WordPress is a great CMS platform that offers nearly endless capabilities for web designers and developers. However, every great tool has its drawbacks. Although WordPress tackles most of the issues pretty well, there is still one main concern – the speed.
It can be tempting to install all great plugins to offer the best possible experience to the users. However, most of these plugins come at a performance cost, mainly resulting in a website speed decrease.
As a result of tests carried out by Amazon, their revenue increased by 1% every time they’ve improved the speed by 100ms. To translate this into maths, Amazon’s average annual revenue is $100 billion, and therefore, 100ms of their website speed can cost or gain around $1 billion/year. That’s simply incredible.
Few month ago, we carried out a significant performance optimisation for our website. This work has resulted in decreased website speed (2.85 seconds to 900ms), considering that we’ve redesigned the site that led to an increase in page size (870KB to 1.7MB).
Let’s look at the comparison:
Now, let’s go through 5 simple ways to speed up your WordPress site.
1. Make use of the Caching Plugin
A caching plugin creates static (cached) versions of the site to deliver to users. So, instead of loading all of the scripts, images and files when users hit “refresh”, a caching plugin would serve a cached version of the site, which results in a faster load time.
Caching Plugins also come with some powerful functionalities that help to improve the load speed even further.
- Object & Browser Caching
- GZIP Compression
- CDN Integration
- Image LazyLoad
- DNS Prefetching and more.
We recommend using one of the following plugins:
2. Optimise & Rescale Images
In most cases, images take the most space on a website. That said, this is a relatively easy task to accomplish. Plugins like WP Smush It, Imagify or EWWW Image Optimizer will compress your images automatically without decreasing the quality.
Rescaling images can also decrease the load time. If you intend to use 500px by 500px image, avoid uploading 1000px by 1000px image and resizing it within WordPress.
Script minification includes the reduction of the file by eliminating unnecessary characters, comments and white space. Wed Developers often leave a lot of notes when writing scripts, which can eventually increase the file size.
Sounds technical? The good news is that most caching plugins would have the option to do this automatically.
4. Avoid Massive Plugins
Poorly written plugins are usually one of the main sources of website delays. So, try to use as few plugins as possible, and delete the ones that you no longer need. Not only they create delays but also сan put your site under the security threat.
You can use plugins like P3 to identify the plugins that are slowing down your site.
5. Use CDN (Content Delivery Network)
We recommend using one of the following CDNs:
There are many more factors that can affect your website performance, but these 5 points above should give you a solid foundation.