Vital WordPress Website Performance and Speed Optimization Suggestions

WordPress speed optimization

Written by Peace Akinola

February 16, 2021

WordPress speed optimization; Whether a website can give users, a good experience determines the future of the website. The three most intuitive dynamics affect the user experience: website speed, website content, and website functions (appearance, set-up, etc.).

The speed of the website is always the first place. If the website is too slow, the user will close the page without waiting for the website to open! Not only that, but website speed also plays a major role in search engine scores.

Without good rankings, there will be no traffic, and there will be no conversions and benefits you want…

Therefore, website speed is very, very important!

Unfortunately, most websites perform poorly in terms of page speed, which has a direct negative impact on their conversions and revenue. From high-traffic WordPress sites to small blogs on low-cost shared hosting, you should optimize WordPress and servers to run as efficiently as possible.

You should be fully aware that a long loading period would harm your website. It is also important that you first understand the reasons for the slow website speed.

The most likely cause of slow loading time and insufficient performance is poor website construction. However, the hosting provider and package you choose are also important factors.

To start using and optimizing your website, you first need to know the problems with the website and the solutions to these problems. Today, I will share with you some important aspects of WordPress website speed optimization.

Detecting WordPress website speed and performance

Here, 3 tools to check website performance online are recommended, these are very commonly used:

GTmetrix

GTmetrix website performance inspection tool
GTmetrix

GTmetrix is a very good website performance inspection tool. It provides PageSpeed and YSlow detection results. The indicators are very complete and subdivided. It is the preferred tool for website performance testing and optimization suggestions.

URL: https://gtmetrix.com

PageSpeed Insights

PageSpeed Insights optimization
PageSpeed Insights

PageSpeed Insights is a website owned by Google. It can provide different detection and optimization suggestions for PCs and mobile phones. The suggestions inside are very authoritative, and many of them are the latest performance improvement suggestions. It seems that the scores obtained in each test are a little different, I do not know why.

URL: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights

Pingdom

Pingdom website performance-testing tool
Pingdom

Pingdom is also a good website performance-testing tool, but the information provided is not as detailed as GTmetrix, and the scores and recommendations are relatively close to YSlow.

URL: https://tools.pingdom.com

Generally, for website inspection, I recommend using GTmetrix and PageSpeed Insights as the main ones, because their optimization suggestions are very detailed and highly maneuverable.

The reason why Pingdom is also recommended is that you can try its advanced features for 14 days free, such as 30-minute automatic detection so that you can get the detection results at different time points and nodes.

I do not intend to elaborate on how to deal with the detected problems; this will be a long talk. Nevertheless, I can give you some more conventional optimization suggestions. If used well, it can also greatly improve the website speed and performance score.

WordPress speed optimization recommendations

1. Choose high-quality hosting services

When users visit your site, the hosting server will determine the speed at which information is delivered to them. Some servers are slow, or your plan may limit your maximum speed or allowable server resources. In short, your site will never be faster than what the server allows.

Choosing the right hosting server and hosting package is one of the first choices you should make for your website, and it is the most important choice.

For example, the speed and performance of a computer depend on the hardware configuration, such as CPU, memory, hard disk, etc. If these hardware configurations are relatively low, no optimization method you use can achieve a significant performance improvement. The following are hosting services suggestions:

It is recommended to buy a WordPress managed host from SiteGround (https://www.siteground.com). They are officially recommended by WordPress and have been optimized for WordPress. You can apply for a free SSL certificate and open CDN with one click. Managed WordPress hosts can also consider Kinsta, WP Engine, or Godaddy, but these are somewhat expensive.

Important advice:

In addition to choosing a host, the choice of products should also consider the following factors:

  • Choose Linux host instead of windows!
  • Select PHP 7.0 or above (if PHP 7.2 or above can be provided, the performance will be better)
  • Choose MySQL 5.6 or above (it seems that some databases of some virtual hosts are still MySQL 5.1; please do not buy this kind of host!)
  • If the website has a certain amount of traffic (such as daily IP> 1000), it is recommended not to use a low-profile virtual host. You can consider upgrading to a cloud server.

2. Regularly update the WordPress core, plugins, and themes

Regardless of whether the update is WordPress core, or WordPress themes or plugins, please do your best. The most important reason for this is security because the update will ensure that your website is protected from the latest threats.

3. Use caching mechanism

Another method of WordPress site optimization is to implement caching. In this way, when others visit the page, they can directly get cached pages and data, which reduces the server resource required to run the site, which can greatly accelerate the running speed of the site. The following cache plugins are recommended:

  • W3 Total Cache (old free cache plugin)
  • WP Rocket (very great paid caching plugin, currently used by WordPress University)
  • WP Fastest Cache (recommended)
  • LiteSpeed Cache (recommended)
  • WP Super Cache (old free cache plug-in, recommended to be used with Autoptimize)

In recent years, many cache plugins have appeared, and the number of installations is very large. You can compare them according to your needs. All of the above are very good!

If you are making use of VPS or cloud server (memory above 1G), it is recommended to use Opcache and Memcached server-side caching for better performance!

4. Image optimization

Image optimization is the process of compressing image file size without significantly affecting image quality. Large file sizes can have a negative impact on loading time and bandwidth usage, which can harm the overall user experience. Consider the following image processing plugins:

  • ShortPixel
  •  Smush
  • Imagify (seems to be the official recommendation of Google, WordPress University is currently in use)

5. Reduce the number of HTTP requests and compression size

The files loaded on the page (CSS, JS, images, etc.) will cause an increase in the number of requests. I recommend deleting or disabling unnecessary JS and CSS, then merge and compress JS and CSS, and use LazyLoad to delay loading images. In addition to reducing the number of HTTP requests, compressing HTML, enabling Gzip, and lazy loading of CSS and JS are also good optimization methods.

The cache plug-ins recommended above have built-in functions in this area. If there is no such function, you can use the Autoptimize plug-in. It should be noted that these operations might cause problems such as misalignment of the website, so carefully debug and exclude pages and files.

6. Use CDN to accelerate

CDN refers to a network of proxy servers all over the world. Each server contains a copy of your website, which can be used to deliver your content faster to users worldwide. This not only improves the speed of your website but also improves security. For websites with a certain amount of traffic, the CDN solution is a good choice.

Major domestic mainframe manufacturers, all provide CDN services, which you can choose to use according to your needs. Consider Cloudflare (you can install Cloudflare plug-ins).

To sum up(WordPress speed optimization)

The performance and speed of a WordPress website are very important to the website. After using the website detection tool, and then follow the above WordPress website optimization suggestions, you should get a good result! Website optimization is a long-term implementation process.

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