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8 ways to speed up your wordpress website

Why speed is important

Pagespeed is how fast a web page loads and shows its content.

Attention spans are getting shorter and people expect instant access to information, so if your WordPress website is slow, it can be a real turnoff, quite literally.

 

It’s estimated that 42% of users will leave a website due to poor functionality, so making sure your website loads quickly is no longer optional, it’s absolutely necessary. Not just from a user point of view, but also for your search engine rankings.

What Slows Down Your WordPress Website?

The usual culprits that slow your website down are unoptimised images (more on this later), having too many unnecessary plugins (‘apps’ for your WordPress website), themes and a cheap, poor, website host. 

Checking Your WordPress Website Speed

Before we can improve your website speed, we need to know how it currently performs. I usually start with Google PageSpeed Insights since I’m mostly targeting Google search, but there are also tools such as GTmetrix and Pingdom to analyse your page load time. Check all your main website pages using this method and make a note of them for later.

8 Ways To Speed Up Your Website

1. Using a reliable hosting service

Finding the right web hosting is crucial for a healthy WordPress website. You get what you pay for with hosting, if it’s a cheap web host, you could run into issues in addition to slow speeds such as your website going down, limited backups and slow support. I host all my websites with Siteground because it’s relatable, has amazing support and actively work towards reducing their carbon footprint, offering green hosting.  

2. Keep your Plugins & Themes Updated

Out of date plugins and themes can make your website inefficient and therefore slow your website down. Keep them up to date to get the most of of your website. If you don’t know how to update your WordPress website, you can find a full guide here.

3. Delete unused plugins and themes

While we are on plugins and themes. Don’t have more than you need on your website. Delete any old plugins and themes, not only will they affect your website performance, they are a security risk

4. Optimise images

Using large images is one of the main reasons why sites run slow. When the pictures on your website are bigger than they need to be, it takes more time for your site to load. I run my images through jpegmini before I upload them to my website so I don’t need an additional plugin on my site, but you can install plugins such as shortpixel or ewww

5. Don’t host videos on your server

If you need to have videos on your website, don’t upload them directly to your site. They demand a lot from your server so it’s not the best user experience. Upload them to specialist video hosting websites like Vimeo or YouTube and embed them into your website instead.

6. Install a WordPress caching plugin

I won’t get into the techy details of what a caching plugin does, but in short it accelerates loading time. I personally use the pro version of Seraphinite Solutions, they also have a free version but it’s well worth the £50 a year. It’s quick and easy to set up, and their support is excellent. Other popular options are W3 Total Cache​ or WP Rocket.

7. Tidy up your WordPress database

Over time your website database can accumulate data from plugins, themes, media that you no longer have on your website.By performing a cleanup of your database, you’ll free up valuable space and resources.

 

To simplify the cleanup process, you can use plugins such as WP-Optimize to automate the task for you

8. Use a CDN

When you use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) it stores a snapshot of your website, allowing your visitors to access the content of your site from a server near them, reducing page load times. If you are a UK based business, only working with UK based clients, you probably won’t see much benefit. 

To sum up, the speed of your WordPress website is incredibly important for keeping your website users happy and improving your site’s search engine rankings. 

By regularly keeping an eye on and fine-tuning your site’s performance, you’ll stay ahead of your competitors that aren’t doing any of these things.

Did your mind just explode reading this? 

I’m here to help. I’ve been working with WordPress for 10 years and provide WordPress support and maintenance for businesses in the UK. If you’d like help improving your website performance, let’s chat. 

Or, if you aren’t ready for my support just yet but want to make sure your website is off to its very best start – download my free Toolkit.

Please note that this post may contain affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through one of these links. However, I only recommend products and services that I use myself, trust and believe will be valuable to you.