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Speed up a WordPress site

WordPress is a great CMS but it can run slowly if your site is not set up and optimized correctly. Figuring out why it’s slow can be challenging but there are some things you can do that will quickly boost performance and speed up your site.

Fast loading pages are vital to improve the user experience of your website visitors and for your Google ranking. It’s now well-known that page speed has a direct effect on search rankings and Google penalizes slow websites by pushing them below faster competitors.

01. Monitor resource usage to see how pages are performing


UsageDD is a great little plugin that adds a small box bottom center of your screen. It’s only visible to admins and displays the number of MySQL queries, amount of memory used by the page’s code, “time to first byte” (TTFB) and time required to generate the full page. TTFB is used by Google for page-ranking purposes.

02. Install a caching plugin


Caching works by by serving up static HTML files of each page on your website instead of processing heavier WordPress PHP scripts, reducing database queries and the load on your server. It can dramatically improve the speed and performance of your website. I generally use WP Super Cache to boost performance on sites.

03. Optimize your HTML, CSS & JS


Fast Velocity Minify combines CSS and JavaScript files so your server deals with fewer requests. It works out of the box and requires little configuration. But after installing it, be sure to check your site in incognito mode to ensure it looks great to logged out users. It can conflict with some themes and plugins.

04. Optimize your images


Large images slow down your site frustrating users. Smush is a great compression tool that uses non-lossy image optimization to reduce file size without compromising on quality. It helps to improve page loading time and your Google Page Speed.

05. Use the latest WebP image format


WebP tech speeds up your website by serving WebP and AVIF images instead of the standard JPEG, PNG and GIF formats. WebP can save over half the page weight without losing quality. WebP Converter for Media has a simple setup and works efficiently.

Note

These tips will help speed up your site but the plugins you use and the quality of your hosting all play a huge part in determining site speed. eCommerce plugins, membership plugins, page builders, gallery plugins, social sharing plugins and stats plugins, are all known to impact performance.

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