9 Ways to speed up your WordPress website

9 Ways to speed up your WordPress websiteLet’s face it. As a webmaster, one of the most important aspects that should get you concerned the most is website ranking on SERPs. This is the reason we are always striving to meet various search engine optimization guidelines as set by Google and other search engines on how to rank higher. One of the leading factors that impact how well a website is ranked is the site’s loading speed.
As such, the speed at which your website pages’ load can determine how high your website is ranked as well as how effectively it’s able to retain your visitors.

How can I test the loading speed of my website?

One of the best ways to test how fast or slow your website loads is by using Google PageSpeed Insight Tool. The tool will help calculate your web pages’ loading time as well as indicate any other performance issues which could be affecting your site’s performance both on desktop and mobile.

Tips for Faster Website Loading Times

1. Use a Simple Mobile Optimized Theme

Having a great theme will not only make your website appear more professional but also make your visitors’ navigation much easier. Avoid using pirated/cracked themes which tend to affect your website’s performance while also posing a threat to its security. It is recommended that you buy a premium theme as they tend to be more efficient compared to using free themes.
Fortunately, most themes come as a one-time investment and are quite affordable. Besides, you also get free support from the particular theme’s support. Some of the best places to buy themes include ElegantTheme and Themify.

2. Optimize JavaScript, HTML, and CSS

If you’re a coder or understand some basic principles of coding, you possibly won’t stress much with this task and as you can easily complete it manually. However, if you’re a non-techy webmaster like most of us, you can also use a plugin such as AutoOptimize Plugin to optimize your WordPress’s HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. To use this plugin, go to your Admin Panel> then to setting> open the AutoOptimize. While here, you can optimize any pages you want. Save the changes and clear the cache. You can test your website’s loading speed immediately using the aforementioned tool- Google’s PageSpeed Insight Tool.

3. Limit the Number of Ads

When running a website, there’s no shortage of the number of Ad companies to join. However, a caveat here is that the more the ads you have on a site, the slower it loads. Indeed, this is the main reason Adsense doesn’t condone placement of more than three ads on a page. Besides, using too many ads negatively impact user experience which may drive away visitors from your website. As such, try to cut down on the number of ads you use on your website to ensure that your users enjoy smoother browsing.

4. Use a Cache Plugin

Having a cache system in place will significantly cut on your website’s load time. This is the reason websites that do not have them tend to load slower since they load their pages directly from the server where their files are hosted.
With a caching system such as WP Super Cache Plugin, your visitors will enjoy quicker deliveries which is great for an enhanced user experience.
Use a Cache Plugin

5. Optimize Your Images

Images can significantly slow down a website especially if not optimized well. This is why you will need to ensure all images uploaded to your WordPress are optimized using tools such as EWWW Image Optimizer. This is an effective plugin that will help you significantly boost your website speed.
Besides, you may consider adding a Jetpack plugin to your WordPress to aid in caching any images used on your website which will then decrease the load time of your website.
Optimize Your Images

6. Get a Reliable Hosting Service

Cheap hosting won’t do any favors to your online business and so it’s important you avoid them if you’re serious about your business. As such, try to find a reputable hosting provider and choose a sufficient plan depending on the magnitude of your business.
For example, you may consider avoiding GoDaddy’s basic hosting plan and instead go for the service’s Deluxe and Ultimate plans. The two plans are excellent especially for webmasters seeking to run their websites on WordPress, Joomla, and many other CMS platforms.
And the best part? You don’t have to break the bank to get some of these higher hosting plans.

7. Optimize Files Through Compression

Typically, compression entails putting files together in a ZIP file. In web management, there are a variety of tools available with GZip being one of the best options you can find in the current market. With this tool, you can optimize your JavaScript and CSS by up to 70 percent. Of course, that’s a lot of data which should be enough to show some significant positive impact to your website’s loading speeds.

It is, however, important to mention that most web hosting providers today offer a provision to compress websites for their clients which therefore means you don’t have to worry about doing it on your end. You will need to confirm with your hosting provider whether it has compressed yours or not. On the other hand, you may consider using a WP Super Cache Plugin to compress your site.

8. Avoid Using Too Many Plugins

Adding too many plugins to your WordPress will only make your website bulkier and thus increase its loading time. So, avoid using too many of them and instead try working out some of the tasks manually. It pays off in the end.

9. Refrain from Adding Scripts Above the Fold

As a general rule of thumb, it is recommended that you always put any javascript below the fold. This is because putting javascript above the fold makes it more difficult for the rest of the content to load seamlessly.
This means that your content loads after the javascript which, of course, increases your website’s overall loading time.

Wrap-up

There you have it- a list of the top nine factors that will significantly increase your website’s loading time. If you’re looking to attract and retain more visitors, this is where you need to begin working on. Fortunately for you, most of the tasks involved in making these changes are quite easy to conduct.

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