Is your WordPress website fast enough? Make sure, it is!
People are fast and furious. Delays reduce their likelihood and lead to abandonment.
Every single millisecond counts for it.
A few facts and statistics to prove it –
- 47% of users expect any site to load within 2 seconds.
- 40% of users ignore or abandon a site that takes more than 3 seconds to load.
- Even a one-second delay can cause a 7% reduction in conversions.
So, speed is essential.
All You Need Is – Practical WordPress Speed Optimization
I always take our WordPress speed optimization more serious. Hence, I could bring up my sites toward blazing speed and performance.
How to speed up your WordPress site, now? Let me share my WordPress speed optimization hacks to you in this guide.
By the way, what’s the Ideal WordPress Page Loading time?
How fast a website should load for better rankings?
The cumulative loading speed of each individual inner pages of your WordPress website derives the site speed.
So, what is the recommend WordPress page loading speed? How long a page should take to load?
Google recommends less than 3 seconds.
But, recent research shows that almost half of the online users expect a site should load within 2 seconds. So, it becomes more crucial to pay more attention to WordPress site speed optimization.
Make your WordPress website super fast legitimately – less than 2 or even 1 second.
Fine! Have you ever wondered – what impacts your WordPress site loading speed? How does website performance mean to your business? How it can be improved?
We will help you through this detailed guide on WordPress speed optimization.
Does The Website Loading Speed Matters?
How a lazy or sluggish website impacts your business growth? It’s unbearable.
The page or website loading speed affects even the core of your business. Indeed, every business needs organic traffic, leads and sales conversions.
Page speed affects all these important aspects of a business severely.
Google considers page speed as a significant factor while ranking sites for both mobile and desktop searches.
Lower the position in the SERP, you are less likely to get clicks, traffic, and everything. Even, the 4th positions will claim precipitous drop compared to the sites in 1st 3 positions.
So, to impress search engines, achieve better SERP ranking, and outrank the competitions or anything – fast-loading pages are the key.
On User Experience
Frustration costs you money. As if you compel the users to wait or click more to get what they need, they would get frustrated.
This goes for opt-in forms, e-book subscriptions, downloads, check out options or any other feature on your page.
If you are non-optimized, the engagement metrics will be poor.
As the page loading speed goes from 2 seconds to 5 seconds, the bounce rate will increase from 9% to 22% respectively.
A higher bounce rate shows the user’s dissatisfaction with your website or page content. Only when the user engages, enjoys and satisfies – the plan of action will happen. Otherwise, it makes zero.
On Sales Conversions
Consider an online store that generates $100,000 per day. Even, a 1-second delay in its site loading can cause $2.5 million missed revenue, annually.
And, the majority of the users are less likely to visit your site again if it fails to impress them during their first visit.
The conversion is the bottom line in your business sales funnel. Only if your site loads faster-rendering quality content to the organic visitors and keeping them engaged, the conversion will happen.
Hence, page speed optimization becomes a hot-core topic in the online marketing arsenal.
How to optimize WordPress speed?
So, get started with your website performance optimization with these WordPress speed hacks to win over the game.
What Makes Your Website Slow?
Nobody wants their site to be slow. Still, what makes a WordPress site to take more time to load?
Here are some of the valid reasons that are less noticed but highly impact your site loading speed.
- Mediocre web hosting server
- Bandwidth thieves
- Too many plug-ins
- Bloated design
- More Ads
- Misguided redirects
How to research on these factors, fix the errors and improve WordPress site loading speed?
Performing Speed Test & Analysis
Before getting deep into the tips to optimize the page loading speed, let’s check how it performs currently.
Without knowing which, you can’t even plan for optimizing your website performance.
So, let’s start with page loading speed analysis. Here are some of the powerful tools to analyze your website speed and performance.
The 4 Website Speed Testing Tools
Among several other website speed testing tools and services, I go with these four popular choices. And, these tools are reliable too. I use these regularly to check our site’s speed to ensure that we are not lousy like a lazy tortoise.
Feed your website homepage URL or any inner page URL that you want to improve and perform the test.
These tools use a cluster of browsers to load websites and replicate the end-users experience on a particular site based on disparate server locations. You will get to know the performance score of the page or site based on their own set of algorithms.
I always prefer to get the results from all the four tools, compare and then come up with solutions to fix the errors that slow down the site.
Among the 4, web.dev is more advanced to fetch even the SEO score and performance of the specific page or site that you fed.
Anyways, note down the results before start optimizing your site for fast loading.
Factors To Concern From The Test Results
I am sure that the testing tools will get you comprehensive results. Also, the current status of different elements makes your site lazy and detailed suggestions to fix those.
Still, as an SEO professional, it becomes obvious to aware of the factors that impact the page loading speed.
