how to speed up a wordpress site?

How To Speed Up A WordPress Site In 12 Proven Ways That Work?

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With the upcoming Google update, it would be more important than ever that your website loads within 2 seconds. Therefore, I have written on how to speed up a WordPress site to help you improve your WordPress site speed. 

HOW TO SPEED UP A WORDPRESS SITE? – 12 EASY WAYS Click To Tweet

I’m one of those who are obsessed with a fast-loading website. I have tried many ways to reduce the page load time of my blog but I could never optimize it enough. 

It was because I don’t have any technical knowledge and I’m always scared that I’d break my website.

But, on the bright side, I have found that there are some easy ways to speed up a WordPress website that anyone can implement. 

So, I thought of writing an article on how to improve site speed. 

This blog post is everything you should know about a website’s speed and how to improve it. 

SAVE THIS PIN PLEASE.

12 steps on how to speed up a wordpress site

This post may contain some affiliate links that is I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you that I would use to maintain this blog. Thanks for understanding.

How To Test Your Website Speed?

Before you do anything to speed up your WordPress site, it’s good to find out how much time your site is taking to load. 

A WordPress site speed test will give you a detailed report of your site performance. Then you can implement ways to reduce page load time in it.

There are many free tools that you can use to measure your site speed. The two I use and trust are

1- Google Page Speed Insights

Google Page Speed Test shows a short report but it includes a list of changes to make to improve them. I like it because of the list.

2- GTMetrix

GTMetrix report is big and it also has a waterfall version that shows the real-time each file is taking to load. 

You can find the ones that are taking a long time and remove them.

However, these tools are not perfect. You can get varied results. Don’t rely upon them too much.

In general, your blog should load faster. 

Why Website Speed Matters? 

Website speed isn’t just a number but a metric that you should improve. 

Somewhere around November 2020, Google announced that an update would roll out next year. It was the Core Web Vitals update. 

If you want to learn about it in detail check out this guide, in short, it was that after the update site speed would be one of the ranking factors. 

So what, Google constantly releases updates what’s so big about this one? 

Well, for starters, this is the first time Google has announced it. So it must be big.

Therefore, if your website is slow then it would directly impact your search engine rankings. 

But why would Google do that? 

All of it comes down to the USER EXPERIENCE. If you want to improve your SEO you should be improving your site USER EXPERIENCE.

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It’s not a surprise that Google keeps (and wants you too!) readers first. Let’s learn a bit more about it. 

1- Annoyed Readers.

Google wants you to deliver information faster but if you fail to do so then the reader would have to wait and he’d be annoyed and leave your website. 

The worst could happen is that he would never return.

Now how would Google know that the leaving visitor was annoyed? 

Enter bounce rate.

2- Increased Bounce Rate.

Google can’t understand the emotions but the algorithms are getting smarter. 

If you don’t know about it, bounce rate is a metric that Google uses to understand how a visitor interacts with your site. 

It’s not the only one, Google Analytics has a dozen more factors that help Google. 

The bounce rate is based on the number of pages users clicked on your site. 

If your visitor clicked on another link then it would signal Google that your site has valuable content. 

But if he left your site without reading another article that means your site isn’t very helpful and should not be ranked. 

Obviously, if your site is taking forever to load then the reader would bounce off. 

Therefore, to reduce bounce rate you have to increase site speed. 

But, how to increase site speed? 

It’s simple. Just follow this guide. 

How To Speed Up A WordPress Site? – 12 Easy Ways

As I have already told you above, I don’t know how to put codes so I have only included those easy tips that I tried and have worked for me. 

If you are comfortable with coding languages then you should refer to this article. 

However, you should read it after this article as these tips are also very helpful. 

1 – Move To A Good Web Hosting Service. 

This is one of the best tips on how to improve website speed. 

Your web host has a major role to play in your WordPress site performance. Many times, it is a poor web hosting service that is slowing down a website. 

If you are serious about your blog then you should consider moving to a good web hosting service. 

Or if your blog is on free platforms like Blogger or Tumblr then you should opt for a self-hosted website. 

Choosing good web hosting can be a difficult task. You can follow this article if you want to learn how to choose one. 

If you are in a hurry, Bluehost is one of the best web hostings that provide a good site speed. Read my Bluehost review here.

An average website hosted on Bluehost loads within 0.95 seconds. I use it too. 

But if you want to learn about other web hostings then here’s a list of top web hosting services for beginners. 

2 – Install A Good Theme.

Oftentimes it is a poorly coded WordPress theme that is slowing down your site. 

I had switched to many themes to find out the perfect theme for my blog. But I don’t recommend you to do it. 

It was because I was repeating the same beginner bloggers’ mistake

I was choosing themes based on their design. The thing with beautiful themes is that they have heavy code. 

So whenever a site is loaded the code loads too and takes time. 

Therefore, you don’t need a beautifully designed theme but a lightly coded one.

You can easily create a professional-looking website using Elementor.

I break down how to choose a WordPress theme here (Don’t forget to read my site speed story!)

I’m, however, using the Astra Theme on my blog and loving it. It is one of those themes that are specially designed for speed. Read my Astra review here.

Here are some other alternatives. BTW. 

Trust me you don’t need a fancy theme. 

3 – Use A Cache Plugin. 

If you are wondering how to speed up a WordPress site instantly it is with a cache plugin. 

You need it on your site. No matter what. 

You may have a cache plugin installed on your site but it is time to use it. Why?

With every change you make on your site, a version of it is saved and it becomes useless after new changes. 

Therefore, you should remove it from your site space to keep it free from the cache. 

The cache plugin I’m currently using is WP-Optimize. 

Most of my friends on Twitter use WP Rocket

Here are some other essential WordPress plugins for beginners. 

