WordPress Speed Optimisation: Everything You Need To Know

It’s 2022, and everyone knows that consumers are spoiled for choice. Website owners need to give the best user experience to their site visitors in every way. Not only do you need to choose a great domain hosting platform, but you need to look into the health of your website. WordPress is a doubtlessly great website hosting platform. But, it should load optimally. A slow-loading website is definitely giving away all your valuable customer base to your competitors willingly.

Have you noted a discrepancy in WordPress website speed late and want to fix it? Well, I will discuss all the fixes you need to pay attention to.  But, first, let’s consider a few things.

Why paying attention to WordPress loading speed is essential?

When the user searches on Google or another search engine, the search engine wants to ensure that they just put forth the best results in front of their users. So, the WordPress Speed optimisation and performance matter greatly to determine if your site shows on the first page of Google or the tenth.

Why Does Page Speed Matter?

Page speed evaluation is a factor determining the site’s health. You need to give your users a faster and safer experience, according to the Google Page Experience update.

Why is site speed critical?

  1. Site speed influences SEO. Google indicates that our WordPress page loading speed is vital for its ranking. It’s all about user experience. Google needs to understand that visitors will be happy if they send him your way. Since Google updated its algorithm, Core Web Vitals, which are directly related to the user experience, are a vital ranking factor. Thus, the loading speed has become a highly crucial factor.
  2. Fast sites are crawler-friendly. Search engine robots have access to limited resources and prefer only the best ones. When your site is slow, the web crawlers might deprioritise your site from their crawl resources list.
  3. Page speed impacts conversions. A slow site just doesn’t go well with web users these days. Users have given website owners just a tiny window of time to grab users’ attention. People will quickly click away to other resources they find any delay. It is, therefore, necessary to take care that your pages’ or website’s loading speed is fast. The more quickly the webpage loads, the higher the chances that users perform the targeted actions on the site.
  4. Lowers the bounce rate. Though you have the best products and best content on your site, you’ve lost it to your competitors if it takes too long to load. Remember, your visitors are just a few clicks away from your competitors. A slow-loading webpage is an excellent trigger for visitors to leave your site and look elsewhere.

So, speed matters, and therefore, it is essential to check your website speed regularly. You always test your page speed. And take care to use only the best tools available to audit your WordPress site for measuring its Core Web Vitals. Some of the best tools include:

Now, coming to the most crucial question of the right way to speed up your WordPress site. You will get access to various performance optimisation best practices that help to lower the page load time. Here are some of the basic and easy recommendations to do the same.

Basic Speed Optimization Steps: These are easy to carry out basic and best practices for website speed optimisation. And you do not need to master the coding to optimise them.

  • Choose a powerful hosting
  • Use a cache plugin
  • Optimise your images using lazy loading
  • Use the right theme optimised for speed
  • Do not use the slider
  • Remove the bloated plugins
  • Upload large media files for suitable services
  • Make use of a Content Delivery Network
  • Keep your WordPress site up-to-date
  • Limit post revisions

Let’s begin with the first steps to improve your WordPress page speed:

1. Opt for a powerful hosting

Hosting has a powerful impact on your website performance. Do you need to carry out several things to be a good hosting provider? The best WordPress website hosting providers utilise a few more measures for website optimisation, which renders excellent performance and good customer support. The different options of WordPress Hosting you may need include:

  • Shared hosting – It’s not a great option, but you may go for this if you are highly restricted on budget. Shared hosting implies that you share the server resources with several other people. Your website gets impacted as you get a traffic peak.
  • Dedicated hosting You will pay rent for a wholly dedicated server with various available resources. You can use the server in the way you like. And this is the best server for your website loading speed.
  • Managed WordPress hosting – This kind of WordPress website hosting provides the most well-optimised server configurations for running your WordPress site. Choose a well-established company to handle WordPress and can offer several features of WordPress. This includes security configurations, automatic WordPress updates, and much more.

2. Speed optimisation using a cache plugin

The cache plugin creates your website’s static HTML pages. It would be best if you integrated them into your server. Whenever a user tries to access a website, you have a cache plugin showing the lighter HTML page in place of getting top-notch WordPress PHP scripts. The cache plugin kind of “saves” your content to pre-load it faster whenever someone tries to access your website. It avoids the need to reload all the static resources such as images and JavaScript files whenever there is a request. It prevents slowing down your site.

Certain tools help you automatically change critical static resources to improve your page load speed. This means you get faster loading of the website in a jiffy. The dashboard needs to be highly intuitive and user-friendly.

3. Use lazy loading to optimise images

Having well-images optimised for high-speed loading ensures that they do not become a hindrance to your website performance. Here are three essential things one needs to do to improve the website’s image loading speed.

  • Reduce their weight.
  • Resize them as per their actual size on your pages.
  • As you improve the Lighthouse performance of your website, WordPress is going to do the right thing for you. You need to take care of all such Lighthouse issues.

4. Apply the LazyLoading script

As you apply the lazy loading script, it will automatically reduce the weight of your images for resizing them. Imagify is a good solution for this. It automatically optimises all the images and thumbnails when uploading them into WordPress. WordPress.org also recommends the use of Imagify for this purpose.

WP Rocket tool is handy for adding missing width and height attributes to images in the Media tab. Check the image below.

How to Apply the LazyLoading Script?

It’s necessary to implement LazyLoad script on iframes, images, and videos always present in the Media tab. The Lazy Load plugin has more ways to sort your images’ lazy loading, and it gives you the best of both worlds.

