The speed of your website is a key factor to get more visits and a good positioning in web search engines. A slow website is frustrating for your visitors and will hardly be among the first results of Google.
Luckily, improving the performance of our website is relatively simple. In today’s post, I share with you 10 tricks that any WordPress user can follow to accelerate the loading of their website. If you have not yet implemented any of these tricks, the results of doing so will leave you freaking out.
People, when we want something, we want it now. We have no patience and increasingly demand more speed and immediacy to all our devices and applications.
I guess I do not discover anything new if I tell you that a slow web despairs anyone and is usually one of the main reasons why a visitor is frustrated. Well, that one, and the damn intrusive publicity, with little music, that takes life to load and that makes everything crawl, contributing to that hated slowness …
The speed of loading your web in WordPress should be a priority , along with the quality of the content you generate . The problem is that we do not always know where to start when we detect that our website is slow … What do I modify? Can’t the remedy be worse than the disease? Well, let’s see some things you can do to scratch a few tenths of a second (or even more) to the clock.
How to check the speed of my website
If you already have the perception that your website is slow, it probably is. But if you are not sure about it or it seems to you that “it is fine as it is”, I recommend that you use some online tool to check the speed of your website.
A few weeks ago, for example, Antonio told us about Google’s PageSpeed Insights . In essence, it is a tool that checks the speed at which your website loads and gives it a score of 0 to 100 depending on how well or badly it works. In addition, it also includes a section where you recommend what you can do to improve.
Another interesting tool to check the speed of your website is the WordPress speed test of the isitwp team . A time equal to or less than two seconds is ideal, so the closer you get to it, the better.
Anyway, as Antonio told you in his post, you should not go crazy with the subject either. Web optimization is an iterative process that must be done step by step, trying to improve a little each time you wear. So don’t despair if you don’t see the results at first; persevere and go scratching tenths little by little.
How to increase the loading speed of a web in WordPress
Now that you know why it is important to have a website that loads fast and you know a couple of tools to check your speed, it is time to get down to work and see what options you have to improve your website. Come on, then, with our 10 tricks!
1. Hire a good hosting provider
The first tip to get your website to work faster is that you use a better hosting provider . It is quite obvious, isn’t it? The more money you are willing to spend and the more resources you put on your website, the better it will work. If it’s even embarrassing to start with such advice…
But the reality is this: when you start a new website, the usual thing is to find a cheap hosting provider, of those in which the same server is hosting and serving multiple websites. Features such as backups, caches, CDNs and other virguerías are out of the equation. And of course, that does not help to have a fast web.
If your website starts to have a certain volume of visitors, the best thing you can do is consider a hosting upgrade . There are numerous hosting options to choose from, so look for one that meets your needs.
2. Use a modern PHP version (7+)
PHP is currently in version 7+. And that? you will say Well, PHP 7+ is up to 2 times faster than its predecessors ! That is, by simply updating PHP 7 on your server, you get WordPress to double as fast .
Keep in mind that this does not mean that the loading speed of your page is twice as fast, since the loading time of the web depends on more factors apart from the speed of WordPress itself. But dividing by two that time is a very good contribution to total improvement … and practically free!
Although most serious providers will give you the ability to jump to PHP 7+ (if they have not already done so), it is possible that some are still anchored to previous versions. If that is your case, follow the advice 1
3. Install a cache plugin
Although we can accelerate the speed of our WordPress, the reality is that running WordPress for each request that reaches our server takes some time. WordPress has to see what content it asks for, go to the database for it, determine the template with which it is going to render it, paint it, run along the way all the plugins that we have installed and that may have something to say … a mess wow
A cache plugin saves us all this work. The idea is that when a first request comes to a certain page, WordPress runs and performs all those tasks and generates the page. The only thing that the cache plugin does is save that page that you have returned for later. When new requests arrive for that same page, the cache plugin says “Hey, I have it ready now! WordPress, do not worry that I already take care of returning it », and therein goes the answer as a shot.
There are a lot of options for cache plugins , so choose the one you like best. Ah! Remember that there are hosting providers that already include their own solutions; avoid using two cache plugins at the same time .
4. Take advantage of CDN content distribution networks
The next step to the caches is the content distribution networks , or CDN (for its acronym in English). A CDN is basically a network of computers that function as intermediate caches between your WordPress server and your visitors’ computers. When a user requests a page from your website, if the CDN has that page cached it will return it directly without the request touching your server.
The advantage of this solution is that the computers of the CDN are usually distributed all over the world and, therefore, the computer that ends up serving a client’s request is closer, so that the response comes faster.
There are services that you can hire to allow, for example, the images on your website to be served through a CDN. The JetPack plugin itself allows just that. But it can also be a service that is incorporated into your hosting provider (now you see the importance of point 1, eh?).
5. Optimize the images you upload to your website
Webs are increasingly visual. Images, videos, sound … all these are resources that weigh a lot and, therefore, slow down the load of our website.
For the specific case of images, we have the possibility to optimize them for our website. In essence, this means that we can modify its dimensions (width and height) as well as the format and level of compression that is applied so that the total size in bytes is as small as possible.
6. Take advantage of services like YouTube for videos
Related to the previous trick is video management. In my opinion, always avoid that you can upload videos to your own server: they take up enough space, they are slower to serve, they consume bandwidth … bad business.
Instead, I recommend that you use services such as YouTube to store and serve your videos. The advantage is that these types of services generate multiple versions of your videos (at different resolutions), which can be adapted to the connectivity needs of your visitors and save you the problems that I mentioned before.
7. Update your WordPress, your plugins and your theme
Another common tip is to keep WordPress updated , along with the plugins and themes you have installed. Typically, developers usually do a good job of improving and optimizing their products, so it is common to use new versions to improve performance.# 8 Clean your website and eliminate what you do not use or need
8. Clean your website and eliminate what you do not use or need
Related to the previous point is the issue of eliminating everything you do not use. Having plugins or themes installed (and even active) on your website that you do not use is a very stupid way to waste resources.
Good WordPress maintenance includes cleaning from time to time.
Every time WordPress runs to handle a request, the plugins you have installed are launched. It is clear, then, that it makes no sense to keep things installed that do not contribute anything to the final result of your website, but that are there, occupying resources and space.
To reduce WordPress runtime and resource usage, uninstall everything you don’t need and make sure you keep your installation clean.
9. Reduce the amount of content that is included on each page
The time it takes to generate a page and in which the user receives it depends, logically, on how big it is. For example, you already know that your blog loads the latest posts you have published The more entries appear on your blog, the slower it is to generate: WordPress has to go to the database for more entries, it has to send more content to the visitor, etc.
A simple improvement that you can do to speed up your website is precisely to limit this data submission. In WordPress settings, reduce the number of entries that appear in your blog, have it only show the excerpt of the entries instead of its full content or add pagination in the comments of your posts to ensure that the result of any request It is as small as possible.
10. Reduce the number of versions of your content
By default, WordPress saves several versions of the content you are generating (such as backups). This is especially useful when you forget to save and the browser chrome or when you make a mistake deleting something and want to recover the previous content. But the problem is that each version takes up space and makes the size of the database grow, making everything a little slower.