WordPress is the most popular CMS on the internet today, representing at least 25% of all online websites. From a personal WordPress page to a full WooCommerce online store, WordPress is a clever choice due to its extensive choice of templates, comfort of use and strong functions accessible due to the thousands of plugins that have been prepared for it.

The WordPress reputation is staggering, and as such every week I handle a good number of queries relating to WordPress, from the simplest “How to’s”, through to even more advanced debugging.

One of the biggest problems that comes up from site to site is the load time.

I’ve invested intensely in developing a WordPress hosting infrastructure which is as fast as can be – Last version of SSD storage, RAID 10, LiteSpeed WebServer, CloudLinux OS, Maria DB, Cloudflare + w/Railgun, and more. In comparison to most WordPress hosting providers from the market, my platform for WordPress already is ultra-fast. But however, there were still cases where some of my clients ran into speed issues, usually the result of there being too many plugins installed ( more of them, installed without a real purpose ), poorly written plugins, or unoptimised themes ( yes, this exist. Take care from where you buy your WordPress theme ).

WordPress Server Side Caching

On all of my Hosting Plans, the WordPress Server Side Caching is Powered by LiteSpeed Web ServerCache (LSCACHE), which comes comprehensive with a FREE WordPress plugin, so setup is easy to configure. You can Download Here

In short, though there is a free plugin that you install and activate into the WordPress website to leverage LiteSpeed Cache, the plugin itself is not doing any of the caching – that’s handled by the web server. What the plugin do, more simply, is handle the cache clearing –   Anytime you will update your website content, the Server Side Cache will bring only the tiny code new inserted, and keep the old version in the same size and structure.

CloudFlare, and their w/Railgun optimisation technology – The cherry from the cake

I’ve promoted the benefits of CloudFlare’s network so many times in the past. CloudFlare will import – configure – and provide to your website visitors, static content, such as optimized images, JS and CSS files to their ultrafast CDN network. This will bring those files closer to your visitors, in any spot of the World, speeding up your site worldwide in a second.

As a Websites Seller customer, you will also get access for FREE to their w/Railgun technology. This implies that not only your static website content can cached on the CloudFlare network, but also your WordPress pages too. CloudFlare is unaware of when content changes on your site, so what Railgun does is to analyse the changed data between our server and what it has stored in its cached. If you update anything on the website ( have updated posts, pages,etc ), it will only transfer the necessary bytes to make that update. That content is transferred across a endlessly superfast connection, and is highly compressed.

Read more about what is w/Railgun and how, combined with the other features I provide to my customers for FREE, will increase your WordPress Speed by at 15xtimes here:  What Is Cloudflare Railgun™? Improve WordPress Speed 100% 

1. Search for Disabled Plugins or for Plugins with issues

My first solution is to get rid of inactive plugins or plugins with errors. Take a look if your current plugins are work fine. Everyone tend to have a lot of plugins installed on their website. Mostly because the majority of WordPress plugins are FREE.

This is not a good thing for your website speed. Try to install as few plugins as you can, and only if you need them. If you install a lot of unnecessary plugins, those will cause bad latency to your website and the rendering will load very slow.

Of course, if you find something which you think it can help your website, it is worth to give a try and test it for a while. 

For testing the plugins health, you can use this plugin: Query Monitor . You can also take a chance with this one: Download P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler)

2. Compress Images

WordPress Image Compression

 

Uploading large size images will make your WordPress very slow. Why would upload a 12MB image, when the visitor’s device require a image with only 350kb?! Have logic, right? Also, if you want to host videos to your website, try to host them outside of your server. You can give a try to Youtube!, Vimeo or any other video platform. It is free and it is good.

Also, it is rare for a image with a size of 12Mb to have a resolution of, let’s say 1925x750. Generally speaking, the image resolution will be something like 5000x3550. You don’t need this.

Before you’ll upload the images on your server, I highly suggest to use a photo editor software. Personally, I recommend GIMP. It is an Open Source program, very useful for this kind of
tasks.

After you’ve edited the pictures, it is a good possibility that you’ve didn’t resize them enough. Don’t worry..It is a normal thing. For this, WordPress comes again with various plugins. I recommend WP Smush It  or WP Compress. Smush it have also a Premium version, but the Free one works also great.

3. Again the Compression – GZip your WordPress Website

WordPress GZip Compression

WordPress GZip Compression

The smaller your website size will be, the faster your customer’s device will load it. And, in ourdays, more than a half of internet “players” use mobile devices, so I suggest you to put some effort in delivering a small size WordPress website.

Usually, the GZip compression will reduce your website size with about 55%-68% of your website size. If your website size is lower, it will load faster.

There are a lot of Free GZip WordPress plugins on the market. You have the free option of choice what you want.