You can’t just go mad with the tools. Prioritize the things those impact greatly. Indeed, understanding the behavior and standards of those can help you identify the real performance loopholes.
Initial Page speed or Time-To-First-Byte (TTFB) is nothing but how long you take sending your request to the server, server processing time to respond with data, and you receive the first byte of that data.
TTFB equals HTTP request time + server processing time + HTTP response time.
A healthy site is likely to have 1.3-second TTFB. If it takes more time to respond to the user requests, then they will go for alternatives.
So, check and keep monitoring the TTFB score of your site.
Even though your website has bulky media-rich content that takes more time to render the results, initial page speed can help you. So, keeping the initial page loading speed high can engage the visitors without being ignored.
Full page loading
Analyzing the full page loading helps you to identify which element in the specific takes more time to load.
As a website owner, you can realize how the website performance changes when you enhance the size or content on the site.
You can strategically revamp your website or particular landing page with the essential elements that convert.
One of the biggest perks of online marketing is – promoting our business to any extreme of this sphere.
At the same time, the reach won’t be equally potential or efficient. There are several factors that impact client-server communication and cause these variations.
The policies in specific countries, bandwidth, and technology limitations would result in varying loading speed.
So, it is obvious to perform speed tests across different locations to determine the cumulative speed and performance results of any global website. Make sure to change the server location and perform multiple tests to get the appropriate results.
Load balance or tolerance
The most important thing – the fluctuations in the website traffic impacts your site performance greatly.
If your hosting server can handle usual loads, then it might struggle to handle the traffic spikes. And hence, the page speed would go down when the website traffic peaks.
It becomes imperative to know the maximum volume of traffic that your regular hosting can handle without compromising the performance.
Of course, there are several other factors to consider. You may go with the suggestions from the testing tools for the rest.
So, you can come to a conclusion about whether your website needs any additional hardware to handle the peak loads.
Especially for WordPress sites that pull content from the back-end databases, analyzing the database performance is most crucial.
Whenever there are any issues or inaccuracies in data handling, disk space availability, etc, there must be alert notifications. Hence, you can take appropriate steps to avoid data losses or website performance degrades.
Armed with all these hints, optimizing your WordPress site for fast loading is somehow easier.
WordPress Speed Optimization Hacks – Superfast Your Websites Today!
Developing high-performing websites is always a challenging task. I understand. Still, it is achievable. Also, you can optimize any lousy websites that are not up to the mark.
By improvising or optimizing the specific key elements of any website, achieve the site loading speed even less than a second.
It’s always good to have the performance-centric WordPress websites for real success.
These are the typical speed optimization hacks that I employ to make my WordPress sites fast. I’m so glad to help you with these tips.
#1 Host Sites On reliable Servers
Unless or until you host your WordPress site on a reliable server – all your efforts in optimizing the site loading speed make nothing.
Thankfully, almost all the hosting services now offer you SSD servers that can respond faster to a request than the traditional HDD servers.
When it comes to WordPress sites, I highly suggest Bluehost servers that are tailored for WordPress platforms specifically.
Also, Bluehost is one of the three WordPress officially recommended hosting services out of a plethora of hosting services out there.
Also, Bluehost is one of the three WordPress officially recommended hosting services out of a plethora of hosting services out there.
Do share the post and explore the Uptime Robot report of our Niche site that hosts on the Bluehost hosting service.
#2 Go With Most Responsive WordPress Themes
A fast loading WordPress theme is one that is light-weight, quality-coded and hence takes minimal server resources.
If you are unsure about the fast-loading, SEO-friendly and responsive themes, you may simply go with Genesis.
Even, you can check the performance of any of the Genesis child themes (testing the demo site) using the above-said testing tools.
Indeed, if you still find it hard to opt for a suitable hosting service or fast-loading themes for your WordPress sites, Join our Facebook Group and get ideas.
I am sure; you will be wisest in choosing the best premium WordPress themes. Especially that is built on HTML 5 and CSS 3 markup coding standards and reviewed by WordPress experts.
Above all, it is more critical to make your website mobile-friendly.
#3 Attention Towards Image Optimization
Images are great in helping you to engage the users in visualizing your content. So, it is never ignorable.
Still, if your images aren’t optimized, then you will have to bear for it. I love to embed images and videos into my content but if and only if it requires.
So, make sure to resize or compress the image using proficient image editing tools without losing the image quality. And, use only the standard image formats.
Once you did so, you could see a decent improvement in your site loading speed.
Using Lazy Load image plug-in can help in this regard by strategically loading the images (placed at the bottom) only when the user scrolls down. So, the initial page loading speed would be great rather than taking too much time in loading the entire images at once.
#4 Reduce HTTP’s Requests
More number of HTTP requests a page receives, higher the time it takes to respond.
These WordPress caching tools can have the static version of your page and stores your data temporarily. With which, it can serve much faster from the temporary source for the repeated visitors.
