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8 Ways to Speed up Your WordPress Website

WordPress WordPress Optimization WordPress Plugins
Here are 8 more ways to speed up your WordPress website. If you haven’t already, check out my post “5 Ways to Start Optimizing Your WordPress Website”. This is a continuation of that post.
 
Always remember to backup your website before making any changes.

1. Speed up Your WordPress Website with a Caching Plugin

Caching is like server short-term memory. When a visitor lands on your website the browser will request server files to load the page. Caching is when those server files are pre-loaded for the next visitor. Without caching the server would have to load all the necessary files again and again. Some servers may already have their own server side caching and if not there are several plugins that will do the job.
 
I recommend *WP Rocket (by far the best one I have used). It is an easy to setup caching and optimization plugin. As of this date it costs $49 / year for 1 website with a 50% discount on renewal. If not for WP Rocket you would have to use several optimization plugins to do the same job.

For a free caching plugin I would recommend WP Super Cache. This caching plugin
is put out by Automattic (the lovely people behind WordPress.com). It takes only a click of a button to setup.

WP Rocket - WordPress Caching Plugin

2. Leverage Browser Caching

Yup, that’s right there are two types of caching you can use. This one is for the browser and you may have seen Google PageSpeed Insights recommend this. Browser caching is when the server tells the browser to store the server cached files. (These cached files are temporarily stored on your computer). This puts less stress on the server by having the browser keep a temporary snapshot of the website.
 

*Protip if you want to clear your browser cache press CTRL or CMD + F5 on your keyboard while on a website.

3. Minify and Combine CSS and Javascript Files

Minifiying means removing unnecessary characters like white spaces, line breaks, etc from code. By removing theses characters you will reduce the file size.

After minifying the code you should combine the files. Every CSS and Javascript file your website has means a new http request for the browser. When someone visits your site the browser will ask for all the CSS and Javascript files. This process can take awhile depending on how many files your website has. More requests means a longer page load time. Combine these files into one to reduce the amount of time it takes to send the information a browser needs.

There are a couple WordPress plugins I recommend to help with this task:

*Be careful when minifying and combing your CSS / Javascript files. Combing these files may not work well with all plugins and themes. Also always run a speed test to see if your website has improved from the combination of files. If your site runs off of HTTP/ 2 it may be better to not combine them. This is a case by case basis. Use this checker to see if your site uses HTTP/2.

4. Enable Gzip Compression

Gzip compression is a way to send your website page to a browser at up to 70% of its size. The browser will then decompress the information to display to the visitor. Gzip compression can be enabled through your hosting.

5. Add Expires Headers

Adding Epires headers will tell the browser if it should ask for a specific file from the server or from your browser’s cache. The other thing it does is tell the browser how long to store those files for. This eliminates the need to download website files that have gone unchanged for a long time.

6. Optimize Your WordPress Database

*Backup your site before performing any optimizations to your database.*

Your WordPress database can get pretty cluttered from spam, post revisions, tables, drafts etc. Optimize your database by cleaning out these unwanted files so your website does not load them. Think of it like cleaning out your computer recycle bin. This task should be checked / performed at least once a month.

Here are a couple plugins I recommend:

7. Control the Amount of Post Revisions Kept

Post revisions are useful to restore your past edits but they add up over time. The more post revisions kept the more they take up space in your database. Nip it in the bud and set a limit on how many revisions are kept that you are conformable with.

You can use the Revision Control plugin to help with that.

8. Use a CDN (Content Delivery Network)

A CDN takes all your website’s static resource files and delivers them from other places in the world. This makes it so you do not have to worry about your website loading slow for visitors who live far away.

I would recommend you invest in a CDN if you are receiving a lot of traffic from around the world.

Conclusion

I hope that these 8 tips have helped you speed up your WordPress website and if they have let me know! I’m always excited to hear about website optimization. 🙂 Please leave a comment below if you have any questions or want to say hi.

Disclaimer: Links that show (*) uses my affiliate link.


If you need help optimizing your WordPress website then let’s chat.


1 Comment

  1. Avatar Lukasz on June 8, 2019 at 2:18 pm

    Thanks, found 7 useful.

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