the conversion rate by 7%.

The importance of website performance and speed has been ever-growing, and even Google urges webmasters to ensure faster loading websites. The basics of improving WordPress speed and performance does not require any complicated code. This article provides 7 easy and effective tips for improving your website speed.

Things to know before taking action for optimizing the speed

The most common reasons that slow down the speed of your website are:

  1. Outdated WordPress
  2. WordPress plugins
  3. Uncompressed images
  4. External scripts
  5. Website hosting

After testing your WordPress speed by using PageSpeed Insights by Google or any other speed testing tool, you can work on the following to speed up WordPress.

Effective Fixes for Improving WordPress Website Speed

Now that you are aware of your website speed and the common factors that usually affect the performance, let’s take a look at some of the factors that can improve your website performance.

Choose an SEO Optimized & Fast Loading Theme

Choosing a WordPress theme may or may not be in your hands as a business owner. But you must make sure, the theme your website is using is SEO friendly and is not bloated with so many features that make the website’s loading speed sluggish.

Among the important things, you must consider before selecting a theme, make sure it is built with speed in mind and only has the attributes that are a must for your business.

fast loading wordpress themes

Among the fast loading theme providers are CSSIgniter, StudioPress, TeslaThemes and more. But that’s not it, make sure the theme you are installing has been set up with speed in mind and minimal CSS requests.

WordPress Caching Plugin

A powerful caching plugin will certainly move the needle for your WordPress website. Since WordPress pages are generated dynamically, a caching plugin generates a static version on your server. This static version is pulled every time a user requests a page, hence minimizing the processing of PHP scripts.

With so many WordPress caching plugins floating in the market, some of the notable ones are WP Rocket which is a premium plugin, WP Super Cache which is a free plugin by Automattic and is used by more than 2million websites.

Along with these plugins, if you are using a hosting such as SiteGround, Bluehost or any other web hosting, then you can even use their own caching solutions that are free to use.

Keep WordPress Updated

This is one of the basic and effective fixes for improving website speed and performance. The team at WordPress is constantly improving the platform. Every now and then they are coming up with a major core update or a minor update fixing small bugs.

Updating WordPress core comes with no challenges and most of the hosting solutions take care of it on their own. But you can update the WordPress core all by yourself.

In the WordPress dashboard, scroll down to the bottom right of the screen and check out the version of the WordPress you are using.

Wordpress Version

If the version that you are using is not the latest, you can simply scroll up, and from the left-hand menu select Dashboard and then click on Updates. If your website is not running the latest version of WordPress, it will be clearly written that you need to update to the latest version of WordPress.

Wordpress Updates

Choose the Top WordPress Hosting

Website hosting can make or break your website. A lot depends upon the quality of the web hosting that your website is hosted on. A good web hosting will take all needed measures to ensure an optimized and fast loading website.

The 2 types of hosting which are commonly used are shared hosting and managed WordPress hosting. Shared hosting is a popular choice and as the name suggests has the servers shared among different websites. That’s what the downside of shared hosting is, that if a neighboring website is receiving huge amounts of traffic, the chances are your resources will be minimized hence reducing the speed of your website.

On the other hand, managed WordPress hosting ensures to provide the website with the most optimized servers and a few other features like automatic backups, advanced website security and more.

Use Optimized Images to Improve Website Speed

Images are an important part of creating engaging content. Without creative and good looking images, the content itself does not look appealing. However, images are the number one and most common reason for slowing down a page speed for a beginner or even a professional webmaster.

Large-sized images take longer to load on a page. Therefore by using an image optimization plugin or manually compressing images improves page speed remarkably. In order to compress an image manually, you can upload the image to TinyPNG which uses smart lossy compression techniques to minimize the size of your image.

On the other hand, you can install a plugin like reSmush or EWWW Image Optimizer which are both built to automatically optimize images as soon as they are uploaded on your website.

Break Comments Into Pages

Getting lots of comments on your pages is a dream come true. The more comments your pages get, the lower is the bounce rate of the page. But a greater number of comments result in greater load time.

The ideal solution to this fortunate problem is splitting comments into pages. This can easily be managed by changing your “Discussion” settings from the dashboard.

Wordpress Discussion settings

Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

This may sound too technical initially, but the fact is deploying a CDN does not require a developer.

A Content Delivery Network has servers across the globe and each server will render a static page to the nearby country whenever a request is made. This allows for fast website loading. This is mainly because a CDN makes sure the page requested is delivered from the nearest server to the user, hence lesser time in delivering content to the user browser. You can check out this infographic that provides in detail description to a CDN.

CDNs are not cheap, but Cloudflare provides free CDN service powered by 115 datacenters. They are among the most reliable web performance and website security company.

Takeaway

Improving your website speed and performance is pretty important. Even if your website loads in the optimal time, it is always good to be vigilant to constantly monitor your website speed for possible issues.

 

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