How To Speed Up Your WordPress Site and Improve Your Google Ranking – BlogProcess

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Speed and efficiency are essential in the digital space, and lacking in any of those two can have adverse consequences. Running a slow-loading website will throttle traffic to your site, causing a bottleneck, leading to a drastically reduced bottom-line. This is why developers and Business owners need to be proactive in addressing such issues to increase loading times in WordPress; below are a few tips to help you achieve better results.

WordPress Site Speed

WordPress, the powerful, customizable content creation tool, has been a revelation to millions of content creators worldwide, with over a 75millions websites to date. Customizable options such as plugins, themes, and various media tools tend to slow things down. Fortunately, there are ways to help improve your site speed enabling site visitors to enjoy your page’s whole intended experience.

Why Is Site Speed Important?

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 Consumers expect web pages to load fast, and 40% of web users reported that they would stop visiting a site if it takes longer than three seconds to load. This is why it is essential to have a fast loading WordPress site. Failure to do so will result in lost earnings. To make matters worse, since 2018, Google has included page speeds in SEO rankings; this means potential visitors will have difficulty finding your WordPress site. With your SEO ranking negatively affected, your site will suffer certain death.

Site Speed Is Even More Important for Mobile

Google prioritizes faster mobile sites, and this is very important because one in five Americans consider themselves as ‘mobile-only internet users. If you do not optimize your site for mobile usage, you would have deprived your site of one-fifth of web browsers. So If you’re concerned about your mobile site’s loading times are not up to standard, it is worth your time to look into using modern WordPress themes.

How Fast Should a Site Load?

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So, you might be asking yourself just how fast my site should be loading? The recognized best practice is to keep your loading times around the three seconds mark or less. Any longer than that, the probability of a user leaving goes up.

How To Decrease Page Loading Times?

Now that you understand the importance of cutting the loading times of your WordPress site, here are a variety of simple tactics you can use:

1- Run a Site Speed Diagnosis

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Identifying how fast your website loads should be the next step towards improving site efficiency. Tracking site speed is recommended if you add a plugin or make some other changes to your site and want to see how those changes affect loading times.

To evaluate loading times, consider using a WP Engine Speed Tool for WordPress-specific site speed recommendations on how to make your site run faster. After you insert the URL of your site, you will be emailed a custom overview of how quickly your site loads and detailed tips tospeed it up.

2- Delete Unused Plugins and Themes

Constantly keep your plugins and themes up to date is essential, but you should permanently remove unused plugins to maintain a fast site. New plugins and themes present security vulnerabilities; they may also undermine the efficiency of the WordPress platform.

To uninstall the unused plugin, you will need to deactivate it first. Then you can go to the list of disabled plugins and remove the plugins you no longer want

3- Clean Up Your Media Library

It is normal to eventually have pictures that are no longer used on your site. It would help if you considered eliminating unused media to free up space.

To delete unused media manually, you can use a plugin such as Media Cleaner to remove unused media or do so manually.

4- Clean Up Your Database

Left unchecked, your WordPress database can accumulate unnecessary junk. This needless clutter will slow down your site. With frequent clean-ups, you can reduce the size of your database for faster loading.

If you are technically gifted, you can clean up your database manually using phpMyAdmin.

If you’re not technically gifted, downloading a plugin to accomplish this mission is a better way to go. WP-Sweep and Advanced Database Cleaner are both safe bets to broom through the database and get rid of old revisions, spam messages, MySQL requests, and more.

5- Remove Render-Blocking Javascript and CSS

The critical function of JavaScript is to perform operations on a website page, such as pop-up or rotating images in the slider. Unfortunately, these features can slow downloading speeds. They do not need to be loaded before your site’s content, and styles are fully loaded using plugins such as WP Critical CSS that can delay this JavaScript, making your site load quicker.

6- Minify CSS, HTML, and JavaScript

CSS, HTML, and other source code files will grow over time, causing your site to slow down to a crawl. This can be remedied by minimizing the code to give your site added speed and efficiency. By minimizing, the backend of your site into a lean and efficient site, the speed gains will be significant. This strategy works by reducing the file size of HTML, JavaScript, and CSS files and by removing redundant characters such as spaces, line breaks, and comments. As a result, a reduced amount of data transfer is expected so that files run faster and your web pages load faster. A range of plugins has been designed to minimize code, such as Autoptimize, a top-rated free plugin.

