Website loading speed is officially a ranking factor now for Google. This is exactly, Website owners and bloggers always aim to optimize their website to increase website loading speed or decrease the load time.
Website Loading speed also contributes to the user experience and reducing your bounce rate. This means that website loading speed plays an important role in generating more traffic and leads to your website.
While users with websites running on PHP and HTML5 don’t have to look after maintaining their website, WordPress is a totally different game. WordPress requires maintenance and optimization or else you might lose your rankings and traffic.
And if you are reading this article, chances are there that you have already read a lot online and fed up of optimizing your WordPress website. But trust me, it isn’t that difficult.
How to improve page speed WordPress?
We have created a list of 7 Very Important Points to speed up your website quickly and improve your GTMetrix and PageSpeed Insight Scores.
- Update PHP Version
- Remove Unused Plugins and Themes
- Opt for a Better Hosting
- Update your WordPress Version to 5.5
- Use a Cache Plugin
- Disable Google Fonts
- Removing Resource Heavy Plugins and Themes
So let’s jump right into the details and techniques
Update PHP Version
PHP version plays a really important role in terms of running your overall website. While we don’t go into technical details, having a website running on the older PHP version. PHP Version 7 utilizes a newer and latest Engine compared to the PHP version 5.
This newer and latest Engine means that it will deliver and about perform almost 2X faster than what it was earlier.
And there are other several advantages too if you are running on a newer PHP Version. But this doesn’t mean that you have always keep updating your PHP version. Doing it once a year is more than enough. Also, make sure that your WordPress version, themes, and plugins support the newer PHP version too. If not, your website may break down.
However, if you are already running on the latest WordPress version, chances are there that all of your plugins, themes, and even WordPress itself supports the latest PHP version.
Remove Unused Plugin and Themes
How many active plugins do you have? 10? 20? or More than 30? According to us, any WordPress website will never require more than 12 Plugins on an average. And that 12 Plugin mark is the most extreme case. If your WordPress website is having more than 12 Plugins at a time, chances are there that you are too lazy to do your work.
Consider removing your Active plugins which you are not using. And try doing the job manually instead of installing plugins. Remove inactive plugins as well.
Speaking of plugins, let’s also talk about themes. WordPress themes play a crucial role when it comes to website performance. Having an unoptimized theme means that no matter what you do, your website will remain slow and almost unusable.
We will talk about that later. As of now, remove inactive themes that you are not using.
Opt for a better Hosting
There are a lot of factors affecting your website speed and website hosting is one of them. While just opting for a better hosting will not speed up your website if your website is completely unoptimized or isn’t being maintained, having a good website hosting does solve a lot of issues.
And there is no need to buy expensive web hosting if you are a beginner or lacking funds. You can get really Good Website Hosting for as low as $1 or 49 INR.
Surely you can upgrade later once you start earning from your website, there is always a scope to upgrade.
Update your WordPress Version to 5.5
This is not the most important part but recommended though. And there is a good reason behind it. WordPress 5.5 natively supports Lazy Loading. What is lazy loading? When a user visits your website, by default the entire page will be loaded first, and then it will be displayed to the user. And there is nothing wrong with it. The problem arises when your user doesn’t scroll down to the bottom but your website is still loading images from the bottom part of the page which the user didn’t even view. Lazy loading ensures that only images that are being viewed by the user are loaded. This can decrease your page size and requests by a huge margin. And ultimately will deliver a faster loading speed.
Earlier, this was only possible by using some plugins like WP Rocket but now WordPress 5.5 natively supports it and lazy loading can be enabled without the need of any plugin.
Use a Cache Plugin
Usually, when a visitor visits your website, the server will collect all the page data from scratch and show it to the user. This is like when a guest arrives at your house, you start making desserts for them. But what if you already kno that a guest will arrive at your house today and instead of waiting for them to arrive, you already a made dessert and refrigerated it?
Got the idea?
With Caching enabled, when a visitor visits your website, instead of collecting the data from scratch, your server will just show the cached page (already made dessert from the example) to your visitor.
Some Good cache plugins are
- WP Rocket (Paid)
- WP Fastest Cache (Partially Free)
- LiteSpeed Cache (Completely Free but only works with LiteSpeed Servers)
The best option would be to combine WP Rocket or WP Fastest Cache with Fast Velocity Minify.
Disable Google Fonts
This is one of the most major aspect. Google fonts usually takes up a lot of resources and can increase your requests by a huge margin. One shouldn’t ignore disabling google fonts if he or she is running on shared web hosting.
You can compare the stats and can notice a huge difference by yourself. If your website doesn’t use any fancy fonts and running on the default fonts, disabling google fonts is the best thing you can do with your website.
Plugins like Fast Velocity Minify do provide an option to disable google fonts. And Fast Velocity Minify will also optimize your JS, CSS and HTML code.
Removing Resource Heavy Plugins and Themes
As we mentioned earlier that some unoptimized Plugins and Themes can really slow down your website. Plugins like ‘Revolution Slider’ and ‘Contact Form 7’ are really resource-heavy. This list will never end but you will have to see yourself for the plugins which are generating more requests than usual. You can use the Waterfall Chart provided by GTMetrix to know more about requests being generated by your website.
Some Page Builders like Elementor and Divi will generate requests too but you will be able to solve them using a Cache plugin or Browser features like Pre-load and Pre-Connect.
These Browser features can be utilized by installing a free plugin like Fast Velocity Minify.