7 Actionable Tips to Speed Up Your WordPress Website

The first few seconds a visitor spends browsing a website are often the most important. If a site is slow, users may leave in search of a better site.

Did you know?

  • More than 4 seconds delay in loading a website causes 1 in 4 visitors to abandon it.
  • Almost 46% of visitors won’t return to a website if it takes too long to load.

In this post, we’ve shared some tips to ensure that your WordPress website is running at peak speed and performance. But first, it’s important to understand how speed can affect the success of a site.

How speed can affect the success of your WordPress site?

Website speed has an impact on everything from sales to search engine rankings, meaning slow websites will pay the price for delays. Most users claimed that they are less likely to visit a website again if it takes too long to load.

  • 1-second delay in page loading results in 11% fewer views.
  • If you had a $100,000-per-day business, a one-second page delay may cost you $2.5 million in lost sales per year.
  • A one-second delay decreases customer satisfaction by 16% and 7% loss in conversions.

In short, speed is the most important factor for any website. So, let’s test how fast your WordPress website is.

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How Fast is Your WordPress Website?

With the help of several well-known tools, including Google’s PageSpeed Insights, GTmetrix, Pingdom Tools, etc. you can evaluate the speed of a WordPress website. It should be noted that if you utilize several tools, the outcomes may differ due to the underlying testing methodologies.

Site Speed Test GTmetrix

Does Your WordPress Website Pass Core Web Vitals?

In June 2021, Google officially changed its ranking algorithm to include Core Web Vitals.

Core Web Vitals Metrics Include

Core Web Vitals

LCP: This metric evaluates the speed of your page in proportion to the biggest element that is on your site—whether it is an image, a video, an animation, or text.

A favorable LCP score will be anything less than 2.5 seconds when the page starts to load.
A poor LCP is typically caused by your server’s response time, slow resource load times, client-side rendering, and blocking CSS and JavaScript.

FID: FID measures how quickly users interact with your page upon first impression or when they first visit your website.
The First Input Delay should not exceed 100 milliseconds.

The poor FID is typically caused by heavy JavaScript execution. Other factors include redundant CSS and HTML resources and render-blocking JS, which stops the main thread and leaves the user staring at an unresponsive screen.

CLS: CLS measures a website’s visual stability. It looks for any advertising with no dimensions, undefined animations, or images. Additionally, CLS evaluates the speed at which web fonts load and how much the viewable portion of a webpage’s layout shifts.

CLS score should be less than 0.1

The poor CLS is typically caused by images, ads, iFrames without dimensions, and custom fonts that can damage the user interface.

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How to Speed Up Your WordPress Website: 7 Tips and Plugins

1. Reduce the Size of the Image

Images bring life to your content and drive engagement. According to research, using colored images increases people’s likelihood to read your content by 80%.

But if your images aren’t optimized, then it can harm rather than help. In fact, non-optimized images are one of the most common speed issues that are observed on WordPress websites.
Image optimization is all about striking the right balance between reducing your image files’ size and preserving an acceptable level of quality.

PNG and JPEG/JPG are the two most widely used image file formats for websites. According to W3techs, more than 70% of websites utilize these file types and around 54.3% use SVG, and 22.4% use GIF.

WordPress allows common image formats like WebP (Version 5.8+), JPG/JPEG, PNG, GIF, and ICO by default. ICO format is used for favicons.

Using WebP as an image format, images on the web are more lossless and lossy than with other image formats. A webmaster or web developer can create small, rich images with WebP to make the web load faster. Lossless WebP images are 26% smaller than PNG images.

Compressed Image

There are several web tools and plugins (e.g. Optimizilla) available online that you can use to compress your existing images without loss of their clarity.

2. Set Up a Website Cache

Implementing a website cache is another good move to make your website load faster. All requested files are saved when a site is accessed for the first time. When the same website is accessed again, these cached files are shown.

A CDN (Content Delivery Network) caches content on a proxy server that is situated closer to end users than the origin servers. A CDN can deliver content more quickly since the servers are located closer to the user making the request.

This makes sure that the files on your website won’t need to be retrieved and loaded directly from the server each time a user accesses it. Caching greatly reduces the number of resources needed to run your site, which can significantly speed up your website.

W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache are the two most popular WordPress Cache plugins.

W3 Total Cache improves the SEO, core web vitals, and overall user experience by increasing website performance and decreasing load times by utilizing features like content delivery network (CDN) integration.

WP Super Cache, this plugin turns your dynamic WordPress blog into static HTML files. After an HTML file is generated your web server will serve that file rather than performing the relatively bulkier and more expensive WordPress PHP scripts.

Also, one can use Cloudflare, it helps speed up your WordPress site by up to 300% with Cloudflare’s Automatic Platform Optimization (APO) plugin.

3. Minify CSS, JavaScript, and HTML

Your website’s CSS, HTML, and JavaScript files can be minified to speed up page load time.

