Looking to improve the speed of your WordPress blog/web? You have arrived at the right place since in this guide I will show you all the secrets that have helped my online projects for years to improve the user experience, their performance in general and better positions in Google.
But why is it important for a WordPress blog to load as quickly as possible?
When users visit your blog, they aspire to be functional and fast. The vast majority of people who surf the internet hate having to wait longer than they should.
If your blog has been developed in WordPress, there are ideal techniques to show good speed. Over time, the functionalities of a blog are growing and that can cause you to lose loading speed and response.
Thinking about that, I created this guide with the best techniques to increase the speed and performance of your WordPress blog. Similarly, I will show you how to measure the speed of your website easily and for free.
Why should I improve the speed of my WordPress blog?
Before showing you the techniques you should use to improve the speed of your WordPress website, it is necessary to discuss the importance of doing so as soon as possible.
The competition on the internet makes it not an easy task to cultivate a faithful and happy audience. One of the factors that can have a significant impact on this aspect is the loading speed of your blog.
When people see your site for the first time, you need to make a good impression immediately. It is very likely that the information you show on your blog is very interesting. However, you need it to be displayed quickly.
About half of the people who enter a blog or websites are not willing to wait that long. Studies confirm that after waiting more than 2 seconds without seeing information, they leave the site without waiting any longer.
The fact that a person can wait more or less for the loading of a website will depend on several factors:
- The urgency to see the information.
- If you already know your website or not.
- The possibility of finding a free service or content of your interest.
Undoubtedly, if the Internet user does not know your blog, nor does he know how good the information he will find on it, it is most likely to be removed if you notice any delay in the upload.
Is WordPress a really fast CMS?
Analyzing WordPress in depth is perhaps a topic that we will see in another post. However, this time I want to talk about the potential of this CMS ( content management system ) in the field of speed.
This CMS is distributed for free in a very light version. This particularity makes it a very efficient solution at first.
The problem begins when we add additional content and features to our blog. Before installing WordPress as our content manager par excellence, we must evaluate the magnitude of our project.
Each entry or page we add increases the work that the database should do. In addition, the files we add also affect the speed factor.
All this leads to the fact that after a while, our blog or website will be increasingly slow. In addition, every time we install a plugin or a new template, we run the risk of affecting the speed of the web.
You can say then, that WordPress is fast to some extent. Just until the moment we begin to overload their functions. Fortunately, there are techniques to optimize your speed and I will show you shortly.
How to know the current speed of my website?
How to know the speed of my WordPress blog. There are several ways to check the speed of your website accurately.
But one of the indicators that you should consider first is your own experience and that of your users. If you notice that your website is loading slowly on different devices and connections, surely there is something to improve.
Let’s see some online tools to determine the speed of our website:
It is one of the most advanced tools in terms of speed parameters. With it, we will obtain detailed graphics for the performance of our website. In addition, it stimulates the presence of web traffic from different clients to measure server behavior.
You have a number of interesting parameters to see the performance of our site. One of the most interesting is to define several locations for the entry of traffic to our website. With the WebPage Test, you can also perform the speed test for several browsers.
Google Speed Insights a great solution that Google makes available to webmasters. With it, you will have in a few clicks an accurate report of the speed of your website. In addition, it will show you tips so that the performance of your site improves dramatically. I must say that this is one of my favorites.
In itself, this is the tool I use most to analyze the speed of my blogs. Next, this is No Roman load time according to GTMetrix.
If what you want is accurate and detailed information about how your website is speed, with Google analytics you can see it. In the control panel of your session, enter Reports / Behavior / Site Speed, and you will have the information you are looking for.
Techniques and tips to improve the speed of your WordPress website
You already know the importance of keeping your website optimized in terms of speed. I have also shown you different tools to know how fast your website is.
It only remains to teach you what are the tricks and tips to keep your WordPress fast. Let’s see what this is about:
1. Good hosting is the main thing
To start off on the right foot, you must choose the best hosting with high prestige, known for its speed and efficiency. Reviewing the opinions of users and comparisons of existing web hosting, you will know which hosting to choose.
I show you a list of shared hostings that so far offer the best loading times among the dozens we have analyzed.
Personally, I prefer SiteGround. So far this has been the cheapest and also the one that offers the best speed for WordPress. If you are interested, click on the following link since we have managed to get you a discount with them.
Depending on the needs of your online project, these providers offer different services:
2. Choose a light theme
Much of the performance of your WordPress blog depends on the theme you choose. With the passage of time, the themes become lighter and more functional. However, some topics may delay the loading of your blog instead of improving it.
