The best way to attract additional traffic to your website via your WordPress blogs is to increase its speed. When pages don’t load quickly visitors will not stay at your site for long. Yet we tend to disregard this aspect of our sites and don’t concentrate on increasing our websites’ speed. Maybe tuning up the internal speed of our WordPress website is intimidating to us.
It’s a huge problem if your loading time is above 3 seconds or if the size of your page is greater than 2MB. Then you will be losing money by way of server fees and loss in sales. Many tools are available online to identify problems that cause slow loading and poor UX, like Pingdom, GTmetrix, WebPage Test, KeyCDN Speed Test, and last but not the least Google PageSpeed Insights.
Table of Contents
- Learn 15 Ways to Improve Performance of Your WordPress site
- #1. Your Images Must be Optimized
- #2. Merge Small Inline CSS files — CSS files
- #3. Enable Compression
- #4. Ensure KeepAlive is Enabled
- #6. Allow Leveraging Browser Cache
- #7. Use a Content Delivery Network
- #8. Check for 404 errors
- #9. Minimize HTTP requests
- #10. Choose the Right File Format for images
- #11. Minimize Page Size
- #12. Scale Images
- #13. Leverage Browser Caching
- #14. Monitor Your Database
- #15. Go for Good Hosting Company
Learn 15 Ways to Improve Performance of Your WordPress site
Note: Some of these methods require editing WordPress files like .htaccess file etc. There it is recommended to take a complete backup before doing any changes.
#1. Your Images Must be Optimized
Images are generally the chief culprit in a slow-loading website. So ensure that your images are optimized, particularly the ones below 50KB, before you upload the images to your site. Using Photoshop or some other image optimization software or an online tool like tinypng is the best way to get the job done. Save your images with their quality of up to 60 percent. Progressive images must be used for JPG files for this kind of images provide a seamless UX.
#2. Merge Small Inline CSS files — CSS files
Browsers can only handle a limited number of HTTP requests at a given time. When the limit is attained, several files wait as others get downloaded. If you merge your CSS files into a single CSS file, the page moves much faster. If your CSS files are under 2KB then inline them and don’t ask for an additional HTTP request. WordPress has some great plugins like Fast Velocity Minify and Autoptimize which could help you in your merger.
#3. Enable Compression
You can enable Gzip Compression and DEFLATE Compression in WordPress via .htaccess file. You need to paste following code snippets in the .htaccess file of your WordPress.
For Apache Server
Code for Gzip Compression
Code for DEFLATE Compression
For Nginx Server
Code for Gzip Compression
#4. Ensure KeepAlive is Enabled
Apache, which is a largely used server for shared hosting at cheaper hosting companies, has a terrific feature called KeepAlive that enables connections to be open for several HTTP requests. So make sure that your host keeps KeepAlive activated. So make sure that KeepAlive is activated at your hosting company. You can enable Keep-Alive in WordPress using .htaccess file. All you need is to use following code in .htaccess file of your WordPress.
Enable Keep-Alive on Apache Server
#START ENABLE KEEP ALIVE <ifModule mod_headers.c> Header set Connection keep-alive </ifModule> #END ENABLE KEEP ALIVE
On Nginx servers, you won’t require enabling keep-alive.
#6. Allow Leveraging Browser Cache
Caching dramatically decreases the loading time of pages which don’t change frequently. When you enable caching at your website, your code won’t generate the page again and again. The user experience vastly improves and your server is able to take on more traffic. In order to leverge browser caching in WordPress via .htaccess file. you need to paste following code in .htaccess file of WordPress.
To Leverage Browser Caching in WordPress via .htaccess file, you need to:
- Add Expires Headers
- Add Cache-Control Headers
#1 Add Expires Headers: Paste following code in .htaccess file of your WordPress.
#2 Add Cache-Control Headers: Paste following code in .htaccess file of your WordPress.
#BEGIN Cache-Control Headers <ifModule mod_headers.c> <filesMatch "\.(ico|jpe?g|png|gif|swf)$"> Header set Cache-Control "public" </filesMatch> <filesMatch "\.(css)$"> Header set Cache-Control "public" </filesMatch> <filesMatch "\.(js)$"> Header set Cache-Control "private" </filesMatch> <filesMatch "\.(x?html?|php)$"> Header set Cache-Control "private, must-revalidate" </filesMatch> </ifModule> #END Cache-Control Headers
#7. Use a Content Delivery Network
Content Delivery Network, Generally known as CDN. A CDN is a content delivery system from the servers located I multiple data centers to the user’s web browsers. When users visits the web page, CDN deliver the data like CSS, images file from the nearest data center, so the webpage can load much faster.
#8. Check for 404 errors
Believe it or not, any missing file causes a 404 HTTP error which will certainly slow the loading time at your site. So always look out for 404 errors when your pages are getting rendered.
#9. Minimize HTTP requests
The greater your HTTP requests, the slower will be your site’s loading time. Your aim must be to lessen the HTTP requisition per page.
#10. Choose the Right File Format for images
Use for your default, JPG which is the fastest and smallest loading kind of file. For images only use PNG with text or if you want a transparent background. GIF files can severely slow your site’s loading time.
#11. Minimize Page Size
It’s always tempting to show plenty of content on your pages, but you must keep the size of your pages at the minimum. This is more important for mobiles. If a new visual does not add value to your site, then avoid including it.
#12. Scale Images
Don’t change image size in HTML directly. Make a thumbnail of the visual in the exact size that you want it on your pages. Use a fresh, resized version of the image and use that.
#13. Leverage Browser Caching
#14. Monitor Your Database
Database-driven sites like WordPress and every other CMS-based site need to have their database optimized. Full optimization is time-consuming and tricky. So take the help of phpMyAdmin where you will get several optimization options.
#15. Go for Good Hosting Company
Select a hosting company that meets the needs of your site. Keep off hosting companies that have only shared hosting and play host to hundreds of websites/server to maintain minimum fees. The less you pay, the poorer the service you’ll get. Shared hosting is out for you, especially if you have CMS, an E-commerce website, traffic spikes or plenty of traffic. A WordPress hosting that’s WPEngine-managed would be ideal for all WordPress sites.
To sum up, getting your loading time optimized is a winning situation for your likely clients and you. How happy your visitors would be to experience ultra loading! A fast-loading site makes everything hunky-dory and Google gives you higher rankings. Bounce rates go down, users are happy and conversion rates go upwards. Above all, your sales go skywards. So don’t lose cash and traffic. Optimize your loading time right now!
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