improve WordPress website performance

Best ways to improve WordPress website performance

WordPress websites are born to fly. Why do so many of them drag along the ground, then, and keep losing customers to slow speeds? Because they need the right approach to speed up! This makes WordPress performance audit and further optimization one of our most popular WordPress support services.

WordPress website performance is absolutely vital for:

  1. keeping customers on your site
  2. increasing your site’s usability
  3. boosting your site’s conversions (sales, subscriptions, and so on)
  4. enhancing your site’s SEO rankings

Ways to improve WordPress website performance

Different ways to speed up WordPress are applied on a case-by-case basis, after the detailed analysis of a site. However, we would like to share most common ones that are useful to many sites.

  • Using the right WordPress caching plugins

Your website performance will increase significantly from the proper use of caching. This technique means lets you deliver your pages to your users faster by saving the copies of requested files after the user’s previous visits. There are useful plugins that can help with caching, such as W3 Total Cache, WP Super Cache, WP Fastest Cache, Hyper Cache, WP Rocket, and many more.

  • Minifying and concatenating your JavaScript and CSS files

JS and CSS minification and concatenation is something that previously mentioned plugins can do, but this deserves a special item.
 
JavaScript and CSS files should load efficiently without hampering your site performance. It is recommended to minificate them by removing unnecessary characters. These characters include comments, block delimiters, white spaces, line breaks, indentation, and so on. The files should be grouped together to reduce the number of HTTP requests.

Useful JS and CSS minification and concatenation plugins include BWP-Minify, Autoptimize, W3 Total Cache etc.

  • Using tools like Memcached or Redis

In server-side optimization, special attention needs to be paid to using open-source, in-memory data storage systems like Redis and Memcached. This is another awesome way to improve WordPress website performance. Our developers can advise you which to choose, and perform the integration.

  • Applying GZIP compression

You will also need GZIP compression of Javascript, CSS, and web pages. The files can be compressed by up to 70 percent and still easily read by the browser. Compression can be performed by caching plugins WP Rocket, WP Total Cache or on the server.

Applying GZIP compression
  • Using CDN for quick content delivery

An awesome way to improve WordPress website speed is to use a CDN (content delivery network). CDNs are networks of servers located across the globe. They cache your static content (JS files, CSS files, images) and immediately deliver it to users from the servers closest to them. It is also possible to just select the geographical areas of interest. Our WordPress team is ready to do the CDN setup for your website.

Using CDN for quick content delivery
  • Optimizing your site images

Images are meant to attract and inspire users, but they can also impact performance. Luckily, you needn’t sacrifice image quality for speed, because there are great image optimization techniques. Some of them include:

  1. choosing the right format between JPEG, PNG, and GUF
  2. specifying exact dimension
  3. compression without loss of quality

These processes can be handily automized. Useful plugins for this include Imagify Image Optimizer, Smush Image Compression and Optimization, EWWW Image Optimizer, Compress JPEG & PNG Images, and more. Developers also love special optimization programs on the server.

Further reading: Image optimization for e-commerce website speed

  • Lazyloading your content, images, and videos

Here is one more great way to save your website’s resources and speed up WordPress performance. Lazyloading means that the assets that are on the user’s screen do not need to be loaded. They only load when the user scrolls to reach them. These assets include content, images, videos, and even Disqus comments. Useful plugins are BJ Lazy Load, Unveil Lazy Load, Lazy Load For Videos, Disqus Conditional Load, and so on.

  • Removing the unnecessary or “heavy” plugins

A great means to boost site performance is to use as few plugins as possible. This requires a good audit. It may show that some of them are outdated, unnecessary, or too cumbersome for your site. They will need to be uninstalled or replaced with alternatives.

Our WordPress developers are always ready to help you analyze your plugins and find a solution in every situation. For example, they can find one plugin that can replace several others on your website and improve speed. Or, if there is a plugin that you really need, but it hampers your speed and has no alternatives, they will create a custom one that will precisely meet your needs.

  • Doing a good code clean-up

It is often the case that performance goes down because of pitfalls in the PHP code. For example, unnecessary requests to the server are made because of code duplication. We are ready to examine your code and clean it up in accordance with the standards and logic to improve performance.

Further reading: Code review: why it is important for all?

  • Optimizing your website database

For better website speed, your database should be kept in order and cleaned up from unnecessary data. This includes post revisions, comments, duplicated metadata, unused terms, and much more. Plugins like WP Sweep, WP-DB Manager, WP Optimize could be helpful in this.

  • Keeping your WordPress core, plugins, and theme updated

Updates to WordPress core are meant to enhance security, fix bugs, and, of course, improve website performance. With every update, the WordPress team enhances the ways your website handles and delivers content to users. So every time there is an update available, it should be applied. This is also true for the plugins and the active theme that your site is using.

Further reading: Why update WordPress core, plugins, and theme

  • Disabling the hotlinking

Hotlinking is a term that means that one website uses the content (for example, images) stored on another site’s servers. The latter may experience performance losses due to increased server load. It is necessary to prevent hotlinking to your website, which can be done in your .htaccess file.

Let the big speed-up begin!

As stated above, these are most common ways to improve WordPress website performance. Let our WordPress experts examine your site and see what exactly it needs to speed up. And you can be sure there will be nothing that can stop it!

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