4 – Connect It With A CDN.

CDN is the Content Delivery Network. 

To reduce the page load time in WordPress it is recommended that you connect it to a CDN. 

But first, what is a CDN, and how it works? 

A CDN works as a portal between your web hosting and the visitor’s computer.

When a reader is requesting access to your site then the web servers have to go to your hosting provider files to find the requested file. After the file is found then it is sent, downloaded, and displayed on the reader’s computer. 

All of this takes time and can cause the reader to leave. 

Whereas, a CDN in action would store a version of your site and immediately displays it to the reader without contacting the web hosting files. 

This saves a lot of time. 

A free and beginner-friendly CDN that I use is Cloudflare. 

I connected it with the help of Bluehost. A good web host should have free CDN options. 

5 – Optimize Images.

Images take a lot of space in page size. If you have tested your site using the GTMetrix tool you will notice that images and JavaScript takes a lot of space. 

These images are needed to be compressed. I use the Shortpixel plugin to compress images. 

It would automatically compress images once they are uploaded on WordPress. 

You can also use TinyJPG to compress images. However, for this method, you will have to compress each image by yourself before uploading them.

Try my simple ways to get your blog images ranking on Google.

6 – Enable Lazy Load For Images.

Lazy loading is an awesome way to reduce page speed at the time of loading. 

A normal site would load all images immediately. This takes time. 

What lazy load does is it loads images as the page is scrolled. So all the time is not taken by images for loading. 

For this, you can install a lazy load plugin or if you are using WP-Optimize then you can enable it in settings. 

7 – Optimize WordPress Database. 

With time you will notice that your WordPress is running slowly. It is because your WordPress database is piled up with a lot of unimportant files. 

To speed up your WordPress website you should clear the database regularly. 

You can easily clear the database by installing the WP-Optimize

8 – Optimize CSS and JavaScript Files.

Remember I told you above that a page size is mainly because of images and JavaScript. 

Now when images are covered something has to be done to optimize JavaScript. 

To improve site speed by cleaning your site code install the Autoptimize plugin. 

It will clear broken code and reduce the size of a page thereby reducing the time of load.

It can also clear CSS files.

9 – Make A Mobile Friendly Site. 

Your readers also use a mobile device to visit your site. Therefore, you should have a mobile-friendly website.

The first step is to install a responsive theme. Such themes are designed to work on both desktop and mobile devices. 

For example, the Astra theme is a responsive theme. 

And you can easily edit your responsive website using Elementor.

Check here for free, if your present site is mobile-friendly

10 – Remove Unused Plugins And Images.

If you are thinking about how to speed up my WordPress blog without doing anything heavy then remove unused plugins and images. 

These plugins and images take your disk space and aren’t very helpful as they are not doing anything. 

It’s better to remove them. 

11 – Keep Updating WordPress And Its Components.

If you wonder why is WordPress slow then it can be because it is not updated.

You should update it regularly. If you don’t have time to do it regularly then set it to auto-update. 

With WordPress, make sure that you update your theme and plugins regularly. 

12 – Keep Updating PHP. 

Why is the WordPress backend slow? It can be because your site is running on an older version of PHP. 

Updating PHP regularly is important. If you don’t know how to do it then ask your web hosting provider to do it for you. 

Conclusion

So, these were some of my best tips on how to make your WordPress site load faster. 

HOW TO SPEED UP A WORDPRESS SITE? – 12 EASY WAYS Click To Tweet

I hope you have some ideas to reduce page load time. Website speed optimization is easy when you follow these tips. 

It is all about your readers. Google puts them first and so you should too. 

WordPress is one of the best CMS available. It is the only one that can be optimized for SEO. If you want to rank you should be with WordPress.

After this post, you know how to increase WordPress website speed. 

I hope these site speed optimization tips helped you. If you have any questions please use the comments section below to put them forward. 

If you liked this post please pin it. 

how to speed up a wordpress site

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14 thoughts on “How To Speed Up A WordPress Site In 12 Proven Ways That Work?”

    1. Thanks for telling me about this plugin Alex. I’ll try it. However, Shortpixel also converts images to WebP image formats. Thanks for putting it forward.

  1. Thanks for this article; your suggestions will be beneficial as I’m new to blogging, and I was a bit overwhelmed with what caching plugin to use. Thankfully, I came across your article on Twitter.

    1. Thanks for reading. I’m glad these website speed tips were helpful. I’ve using the WPOptimize plugin to optimize my site cache. Hope this caching plugin will help you too.

    1. You did the best thing. When I realized one of the reasons for my website’s slow speed is unnecessary plugins I uninstalled them immediately. I was so glad that this simple trick improved my site speed.

  2. Hi Ekta.

    That’s a very useful summary, thank you.

    For anybody that is on a Litespeed server it can be beneficial to use the Litespeed Cache plugin for optimising, especially when combined with the Quic.Cloud CDN that is linked with.

    A quick question for you – how quickly do you upgrade PHP when it has had a major update? For example, I know many people are advising that you shouldn’t move to PHP8 just yet. Are you on PHP8?

    1. Hello Richie,

      Most web hosting provides their cache plugins and I think that’s great.

      For pHp, I always ask my hosting provider to do it for me. For the latest version, I haven’t updated it to PHP8 but I would recommend consulting with your hosting provider.

      Thanks, Ekta

    1. Thanks for reading Tyler, working on your website speed is more important than ever. I’m glad you are saving this post as I have shared only the beginner friendly tips to improve site speed.

    1. Thanks for giving it a read Lisa, I’m also not at a great site speed but these easy tweaks have helped me lower my site speed from a 2 digit number to 4 to 5 seconds.

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