How to Speed up a WordPress Website
Want to know how to speed up your WordPress website? We’ve got you covered! WordPress is by far the most popular content management system out there today due in large part to its ease of use. If you’re among the 40% that’s operating on a WordPress site, you’re likely already aware of its vast features and benefits, with thousands of plugins and themes, customizable functionality and an intuitive interface. But if you’re reading this article, chances are you’re looking for ways to improve your WordPress site speed.
In an age of instant gratification, even a two-second site-loading delay can cost you site visitors (as much as 47%, in fact*). The good news is if your WordPress site is operating on the sluggish side, there are several things you can do about it.
How to Speed up a WordPress Website
Before we get into WordPress speed optimization tips and tricks, let’s talk load times. It’s one thing to say your site is slow, but it’s another to be able to quantify it. How slow is your site? You can do a simple website speed test with any number of free online tools, such as IsItWP’s, WebPageTest and Uptrends. Keep in mind, this may vary from page to page depending on things like caching, page size, volume of visitors and static vs. dynamic content.
Now, let’s get down to it. Here’s how to speed up a WordPress website in 7 easy steps:
- Get a better hosting provider: First and foremost, take a look at where your site is hosted. A shared hosting provider may offer lots of bells and whistles, such as unlimited bandwidth, space and emails, but many fall short when it comes to loading times—particularly during peak traffic hours. Your best bet is to use a managed WordPress hosting service, which handles all the back-end stuff, provides support when needed and improves your WordPress site speed.
- Use a simpler theme: Yes, WordPress has a range of beautiful, intricate themes to choose from. But the more complex and flashy your theme, the slower your site will run. One of the best ways to improve your WordPress site speed is to use a theme that’s optimized for speed.
- Tend to your image library: Chances are, over time, you’ve accumulated a library of images you no longer use. Time to sift through and delete. While you’re at it, reduce the image size of the ones that are still in use.
- Clean up your database: Like your image library, your database can accumulate clutter over time (e.g., old versions of content and spam comments). You can clean up your database manually through the phpMyAdmin feature or you can install a plugin, such as WP-Sweep or Advanced Database Cleaner.
- Install a WordPress caching plugin: To increase website speed for WordPress, a plugin that performs caching can have a dramatic effect. Caching can boost your WordPress speed optimization by two to five times.
- Delete unused plugins: Speaking of plugins, are you using every plugin you’ve installed through the years? Probably not. Go through your plugins and uninstall those that are not in use.
- Disable pingbacks and trackbacks: While pingbacks and trackbacks might seem like a valuable strategy—alerting you whenever your blog or page receives a link—they actually put a strain on your server resources. Instead, use Google Webmaster Tools or other services to check your links.
Figuring out how to speed up your WordPress website doesn’t need to be complicated. By following a few simple steps, you can improve your WordPress speed in no time!
Whatever your WordPress needs, we can help—whether you’re building a new website from scratch, redesigning your existing site or are simply looking for guidance on how to speed up your WordPress website. Contact Paradigm Marketing and Design today.