WordPress website performance is a hot topic these days and there are several reasons for the same. First, search engines including Google give higher ranking to the websites with fast-loading times than the slow-loading ones. So, to achieve the best position in the SERPs, website performance should be the priority.
Also, if the site-loading speed is slow, the users will bounce off. Hence, to keep your visitors interested, you should speed up your WordPress. This can be achieved easily if you hire dedicated WordPress developers.
Following are key tips on how to enhance WordPress website performance:
- Go for a better hosting infrastructure:
The hosting environment of your WordPress website highly influences the speed of a website in a positive way. Though shared hosting offers unlimited bandwidth, emails, space, and domains, it fails to deliver good loading times on peak traffic hours. It often delivers a poorer performance as server space is shared with countless other websites.
So, it’s always better to buy dedicated cloud servers for which you have several options including SiteGround, Amazon Web Services, DigitalOcean, and Google Compute Engine.
Moreover, based on your server and technology, managed hosting is very essential for a faster WordPress site.
- Track a site speed:
If you get an idea about how fast your website is loading, you can improve your site performance. Installing plugins or doing some other change to your site affects the site load times that need to be tracked. For analyzing site speed, you can try using a tool like the WP Engine Speed tool that provides WordPress-specific site speed tips to make your site run better.
- Remove unused plugins and themes:
Though it’s a fact that you should keep your plugins and themes up to date, for a speedy site you should be deleting unused ones. These unused plugins and themes may lead to security vulnerabilities and also detract from WordPress site performance.
To delete unused plugins, first, deactivate them and then go to your inactive plugins list and remove the ones you no longer require. Just go to Appearance > Themes to delete useless themes.
- Clean up of media library and database:
To free up space, you should consider removing images that are no longer used. To do so, you can use a plugin like Media Cleaner or you can remove it manually for which you need to go to Add Media -> Media Library -> Unattached.
Similarly, your WordPress database will start to accumulate clutter over time if it remains unchecked that will slow down your site. On the other hand, regular cleanups will help reduce your database size for faster loading.
You can clean up your database either manually through phpMyAdmin or use plugins such as WP-Sweep and Advanced Database Cleaner. These are safe bets to get rid of things like old revisions, MySQL queries, spam comments, etc.
- Optimize images:
Images are the most important element that keeps your site visitor engaged. However, it’s a good idea to optimize these tons of images to attain fast page load times. For image optimization, you can go for compressing images, creating an image sitemap, or adding alt text and titles.
There are also plugins available for image optimization and include Optimole, WP Smush, and EWWW Image Optimizer, etc.
- Go for Lazy-Load long pages:
For one-page websites with a long home page, Lazy Loading can be a real-time saver. It prevents the loading of lower elements until the user scrolls down to see them. Since all of the content of your long page is not loaded at once, your site begins to render faster. For this purpose, you can use a common plugin called BJ Lazy Load.
- Put a limit on comments per page:
Though comments are an awesome part of your blog posts, a huge number of the same can slow down page load time. So, you can break the comment section into pages to reduce the loading time. You can go to Settings -> Discussion and then check the “Break comments into pages” box, this will limit the number of comments that appear per page.
- Reduce redirects and post revisions:
Unnecessary redirects including 301 redirects or redirect chains can actually slow down things. So, decrease the amount of additional information requests that your server undertakes.
Post revisions save infinite content edits that slow down the speed of the site, run slower. So, it’s good to limit the number of revisions per post. For this purpose, open the wp-config.php file and add ‘define( ‘WP_POST_REVISIONS’, 4 );’ code to limit the number of post revisions. Here, digit 4 indicates that there will be four revisions created per post. You can modify this number or switch off the revisions by setting the value to 0 or false.
- Turn off pingbacks and trackbacks:
Pingbacks or trackbacks are the rarely-heard terms and are considered by some to be a legacy feature. You should turn off these features as they can slow down the page speed. To disable pingbacks and trackbacks, go to Settings -> Discussion and uncheck “Allow link notifications from other blogs…”
- Run the latest version of PHP:
Running the latest version of PHP greatly influences the speed of your site. To find out if your site is ready to switch to the latest PHP environment, you can use WP Engine’s PHP Compatibility Checker plugin.
- Choose a rapid and lightweight theme:
Only beautiful UI design is insignificant if your site doesn’t load faster, so don’t always go for a feature-rich theme. Such a theme involves a lot of code that requires being loaded every time visitors come to your site. It’s better to take a nominal approach by choosing a theme that has everything necessary to function well.
- Make use of CDN:
A content delivery network (CDN) enhances the speed of page loading because the configuration of CDN allows using an optimized server that’s nearby to your site visitor and distance is never a barrier. The data center stores static content and files to deliver them to users based on their location. This aids in easing external HTTP requests because the static content is already ready which avoids requesting tons of HTTP at once.
There are several CDN options including MaxCDN, Cloudflare, or CacheFly and you can choose them depending on the popularity and needs of your site.
- Move to a dedicated server:
It’s always a good idea to host your site on a dedicated server if it’s receiving a lot of traffic because server resources are not shared here. If the uptime is the key, a shared server could be worrying because the same server as others can lead to clogging of CPU and RAM. If another site takes over the entire server’s bandwidth, it will lead to a slow-running site/server and potential downtime. To achieve maximum uptime, think of investing in a hosting plan where you get the full resources of a single server.
These are the important tips that are very essential when it comes to enhancing the performance of your WordPress website. Follow these tips to stand apart in this rapidly revolutionizing digital world!