4.Optimize the Home Page

 

A recommended thing to reduce your website speed and to get an A+ PageSpeed Score is to reduce the homepage size of your website.

How to do it?

Well, first of all, avoid using huge-size images ( I’ve write above why ). If you do the right image optimizations, you can upload beautiful images on the first page. But don’t abuse of it.

Also, make sure that your website homepage is simplier as it can be, without too many widgets and unnecessary features.

Another good thing is not to showing full at full lenght. You can use a specific paragraph, a summary of the article – more exactly -, or to setup a specific excerpt from it. There are also free plugins for that: This plugin can do that: Advanced Excerpt

As much clean is your homepage, as faster it will load.

6. WordPress Disable Hotlinking – A Smart Choice

Hotlinking is a word which describe the following action: Everytime someone copy an image from your website and paste it on it’s own website, he will use your hosting resources, not it’s own resources. This means that the bandwidth and memory of your website will be affected. Not very much from just 1 image, but when we talk about 1k images, that is bad.

The good part of Hotlinking is the SEO backlinks you can get from that websites. But it is not guaranteed.

To protect your website images and avoid the hotlinking, add those lines in your WordPress .httaccess:

<<< COD >>>
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www\.)?EXAMPLE.com [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www\.)?google.com [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www\.)?feeds2.feedburner.com/EXAMPLE [NC]
RewriteRule \.(jpg|jpeg|png|gif)$ – [NC,F,L]
>>>COD<<<

I’ve excluded Feedburner’s images, to let them to appear correctly in your live feeds( Facebook, Twitter, etc ).

7. JS and CSS Minification

If you’ve already taken an WordPress Speed test with Google PageSpeed Insights, GTmetrix, Pingdoom and so, you’ll may be warned that you must minify the JavaScript and CSS files. This means that you must reduce the JS and CSS calls to decrease the server response time. This will also help you to save the Bandwidth usage of the server.

There are a lot of way to minify. You can do it manually ( which I highly recommend ) or by using a WordPress cache plugin. My second recommendation is to use LiteSpeed plugin. A third recommendation is Autoptimize – A good plugin I’ve worked with in the past.

8. WordPress Files and WordPress Database in the Same Data Center

The proximity of the files and codes is highly recommended, so you should make sure that both of them are hosted in the same place. This will increase your WordPress Performance and provide a great user experience.

To find if the Files and Database are stored on the same Data Center, you can ask your Hosting Provider. On my WordPress Hosting Awesome Server, I keep the Files and the Database in the same location, so my customers websites’s performance is very good.

9.Don’t Forget to Cleanup Your WordPress Database

Deleted unnecessary data from your website database will keep the size of it very low, and your Database performance will be optimal. This action can also reduce the backup size of your
website.

***Reaminder*** – Everytime you do actions to your WordPress website, DO A BACKUP! You’ll thanks me later.

Most of the time, you will clean the unused drafts of your posts, but you can also get rid of spam comments, spammy fake users, etc. . WordPress Database Cleanup will, made it right, will boost your WordPress speed.

10. Use a Light and Well-Optimized WordPress Theme

On the WordPress themes market you can find thousands of beautiful and eye-catching templates. Most of them are poor-coded and will slow your website. If you run a basic cookie recipes blog, I suggest you to use the default WordPress themes. If you want to look more Profi, install a Premium theme.

For my customers, I offer the Divi theme for Free for 1 year, so you can save a good amount of funds and get a well-coded theme.

10. Don’t forget to update

Keep your WordPress,Theme and Plugins up to date all the time. This is also a good Security tip for the WordPress website owners.

***TIP 1: Before you update anything, make a backup of your entire website.
***TIP 2: Before you update anything, you can develop a second – test- website, to see if everything work fine.

I wasn’t surprised last week when a lot of people’ve got angry after they accidentally updated to  WordPress 5.0 “Bebo” . An update is a critical thing for a WordPress website, so before you step into this, keep your website safe.

How to test my WordPress Speed?

First of all, you should take a look on the current speed of your website. Don’t forget that that the speed may differ from post to post, or page to page, as it depends of multiple factors:

  • How many content do you have in that page/post.
  • How many media content do you have there.
  • What kind of media content it is: Image or Video.

In order to find what is your WordPress Speed, you can use those websites:

  • The size of that particular page;
  • How many requests it generates;
  • Whether it is cached or not;
  • …and lastly, what kind of content (static or dynamic) it hosts.

The homepage of a website is usually used as a benchmark to test the load time. To check the speed of your WordPress Website, the following four tools are used extensively online and may be a good point from where you can start:

  1. WebPageTest.org
  2. GTmetrix
  3. Pingdom.com
  4. PageSpeed Insights ( Here you can find important factors about what is actually slowing your website )