Is your WordPress site slow? Is it taking ages to load? Do you want to speed up your site? There are different reasons why your WordPress site might be slow. In this article, we will be enlisting all the possible issues that we have personally come across and how to fix them. All of which we have tested and found to be useful in speeding up WordPress performance.
1. Version of WordPress
One of the major issues that we always neglect is what version of WordPress, themes or plugins your WordPress might be using. The reason why all the themes and version come with updates are basically to fix bugs and speed of the website. Keeping your version outdated doesn’t only affects its performance but also makes it vulnerable to hacking and malware attacks.
Wordpress is an open source and is being updated by WordPress community very frequently, but sometimes it’s not always possible for all of us to be aware of it’s latest updates. So you can hire a developer for the maintenance of your WordPress site, or you can auto update your version of WordPress from the dashboard itself. You can also update your WordPress version manually. But remember to take backup of your website as well as all your files before updating it.
2. Hosting Server
When it comes to websites, it’s very necessary that your website is not lacking in performance because of your hosting server. Choosing $5 server is not a good option, wherever you host it may it be Dreamhost, Hostgator or GoDaddy. Low server configuration may affect your website performance. If your site is the primary source of revenue, you might consider upgrading your server or moving to a to a managed WordPress hosting which usually takes care of all your WordPress site needs. The configuration of the server has a great impact as it is the source for your customers access to the site.
3. Content Delivery Network
CDN is a system of distributed servers that delivers web pages, and content to the user based on the geographic location. CDN service makes your website load faster, as it stores a copy of your site on its servers all around the world. Integrating CDN service to your site proves to be beneficial if you have visitors from different places. Some of the website data is loaded by CDN servers nearest to that location and the remaining part from your web server which significantly reduces the load on your web server.
As rightly said nothing beneficial comes free, CDN services too come with a cost rather a lot more that the one affordable. Amazon AWS provided by Amazon Webservices is one of the best CDN services in the world. But it might be barely affordable to new business or startups as you cannot just go on spending remarkable part to the CDN service. But don’t worry we have got you covered. Cloudflare is one such CDN platform which renders its service free of cost. Yes, you heard it right Cloudflare CDN service is available free of cost. So go ahead and integrate CDN service to your website and speed it up.
4. Image Optimization is must
Sounds a bit tasteful right? But with our personal experience, we have seen clients uploading image files 2 -4 MB directly to their site, just because they need images with high resolution. For, e.g., if you have an e-commerce website and maybe it has 10 to 20 images on web pages then just imagine the load the server has to bear while loading this 20 to 40 MB of just image data. We do recommend that before uploading images to your WordPress optimise them. Now how to optimise them? Simply you can use photoshop to do this job for you. While saving your image just go for the option SAVE FOR WEB, it automatically reduces the size of the image significantly to KB’s without deteriorating its quality. For WordPress, there is another simple thing you can do yo optimise it further even more, which is you can add plugin named SMushPro which highly compresses your image files to few KB’s on a single click. It’s a lot easier to handle things with WordPress plugins.
5. Lazy Load your images
A large number of the websites just load all their data at once. Most of the time your visitor might not need to scroll down to the bottom of the page. So it is not necessary to load up your server to deliver all the data at once. So there’s this option of Lazy Loading that you can add to your website. Lazy Loading is a design pattern used to defer initialization of an object until the point at which it is needed. Which just means that load the content of the web page only when needed. Configuring your website with the lazy load will certainly increase your page speed as your server will have to handle only the required number of requests.
6. Browser Caching
Caching is something familiar to a developer. Yes, it is one of the easiest ways to make a website load faster. Caching works in a very simple manner, the browser stores some of the cacheable data from your website the first time browser makes requests for it so, next time when there is a request for data from the same browser the speed of your site has improvised significantly. Why?
Here’s the trick, during the first visit the browser stores some of the data from the site. Next time when the visitor visits the same site some of the data is already stored in the browser which will be taken from there, and rest comes from the server. So the requests sent to the server for files are comparatively little. Due to which there is an improvement in the speed. In WordPress caching, data is very easy as it can be done with the help of the plugin. W3 Cache is one the highly recommended plugin to cache data of any site. W3 Cache comes with some advanced settings and options too. Supercache is another WordPress plugin which is simple to use yet powerful.
7. Serverside Caching
Now that you are aware of caching, let’s take it to the next level. Server side caching is one of the methods to speed up your site. Very few of us know that even this can be done. Server side caching is the act of caching data on the server itself, unlike done in the browser before. Server side caching provides a quick fix storage and performance issues. So configuring and integrating plugins to your server might help achieve this.
There are different software available that do the job for you. Some of which are APC, Memcache which boost the performance of the website greatly. But playing with server configuration is not a piece of cake for sure so be careful that you don’t break your site while configuring it.
8. Add www to your Domain
Most of us don’t really consider adding www to our domain name as it makes it look more weird and lengthy. Moreover, it is a lot more readable without www. Bust trust us adding www just adds another layer of caching to your site. Moreover, if you choose to integrate CloudFlare CDN service, we highly recommend that you add www. to gain more benefits from your website.