Choose the right theme optimised for speed.

This again has a significant impact on the website loading speed and its overall performance. An essential aspect of the WordPress platform is that you can choose from an unlimited number of themes. You do not only focus on functionality and aesthetics but also on speed optimisation.

When you want to create a website for launching worldwide, you need to present things perfectly. However, it would be best to choose from a wide range of tools to measure page loading time and site speed. Some of the tools you can choose include:

  • PageSpeed Insights (PSI) is a great tool given by Google itself that also offers suggestions on all the ways to improve page speed on mobile and desktop.
  • GTmetrix is another tool that analyses your site, especially to make the most of speed-related optimisation opportunities.

Go for a theme that offers you the correct performance optimisation features.

Use the Query Monitor plugin to understand if your installed theme leads to any performance issues.

5. Avoid using a slider on your header

A slider is going to ruin your site’s performance. Several sites tend to use sliders, but they impact site speed incorrectly.

6. Eliminate the bloated plugins

This offers a medium impact on your site’s different functions. You may indeed need to install a few or many plugins on your site for various functions, but you need to take care of this impact on your site. When you have other plugins that are not running numerous additional scripts, it makes sense to consider getting access to highly efficient alternatives and eliminating the non-useful ones. Simplicity is the winner at most times.

It counts to test your site speed before and after activating your plugin. Understand the best way to use Google Page Insights or GTMetrix on how to measure the same to check page speed.

Remove the several unused plugins so that you do not meddle with the database and take care of the higher vulnerability points of your site.

Make sure that you use the Query Monitor plugin to understand the correctly installed plugins leading to performance issues.

7. Upload huge media files which suit your services

This also has a significant impact on the use of the WordPress backend for hosting your video or audio files. It’s highly efficient to upload the right pieces to YouTube, Viméo, and SoundCloud. They are highly suited for handling bandwidth requirements. A WordPress site can point to the digital assets in place of rendering them. This means that your entire site can bring you the best outcomes in the most natural way.

The “LazyLoad” feature for YouTube is the best for replacing the YouTube iframe with the preview image box. It will also improve your page’s loading time.

As you embed a video in WordPress, you can go forward with a built-in video feature in the WordPress Editor. It just needs you to copy and paste the URL of your video directly into your post. So that it gets embedded automatically:

8. How can you use the Content Delivery Network (CDN)?

This has a medium impact as your target audience is distributed across the globe. This also makes complete sense to use a CDN to host your site closer to the end-user. Rather than getting the things arriving at you from a single server in a location, the CDN helps create a network of servers globally to gather the static files, providing speedy loading times in different scenarios.

What is a CDN?

You require using it if your clients are present far from your server’s location. It indeed takes a while before you can load all the content, including products, images, JS and CSS files, and also videos get loaded. People planning to sell across borders or go multilingual must consider using a CDN.

Using WP Rocket, you can apply the best performance settings. Therefore, you do not require to spend time going through each setting to find out how the CDN works.

9. Make Regular WordPress Updates

This also impacts your WordPress website, which is continually evolving. As the team and community help improve the overall functionality, they will provide you with regular updates, which will have the highest impact. It is essential to install these updates as they are available to ensure that your site has the latest version of WordPress.

10. Limit Post Revisions

It would be best to carry out several revisions on what your system stores after recording each saved draft on a published update. It will be best if you need to recover your content’s older version. But, doing a lot of post revision may impact your WordPress website’s speed if your pages are not cached.

It is best to limit your post revisions for adding the code snippet to your wp-config.php file. You may add “N,” which is the number of revisions you want. This means that you can set up your own figure.

You also need to carry out advanced practices to optimise your website’s load speed and for various WordPress Performance Optimization Strategies.

  • Loading JavaScript derived and delayed Javascript execution
  • Go for non-critical CSS, remove unused CSS, and inline critical CSS
  • Minify Javascript and CSS
  • Optimising WordPress database while reducing database calls
  • Divide the long posts into pages
  • Inactivate hotlinking
  • Fix HTTPS/SSL Errors
  • Go for the latest PHP version

Why Is Your WordPress Site Loading Slowly?

As you fix a slow WordPress site, you focus on improving its performance. Firstly, you need to identify where the mistakes are occurring. Here are a few of the most typical errors you need to avoid and some things you need to understand.

  • Find out if your site’s static resources on your pages are cached or not?
  • Have you minified the HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files that need minified?
  • Is GZIP compression work on your site?
  • Does the site have too many HTTP redirects?
  • Are you optimising your images perfectly?
  • Did you choose an unreliable hosting provider?
  • Are you still using the outdated PHP version?
  • Are you checking the website speed regularly?

Conclusion

We all click away pretty fast when we realise that a website is taking too long to load so you need to do everything in your power in order to optimise your WordPress website’s loading speed. This is an essential infrastructural factor that significantly impacts how your customers see your business. You need to leverage the aspects we mentioned above and apply these best practices if you want to stand a chance against your competitors when it comes to providing the best experience possible to your website visitors.

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By Tiago Lavis-Fernandes

Tiago is a Portuguese freelance web designer living and working in Manchester for over ten years. Fascinated by WordPress and the Divi Builder, he helps clients achieve success through UX/UI website design and search engine optimisation. If you're looking for someone to help with your online marketing, look no further.

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Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. This website is run by Tiago Lavis-Fernandes and not associated, or act on behalf of Elegant Themes. Divi is a registered trademark of Elegant Themes, inc.

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