How to speed up my WordPress website

Introduction

Nobody likes slow websites. Just think for yourself how many times you have visited a website where loading took a long time on the first visit. Let me guess, it is something close to zero. If you do some research on the internet on this topic, this behavior is confirmed by various statistics.

According to Moz, 40 percent of the users leave a website that takes more than three seconds to load. For e-commerce websites the results are even sharper. 80 percent of buyers who are not satisfied with the speed or performance of a website do not buy, or at least not again, on the same webpage.

So, here are the 5 factors to be considered to have a great user experience for your WordPress website:

1. Use a lightweight WordPress theme / framework

Your WordPress theme is your site’s foundation, which means it plays a big role in how quickly your site loads. Below are some of the best lightweight WordPress themes

  • GeneratePress (free & premium)
  • Astra (free & premium)
  • Schema (premium)
  • OceanWP (free & premium)

By making a light weight the probability of getting high traffic in your site will be high.

2. Minify JS and CSS files

CSS and JavaScript files that have been minified can help boost your website’s speed performance. This is very important because website’s speed not only is extremely convenient for your visitors, but it is also one of the factors that determines your search engine rankings. We can minify js and CSS very quickly by using a WordPress minify plugin. The WP Super Minify plugin makes this extremely easy and the process will take less than a minute once you install the plugin. Keep in mind if you have a smaller website, then you might not even notice a boost in speed because there is not much to minify

3. Use advanced caching mechanisms with a caching plugin

One of the best way to improve the speed of the WordPress is using caching plugins. Caching plugins help WordPress work more efficiently. By default, each time a page on your WordPress website is accessed by a visitor, the content is generated dynamically with lots going on in the background, including multiple database queries and code executions. A caching plugin will create a static version of your content, removing many of the steps that take place when a page is generated dynamically. The result of this is faster loading times and happier visitors. Below given are some of the best caching plugins available.

  • WP Super Cache
  • WP Rocket
  • WP Fastest Cache

4. Cleanup WordPress database

Doing regular clean ups allow you to reduce your database size which means quicker and smaller backup files. We can use a WP-Sweep plugin. This plugin will analyze your WordPress database and show you a report of how much clutter you can clean. The sweep report is divided into different sections for your posts, comments, user meta, options, terms, and database optimize. You can go through items and clean them individually, or you can scroll down to the bottom of the page and click sweep all to clean up everything in your WordPress database.

5. Keep external scripts to a minimum

These are anything that pull information from outside your website: Google Fonts, Analytics, embedded YouTube videos, job postings, Gravatars, even comment and social sharing plugins. You can use the following tools to find the external scripts used in your website.

  • GTmetrix
  • Query Monitor

Asset CleanUp lets you selectively disable unnecessary scripts, styles, and plugins from specific content. This can improve load times while reducing the number of HTTP requests. It also lets you host fonts locally, pre-connect, preload, and disable unused WordPress features.

Conclusion

Accelerating your WordPress website can provide tremendous benefits. Well, speed is not everything. Of course, you should never allow other aspects of usability, appearance, and most importantly, your business goals to be compromised. But improved load times can also lead to more and more satisfied visitors, and thus to the achievement of your business goals.

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