Learn How To Speed Up WordPress Site Like A Pro [COMPLETE GUIDE][2019 Edition]

How To Speed Up WordPress Site Like A Pro

Why is speed so crucial in today’s web environment?

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By The Hitchhiker

Is your WordPress website slow? If it is, you should take steps to optimize it.

Shaving extra milliseconds from your site’s loading time can have a great impact on your traffic and search engine visibility.

What causes WordPress to load slowly?

WordPress is a great platform for clean and well-designed code, but it’s not perfect. There is a massive list of themes and plugins, but they don’t all offer good performance.

Slow themes and plugins can make your website sluggish. Combine that with a crappy web host, and you’re in big trouble.

If you’ve been asking yourself questions, like “Why is my WordPress site so slow?” or “How can I speed up my WordPress site?” , please read and carefully follow this guide.

It describes the easiest ways to speed up your WordPress site. After reading it, if you have more questions, just drop them in the comments section.

Why is speed so crucial in today’s web environment?

Google now considers site speed a deciding factor in your search result ranking. If your site is slow, get ready to lose a huge number of visitors.

Check out this amazing info-graphic about load times

How to Speed Up Your WordPress Site?

Before starting, please check your current website performance with Pingdom Tools and GTmetrix. Compare this result after applying tips from this guide.

I guarantee you this tip helps to boost your website speed.

#1. Choose a Good Webhost

You want to optimize your WordPress site for speed. But how you improve a site when your web server is slow as molasses & makes things sluggish.

I know, when you starting out, you’re fascinated by Unlimited Page views or Bandwidth type web hosting advertised by a pro blogger. As a newbie, it’s reasonable to buy these types of the shared hostings because they offer cheap plans and are affordable.

But this shared hosting thing comes with costs, when you or another user who hosts on the same server, get traffic to your blog slows down like a turtle. If blogs receive massive traffic then in many cases your website down or they send you to email about upgrading your site to a higher plan.

They cover their expenses by hosting thousands of websites on the same server and all accessible through the same IP. This also means, if any site flagged in search engines then it affect your site’s SEO too.

Before purchasing a web host, please google Nerd of Fortune and search for a review. Check out our Premium Blend WordPress hosting package (only $15 a month!), which allots for up to 1 MILLION website visitors a month.

But, HitchHiker, How can I manage it myself?

Don’t worry, with the help of Nerd of Fortune’s one of a kind website monitoring plan (only $25 A MONTH!) you will never even have to worry. Nerd of Fortune will check on your website EVERY DAY, ensure functionality, perform updates (and fix anything the UPDATE breaks) check for MALWARE and incompatibilities even make a BACKUP of your website once a week & store it for you.

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#2. Use Solid WordPress Theme/Framework

Themes play a major role in WordPress because either they attract your visitor drive them away. That’s why you see many themes in the WordPress ecosystem. As a new blogger, you are attracted to free WordPress themes or some shiny premium WordPress theme which has endless posts display settings and blah blah blah.

Many free themes add lots of unnecessary code on your WordPress site, or they won’t follow WordPress themes guide. The result, your website loads slower due to many calls to your server or database. This condition is also applied to many premium themes. For more sells, they add lots of function in one theme which is not required by your website, and these features make your site loads slower.

Default WordPress themes are always speedy and well coded and easy to customize, but I advise you to buy some premium themes or hire a coder.

A great way to get started is a PROFESSIONAL ready-made WordPress website, like at Buzaz. Buzaz offers AMAZING pre-built website (all WordPress) for between $150 to $300! You buy your website, then they CALL YOU (I know RIGHT?) and will edit the text, images (IF you want as their images are premium & optimized) and in some cases, even the color. If you want to save TIME & MONEY, go to Buzaz.com.

  • #3. Install A Good Caching Plugin

The 3rd most important part of this guide after choosing a good web host & Theme is installing a good caching plugin. After installing any active caching plugin your website, you can tell the difference between a page with caching or without caching plugin.

