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Best ways to Speed up your WordPress site

September 11, 2013

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WordPress sites are very popular with lots of information on them and they are all fighting to be at the top of the search engines. Site speed is an important ranking factor with Google or any search engine. Google takes speed into account while ranking you in the search results. Your website’s speed affects your page ranking in Google as well as your sites conversion rate. Whenever new visitors visit your website they first notice the speed of your website. A slow loading site can be frustrating sometimes and ultimately compel the visitors to shut it down and switch to next one.

When it comes to websites, slow and steady definitely doesn’t win the race. If you are having the same issue with your WordPress Site, here is some useful information which can help to speed up your WordPress site.

Choose a proper Web hosting provider:

Your Web hosting company and hosting package have a huge impact on the speed of your website among many other important performance-related things. To work in an efficient manner, WordPress needs specific resources, such as memory or CPU on the server where it is hosted. Sometimes those resources are not enough to function properly. This is often the case of shared web hosting account. If you want your WordPress site to work really well, you need a great hosting service. Shared hosting will give you slow hosting. Do upgrade your hosting account as soon as you can afford it. It would be better to use a good hosting publisher rather than shared hosting.

Choose a right WordPress Theme:

When it comes to speed up WordPress, a fast loading theme can make a huge difference. The default WordPress themes Twenty ten and Twenty eleven are great for people who want a fast loading WordPress theme, but if you are looking for something unique and creative then you should buy premium WordPress themes. From my experience, the fastest loading premium theme is definitely the Thesis Theme Framework. When you choose a theme, check the page speed of the theme’s demo. Using a Pingdom Tool tells you about the loading speed of your website. This should give you an idea of how well coded it is.

Cache, Cache, Cache:

Another way to speed up your website is by implementing cache. Caching serves pages faster by saving copies of files and limiting server-side processing. Caching converts your dynamically created pages WordPress web pages into a static page. The key thing to understand is that it makes your pages load more quickly. Please click here to know “What is Caching and Cache methodology in WordPress

Make use of Caching Plugins:

One excellent thing with WordPress is that it has got a plenty of plugins which helps in enhancing the functionality of any site. Simply install and activate, and watch your page load faster as the elements are cached. There are several WordPress cache plugins out there. The following are the most popular and highly recommended ones:

  • W3 Total Cache
  • WP File Cache
  • Memcached Object Cache
  • APC Object Cache
  • WordPress Redis Object Cache

Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN):

CDN is an Important Service to Speed up Your WordPress Site.  A CDN is a collection of web servers distributed across multiple locations to deliver content more efficiently to users. CDN helps to deliver your content, images, CSS and Java script files from different locations across the globe.  Setting up a CDN can take a few hours, but it’s usually one of the quickest ways to dramatically improve page-loading speed. You can get a free CDN from your hosting provider.

Limit the Number of Plugins that you Use:

Plugins are a great way to add special functionality to a website. However, many plugins often increase the size of each page and load unnecessary CSS files and JavaScript. Hence be sure to deactivate any plugins which are not being used. Additionally, stop using plugins that dramatically increases the load time of a page. So choose your plugins carefully and use only those which are needed for your website.

Optimizing images and widgets:

Unnecessary images on the page affects the loading speed of the page. Optimize images not only to make WordPress faster but also to reduce bandwidth use. It is also important to know what types of images you can use and when. If you are using simple images it is recommended to use a 8-bit PNG. This makes your images smaller which makes them faster to load on your website. But if you have complex images with lots of colors, then JPG or 24-bit PNG is recommended. The best solution to optimize images is to install  WPSmush It plugin on your WordPress Site. It will automatically reduce image file size to add to a page or post without losing quality. Widgets can often put a drain on the speed of the page because they rely upon 3rd party servers to load. Therefore choosing lazy load widgets can prevent the rest of your page struggling to load. Lazy widget plug-in can be used to allow you to select which widgets are lazy loaded.

Minify HTML, CSS, JavaScript and PHP:

WordPress load time can be reduced drastically by reducing the number of HTTP request, and by decreasing the overall page size. To do this, you need to compress and combine your CSS and JS files. To reduce the number of dynamic PHP and HTTP calls, use sub domains to share the load. Use external scripts instead of placing tons of code in your header.php file. This allows the browser to cache the script so it won’t have to read it for every other page.

Enabling GZip Compression:

The first thing we are going to do is ensure that the website is being compressed before it is sent to our visitors. Gzipping reduces the size of the HTTP response and helps to reduce response time. It is an easy way to reduce page weight. You can use the WP HTTP plug-in for this.

Optimizing the Database:

The database is the place where everything about your WordPress is stored. WordPress uses database to store posts, pages, comments, settings and plug-in information. To optimize the wordpress database of your site, You can use WP-DB manager plug-in. This plug-in will help you to back up, restore, repair and optimize your database.

Turn off Pingbacks and Trackbacks:

Pingbacks and trackbacks are methods used by WordPress to alert other blogs that your posts link to. they can be a drain on page speed and are usually better turned off. You can turn them off under the “Discussion” tab in “Settings.”

Keep your WordPress Version up to date:

With the release of new versions, WordPress keeps on improving. The developers put their efforts in making WordPress faster and safer. Be sure to grab the latest stable installation of WordPress.

Thank you for reading the article. You may be interested in reading “How to improve the safety and security of your WordPress site

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