The term “Minify” is programming jargon for the process of eliminating unnecessary characters from source code. These characters, which are important for people but not for computers, include whitespace, line breaks, comments, and block delimiters. Minify the files of websites containing HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code so that your web browser can read them faster.

It’s simpler to combine files if their sizes are smaller. But, combining every line of code for each of your website files isn’t exactly efficient.
Instead, use the WordPress Autoptimize plugin to minify your HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. This well-liked plugin makes it simple to automatically aggregate and minify your scripts and styles.

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4. Reduce the Number of Web Fonts

The use of more web fonts frequently causes performance and speed reduction for website owners. To the rescue comes web font optimization.

Each font you use extends the time it takes for a website to load. Therefore, you must optimize each font you use. In addition to increasing page speed, optimizing web fonts also reduce overall page size and improves the core web vitals, particularly the CLS metric.

Web Fonts

If you use web fonts on your website, you should take every precaution mentioned below to ensure that they are delivered to your pages as quickly as possible and that their external hosting doesn’t slow things down.

  • Use a provider of web fonts that sends fonts via a CDN, or content delivery network. This is what Google Fonts does, and it speeds up font delivery.
  • Use fonts that you actually need. Don’t include font weights or style variations in your CSS that you won’t be using. You can always add them if you decide you need them in the future.
  • If using web fonts, be sure to correctly enqueue them.
  • Instead of hosting your own fonts on your own server, consider using a CDN.
  • Enqueue only the characters you require rather than the entire font library if you’re using a different font for the site title.

5. Reduce the Number of Redirects for Users

Users and search engines can use redirects to go to web pages with different URLs than what they originally requested. Sometimes a page is removed or its URL changes.

Follow the below steps when setting redirects on your website to make sure they don’t have a detrimental impact on the user experience:

  • Avoid Redundant Redirects: It is advised to avoid redirects where possible and to use this method only when needed. This will reduce unnecessary overhead and enhance the page’s perceived performance.
  • Chain Redirects: A chained redirect occurs when one URL is linked to another. The page becomes slower as more URLs are added to the chain. Chained redirects are bad for both page speed and SEO.
  • Clean-up Redirects: Your website may include hundreds of redirects, which can be one of the major problems affecting page speed. Old redirects may not work with new URLs, and backlinks can result in weird page errors. It is advised that you double-check every redirect you’ve set up and delete any that are no longer required. Keep the older links that receive a lot of referral traffic; delete the connections that get very little traffic. The practice will considerably increase page speed.

6. Choose a Quality Web Host

The hosting provider you select has an impact on your website speed and performance so choose a quality web host.
You must take into account a number of important factors when selecting your WordPress hosting, including speed, security, and dependability. The most key element you should take into account is “Your Needs”. You can save hundreds of dollars by analyzing your requirements before investing in WordPress hosting.

There are different types of web hosting services available, you can select the one which suits your needs and requirements:

  • Free hosting
  • Shared WordPress hosting
  • WordPress VPS hosting
  • WordPress dedicated server hosting
  • Managed WordPress hosting

Web Hosting

Now, after selecting the web host service type, you must be wondering which WordPress web hosting providers are best:

  • Bluehost: With over 2 million websites across the globe, Bluehost is a market leader in web hosting, particularly for WordPress sites. In fact, it’s one of the few web hosting providers that’s officially recommended by WordPress.

With Bluehost, you have to not worry about your website being slow even when there is a lot of traffic.

  • DreamHost: Over 1.5 million WordPress blogs and websites are powered by DreamHost. Additionally, they are an authorized WordPress hosting provider.

You receive a custom dashboard, one-click WordPress installation, automatic WordPress updates, unlimited space, unlimited bandwidth, and free SSDs with DreamHost, which makes your website load faster.

7. Try These WordPress Plugins

You can try out below WordPress plugins to skyrocket your WordPress website speed.

  • NitroPack [Freemium]: NitroPack has an all-in-one speed optimization solution. It integrates all the elements required for a lightning-fast website. NitroPack includes everything you need, including image optimization, code minification, caching, CDN, and lazy loading.

All optimizations are carried out by NitroPack in the cloud. In comparison to standard caching plugins, this makes it a very lightweight solution.

Nitropack claims that its users get a 69% page speed score boost on average after installing NitroPack.

  • WP Rocket [Premium]: WP Rocket is a premium caching plugin that offers various features. In addition to the features of cache preloading and GZIP compression, it offers to minify and combine CSS and JS files, lazily load images, get rid of render-blocking JavaScript resources, remove unused CSS, and schedule automatic database cleanups.

It’s the ideal solution for enhancing your Core Web Vitals scores and quickly speeding up your website.

  • WP Fastest Cache [Free]: The top-rated cache plugin in the official WordPress directory is WP Fastest Cache. WP Fastest Cache’s free edition comes with a number of advanced features.

With this plugin, site admins can delete all cached files or schedule them to be deleted at a specific time as well as minified CSS and JS files. They can also choose to enable or disable the caching option for logged-in users and mobile devices.

WP Fastest Cache plugin not only minifies HTML and CSS files- it combines them to make your code clearer and web pages leaner.

