The biggest complaints of all internet users is that some websites take so long to load. It is also one of the biggest complaints of WordPress users who have built their first, second or even third WordPress website. So why is WordPress so slow?
Well, the truth is it isn’t. On it’s own its pretty nifty but that’s before the shared web hosting; installed a new WordPress theme; or added 30+ bloated plugins.
Speed is Important
You have two seconds to capture the attention of your visitor to your website. If those seconds or longer are spent loading the website then they reach for the back button. That’s just human nature. Speed is even more important for ecommerce WordPress websites built on platforms such as WooCommerce as fast load times correlate with higher conversion rates and better profits. So at a basic element speed is profit. Invest in the speed of your website to squeeze every last ounce of value from your beautifully designed website with uber-quality content.
This is our slow WordPress website before…
After following these steps this is our WordPress website now…
So you have a few seconds. Here is a collection of the best tried and tested methods to speed up your WordPress website. No more slow WordPress websites.
1. Choose the Right Web Host
Shared hosting is the biggest mistake you can make when starting a new website or blog. The cheap price comes with sluggish page loads and frequent down time during peak times.
If you are on a budget then choose cloud hosting. This is our favourite budget method as you get uber fast speeds for prices comparable to traditional shared web hosting.
2. The Right WordPress Theme
Many free WordPress themes are bloated with code, scripts and a whole load of junction which means they can be all things to all people – in fact they fail to be fast – which is what we want.
I stand by the Genesis theme framework as the best premium WordPress theme on the market. Used by thousands of beginners, developers and agencies – you can’t go wrong here.
It is lightweight, strong and super smartly coded so that it works like a breeze every time.
The other option is to choose a premium WordPress theme from ThemeForest.
3. Cache, cache, cache!
Cache plugins aren’t as scary as they sound. Just a few click and your WordPress code is shrunk, images are compressed and your site gets a decent speed boost.
I recommend the completely free W3 Total Cache WordPress plugin for your slow WordPress websites.
Install the plugin, activate, click a few buttons and done. Super fast WordPress website.
4. Limit WordPress Plugins
Try to limit the number of plugins installed on your WordPress website to at maximum 20 plugins per WordPress website.
The extra script, code and bloat will slow your website down.
Cull those plugins you don’t need by deactivating them and deleting them.
5. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
This is what the big boys use to boost their WordPress page speeds. We also use a CDN and it is uber fast. We managed to get our website loading in milliseconds rather than seconds just down to a combination of a CDN and the methods in this article. (We hope that the site load speed is noticeable!).
What is a CDN? Simply put, a CDN will take your WordPress files and instantly serves those files to visitors through a server geographically close to them.
I use MaxCDN on all my WordPress websites and my clients WordPress websites – no matter the size or importance – this provides a huge advantage in the success of all my clients to date.
6. Optimise WordPress images
I have used most of the free WordPress image optimisation plugins however my current favourite is EWWW Image Optimizer. Not set-up needed, just click Bulk Optimise and sit back while all your images get shrunk in size but not quality! Job done.
7. Optimise WordPress database
Choose the free WP-Optimise plugin, install, activate, click all options in the setting and then hit ‘optimise’.
Job done. This will free up a good chunk of background data which is obsolete and not needed. No more Slow WordPress!
8. Limited WordPress Widgets
We are all guilty of it sometimes. Cramming everything into the sidebar or footer widgets. By being selective you can reduce the load on your server and boost your slow WordPress website.
Easy enough to do and it’s free. Just pick the ones you need and get rid of the rest.
9. LazyLoad it!
This is another free plugin which will load your images only as the user scrolls to them. Reducing the inital load time significantly.
Install the LazyLoad plugin, install and activate. Job done. That’s another attack on your slow WordPress website.
Your website will creep along if you have too many scripts being served on your website.
Without being a WordPress developer there is a quick and painless way to examine how many queries your website is making to your server.
Use the Website Speed Test tool from Pingdom.
Just add enter your website address and it will analyse your WordPress website.
We have about 25 requests. You should be aiming for atleast under 100 requests. Preferably under 50.
So you can get rid of some of those social sharing widgets and instead use a image and link. Works as well and means a faster website.
11. Stick Videos on Youtube
Don’t upload your video to your website this will turn your website into a right slow chunk instead host them for free on Youtube.
Get speeds of Usian Bolt for free and just embed the videos on your website or better link to them.
12. Stick Images on Social Media
You don’t need to have every photo you have taken on your WordPress website. A quick way to decrease demand on your website is to stick all but the most important images on social media.
This will free up page file size and improve page load times. Bye bye slow WordPress websites.
13. Empty the Trash…
Got loads of pages or posts sitting in the trash. Delete these to free up space and improve the backend of your WordPress website.
Say Goodbye to Slow WordPress Websites, Adios!
Job done. Your WordPress website won’t be slow after all of that. Zoom zoom.