How to Speed up WordPress Website

5 Mins read

How fast does your website load? The speed of the website is very important to visitors and business owners. Do you know search engine, Google takes page speed into account when ranking websites? In 2010, Google included site speed in search rankings. If your site responds slowly, the Google rankings of your site would drop. WordPress is a great publishing tool and platform, but its sluggish performance may impact your business and cause a loss of potential customers and subscribers. 

So what can you do better to boost your site performance? Here are ten quick fixes that will improve the load time of the site.

Good Host

Do you know 40 percent of website visitors leave a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load? Poor website performance and page load speed adversely impact any business and end up losing potential sales. For business, it’s critical to have their websites stay up and running all the time with great performance, security and reliability. 

A fast web host can give your website great speed boost and responsiveness. It’s not only good for your business and website visitors, but also helpful for SEO (search engine optimization). If your web host is decelerating your business, it’s time to replace. 
Here is a list of trusted and fast hosting providers for wordpress.

If you can afford, you must also consider dedicated hosting options.

Caching Plugin

There are many ways, one can improve the speed of a WordPress website, one of the techniques is caching. A cache is an interim storage place where developers store data of a particular website. When the visitors return to pages they have recently visited, the data from the cache files are utilized to load up the pages rather than downloading it again. The stored data take some place and slow down your website’s performance.

You can manage to cache, simply by installing WordPress plugins. At the same time installing many plugins may add lots of trash to your site and site files, therefore, remove the unwanted or inactive plugins. One of the most popular caching solutions is W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache.

Content Delivery Networks (CDN)

A content delivery network (CDN) is a distributed servers system that replicates your site on all of their location nodes. When the visitors request your site, the closest server location will serve the request. A CDN clone all the static files including CSS, JavaScript, media files, images and more, and allow visitors to download them as quick as possible by serving the files on closest servers.

You can speed up your WordPress website with a Content Delivery Network. The content will be delivered faster to the user because the CDN server will be closer to the user geographically. It also protects from traffic spikes. 

CDNs are usually not very cheap however you can always create your own low cost CDN using open source software.

Compressing Images

A large number of images on a website not only slows down your web page to a crawl but also takes bandwidth. In general, one should use JPEG for photographic images and GIF or PNG-8 for text. Another option is compression of images; you can resize images, but make sure the quality of the image is not comprised. 

You can use the WP SmushIt plugin, WPMU DEV WordPress Smush API. In case, you don’t want to install this plugin, you can always use free programs such as Paintshop Pro, Gimp or Image Compressor.

Optimizing Your Database

WordPress uses the database to store web posts, web pages, comments, trashed items, Pingbacks, settings and plugin information. The entire database-driven site requires optimization of the database as it automatically saves everything. Whenever a web page is reloaded it reads your database. If the database is heaving, it may take a longer time to display the information. 

It’s very important to optimize your database because the page load speed affects your business performance accordingly. To manage the database optimization, you can always use the WP-Optimize plugin or WP-DB Manager, these options not only allows you to optimize your database but program next regular database optimization.

Choose a Good Theme

Choosing the right theme framework is very important as it is also one of the factors influencing the speed of your WordPress Website. Before you apply any theme, watch the load speed of the theme’s demo page. Many WordPress themes are extremely slow and poorly coded result in slowing your site to load. 

Nowadays, I recommend people to apply Twenty Sixteen- the newest default WordPress Theme. The Twenty Sixteen theme is built on a responsive approach that means all your images are a perfect fit, you can watch them resize on any of your devices. 
Some good and popular themes can found on ThemeForest. Pick themes that have high rating and good user review comments.

Enable Keep-Alive

Keep-Alive is a way to allow the same single Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) connection for HTTP conversation instead of opening a new request. It not only allows the user’s system to download multiple files without repetitively requesting for permission but saves bandwidth as well. To enable Keep-Alive, just copy and paste the code Header set Connection keep-alive in your .htaccess file.

Use a Quick Caching Plugin

Caching is an important process as it provides the web content to the visitors, without requesting it from the database every time they send a request. As we have discussed earlier, using a caching plugin simplifies the process and serves the content to the visitors from the cache. You can use W3 Total Cache plugin to cache the content. It reduces a lot of processing on the servers.

Optimizing CSS, Java Scripts Files

Merging many small CSS files and JavaScript files into one big file reduce request on the server. The compressing of files will improve the speed to retrieve the files. You can use sub domains to share the load, lower the number of dynamic HTTP calls. Secondly, use external scripts in your header.php file, this allows the browser to cache the script.

You can use the WP Minify (automated approach) or the YUI Compressor (manual approach) to minify your site CSS and JavaScript files.

Optimizing Your Homepage

There are many ways you can optimize the structure the homepage, you can post short excerpts instead of full posts. Secondly, bring down the number posts displayed on the Home page, displaying 5 to7 posts would be great. Get rid of inactive widgets and plugins, also, remove unwanted sharing widgets from the home page. 

Remove Unwanted Plugins

You may want to cleanup unused or less used plugins. Sometimes too many plugins affect the wordpress performance. Also avoid installing plugins from untrusted developers. One bad plugin can ruin your whole website performance.


Today, web users want websites to be lightning fast. After applying these simple measures and tips, you can make a great difference in your WP website speed. WordPress is a great platform, with some hacks and add-on you can actually pick up excellent website speed. Optimizing your website would also encourage visitors to revisit the website and deliver a great user experience.

Saurabh Sharma is a dedicated Wordrpess developer and content writer at Girnar Software SEZ Private Limited – a company that offers best WordPress CMS Development Services in India & USA. He has been in web design & development industry for 5+ years and specializes in PHP Programming. Connect with Girnarsoft on Twitter @girnarsoft

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