Before starting with how to optimize WordPress website lets first understand why we need to speed up any website and why it is important for the company as well as for users.
As we all know that the Google is one of the most used search engine so we align our online marketing strategy as per Google guidelines.
According to Google now website page speed will be the one of their ranking signal for mobile searches.
If the website takes too much time for loading then the search engine will give less preference to that webpage in search result page.
Website pagespeed not only important for ranking it is also important for user experience. If website takes more time for loading content then the visitor will switch for the other options, which will definitely reduce our website visitors and finally we are losing potential leads.
There are many factors which need to consider while optimizing the pagespeed of the WordPress website.
In this blog, I am going to share eight essential points which will help you to speed up your website.
Mostly we prefer shared hosting because of many reasons like it is economically feasible. But it impacts badly on the website because all the resources are shared with many other websites which result that our website remains down during peak traffic hours.
Now it's time to say goodbye to shared hosting.
2. Upgrade to PHP 7
Switching to PHP 7 from other PHP versions will make a tremendous impact on site speed. In fact, PHP 7 can handle uncached hits two to three times faster than PHP 5 or its less versions. It can result in 30-50 percent improvements in space consumption.
3. Remove Unused Media/Plugins/Themes
Unused themes, plugins, and other media files not only occupies web hosting space but are vulnerable to many online threats. The most important thing is that it impacts website performance badly. To broom out these cobwebs, simply determine which plugins and themes are necessary for you while cutting other things down (recommended) or at least deactivate them.
How to Remove Unused Media
There are many plugins which can do media management for us. Media Cleaner is one of the most used WordPress plugin. We can do this manually as shown in below screenshot.
You will then see all the media files that aren’t being used on your site. You can easily delete those files to free up space.
When we check our website in Google Pagespeed Insight tool. Google will suggest us lot of things like minimizing of CSS and JS files. This means is that by reducing the number of CSS and JS calls and the size of those files, you can easily improve the site-loading speed.
Also, we can study the guides provided by Google and do some manual fixing. If not, then there are plugins that will help you achieve this goal; the most popular being the Autoptimize plugin that can help in optimizing CSS, JS and even HTML of your WordPress website.
Minify plugin is one of the better options to fix this.
For Manual minification we can use online tools like:
5) Optimize images
Mostly images occupy a large part of the downloaded bytes on a web page and take time in loading. Optimizing images can help in increasing page loading speed which result in better performance of the whole website.
Image optimization is considered as an important element in On-page SEO optimization. It is essential to optimize the image for a better user experience as well for the search engines.
We can optimize images manually by using online image compression tools like,
Tinypng.com. There are many other WordPress plugins available which can do this for us.
Smush image optimizer plugin I would recommend using. It drastically reduces the file size of an image, without reducing its quality.
There is a free WordPress plugin called WP-SmushIt which will do this process to all of your images automatically, as you are uploading them. You can go for it.
Caching is one of the important factors which impacts page loading and website performance but mostly this is underestimated because of many reasons. Without discussing those reasons let's focus on how cache actually works and how we can integrate this concept in WordPress.
Let me make it simple, caching is a process in which static versions of our content is created, and served to visitors. Static pages are generally rendered quickly in browsers. This leads to the faster performance of your website.
For WordPress websites, we have W3 Total Cache plugin which handles caching for us. It will automatically manage to cache on our website and it helps in better performance.
7) Use CDN ( content distribution network)
We know that our website will be visited by the people from different locations in the world, and needless to say, the site-loading speed will differ if the visitors are located far away from where your site is hosted. There are many CDN (Content Delivery Networks) that help in keeping the site-loading speed to the minimum for visitors from various countries. A CDN keeps a copy of your website in various data centers located in different places. The primary function of a CDN is to serve the web page to a visitor from the nearest possible location. Cloudflare and MaxCDN are the most popular CDN services.
We have many paid CDN provider like Maxcdn or Cloudflare. We can select as per our priority and requirements. There is a plugin called Free-CDN that promises to do the same, although I haven’t tested it.
8) Clean Your Database
We know that WordPress works on PHP with MYSQL as a database. On WordPress installation, we have only 11 tables. Whenever we install any theme or plugin additional tables are created. But if we change the theme or uninstall the plugins, the newly created tables with left information remains in a database which occupies space for no use. our database also contains a lot of old information which we don’t need anymore, like every single revision or draft version of our posts. It also keeps all comments, including pingbacks and spam.
So we need to handle our database which is very hectic to do manually. Fortunately, we have many WordPress plugins for such purposes. One of the most used plugin is WP-Optimize it will do this task easier for you.
After applying all the suggestions mentioned in this blog do check your website page speed and see the difference.
I tried to cover most of the aspect of WordPress website page optimization. Is this blog helpful to you? Do let me know if you have any doubts while implementing this in the comment section.
Arif Lateef Shah is Software Engineer, a Big-time tech enthusiast. He is also passionate about writing digital marketing and tech blogs. You can connect with him on Facebook.