7- Optimize Images

Images are vital to keeping a site user interested. Although your site can have a lot of lovely imagery, it’s a wise option to optimize these photos for quick page load times. There are many ways you can optimize your files, including compressing images, inserting old text and titles, and creating a sitemap file.

8- Lazy-Load Long Pages

Lazy loading is a huge time – saver for one-page sites and sites with a long home page. The elements lower down on your page aren’t loaded until the visitor scrolls down to see them, which is called lazy loading. This allows your site to start rendering faster by not loading all of your long page’s content at once. BJ Lazy Load is a popular plugin for this purpose.

9- Limit Comments Per Page

While it’s great to have so many people read your blog posts, many comments can slow down page load time. It’s a good idea to divide the comment section into pages to reduce the time it takes to load.

10- Minimize Redirects

Although redirects have their uses, unnecessary redirects such as 301 redirects and redirect chains can cause significant delays. It’s best if you keep your server’s additional information requests to a minimum.

11- Minimize Post-Revision Revisions

Post revisions keep track of every content change you make indefinitely, which can slow down your site. You can choose to limit the number of revisions per post to speed up your site.

Use an FTP client to open the wp-config.php file and add this line of code to limit the number of post revisions:

In this example, 4 means there will be four revisions created per post.

12- Pingbacks and Trackbacks should be disabled.

While you may not have heard of pingbacks or trackbacks, they are considered a legacy feature by some. Even so, it’s still a good idea to make sure they’re turned off because they can cause page speed issues.

Go to Settings -> Discussion and uncheck “Allow link notifications from other blogs…” and this will disable the pingbacks and trackbacks.

13- Run the Latest Version of PHP

Running the latest version of PHP will increase the speed of your site considerably. To determine if your site is ready to switch to the newest PHP environment, try using WP Engine’s PHP Compatibility Checker plugin.

14- Choose a Fast, Lightweight Theme

If you didn’t know, not all WordPress themes are created equal, with some written better than others. If your site takes too long to load, it’s pointless to have a beautiful UI template.

Rather than going for a feature-rich theme (which requires a ton of code to be loaded any time anyone visits your site), go for a minimalist approach and use a theme that includes the bare essentials.

15- Use a CDN

Your content should be delivered lightning fast regardless of the user’s geographic position. However, this is not always possible. That is if your website isn’t hosted on a network that includes data centers in different parts of the world. When it comes to content delivery, distance can cause delays, which is where a content delivery network (CDN) comes in handy.

When a CDN is configured to your website, your site will use an optimized server nearest to your visitor location, meaning your page load times will be quicker. Users will receive static content and files from the data center, which will be sent to them based on their location. Since the static content is already ready to go, instead of demanding a large amount of HTTP at once, this will help minimize additional HTTP requests.

16- Leverage Browser Caching

With your web server sets up with HTTP headers to determine a cache expiration period, it also sets up browser directives for how long the web page should be cached in the visitor’s browser. This instructs your visitor’s browser to import your website’s elements (such as CSS, JavaScript, and images) from their local disk rather than from the internet. Since the browser can make fewer network connections, as a result, the web page will load faster for them.

It’s also essential to have an expiration date in your HTTP headers so that the browser knows when to fetch resources from the network as if they were fresh rather than from their local computer.

17- Move to a Dedicated Server

It is worth considering hosting your site on a dedicated server if you anticipate high traffic. A shared server may be problematic when uptime is critical, resulting in slower loading times. Whilst shared hosting is inexpensive, sharing a server with others can cause CPU and RAM clogging. As with shared resources, if another site consumes all of the server’s bandwidth, you’ll have a slow-running site/server with the possibility of downtime.

It’s worth investing in a hosting package that gives you access to all of a single server’s services to ensure your site has the best possible uptime.

18- Consider Your Hosting Infrastructure

The WordPress hosting provider you choose can have a significant positive effect on site speed. Managed hosting may be needed for a faster WordPress website, depending on the resources and technology allocated to your account.

Internet users now expect websites to load quickly and seamlessly.  As technological advancements improve, there are more options available to help web administrators to improve the overall browsing experience on their sits. We hope the above tips will speed up your WordPress site, resulting in more site visitors and increased revenue. 

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This content was originally published here.

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Jeff Kerby

CEO | KERBCO Web Services