Another factor that may be affecting the speed of your blog is the presence of several themes installed at the same time. There is the possibility that the functions of several themes are working at the same time without you knowing it.
This is a big problem because it generates a lack of control in the loading system of your page. To avoid this you will have to uninstall all the themes that you are not using, as we show it in the recommended WordPress settings.
In my personal opinion, the topics that most help with the speed of your website are:
3. Don’t miss the updates
Another point to keep in mind if you need to optimize the loading speed of your WordPress website is the updates. All plugins, themes, and even WordPress itself are updated periodically.
These updates are accompanied by improvements in different areas, among which are the improvements in loading speed for WordPress. That is why you should not underestimate the updates that developers provide for each aspect of your website.
Often, experience studies are conducted where users report application nonconformities regarding loading speed. In addition, developers debug the code completely to minimize it.
This makes year after year the applications and accessories are increasingly lighter and conducive to the loading of your website.
4. Use only the necessary plugins
Most WordPress websites start as a simple project. However, you may need to add more features to your site over time.
That’s when you start to know the WordPress plugins. The plugins are very useful for many situations in which you can use them in your online project. However, the problem is how they affect the performance of your blog.
Sometimes, an overload of plugins can make your blog go slower than desired. And is that many entrepreneurs want to install a plugin for everything they can think of within their blog, and this is not right.
You should also be aware of the plugins that make calls to external resources. For example, plugins to share related content. These plugins compromise the speed of your website because the load of your website will depend on external content. In general, we recommend only installing the most important WordPress plugins.
5. Keep your database clean
A large amount of information about what is handled on your website is stored in your database. In WordPress, the database plays a fundamental role, since its architecture is based on the “model, view, controller” design.
Each time you install new plugins and templates, the database of your web project will grow. This can be a problem in the future because your records will be filled with “junk” information.
If you use CPanel you can optimize your database in a simple way. Enter your phpMyAdmin account in your hosting and search the database of your WordPress blog.
Then click on select all, and execute the “optimize table” action.
In this way the entire database will be optimized, this will not take more than a few seconds.
You will also have a cleaner database, where the vast majority of unnecessary records will have been deleted.
It is important that before performing any action within your database, you make a backup of it.
There are different plugins for the effective cleaning of your database. It is this opportunity I recommend WP-Optimize.
With this plugin, you can precisely configure each of the aspects to clean your database. So you will have a database free of unnecessary information and comments out of context.
It is simple to use and allows you to configure reports of each of your operations. This add-on also manages a backup as a protection measure before cleaning the database.
6. The priority is the home page
It is true that all entries on your website must be optimized for speed. However, we must pay close attention to the home page. The start pages are the ones that essentially represent the projects we are working on.
In addition to being a cover letter, in the beginning, is where we can take advantage of placing the navigation clusters for our entire website. If our project is based on the provision of services, the start is the ideal place to promote them.
In most Google ads campaigns, it is the homepage that is promoted. But the success of the campaigns is also related to the loading speed of the home page.
7. Take care of CSS and HTML
Many times, when we start a WordPress project we know little about the behavior of the source code. However, with the passage of time we realize that we must inform ourselves more and more about aspects related to web programming.
Although WordPress does everything automatically for us, we also need to know about the source code of our website.
One of the things we should know is that the poor disposition and use of CSS and HTML code can make our site slower.
The main problem is that the CSS code is generated automatically, so it makes it very difficult to control its efficiency. That is why we need to minify the CSS of our website.
This process consists of converting a large and difficult code to execute, into a smaller and easier code to compile, but which fulfills the same function.
Doing it manually, step by step, line by line would take a lot of effort and time. That is why plugins have been developed that are responsible for this process.
I will explain the operation of what I believe are the two best plugins to minify the CSS and other source codes on your website:
You also have the option to exclude the code that you do not want to be mined if you consider this to be a problem for some processes of your website.
This is a plugin quite similar to the previous one, but with great advanced features. It is also free. These functions allow you to manage the cleaning of your code in a very personalized way.
You will also have the alternative to improve the performance of each of the HTML parameters of your website. This option is very useful, and few plugins allow it.
8. Optimize the images
Much is said about the importance of images in the loading speed of your WordPress website. And although you have heard it many times, it is something that I must repeat and where I should emphasize.
The size and format of the images are essential if you want your website to go optimally to the end-user. But the problem is that all web projects are different.
The amount of images you use also directly affects the loading of your website. But this is something that will depend on the characteristics of your project.
For example, if you are a photographer, your website will undoubtedly have many images and in a quality format and size.
