7 Tips for Improving Speed for Your WordPress Website

7 Tips for Improving Speed for Your WordPress Website

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We start a series of articles about improving performance of sites, and first we will talk about the most popular CMS in the world:
WordPress

1. Most popular CMS in the world. More than 60 million sites run on WordPress. About 6 new posts are published on WordPress every second.
2. The interface has been translated into dozens of languages, including Russian.
3. There is a huge number of plugins, addons and templates to the site.

We have prepared 7 tips to help you significantly improve performance of your website site, without much difficulty. First, measure the speed of the website using any service, for example, Ping-Admin. It is important to memorize or write down the exact figure to return to it after the steps are done and you can compare the results. Now you can start improving performance:

1) Managing Plugins

Often the cause of slow loading is plugin performance, many of which are not used at all. We forget to turn them off and they slow down our site. Before you delete all plugins, both useful and not useful, you’d need to analyze which of them are slowing website down. You can do it by using for example a free WordPress Plugin P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler). It will show how this or that plugin effects loading time.

2) Configuring the caching of site pages 

In order to do this, you’ll need to install one of the plugins that will create static copies of your pages. In this case WordPress will not need to generate a new page for each user. You can use WP Super Cache plugin for these purposes.

3) Connect to CDN

No matter how busy your site is, you will always benefit, if you connect to the CDN. CDN takes all static files (CSS, Javascript, Images) and stores them on its network. When the user requests these files, they are downloaded from the nearest CDN node to the user, significantly reducing the page load time. In addition to speeding up, CDN also improves user experience, reduces bounce rate, improves site conversion and SEO ranking. WordPress provides plugins for connecting to CDN, for example, WP Total Cache. You can find instructions on how to quickly configure it in our account profile.
4) Minimize HTML, CSS & Javascript

This means getting rid of all the extra characters in your code: spaces, extra lines, comments.

5) Reduce number of HTTP requests

Most of response time to the end user is spent on loading images, style sheets, scripts, Flash, etc. There are several ways to reduce the number of HTTP requests:

  • Css-sprites. This is the way to combine many images into one, using the background image and background position properties
  • Combine multiple files into one. If you have more than one css / js file, you can combine them into one to reduce number of HTTP requests.

 

6) Use Gzip compression

Gzip-compression reduces size of HTTP response and response time. You can enable this function by adding the following code to your .htaccess file:

# compress text, html, javascript, css, xml:

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/plain

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/xml

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/css

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xml

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xhtml+xml

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/rss+xml

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/javascript

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-javascript

# Or, compress certain file types by extension:

<files *.html>

SetOutputFilter DEFLATE

</files>

Use this tool to test the compression on your site.
7) Choosing a Reliable Web Host

Try to stay away from cheap virtual hosting, because they tend to overload your server with a lot of customers and as a result you’ll have to share resources with a hundred people. We recommend using special hosting for WordPress, such as Pressjitsu or WP Engine. After you apply all the steps, try to measure speed of the site again to make sure of their effectiveness.

Keep fast!

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