WordPress website speed optimization with plugin, CDN & Images

Loading time is a key factor in the performance of the website. The slow loading sites are not liked only by visitors or readers but also to the search engines like Google, Bing etc. Being a blog owner, it the responsibility of the administrator to regularly check and optimize the loading time of the website.

WordPress Speed Optimization factors

I have gathered some genuine points which may help you to improve the WordPress blog speed.

Webhosting

Hosting is a foundation stone of your website so always try to select the best web hosting for WordPress website. It has been observed that if the blog is for the country specific better to take hosting from that region only. Say for example I am running an online shop for Indian customers. So if my site is hosted in India, then it will perform better.

There are Managed WordPress hosting service providers who offers best loading time due to optimized caching functionality, scheduled backups redundant servers, high security etc. They are costly but they will take whole site maintenance part with them. So if you can spend some extra bucks they might be the best choice in terms of speed, setup, security and much more. There are also some providers who offers cheap WordPress hosting packages with managed services.

A Lightweight Theme

The WordPress theme contains all the necessary codes that run on user browser and displays the site data to end user. If the codes of the theme are clean and less in terms of file size then they execute faster. Generally while selecting a theme we look for design but a great design could be a reason for slow loading. The more image sliders, carousel, pictures on a page tend to slow down the page. It would be better to make a page lighter. The thumb rule is very simple light pages will load fast. Let’s look at small practical for which I have executed on a personal blog.

I have calculated the page total page size (Little bit more than 2MB) and loading time was 8 seconds from Canada. The total number of posts in front page was 6 at this time. The blog hosted at India with HostGator.

Thereafter, I have disabled the featured images from the theme (My theme has an option to disable the featured images). I also increased the number of posts to display in front page to 10.

After half an hour I tested the website again on GTMetrix.com. What I found is the amazing results the load time drastically decreased to 4 seconds and the total page size too reduced from 2MB to 800KB.

We can conclude that how images are affecting the load time as well as the file size. So it would be better to use the image only where they are mandatory.

I again rechecked the one of the reputed blog https://www.thesitewizard.com/, which doesn’t use images for its pages and post. It has all the text in the whole website. The results were really awesome for the site as the average loading time was within 1 seconds and total page size was just 90KB.

7 ways to increase the WordPress blog speed with hosting, plugin, theme, image optimization etc

Gantry Hydrogen template is the fastest free WordPress theme and its total size of the file is 591KB (zip file) which is really small.

Here is the speed test score of my current blog from GTMetrix.

7 ways to increase the WordPress blog speed with hosting, plugin, theme, image optimization etc

Choose a right caching plugin

It plays a key role in site speed optimization. These plugins actually compress the code files which are being transferred to the visitor’s browser. There are lots of plugins available for the caching job. The W3 total cache and WP Rocket are the mostly used. I use W3 total cache for my blogs and recommend the same for the readers of the website. The user can easily integrate the some of the reputed Content delivery network services like MaxCDN, KeyCDN, and CloudFlare with this caching plugin. This plugin does everything like compression, magnification, caching etc by making changes in the .htaccess file. So don’t make changes in the file as I have seen the many blog posts which encourage users to update the crucial data.

Use CDN

With the growing reader in each and every country, the demand of content delivery network has been increased significantly. In Layman term, the CDN actually take the copy of files from the web hosting server at the regular interval of time and sent them to the visitor’s browsers directly whenever asked. The CDN has the capability to deliver the data instantly to any part of the world. There are plenty of CDN service providers are available to choose. However, the well-known Content delivery network providers are MaxCDN, CloudFlare, and KeyCDN for the WordPress. Cloudflare comes with free as well as paid option whereas other two are chargeable.

Avoid unnecessary Plugins

The WordPress software provides basic structure to the website. However to make it display friendly, secure, SEO optimize, etc you have to install plugins. We often assume that more the numbers of the plugin installed, less the speed of the website. Do more plugins make WordPress website slower? The answer is no and it is well explained in an article by the WP Engine team. They clearly explained that the plugins which are adding extra CSS or js (javascript file) on every page of the website, they may cause the slow loading of your website. Same is true with a plugin which makes a request to the database on every page load. You should check site speed with GTMetrix before and after the installation of each and every plugin. It will surely find the plugin which is responsible for the slow speed. You must remove such plugins immediately and try to find the best alternative to that.

Image Optimization

Images and screenshots are extremely important to explain things in a better way. However, we just analyzed that use of images can hamper the page load so we should avoid unwanted images in our blog. The size of the image matters most. Higher the image size larger time it will take to load. There are many plugins available which can compress the size on images loaded on the server but there are other ways also exists to the same. Use the following online compressor tool to minify the images which you are going to put on website

Keep Database Clean

We always try to optimize our site from the front end. But some resources are present in the back end where we never pay attention. The Database keeps the record of our post, post revisions, comments (pingback, unapproved and trashed), etc. The WP-Optimize plugin is the perfect fit for database cleanup job.

I think above points are sufficient enough to optimize the WordPress blog speed. I recommend you to just focus on first 5 points as they are really crucial for the fast loading. For the newbie’s I would suggestion that don’t spend heavy time for website speed instead you should hire a freelancer from a reputed freelancing site. But before that, you must check the site speed of the competitors, your favorite blogs, & person etc. It will also clear the confusion about of the speed optimization.

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