If your website is about architecture or body exercises, it probably also requires many explanatory images. But in this case, the quality and format do not necessarily have to be high-end.
However, if your website is about home remedies or love advice, a few images for each entry will suffice.
Whatever the case, the recommended format for uploading images on common websites are PNG and JPG.
I recommend JPG images for photographs or images that seek to attract more attention. If it is a logo or a drawing that represents a secondary aspect on our website we will use PNG.
PNG images can be reduced in size without losing quality, so with them, we can achieve much space saving and higher performance.
There are many programs for image compression, but the idea is to find a program that can generate low or medium compression that does not affect the quality of the photograph.
Images between 200 and 500 KB are in a balanced range, do not compromise the quality of photography and are light for a website.
If you are looking for a free solution I recommend the WP Smush it plugin. This ensures to reduce the weight of the photos uploaded to your blog to improve the speed without losing quality in the images.
9. Don’t overdo it with the banners
When we start a web project, one of the medium or long term goals is to achieve several monetization channels. Among them is the placement of banners on your website.
This is very useful and profitable, especially if your website receives many visits. But on the other hand, this can impair the loading speed of your page.
Abusing advertising or self-promotion banners will make your website slow. Even more so if they are animated banners. Most companies that offer advertising affiliation strive to create lightweight banners, but this is not always the case.
That is why you should evaluate how the performance of your website is before and after installing the banners. This way you will have an accurate notion of how they are affecting the speed of your site.
10. Limit comments
Do you think it is really necessary for everyone to comment on your website? Do you want a website full of junk comments and spam or forced links? Be very careful with this.
If they are creating a forum or chat for various topics, or do you think the comments help you measure your call-to-action power, that’s fine.
But if you consider that comments on your website are not so necessary, it is best that you limit them or delete them. You can try only by posting the comments that you really believe are convenient from every point of view.
A long list of comments that extend for years will only delay the loading of your website. Then do not take this very important aspect lightly in the performance of your online project.
11. Use a cache plugin
Sometimes using a cache plugin can improve WordPress loading time by up to 30%, or more. But what is it for and how does a cache plugin work?
A cache plugin saves a copy of the HTML files of a web or blog in the user’s browser to quickly display the web information in future opportunities.
In other words, a cache plugin creates a midpoint between the user and the servers where the web is hosted. Thus there is no need to travel directly to the servers where it is hosted to upload the files, which can save several seconds of loading.
There are some plugins that make this task much easier. All you have to do is install and configure them. Already these are responsible for creating the cache of your blog and improve the loading time and performance of this.
My favorite plugin is the SG Optimizer. This is free if you use the services of SiteGround. Not only this is used to create a cache but also to optimize the images of your blog, among many other functions to improve the performance of your WordPress blog.
Now, there are other alternatives that also work very well and are free. The cache plugins that I have used in the past and I recommend are:
12. Use a content delivery network (CDN)
Similar to cache plugins, a content delivery network uses different servers scattered throughout the world and they work geologically to deliver the content to users.
In other words, these servers keep a copy of your blog and every time someone asks to upload the information on your computer, the nearest server sends all your blog data to the user’s browser.
The above saves a lot of loading time since if the user is on the other side of the world of the main server where your blog is hosted, the browser does not have to travel to the main servers to take the files but searches the CDN more close to take the information and upload it to your computer.
There are several services offered by CND but these can be expensive. Some of the best known CDN services are:
How to get free CDN
If you are looking for a free but effective alternative, with SiteGround you get the basic version of Cloudfare completely free for all your blogs and websites.
When you get services with SiteGround you just have to activate the Cloudfare option in your database and that’s it. Do you see why SiteGround is our recommended number one?
Other recommended plugins to improve the speed of your WordPress blog
I have shown you the most useful and simple tips so you can quickly improve the loading speed of your blog. It is time to show you what are the essential plugins for your website to load faster. Let’s take a look:
It is very useful and simple to use the plugin. Its operation is simple and consists of saving the cache of different pages in the server. This will make every time the system requires it, the information for the load is available.
With this plugin, you will save charging time in a considerable way. You must install the LiteSpeed webserver so that the plugin works properly, and with a few simple adjustments, you can activate it and see it work.
Swift Performance Lite
Another cache plugin for WordPress is Swift Performance Lite. This plugin carefully analyzes each of the loading elements of your website. This way you will have the certainty of whether or not you need cache settings.
Then you can indicate which cache you want to expire in certain circumstances, and which ones should be kept.
It also tells you which plugins on your website are generating loading problems. This way you can disable or replace them.
There are many WordPress plugins designed to improve the performance of your website.