Thus before understanding how to optimize a WordPress website for improving its page loading speed, we will see why is it important to speed up a website? Now let’s try to understand why it is also necessary for the businesses and for the end-users.
Google has set certain norms or guidelines for ranking your website on the SERP. Out of those norms “Speed” is one of the important factors, according to Google web page speed will also be considered as one of the ranking factors for searches. Since, a number of users, or website owners, or business owners, etc. gives more preference to the Google search engine than any other search engine, therefore they try to design their online marketing strategy according to the guidelines prescribed by the Google.
If any web page takes a long time for loading then the search engine will not give it a higher preference in the SERP. And also the users do not want to waste their time waiting for the web page to load; instead, they move to the next immediate option available to them. Thus the speed of the web page is important not only for ranking in SERP but also important for providing excellent user experience. It will also affect the number of traffic to your website, i.e. it may decrease the number of visitors to your website and ultimately loose possible leads.
A lot of factors are required to be considered at the time of optimizing a website page and improving the web page loading speed of the WordPress website. In today’s blog, we are going to look at those simple but essential factors which will be useful to speed up your WordPress website.
Type of web hosting For WordPress Site:
Most of the time, it is found that, while selecting a web hosting service provider, everybody is looking for a hosting service that is affordable as well as suitable for their budget. Shared hosting is mostly preferred as this hosting service is economically feasible and suitable for the budget. But shared hosting can affect the website badly because in shared hosting all the resources are shared between other websites which are also residing on the server. Now if the traffic to some other website increases then, that might result in an increase in downtime of remaining websites during their peak hours. Therefore try to select a web hosting service where you will not face such incidences.
Upgrade to the latest version of PHP:
Once you upgrade the old PHP version to the latest PHP version, you will notice a drastic change in the speed of your website. As, the latest version of PHP is capable of handling information which is not provisioned for storing in the server system, which increases the loading speed of the website page 2 to 3 times more than the older version of PHP. Thus it also helps in improving the space consumption by 30-50 percent.
Discard unused Plugins or themes in WordPress Site:
It is found that unused plugins, or Themes or unused media files use up a lot of web space on the hosting server and they are also susceptible to a number of online threats, which affects the performance of the website very badly. So it is important to remove these unused Plugins or Themes or media files and only keep the ones which are really important for you. If you do not want to remove them then you can deactivate them.
Follow the below steps for removing the unused media files:
We can manually remove these plugins which are capable of managing media files. There is one of the most widely used WordPress plugin known as Media Cleaner which we are going to use.
When you go into Insert Media >> you will then see all the media files that aren’t being used on your site >> thus you can delete those unwanted files for freeing up space.
There are some online tools for manual optimization like-
1. CSS: https://cssminifier.com/
3. HTML: http://www.willpeavy.com/minifier/
Optimize images for better UX:
Most of the time images used on your website occupy a large amount of space on a web page and these pages take more time while loading, therefore, optimizing images will definitely increase the page loading speed of your website and it will result in better user experience.
It is also considered as the most significant element during the on-page SEO optimization. Thus it will help in improving the ranking of your website on the SERP. There are some online image optimization tools available using which we can optimize an image such as Tinypng.com. If you want, you can use different WordPress plugins for doing this, like the Smush image optimizer plugin. It is recommended by a number of users as it can dramatically decrease the size of the image file that too without affecting the quality of the image.
There is one more WordPress plugin which is free and known as WP-SmushIt which does this process to all the images present on your website automatically when you are uploading them. You can use this also.
As caching is considered as the most important factor responsible for page loading speed as well as website performance but many times it is neglected because of different reasons. We are not going into details of it at this time instead of that we are focusing on how caching works and how one can incorporate this process in WordPress.
In simple words, we can say that caching is a process which involves generating static versions of your content and then that static version in served to the users and one more important thing about static version is that they are easily interpreted by the browsers, which ultimately results into the increased performance of your website.
The W3 Total Cache plugin is the important plugin available for WordPress Websites that controls the caching process for you i.e. it automatically manages the cache on your website and improves performance.
Use Content Delivery Network:
Every website is visited by the visitors which are located at different places all around the world and obviously the website loading speed will be different for different locations i.e. if visitors are situated far away from the server location then the website will take time for loading. For resolving these many content delivery networks are used for helping in keeping the website loading speed for the people located at various locations. CDN accomplishes this by keeping a copy of your website in different data centers situated at different locations. And the most important function of CDN is to serve the requested web page to the user from the nearest possible place. The most widely used CDN services are Cloudflare and MaxCDN. The paid versions of CDN are also available. Select as them as per your necessity.
WordPress works on PHP and MySQL databases and whenever any plugin or theme is installed they create extra tables and when we modify the theme or plugin or when we uninstall the plugin the additionally created tables and the information stored in them remains as it is which only occupies the space without any use. One more thing is that the databases which you are currently being used still contain a large amount of old data which is no longer useful for the website like all the comments, draft versions of our blog posts, spam, etc.
Therefore it becomes very stressful to handle such big data manually for resolving this issue WordPress offers a plugin known as WP-Optimize, which carries out these tasks very easily.
Once you apply all these strategies to your WordPress Website described in today’s blog, you will definitely realize the change in the page loading speed of your website. I think you find this information helpful and do let me know whether you find it helpful or not by leaving a comment in the comment section. Also, do not hesitate to ask doubts when you will try to apply these strategies to your website.
Thank you for reading the blog! See you soon with another interesting blog on another interesting topic.