Speed up your WordPress site for better performance


Tips to speed up WordPress sites

Everyone demands speed in this new internet world. There are many of blogs and tutorials were published regarding WordPress site speed optimization, but we need to be keep updated in this fast growing world. Here we would like to talk about why page loading speed is essential, which are the factors affecting the speed of your WordPress site, and how can we measure it. We have compiled and tested the best techniques here to make your site as fast as possible.

Before talking about various techniques to improve website speed, you should know Why website speed is important? When a visitor lands on your site for the first time, you have only few seconds to convience them and capture their attention. Not only that site's speed affects SEO ranking too, as per Google ranking algorithm. Let's see some importance tips to speed up your WordPress site.

1. Choosing the right hosting environment for your site

This the initial step while you are going to host a WordPress site. You need to choose a good hosting place for your site. There will be a lot of cheap hosting plans available in the market but keep in mind that you will get the benefits that you pay for. Many experts suggest avoiding basic shared hosting packages because having bad neighbors on your server can slow down your site. So VPS is probably the best option. This type of hosting provides a nice balance of speed, comfort, and cost.

2. Use the Latest Versions of WordPress and It’s Components

Always make sure to use the latest and updated version of WordPress, because every new version of CMS comes with new features and bug fixes. So install most latest WordPress version and its components. Also use the latest web technologies like new versions of HTML, PHP, etc. For that reason, it’s important to stay up to date. Keeping your website up to date is not only speed but also a security issue. With the latest version of WordPress, your themes, and plugins, you also make sure all known vulnerabilities are fixed. Nothing will slow you down more than a compromised website.

3. Use a lightweight WordPress theme/framework

To start with a solid theme on your WordPress site can be a decisive factor in website speed. Try to get a lightweight theme and add functionality via plugins. If it's an incredibly solid framework that won’t slow you down with excess plugins or custom edits.

4. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

Cloudflare is most commonly used CDN. A content delivery network or CDN lessens this problem by hosting your static files on several servers at once, all distributed across the globe. That way, whenever someone requests to see your site, they can receive them from the closest possible location, thus cutting download time.

To enable CDN for your site, sign up for a free Cloudflare account. Click “Add a site,” enter your domain name, and click the button.

5. Clean Up Your Database

Cleaning up your database can be done manually through phpMyAdmin, although can be tricky and damaging if you don’t know what you’re doing.If you aren’t a technical whiz, installing a plugin to accomplish this task is the safer way to go. WP-Sweep and Advanced Database Cleaner are both safe bets to broom through your database and get rid of things like old revisions, spam comments, MySQL queries, and more.
Over time, the databases that WordPress uses can become disorganized and cluttered with bits of data that aren’t needed – temporary files, spam comments, drafts, etc. This can ultimately slow your website down and hog resources.

The easiest way to clean up your databases and optimize them is by using a plugin built to do just that. Here are a few that you can use:

- Wp-sweep
- Wp-db manager

6. Disable Hotlinking

Hotlinking — a practice of copying an asset’s URL to display the content on another website by linking it directly to yours. This can be prevented by adding below code in your .htaccess. If a person use hotlinks to your site it uses your bandwidth too.

#disable hotlinking of images with forbidden or custom image option

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www\.)?domain.com [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www\.)?google.com [NC]
RewriteRule \.(jpg|jpeg|png|gif)$ – [NC,F,L]

7. Optimize Your Comments

If your site has a busy comments section then every single comment adds an external HTTP requestto load the user image. Comments also add weight to your database and extra database queries to load comments.

If you don’t find value in comments, one option is to disable comments completely from wordpress dashboard:

Go to Settings → Discussion
Uncheck the box to allow people to submit comments

8. Optimize Background Processes

Background processes in WordPress are scheduled tasks that run in the background of your WordPress site. Following are some examples of background tasks that run on a WordPress site:

- WordPress Backup plugin tasks
- WordPress cron jobs to publish scheduled posts
- WordPress cron jobs to check for updates
- Search engines and other crawlers trying to fetch content
Tasks like cron jobs for scheduled posts and updates have minimal impact on website performance.

9. Remove Render-Blocking Javascript and CSS.

The core function of JavaScript is to perform an action on a web page, like a popup or rotating images in your slider. In reality, these actions don’t need to be loaded until your site fully loads the content and styles. So by “Defer JavaScript Parsing,” these tools are really saying, “load this stuff later on in your page instead of at the top.”There are a few plugins out there which can help you in deferring this JavaScript, including WP Critical CSS.

10. Minify CSS, HTML, and JavaScript.

There are a number of plugins built to minify code. Autoptimize is one of the top rated free plugins for this task. You might also try the premium plugin WP Rocket which helps with site optimization, including minification. CSS Compressor is another good option that simplifies CSS code.
 Test site speed
You can test your site speed using any tool like GTmetrix
Everything mentioned above tested and worked well on our testing environment, and it’s worked well for other sites too. However, it’s important to remember that every WordPress configuration is different. You might have more plugins, a clunkier theme, slower hosting, or more third-party tracking scripts, all of which slow your website down.

If your page speed could still do with some improvements after making these optimizations, then it’s likely that you need custom work done on your site. So it’s worth hiring a developer or page speed expert to take a look at things a bit more closely.
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