Caching plugins make a copy of your site in a separate folder in entirely static form or try to reduce calls to your blog server, and when a user arrives at your site then instead of showing original page plugin show them a cache version of a page. It reduces database calls, no of PHP requests and no of HTTP requests (combining many files into one). Here is a list of recommended caching plugins:

  • Autoptimize
  • HummingBird
  • WProcket

Others are popular like W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache but, we don’t recommended due to periodic security issues.

#4. Use a Content Delivery Network(CDN)

CDN used for offloading your static resources from your main server, like CSS, Javascript, Images, and Files. This offloading process makes your website loading faster at the user end and your primary server free from this task.

CDN providers cache your static contents in their data centers, across all over the globe. When a user requests this resources than its loads from the data center which is closer to user location.

If your hosting server host in Arizona and a visitor comes from Australia, then CDN provider loads static files from the Asian data center.

There are many CDN providers available in web market, but KeyCDN is most affordable CDN provider. KeyCDN provides free SSL and HTTP2 support.

If you are new blogger and you are unable to bear the cost of these premium CDN’s then choose CloudFlare, it’s acts as a CDN and also provide security for your blog. Like, block bad bots and visitors to accessing your site and makes your site faster.

Now, IF your decide to HOST with Nerd of Fortune, on their Premium Blend WordPress Hosting plan, the CDN is FREE! That’s right, it’s part of their $15 a month hosting plan. Can’t beat FREE!

#5. Enable Gzip Compression

Always served gzip version of website to your visitor, because its compress your overall web-page size and makes it faster.

Check Gzip Compression of your site with this tool.

If you host your website with cpanel, enable gzip from panel or you can use plugin like Check and Enable GZIP compression, Autoptimize or WPRocket.

Gzip can also be enable via .htaccess, for Apache

 

  1. ## BEGIN : Enable GZIP Compression (compress text, html, javascript, css, xml and so on) ##
  2. AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/plain
  3. AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html
  4. AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/xml
  5. AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/css
  6. AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xml
  7. AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xhtml+xml
  8. AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/rss+xml
  9. AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/javascript
  10. AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-javascript
  11. AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-httpd-php
  12. AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-httpd-fastphp
  13. AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE image/svg+xml
  14. SetOutputFilter DEFLATE
  15. ## END : Enable GZIP Compression ##

And for Nginx,

gzip on;
gzip_comp_level 2;
gzip_http_version 1.0;
gzip_proxied any;
gzip_min_length 1100;
gzip_buffers 16 8k;
gzip_types text/plain text/html text/css application/x-javascript text/xml application/xml application/xml+rss text/javascript;

# Disable for IE < 6 because there are some known problems
gzip_disable "MSIE [1-6].(?!.*SV1)";

# Add a vary header for downstream proxies to avoid sending cached gzipped files to IE6
gzip_vary on;

🛑Please take a full backup of your website before playing with .htaccess file.🛑

#6. Add an Expires header

When someone visits your site, visitor browser downloads all files from your server to visitor device and render your website. Expires header set a expire time for your static content.

Mean If you enable expire header for static resources then at the second visit of the same visitor, browser, not downloads same content and display resources from the first visit if it does not expire.

Add these code in .htacess to enable expire header in WordPress.

## EXPIRES CACHING ##
<IfModule mod_expires.c>
ExpiresActive On
ExpiresByType image/jpg "access 1 month"
ExpiresByType image/jpeg "access 1 month"
ExpiresByType image/gif "access 1 month"
ExpiresByType image/png "access 1 month"
ExpiresByType text/css "access 14 days"
ExpiresByType application/pdf "access 1 month"
ExpiresByType text/x-javascript "access 14 days"
ExpiresByType application/x-shockwave-flash "access 1 month"
ExpiresByType image/x-icon "access 1 year"
ExpiresDefault "access 14 days"
 
## EXPIRES CACHING ##

#7. Use a Minified Resources

Websites use CSS and JS files to beautify, and these files are many in quantity. Every plugin or themes you add to your blog adds some CSS or JS files.

If browsers communicate with your websites with HTTP v1 Protocol, then they download only four files in a parallel manner. Imagine, your blog has 20+ CSS and JS files. How much time browsers spent to connect your hosts and fetch them to display your website to Visitor?

