How WordPress Speeds Up Your Website

Ever since Google announced the introduction of page speed as one of the metrics for determining SEO rankings, website owners have made fast loading websites one of their priorities. Page load time also affects whether visitors land before the page is fully loaded. With a slow loading site, you can lose a significant amount of traffic and conversions. In this tutorial, we will discuss the list of steps you can take to speed up your site and what tools are provided for this in WordPress.

The practice of Globalistic shows that clients look first of all at the design of the site, design and styles. Therefore, very often the slowness of the resource becomes a complete surprise for them after the completion of the project, and they come to us to somehow correct the situation. First of all, this problem occurs on mobile devices. For commercial sites, this is critical, because up to 80% of traffic and orders come from them. In general, in our experience, such a nuisance occurs in two main cases:

  1. There are a number of good platforms that offer starter design solutions, a “delicious” picture – and at the same time are slow, especially if your site has a complex structure. Then the only way out is to develop a website on a new platform. The wrong choice of platform and the imposition by the web studio / developer of a specific solution that does not suit the goals and purpose of the web page is a common phenomenon that we have repeatedly had to correct.
  2. In the case of WordPress, often hobbyist developers use builder plugins such as Elementor that make it easy to work with layout and display new elements, while they are often separate applications with their own content, extremely slowing down the site.

Today we will talk about the first steps to optimize the speed of the site on the example of WordPress, as one of the most flexible and affordable CMS (content management systems) both for work and for optimization.

Why is page speed important?

First, page speed affects your SEO ranking. If there are two websites that can compare on all other aspects of SEO, the search engines will penalize the slower site. It’s not clear how much the penalty is applied by page ranking algorithms, but it’s useful to optimize every aspect of your site for speed.

Second, Internet users have relatively little attention. If someone really wants to check your content, the chances that a visitor simply leaves your site before it loads increase by the second. They may also abandon an order if the checkout process is slow—for example, a Pingdom study found that 38% of visitors left websites that took five seconds to load.

1. Choose a fast enough web host

When a visitor lands on a page on your site, their browser sends a request to your server to display that page. The time it takes for the server to respond greatly affects how long they have to wait. Regardless of your site’s performance, web performance is critical to how quickly a visitor’s request is processed.

Before choosing a hosting, you first need to choose the type of hosting you are looking for. Are you happy with the relatively slow performance of a shared host or do you need a dedicated and dedicated WordPress hosting? As a rule, the choice is a trade-off between cost and speed.

2. Use plugins wisely

The WordPress community actively develops and maintains plugins. Plugins extend the functionality of WordPress to make it so much more. While you’ll find a plugin for every task you can imagine, it’s a good idea to selectively use only those plugins that you absolutely need to run your site.

Each plugin adds to the complexity of a WordPress site, so it’s a good idea to check your site regularly to evaluate each plugin. Make sure you deactivate or remove any unnecessary plugins.

3. Optimize your database

Your WordPress program connects to a database that stores all site-related data in the background. The database essentially stores all of your site’s content, including but not limited to posts, pages, user registrations, comments, and settings.

When someone visits your site, they simply get the data from the database and check the page or post. However, user actions, such as commenting support or purchasing, result in the creation of data. WordPress also automatically saves the changes you make to your posts.

The query response between the database and your WordPress site can increase for two reasons. First, as your database grows, these queries take longer to complete. Second, insertion and deletion cycles can fragment your database, so different parts of the database can be stored in different places within the file system.

Therefore, it makes sense to keep your database lean by deleting unwanted data such as spam and unauthorized comments, post editing and placed in the post trash. WP Optimize is a plugin that allows you to optimize your WordPress database by removing old redundant data and defragmenting the database.

4. Prepare your images for the site’s web pages

First, you need to make sure you are uploading the correct size image. For example, it doesn’t make sense to use the same size logo for both the About Us page and the icon. Since the icon size is much smaller, you should resize the logo and upload a smaller version of it.

Next, use the appropriate image type. For example, a JPG image is ideal for photographs and other complex images with lots of color variations. On the other hand, PNG images work well for graphics, have fewer color variations, such as for screenshots. Finally, SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) works great for an image that consists of simple geometric shapes like a logo.

Once you’ve created an image for a post, make sure you optimize it. Image optimization essentially means compressing images to make them suitable for the web. You can either optimize them locally, or use a plugin for this purpose.

If you need a WordPress plugin that takes care of all your uploaded images, you can use Imagify, a free WordPress plugin that optimizes your images in real time. And if you want to use a desktop app to optimize images before uploading them, you can try ImageOptim.

Lazy loading is the process of loading the full version of an image only when it enters the browser’s viewport while the browser is scrolling down the page. This image optimization technique saves precious bandwidth for both the site owner and the viewer. It also reduces page load time by delaying the download of a significant portion of the payload.

5. Use a CDN to Deliver Resources

A Content Delivery Network (CDN) consists of a group of servers placed in strategic locations around the world. It is based on the premise that the download time of a resource depends on the physical distance between the client and the server.

A quick analysis with the HTTP archive reveals that a page on a typical WordPress site is about 2.3MB in 2020. Much of the weight of this page consists of images (1.2 MB), fonts and stylesheets (280 KB), and scripts (470 KB). ).

If you store these resources on CDN servers around the world, a visitor from anywhere in the world can potentially download them from the server closest to them, reducing web page load times. We recommend checking out KeyCDN, a cost effective CDN solution for website owners.

6. Efficiently manage static files

In addition to images, style sheets and scripts make up a significant portion of a web page’s payload. So let’s see how you can serve these static files to your viewers effectively.

First, you can minify stylesheets and scripts to reduce the size of your assets. The minification process involves the removal of those parts of the file that are not needed for execution. This includes spaces, comments, and unused code.

You can minify your resources manually with a service like Minifier. However, for a WordPress site, it would save time with a minification plugin like WP Super Minify to minify all of your site’s resources in one operation.

7. Optimize HTTP Requests

You may have noticed that many of the issues reported by the benchmarking tools are related to HTTP requests. Typical metrics include how many HTTP requests your web page has, how many of them involve redirects, and how many DNS requests the browser needs to make to load all the resources.

One easy way to reduce the number of HTTP requests is to combine similar files. For example, you should have one CSS style sheet for your site. All custom scripts should also be combined into one file. As the number of HTTP requests decreases, so does the page load time. If you are using a minifier plugin, choose one that takes care of combining similar files.

To optimize your HTTP requests, you can minimize the number of DNS requests. Every time the browser encounters a resource hosted under a new domain name, it needs to do a DNS lookup to get the corresponding IP address. If you keep your resources on the same domain, you can reduce the number of DNS lookups. If you’re using a CDN for office static files, the number of DNS queries is already kept to a minimum.

Finally, you should also minimize the number of redirects for static resources. A redirect occurs when the resource’s original location points to a new location, which essentially means that the browser must make a new request in order to retrieve the resource.

8. Enable caching

Caching is the process of storing part of a page in a temporary location in order to quickly serve it to your visitors. Caching allows you to save server bandwidth and reduce page load time.

When choosing a caching plugin for your WordPress site, choose one that is easy to set up and provides performance improvements with simple tweaks. If you are experienced, you should go to the advanced settings to unlock additional speed benefits.

We have tested and compared the best WordPress caching plugins. WP Rocket came out on top in our test results.

We hope our tips will be useful for your resource. You can always contact us and we will offer solutions to make your website fast.

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