How to Improve Website Loading Speed in WordPress ?

Increase in page loading time can result in user dissatisfaction, reduce visitors to your website, and affects the Search Engine Rankings. You can use Google Pagespeed, Pingdom Website Speed Test, GT Metrix & many other tools available to measure website loading speed. Here are a few ways on how to increase website loading speed in wordpress :-

Upload images from external library instead of WordPress server: Uploading images from external library instead of wordpress can increase website loading speed as it won’t consume the site’s bandwidth. So, its better to import images from an external media library. You’ll need to optimize your image(WP SmushIt, WP Optimize, etc. plugins) first for that. You can use any CDN plugins available in WordPress or you can use Jetpack Plugin in WordPress which is free & optimizes your images, stores the images in their CDN Network & doesn’t consume your site’s bandwidth. Also it has lazy load feature which load the images as the users scroll down the website.

Upload videos from external library instead of WordPress server: Similarly uploading videos from WordPress server can slow down the page loading speed. You can use external library like Youtube, Vimeo, etc. where you upload the video & just import to your wordpress site. That will consume their bandwidth & not your site’s, so it will not affect your page loading speed & will increase website loading speed.

Reduce HTTP requests: If you’re using Google Chrome, go to the webpage > right click n the page & click on inspect > go to “Network” in menu & you’ll see a list of files to which http request is made to each one. So, the more files, the more requests, & the more time it takes to load your page. In the left bottom corner, it shows the total number of requests. It’s recommended to go through the files & remove if any file is unnecessary to reduce the number of requests.

Minify & Combine files: WP Rocket reduces the weight of your HTML, JavaScript and CSS files through minification. Lighter files means faster load time!

Reducing TTFB: TTFB(Time to first byte) is the time gap between the http request sent to your host server by the user’s browser & getting the first byte of data from the server. You can monitor that with Chrome Developer Tools, on the webpage press Ctrl+Shift+I > Network, you will see the list of files, on the last is the waterfall column. Take the cursor to the waterfall column & it will show the TTFB time of that page. It is usually recommended to keep the TTFB under 200 ms. You can reduce the TTFB time by enabling caching.

Remove cache: Install any cache removal plugin from WordPress to remove the site cache which otherwise can slow down the site. W3 Total Cache or WP Optimize plugins can be used for this purpose.

Don’t use shared Hosting: It may sound like a bargain, but it will slow down your site. It is recommended to take a hosting separately for your site.

Choose Proper Theme: should be lightweight; which have tons of features that you will never use, slowing your site to a crawl. ; more very basic &simple, faster the website. Twenty Nineteen most light theme.

Optimize your Homepage: keep it clean, Show post excerpts, less widgets, remove inactive plugins.

Optimize your Database: Remove unnecessary data to speed up your site . You can use the WP Optimize plugin which cleans your database, compresses your images and caches your site. 

Hotlinking: Hotlinking is displaying an image on a website by linking to the website hosting the image, it consumes the owner website’s bandwhich and slows down the site. Placing .htaccess file in the root prevent visitors from directly linking pictures,

Gravatar Image slows down site loading: To disable Gravatar images, go to WordPress admin dashboard, from “Settings” click on “Discussion“, scroll down and in “Default Avatar“, choose “Blank“. Leaving the image blank will improve site speed.

Remove unnecessary stored draft: Even after a post is published, wordpress stores all the previous drafts which is most of the time not needed & slows down the site. You can use the plugin Revision Control to limit your number of drafts stored.

Minimize the size of your CSS and JS files: Reducing the size of CSS and JS files can increase site load speed. For this purpose, you can use the Autoptimize plugin which can optimize JS, CSS and HTML of your site.

Uninstall unwanted plugins: Too many plugins can slow down site, so its recommended to only keep important plugins & keep as less plugins possible.

Keep less external scripts as much as possible: External scripts contribute to increase your site loading time. Too many external scripts may result in slowing down your site. So, it’s recommended to keep them less as much as possible except only what’s important.

Disable pingbacks and trackbacks: This feature alert you whenever your blog or page receives a link. But it also puts strain on your server affecting the page loading speed. To disable this feature, go to WP-Admin Dasbboard > Settings > Discussion > Default article settings & untick the boxes which you don’t need.

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