There have been too many guides on how to speed up a WordPress blog out there but most of them are still missing some important aspects.
That’s why I am urged to write this very popular topic, hopefully this will be the last guide you need to read to improve loading time of your blog. The post will be updated with latest tips, so you don’t have to worry that it will be outdated (Actually many of my blog posts are updated regularly).
Needless to say, page speed is one of the most important factor contributing to success of a website. This is what all webmasters need to consider when their websites have a good base of readers. Recent surveys show that average users have no patience for a web page that takes too long to load, nearly 50% of them will leave the page if they have to wait up to 10 seconds. Notably, 16% of readers will leave if the web page doesn’t show up in 5 seconds.
People are losing patience and nobody wants to waste their valuable time in their life to wait for a slow web page. 3 seconds is considered the golden point of loading time, readers expect web pages to load completely within 3 seconds.
The loading time of this website is over 2 seconds now, it used to be around 1 second before I made some changes earlier this year. So, how could we keep the loading time of a WordPress blog less then 3 seconds? Here are some useful tips from my experience.
1. Choose a well-designed theme
I recommend the professionally-designed themes from Elegant Themes, StudioPress and Thesis. Their responsive themes have been optimized for the best reading experience on all devices, this is very important because more people are browsing web pages on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.
Think again if you are using a free theme, the themes from those studios have much cleaners code, improved speed, built-in security enhancements, basic search engine optimization and they have great design as well.
2. Get a reliable Hosting
That’s the best if you can get a VPS or dedicated server. However, it will cost money and take specific level of expertise to set up. Therefore, if you are just starting your blog, you can go with shared-hosting providers like SiteGround or DreamHost (I would not recommend HostGator or JustHost because I had awful experience with the 2 services).
3. Use Content Delivery Network (CDN) services
CDN services help provide your content from different servers around the world. Your readers will be served with the nearest server, so it will save your bandwidth and improve loading time of your site dramatically. Check out the best CDN services here.
4. Use Cache Plugin
Cache plugins like W3 Total Cache could help improve reader experience by improving your server performance, caching all aspects of your WordPress, decreasing the download time and also supporting content delivery network (CDN) services.
5. Optimize Database
All your content is stored in the database, so it is important to optimize as your blog grows by time. I recommend the following:
- Delete spam comments
- Delete unused tags and categories
- Delete and disable post revisions: you can use the plugin Better Delete Revision to delete existing revisions. Then, disable the feature by adding the below line to wp-config.php file in your WordPress folder.
define ('WP_POST_REVISIONS', 0);
- Use the WP-DBManager plugin to back up, restore, repair and optimize your database. You can schedule these tasks and forget about it.
6. Optimize Images before Uploading
Many websites are uploading big images to their posts. It does not only slow down web pages but also cost you more money if you are using CDN services pricing on bandwidth. You can use some plugins to optimize image file sizes on upload. However, I prefer manual image optimization using softwares like GIMP or Adobe Photoshop. JPEG and PNG formats are recommended.
7. Delete unnecessary plugins
Many WordPress blogs are slowed down because they are loaded up with WordPress plugins. More plugins and active features translate to longer loading speed. So, try to consider each time you install a new plugin and limit the number of plugins less than 15.
Do you have any tips that should be added to the list? Share with us below.