For this problem, you can use plugins like Autoptimize or WPRocket. They minify and combine your static resources in one or two files, then sends these files to the visitor. These help to speed up the overall process.

#8. Optimize Your Images

Images are heaviest and necessary elements of any web page; It increases engagement on your page. Due to heavy in storage, its loads your website slower, and sometimes your site still loading and visitor leaves your site. For this, we have some easy solution.

Images are important

First, you must specify image dimension thumbnail, medium, and large sized images. I always choose a medium and large size up to 2000 * 2000. Why?

Every theme comes with own image size and that time medium, and large setting creates an image which is not used by posts. Then just make it higher than your possible image size.

Second, reduce your uploaded image size, don’t worry we have two great free plugin for this work.

  1. Imagify
  2. ShortPixel

I test both plugins on my personal website, where both compress 7mb image folder in 3.5mb. Imagify perfect for JPG while ShortPixel great for PNG. Both are free for some quotas and newbie it’s sufficient. Install WordPress plugin for any of plugin and start compressing your image without leaving your WordPress dashboard.

#9. Lazy Load your Images

Lazy Load helps you to save bandwidth and speed up your WordPress site. How?

Lazy Load displays images, videos or iframes to a visitor when it’s visible. With the help of a lazyload, you can reduce HTTP requests to your server; you save your resources by not showing images to a visitor who not read your article or not scrolls down.

You can use WPRocket or Rocket Lazy Load or a3 Lazy Load to add lazy loading fuctionality in your blogs.

#10: Optimize Your Database

You can optimize your database through plugin or by PHPMyAdmin, plugin like WP Sweep or WP Optimize. WP Sweep is better than WP Optimize according to my experience. Or use WPRocket for database optimiation.

These plugins delete pending spam comment(if you use default WordPress Comments), Post revision, Post draft and many things. WordPress works with database and optimizing database gives your website huge boost in WP speed up process.

🛑Please back up your website or publish your saved draft before making total cleanup because of it not reversible in many cases.🛑

#11. Only Install Well Coded Plugin

In the WordPress plugin directory, you can find thousands of plugins, and after analyzing their code, you find many plugins are not well coded, and some won’t follow the standard. Always install a plugin which updates from time to time.

There is one problem, How you could find a better plugin for the same job.

well coded plugins

First check the plugin’s rating, if it’s three stars or less then try to find an alternative. But some plugin won’t get any star and still update to WordPress version, check those plugin on localhost or in a sandbox. Also, check how often the update the plugin. Anything longer that every 3 months or less – AVOID IT!

Why you don’t want to install a poorly coded plugin?

Because they insert lots of inappropriate hooks on your website, and it may slow down your site.

Second, after installing your desired plugin, check performance and impact of plugin on your website using GoDaddy’s P3 Profiler. It’s not 100% accurate, but still, you find a problem on your website.

#12: Perform Routine Maintenance on Your Site

WordPress plugins are an easy target for hackers. Why?

Update WordPress Plugins and Themes

Many times we are not paying attention to our blog and we don’t update it time to time. Then, when you check your website, you see the DREADED WSOD (White Screen of Death) or find that your website has been hacked.

ALWAYS UPDATE REGULARLY!

Always uninstall and delete plugins which are not required, because it’s slow down your site by calling not needed resources.

Again, Nerd of Fortune’s monitoring plan ($25 per month) will negate your need to worry about such things all together.

 

Summary

So remember, having and maintaining a website/blog is work. It takes regular updating, planning and a keen attention to detail. It’s like babysitting, if you ignore the baby – bad things happen. And just remember also, there is help out there. Our blog is FILLED with helpful article & tips on keeping your website in tip top shape. And services like Nerd of Fortune’s monitoring plan can definitely lend a helping hand. So, you’re never alone.


We offer free advise & tutorials. The HitchHiker’s Guide to Your WebSite operates via the generousity of our readers. Anything helps. Please donate IF you can.

Post Author: The HitchHiker

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