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Why does the speed of your WordPress site matter so much? It’s because it’s a ranking factor for SERP, and it helps drive traffic to your website. What if a user visits your website and waits for your site to load? Do you think the user will return? 

Regardless of your SEO strategies, you will have to suffer if your website does not load faster. Your website should load in not more than two to three seconds, and a second beyond that will affect your conversion rate. Slow-loading websites that can’t handle a traffic surge alienate visitors causing revenue loss. 

That said, with the right tools and techniques, you can keep your website running at top speed. Website speed optimization can be a time-consuming process. If you implement the right tricks, the results will be great. 

Some factors that affect website speed

Hosting issues can cause your site to load slowly. It is essential to choose a reliable hosting provider that offers the best WordPress integration. Added plugins and tools that are not in use may cause your website to load slowly. 

Some images may also cause slow loading. If you don’t optimize the images of your WordPress website, it will affect the time taken for loading. Some badly optimized themes or themes with many features can affect the site and cause it to slow down. Multiple redirects on the page or the way you embed JavaScript code can affect the speed of your website. 

How to Speed up Your WordPress Site in 2021

1. Update your website

If your website is not updated, it will cause several issues, one of them being slow speed. You need to ensure that you’re working with the most updated applications and plugins on your website. Update your theme, core, tools, and security functions. 

You must use the latest version of PHP programming as that ensures the complete compatibility of your website. Most people choose to update the website manually, but it’s quite a task. 

Choose an auto-update feature, and there are plugins for the function. It will make sure that your website updates on time. Your website will remain secure and safe with updated plugins. 

2. Optimize the images 

Image optimization not only helps your website load faster but also keeps your website interface clean. Compress the images to suit your requirement. Configure the level of compression, and use different plugins to reduce your file size automatically. 

You can use Smush, which is the most popular image optimization plugin. It gives different options to reduce image files along with automatic uploading. With the premium version of the plugin, you’ll be able to optimize more than 50 images at once, so it saves your time. The speed improvements that you’ll see after image compression is greater than using an image editor for the website. 

3. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

Use CDN or content delivery network to improve your page loading time. CDN ensures that all the static files on your website – JS, CSS, and images deliver rapidly to all the visitor’s servers that are located as near as possible. 

When you look for a CDN network, consider bandwidth, image protection, and automatic image optimization. You can use Cloudflare as it’s the most popular CDN system. It is free to use, but there are some premium plans with added features for the WordPress website. With a reliable CDN system, your site will load faster. 

4. Use social media widgets 

Most WordPress themes let you integrate with social sharing buttons. The buttons allow visitors to share content from your WordPress site to different social media sites like – Facebook and Twitter. It helps to increase the number of views on the site. However, these buttons rely on JavaScript that affects the speed of the website. 

They track the users across the web, which may cause slow loading times. They may consume the bandwidth, which affects the downloading speed of the website. To minimize these issues, you need to use social sharing buttons without JavaScript. There are WordPress plugins that provide light social media widgets without tracking features and JavaScript.

5. Search Engine Crawlers 

Using too many search engine crawlers could be unfavorable to your website. Some crawlers use more resources that lead to slow loading times. Some are malicious and intend to slow down your site. You must not allow the harmful ones. Only allow the ones that are good for your site. Genuine search engine crawlers will allow your website to feature in search results without harming your site. 

Some popular ones are – Googlebot, Slurp, Duckduckbot and Bingbot. Semrushbot and Ahrefsbot are optional; you can provide them access to visit your website. Don’t give access to unfamiliar bots as it may affect the speed. 

6. Minify JS and CSS files 

Are you aware that CSS and JS files can affect the performance of your website? The size of each page affects the page loading speed. But, you have the option of minifying both the files for improving your website speed. 

You can install a popular plugin auto-optimize. It takes care of the optimization process. The plugin also lets you exclude some files that you don’t want to minify. Some people don’t minify Google fonts. You’ll have an option to choose from. 

7. Conduct a technical SEO audit 

SEO is a process of getting your site ranked on Google’s top pages. With framed SEO policies, you’ll be able to improve your site’s security, keywords, and website speed. When you conduct a technical SEO audit of your WordPress website, it will help you fix issues related to the site. 

Technical SEO audits include a complete review of your website’s speed and performance across multiple devices. Other than speed, it helps you to target site map issues, performance issues, crawlability issues, content issues, server issues, and security issues. 

Final words, 

If you are creating a new WordPress website, you need to install WordPress and choose a premium WordPress plugin that offers you speed and performance. Prioritize website security and update your website every month. 

Identify what causes slow speed and work on it. Optimize your database and servers. Do use the caching function for enhanced speed. By making small changes, you’ll be able to optimize the website speed. 

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