Wrap up

Go ahead and try out these actionable tips and plugins to speed up your WordPress website. Don’t forget to test your website speed before and after implementing these tips and tools. You will be surprised to see the results!

5 Best Ways to Optimize WooCommerce for High Conversion Rate

It’s easy to focus on product development, email marketing, and social media campaigns. These are crucial factors for any WooCommerce vendor. With that being said, putting too much emphasis on these elements can pull resources away from your online store itself.

A well-optimized WooCommerce store will load more quickly, appear higher in Google search results, offer a quicker checkout process, support more payment methods, and offer a variety of other benefits. Furthermore, you don’t need to break the bank to improve your WooCommerce store.

In this article, we’ll cover some of the most effective ways to update your WooCommerce site and provide a better experience for your audience. With a few simple adjustments, you’ll be able to make your site significantly more efficient and turn more first-time visitors into loyal customers.

Optimize your plugins

Various extensions enrich the native WooCommerce toolkit in a wide range of innovative ways, giving vendors the tools they need to develop more responsive online stores. While plugins are undeniably a key aspect of WooCommerce optimization, they can also slow down your site and lead to other issues that may have a negative impact on conversions.

optimize website using WooCommerce plugins

It’s especially important to be careful about installing frameworks, plugins, themes, and other extensions that don’t have a reliable reputation. Similarly, outdated extensions can introduce vulnerabilities that will make your site significantly less secure.

Rather than installing every extension that you think could help you improve your site, it’s critical to take some time to thoroughly research each option. You can often achieve the same result without downloading a new plugin, and simply adding more tools doesn’t always lead to a better site.

On the other hand, effective plugin management is about more than just minimizing extensions. A well-optimized extension that meets WordPress standards should have little to no effect on your site’s performance. If you ever notice any glitches or other issues on your online store, you should start by checking your list of plugins.

Get better hosting

No matter how much you do to improve other areas of your WooCommerce store, using the wrong hosting provider will undo those efforts and prevent you from fully optimizing your site. Vendors often use cheap hosting providers in order to save money, but the reality is that this can backfire by cutting into your sales and getting in the way of otherwise organic growth.

Use WooCommerce-optimized hosting

Reliable hosting is particularly relevant when your site receives a sudden bump in traffic. For example, you might get more visitors over the holidays or right after a new product launch. It’s vital to leverage these opportunities in order to build your audience and move new leads through the customer journey. Unfortunately, a budget hosting provider may not be able to meet the spike in demand.

While high-quality hosting can be more expensive, it’s often one of the best investments you can make in your WooCommerce shop. Hosting should never be the limiting factor when it comes to your online store, and reliable performance is well worth the additional cost.

Leverage a content delivery network

Physical distance is another performance obstacle that isn’t easy to overcome on your own. Content delivery networks offer a low-cost solution that can help you offer faster loading times to users around the globe, regardless of the physical location of your hosting provider’s servers.

Content delivery network improves WooCommerce site

With a content delivery network, elements from your site will be shared across servers distributed across a wide range of locations. When a user visits your site, they’ll automatically receive your content from the server that offers the best connection in their region. That optimization is the main reason why content delivery network utilization is expected to grow by a factor of five from just 2017 to 2022.

Clean up your database

Your WordPress database is constantly growing, and like your extensions, it can start to hurt your loading times if you let it go unchecked for too long. The database includes everything from product information to order histories and user account data. Those will only get larger unless you make an effort to curb its growth.

Cleanup your database in WP

Fortunately, database optimization is more approachable than ever. Manually optimizing your WordPress database is a tedious, time-consuming process that demands precision. Removing the wrong items could lead to even more unexpected problems. Database optimization plugins automate this process, reducing risk and allowing you to declutter your database in a fraction of the time.

WP Optimize, WP Sweep, and WP Rocket are just a few of the top plugins for database cleanup and other types of optimization. Don’t forget to save your entire database before starting the optimization process. It’s crucial to have a WordPress backup ready in case you accidentally delete any important files.

Use lazy loading

Short load times are fundamental to a successful WooCommerce store, and there’s no reason to waste time loading elements that aren’t immediately visible.

Lazy loading takes advantage of this by prioritizing elements at the top of a given page. The first impression is loaded as soon as the visitor accesses the page, while elements that are lower down will only load when the user scrolls down to them.

Optimize WordPress with lazy loading

Lazy loading will help you send fewer HTTP requests during each visit and make the initial loading time as short as possible. Lazy Load from WP Rocket is an easy way to get started with lazy loading. The Lazy Load script is under 10 KB, so it will have little to no negative effects on your site’s performance. It’s also entirely free to use, so it’s hard to find a downside to setting up lazy loading on your WooCommerce store.

Over to You

Optimizing your WooCommerce store won’t generate any sales on its own. Yet it will help you improve site speed and avoid losing orders due to long loading times and other technical issues. These are just a few of the most reliable ways to upgrade your existing site and convert more visitors into customers.