Speed is increasingly become one of the most important metrics to monitor for your website, that is why it is important to have a faster WordPress website.
Not only does it have a high impact on your websites user experience and bounce rate it is now increasingly become more important as a ranking factor in Google algorithm meaning you need to have a fast loading website in order to maintain your search rankings.
This is especially true in a world where the demands on load time from your website are increasing from your users. It used to be OK for your website to load in less than 3 seconds but latest reports suggest that anything over 1.5 seconds is now considered slow by users.
With that in mind today I want to share with you 5 steps you can take to speed up your WordPress website today.
1. Remove Un-used Plugins
This is one of the most common causes for an increase in load time on WordPress websites. Many people add plugins to perform specific tasks and then forget to de-activate them or remove them when they are no longer required.
It is good practice to audit the plugins currently installed on your WordPress website to see if you still actively use them and whether or not any can be removed.
Ensure that all the plugins that are currently active on your site are providing value, if not, remove them.
2. Image Optimisation
When we audit WordPress sites we commonly find that images are one of the main reasons for a slow loading site.
This is even more true on multi-author blogs where some of the writers may be less tech-savy or aware of the effect of large images on a webpage.
Where possible you should ensure that all images you upload to your site have been compressed to ensure they are the smallest file size possible without losing quality.
Also avoid uploading images that are 1000×1000 pixels large if you are only going to display it at 100×100 pixels. Whilst WordPress will help to resize the images the smaller versions are often not compressed as well.
This should help to shave some valuable secs of your load time and save bandwidth on your server.
Another important optimisation is to cache your pages so that they do not have to be dynamically created on every page view.
This also is a great way to reduce bandwidth usage on your website.
There are several great caching plugins that can deliver improvements just by activating the plugin and the ones we recommend you consider are:
Each of the above are great so pick the one you like the look of the most and install your caching today. This usually moves the needle a long way in terms of reducing your load time so make this a priority.
4. Optimise your database
Over time your WordPress database can collect up a lot of data that is no longer required.
Things such as post revisions, spam and drafts that are no longer needed in the database and also just optimising the tables can be a big help.
Luckily you don’t need to be a database expert in order to clean and optimise your database as there are several great plugins that you can use to do this for you.
The one I recommend and use the most is WP-Optimise, it is super easy to use and safe so you don’t have to worry about it destroying your site.
Don’t forget to read tip 1 again once you have done this ; )
5. Limit Post Revisions
As well as optimising the database it is also a good idea to tweak your WordPress settings so that you save less post revisions in the first place.
In most cases WordPress users never us this feature but there are a few who do and it is also useful to have some revisions there as a backup in case something goes wrong when creating your posts.
I don’t believe you need any more than 3 revisions stored per post, so adding the following to your wp-config.php file will help to reduce the amount of bloat created in your database to improve performance:
, 3 );
This will ensure no more than three revisions are stored per post.
Hopefully you are able to use these five steps to reduce the load time of your WordPress website.
If you are still looking to get your website load time under that 1.5 second load time barrier then why not check out our WordPress Optimisation Service and let us increase your load time risk free!