So, the total number of HTTP requests of that particular page is reduced resulting in a faster response rate.
Remember the timeline I discussed just above, about the HTTP requests.
Minifying the scripts and additional CSS elements can also reduce the number of HTTP requests.
Still, there are several websites enriched with more graphics, and media files but loads at a faster rate.
So, it’s all about how we position the CSS coding, minifying it and delivering it.
Make sure to minify or squish all the unnecessary code lines as an integral part of your WordPress speed optimization.
#6 Use Content Delivery Network
For the WordPress websites that drive globally distributed traffic, CDN’s are the keys to supercharge the loading speed.
How CDN works? How CDN’s can ensure the fastest content delivery?
CDN’s are the network of servers having cached copies of your web pages. It can direct the visitors requesting specific information, to the nearest server for the fastest content delivery.
Don’t you think this isn’t a good hack to optimize your WordPress sites load faster in rendering content to the users?
#7 Eliminate Redirects Utmost
Redirects are always performance killers. Both the search engines and the users dislike it.
Technically speaking, redirects generate additional Round Trip Times (RTT) that doubles your page loading speed.
Minimizing or avoiding non-essential redirects can reduce additional RTTs and the user’s wait time.
I always insist you perform the re-directions on the server-side rather than the client-side to reduce the client-side round trip requests.
#8 Minimal Website Design Helps
Do you believe – Ugly website design converts better than beautiful websites?
I mean to say, the simple and clean website design can perform better.
The web developer’s focus has been always on designing aesthetic-rich websites. Often, they forget about page speed aspects. To make it good-looking and rich, they embed more 3rd party API and scripts. That makes your pages heavy.
Practically speaking, the bloated design with more elements on a site takes more time to load.
Disable the non-essential external scripts like external fonts, 3rd party commenting system, etc.
Also, the minimalist websites will have their content logically available for the users for easy access. Better user experience and engagement are always the good ranking signal of a website.
#9 Font Choice Matters A Lot
These days, most of the web pages have custom fonts. Still, there are high-performing Google web fonts that appeal to the users.
Make sure to use a single or maximum of two font styles on your entire website pages.
Most importantly, make your font accessible by all the users with no additional font installations on their systems.
However, the Google web fonts are already optimized providing the font files to the browser for the appropriate display of your content much faster.
#10 Avoid Using More Plug-ins
The integral reason for WordPress’s popularity is its abundant resources. For any added functionality, you have both free and premium plug-ins.
By the way, accessing or activating those plug-ins is quite easier.
That makes WordPress users install as much as plug-ins to make their websites more functional.
But, we often forget that installing more plug-ins can add up the website size and reduces the loading speed.
It’s an old-age hint that using the minimal number of the plug-in can help to speed up your WordPress sites. But, it makes sense.
What are all the essentials WordPress plug-ins to be used mandatory without being the site loading speed is affected?
Do share this post and get access to the list of recommended WordPress plug-ins that we prefer to use.
The list of most recommended and essential WordPress plug-ins I use. Still, I manage my WordPress sites to load faster.
- Akismet Anti-Spam
- Pretty Links
- Q2W3 Fixed Widget
- Really Simple SSL
- Shortcodes Ultimate
- Table of Contents Plus
- WP Rocket or WP Total Cache
- Yoast SEO or Rank Math
- WP Rich Snippets
- WPForms Lite or ContactForm 7
#11 Keep Updated With Latest PHP Versions
Keeping the various components of a website up to date is good always.
It is applicable to PHP versions, as well.
PHP 7.x’s in WordPress 5.x can handle more HTTP requests than 5.x’s in WordPress 4.x versions.
As much as faster the HTTP requests served, obviously, higher the page speed would be.
#12 Don’t Ignore Gzip Compressions
Above all, it is critical to compress your entire website pages regularly.
As a serious online marketer, you keep updating your website with new content and media files often.
Using any WordPress caching plug-ins, enable GZIP compression to speed-up WordPress site. It allows you to compress your web pages (reducing the page size) before delivering it to your visitors.
#13 Do Regular Database Optimization
WordPress CMS as a dynamic platform stores, and fetches data like posts, comments, pages, images, etc. from the database. So, there are higher chances to get it dumped with unnecessary garbage data over time.
Especially, the older and larger sites will have more of this kind.
Make it clutter-free regularly. Doing so, you can reduce the data processing time and hence, boost your WordPress page loading speed.
#14 Save Bandwidth With Hotlink Protections
Hotlink protection can prevent other sites to display your images or any resources dissipating your bandwidth.
Restrict the HTTP referrers preventing others to embed your assets on their sites. Using CDN like MaxCDN has the option to enable hotlink protection to safeguard your server resources.
How it impacts the WordPress site loading speed?
