How to Optimize WordPress Website Speed?

If you are a noob in the internet space and looking to increase your website speed, this article is for you.

I will keep updating this post as and when I keep learning and applying new ways to optimize my WordPress website.

It outlines # simple steps to optimize your website speed.

Step #1: Backup your WordPress Website:

Install and activate UpdraftPlus- it is important to back up your wordpress website before optimizing it.

Step#2: Google page speed insights: 

This is a tool by Google that shows you a score of 1 to 100. Touching 100 is a dream for most people.  

Google Page Speed also lists the issues and gives a step by step solution for each issue. It gives the page speed score for both mobile and desktop.

If you are non-techie like myself, it can be a little daunting to go through all the technical stuff. But, no worries, I am here to make the process simpler for you.

Step#3: Google AMP framework: 

Another tool by Google. This framework allows your site to load extremely fast on mobile devices. If you are using WordPress you can leverage Google’s AMP framework with a simple plugin.

Step #4: Content Delivery Network (CDN): 

In order to deliver content to a visitor from any part of the world, use a CDN. It basically helps to be closer to their location. thus enabling your site to load faster. 

My personal favourite CDN is- Cloudflare. It is free to start with.

Step #5: Cache your website:

Using plugins like W3TotalCache you can cache your site so it loads fast. Every time someone visits your site they will see a cached version which will improve their experience.

Alternately you could also use  Hummingbird plugin. It does a few other things apart from caching.

The Hummingbird plugin- The features are based on Google PageSpeed Insights.

This plugin does exactly what Google PageSpeed Insights wants you to do in order to improve Website speed.

Another plus is that Hummingbird scans your website and gives you tips to get faster loading website.

Following are few ways Hummingbird will help your website: –

1.   Scan and fix your site- it will find out what’s slowing down your site

2.   Integrates with Cloudflare, so you can manage caches from inside your admin area itself.

3.   Page caching- clears your cache at the click of a button

4.   Minify – removes unused CSS code and reduces JavaScript parsing time.

5.   Gzip- for text compression

Step #6 Fix all broken links:

Broken links not just take up bandwidth but also result in losing visitors. Use the following free tools:

  • Google Webmaster tools
  • Screaming Frog SEO Spider
  • Ahrefs 

    Step #7 Reduce redirects:

    While 301 (permanent) redirects are preferable to 404 errors (broken links), they’re still not ideal as they slow down the time it takes for the browser to reach the correct version of a page.

    Redirection is popular plugin to reduce redirects- simply install, activate and get started.

    Step #8 Minify your CSS and JS files:

    Most times the JavaScript (JS) are on top followed by the CSS. This could be one of the reasons for slow loading.

    A new JS and CSS is added every time we install a new plugin.

    2 plugins will do the job for you- Hummingbird plugin and WP Minify

    Step #9 Turn off ping backs and trackbacks in WordPress

    There’s no use of Pingbacks and trackbacks. So why not turn off both of these as they do clog up database and increase the number of requests that are made.

    Step #10 Switch off all plugins you don’t use:

    Another big culprit is plugins. Simply delete plugins that you don’t use.

    Step #11 Compress and Optimize Image

    Install and activate Smush (Smush Image Compression and Optimization)

    Under the “Media” section in your WordPress sidebar, go to ‘Library’.

    In this section, ensure that the “Smush: All Images ” feature is selected. The plugin will now optimize every image you upload henceforth since you activated it.

    Step #12 Use a WordPress theme that’s light-weight and loads fast: 

    Some of them are-

    1.   Twenty-nineteen

    2.   Hestia

    3.   Divi

    4.   GeneratePress

    5.   Neve

    Thank you for reading thus far!

    Now try implementing these steps and share this post if you found it useful.


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