How to Improve the Speed of Your WordPress Website?

WordPress is pretty fast out of the box.

But when you start to add a custom theme, plugins, images, videos and more content, it quickly starts to slow down.

That’s not a fatality though.

There’s actually a bunch of fast and easy ways to improve your website speed without any technical knowledge.

Meme on website speed with photo from the Hangover movie

Here’s how to improve your WordPress website speed today:

  1. Test Your Website Speed
  2. Remove Plugins You’re Not Using
  3. Install a Cache Plugin
  4. Clean your Database
  5. Resize and Compress Your Images
  6. Connect Your Website to a CDN
  7. Pick a Faster Theme
  8. Don’t Overuse Builders
  9. Keep your Web Design Simple
  10. Move to a Better Hosting

Test Your Website Speed

First you need to establish where you’re starting from.

To test website’s speed we use 2 tools :

Both give you different information so it’s good to run both to paint a clear picture of your website’s performance.

On PageSpeed Insights, don’t pay too much attention at the score.

Instead, look at the remarks on Mobile and Desktop, as well as :

  • Largest Contentful Paint
  • First Input Delay
  • Cumulative Layout Shift

These 3 factors are part of Google new Web Vitals signals.

And with Google representing over 90% of search on the web, you want to please the big G as much as you can.

That’s why you need to improve your website speed but also the way Google sees it.

Now on GTMetrix, again, don’t worry too much about the score.

Instead, focus on your:

  • Page size
  • Loading time
  • Number of requests

You want to try to keep them as low as possible.

A good number is below 1mb for page size, and the loading time should be less than 1s.

With this information, we can move on to the next step.

But first, as always, do a backup of your website before you make any change.

Remove Plugins You’re Not Using

Try to limit the number of plugins you use on your WordPress site.

Yes they add cool functionalities, but they also slow down your website.

Try to do more with less.

Keep only the ones you really use and absolutely need.

Get rid of the rest. 💀

Deactivate and remove all the plugins you aren’t using.

Install a Cache Plugin

Cache plugins will compress your website to make it faster to load.

A lot of cache plugins for WordPress are free, easy to setup and will improve your website speed as soon as they’re installed.

Free cache plugins:

If you’re serious about improving your site speed, we recommend you invest in the paid version of WP Rocket.

That’s what we personally use for all our websites (including this one), it works great, and is simple to set up.

Clean your Database

Every time you create a new page, add a plugin, answer a comment… your database get bigger.

That’s why we recommend to clean your database every few months.

It probably contains information about old posts, or plugins you removed that isn’t necessary anymore.

WordPress Plugin to clean your database:

And delete the plugin when you’re done cleaning your database 😉.

Resize and Compress Your Images

Images represent a big part of website pages.

And in the golden age of social media and Instagram, we know how important it is to have good looking photos.

But having images at the right size and compressed is really important.

At MojoSons Media we resize and compress our images before we upload them with Preview on Mac and ImageOptim (Free).

This way we don’t need to add an additional plugin on the website to shrink the images.

But if you already got images on your website and you don’t want to optimize them one by one, you can use plugins for that.

Free image compression plugin:

Connect Your Website to a CDN

A CDN (Content Distribution Network) will host a cached version of your website on different servers across the world.

This way, if the user is far from the server where your website is hosted, they will get a cached version of it from the CDN.

The most popular CDN is Cloudflare and they have a free version that is enough for most websites.

🐵 Mojo Tip: if most of your users and your server are in the same country, a CDN is not always necessary.

Try one and test your website speed.

Pick a Faster Theme

Not all WordPress themes are created equal.

Unfortunately, most of the free ones, except the ones offered by WordPress, are often poorly coded and heavy.

At the same time, it’s free, so you can’t expect the developers to spend a crazy amount of time optimizing it.

Here we use Astra Pro, it’s one of the fastest and lightest themes for WordPress and comes with a lot of functionalities without bloating the code.

For more options, you can check WP Rocket’s top 10 fastest WordPress themes here.

Don’t Overuse Builders

Builders are great and they make web design easy for everyone, even if you don’t know how to code.

But this comes at a cost, extra code that makes webpages easier.

Only use a builder when it’s necessary.

For example, on this website, we use Beaver Builder to design our pages but stick to Gutenberg (WordPress default builder) for our blog posts.

This way we can keep the size of our website and database to a minimum, and improve its speed.

Keep your Web Design Simple

Less is more, especially for things on the web.

We know it’s tempting to add sliders everywhere, animations when the text shows up, an interactive quiz…

But what’s the goal of your website?

To convey a message and to turn your visitor into future buyers, you need to make your website accessible.

So make it easy for the user to find what he wants. And make it fast.

Why do you think this site is that simple? We do what we preach.

Most of the traffic on internet is from mobile devices, and not everybody got access to 4 or 5G.

And people don’t look for things, you need to give it to them.

Keep it simple, keep it light, keep it fast, and go straight to the point.

Move to a Better Hosting

Last resort if your website is still slow after all the changes above, move to a better hosting.

Cheap hosting are often slow because they have a lot of websites on the same server and limited resources.

At MojoSons Media we use Siteground for our websites and we’re really satisfied with their performance. 😁🚀

But if you want to find what’s the fastest hosting for WordPress Websites, Matthew Woodward (a SEO Expert) made a complete comparison here.

Don’t Have Time to Take Care of Your Website Speed?

No worries, leave it to us!

Check our services for WordPress Websites or drop us a message today to talk about it.

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