Think about if the resources allocated for you, say bandwidth are utilized by others. I mean to say, your resources are exploited by somebody else, somewhere.
Resource deficiency can make your site slow and impotent.
#15 Omit Or Disable Non-essential Elements
Similarly, deal with pingbacks, Gravatar, and trackbacks too.
Make sure to clean-up your databases regularly, which have post revisions, pingbacks, emoji’s, etc. that prevents your WordPress site speed and performance.
You are almost done with speeding up your WordPress site utmost. Still, if you want to make your site even faster, you will have to make a few more changes. Keep reading.
Easy WordPress Speed Optimization Tips Require No Coding
We understand making changes to your WordPress website is like a nightmare, especially for beginners and non-techies.
In such a case, WordPress plug-ins come into rescue. Installing a WordPress caching plug-in can prove a noticeable improvement in your WordPress loading speed.
It’s a multi-step process to render your WordPress pages against the HTTP’s requests. When you have multiple requests at once, then it might slow down your speed rendering the results.
Caching can improve your WordPress site to load faster to 5x times.
Instead of fetching the information from MySQL database and PHP files, putting all together in an HTML file and then serving it to the users; use caching to retrieve the required information without running through such a long process.
Several good WordPress plug-ins are available like WP Rocket (premium), W3 Total Cache (free), WP Super Cache (free), etc.
However, it is not too difficult to install or set up these WordPress caching plug-ins like making changes to your site coding.
Fine-tune Your WordPress Site Loading Speed
In addition to all the above, you can also try some underrated hacks to speed up your WordPress site. Every fraction of a second count. So, to get the fastest WordPress website, you can also make further changes to your site as below. Fine-tune your WordPress website speed.
Split-up your Long Posts
I understand people love to read the ling-form of in-depth articles. Also, such lengthy valuable content tends to rank better in search engines.
But, publishing long-form content with more media files would hurt page loading speed. So, split up your longer posts into multiple pages
Reduce direct calls to the database
Using any poorly coded WordPress themes, there will be more direct requests or unnecessary requests to the database. This may slow down your WordPress site performance.
Making slight changes in your theme code, replacing such database calls with exact information, you can reduce the number of directs requests to the database. By which, you can increase WordPress speed with optimal functioning of your database.
I insist you touch the code only if you are a tech-savvy, coder or WordPress developer. Otherwise, let it be.
WordPress Speed FAQ
Here are some of the common questions about WordPress speed and its optimization are answered.
How faster an ideal WordPress site must be?
It is always great to have site loading under one second. But, it’s not possible for all sites since using other 3rd party tools can slow down your site. Indeed, you can’t neglect those added functionalities. So, it is always recommendable to have site loading time in the range between 1 and 3 seconds.
What if a WordPress site breaks during speed optimization?
Following the WordPress speed optimization guide, you can handle it hassle-free. Still, there might be risks, unfortunately. Hence, we always insist you do a complete backup of your website before getting started out.
How to optimize my WooCommerce site?
Speed optimization strategies are almost similar for any platform even WooCommerce. But, you will need comparably good hosting for eCommerce sites to ensure consistent speed and performance.
Is it possible to achieve WordPress site loading speed less than 1 second?
With reliable hosting, a well-built website theme, and best speed optimization practices in place one can achieve it in the location where it is hosted. For other locations, their speed may be a little high, maybe 1.5 or 2 seconds.
Should I hire professional WordPress speed optimization experts to boost my website speed?
Most of the cases, these WordPress speed optimization tips would help you to DIY. In case, if you are a novice, non-techy, running out of time to handle these chores, then, it is always good to give to the expert’s hands. Let the WordPress experts take responsibility to resolve your WordPress site’s speed issue.
Keep remembering that WordPress speed optimization is not a one-time task. It is always imperative to perform periodic performance tests on your website – the inner pages too.
Run the page load tests whenever you update your website or publish new content to monitor the progress.
Accordingly, keep optimizing your WordPress sites to load faster with this WordPress speed optimization guide.
There is no rigid WordPress speed template or WordPress speed kit for website performance optimization. As much as you are concerned about it and keep things optimized, better the results will be.
Most of the WordPress speed tips I have shared above all DIY WordPress speed optimization hacks.
Still, it breaks your mind? Join our Facebook Group and get access to more real-time cases, discussions and tutorials for more clarifications.
Otherwise, getting no time to do so, we help you to speed up your WordPress site with our professional WordPress speed optimization services.
Opt for our effective but also affordable WordPress speed optimization services. We’ll strategically handle the things and improve your site loading speed exponentially.
Do you still need more hacks and recommendations about WordPress speed optimization? Where did you get stuck optimizing your WordPress sites for better performance? Drop your valuable comments in the comments section below.
Subscribe to our mailing listing and get FREE & INSTANT access to the WordPress Speed Optimization Checklist and recommended resources.