17 Free Easy Ways To Speed Up WordPress

17 Free Easy Ways To Speed Up WordPress
Speed Up WordPress

WordPress is a great platform for starting a blog or company website. It’s a most popular blogging platform in the world.

My Blog is also running on a WordPress.

Wait:

Like every good thing has some weakness. WordPress is quite slow out of the box.

If your WordPress respond with slow response time or WordPress loading slow, check below tips.

In this post, I am telling you a 17 free and easiest way to speed up WordPress load time.

Before we start, let’s know why speed is a key element in the web world.

Why Speed is Important in the Web

When a visitor opens your website in his/her browser, they assume to open and load a full website in 2 to 4 seconds, and this is your chance to impress your visitor at his/her first visit.

If your website able to load within 2 to 3 seconds then you can catch your visitor attention to become a returning visitor, but if your site loads after 4 to 5 seconds than ready to lose your visitors.

Check this great infographic from KISSmetrics to How Loading Time Affect Your Website.

Google considering site speed to decide your place in search engine. If your site is still slow then you do not only lose your visitors, but you also lose your rank in search engines.

Speed Up WordPress Infographic

17 Ways to Speed Up WordPress Infographic

Let’s check the best way that I discover to speed up WordPress.

1. Choose a Good Web Host.

Choosing a good web host for your blog means you are accomplishing a half task because good host makes your blog faster.

If you are new to blogging and want to buy a decent web host for your blog, many shared web host on internet offer “Unlimited Bandwidth” and “Unlimited Page Views” at very cheap rates.

Don’t choose them because they oversell their web hosting servers which cause your website slower.

If you want a best shared hosting then choose SiteGround or Bluehost.

If you buy any hosting before or don’t want to host your blog on SiteGround, then don’t worry. Reads below points to Speed Up WordPress.

2. Select a Good and Well Coded Theme.

WordPress themes play an important role in any WordPress blog. Default WordPress themes are speedy because they strictly follow modern web rules.

I am using a StudioPress Genesis Framework. Or choose Stargazer by ThemeHybrid.

3. Select a Caching Plugin.

When the user hit a website then WordPress contact database to generate a requested page.

Imagine if your blog is getting a massive traffic then it’s created some difficulties to generate visitors required page. Like a slow down a site or in the critical condition your blog host crashed. Means your website inaccessible and display error to your visitors.

Caching improves your blog speed drastically.

Caching creates an HTML version of your blog and when a user hits to your blog then instead of contacting your database, its display HTML version of your blog.

WordPress have many good caching plugin. W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache are really good caching plugin. Choose any one, install it and see the magic. Install both in your blog and check which is works perfectly for your blog.

4. Use a CDN(Content Delivery Network).

Use CDN to lighten your server load and make it a turbocharged.

CDN are used to offload your content from your server and provide it from the nearest place to a visitor.

CDN are high performing servers across a globe and they host your site static content in all server and served them to a visitor from the closest server.

Check this Free WordPress CDN Using Google App Engine to make your own free CDN.

5. Optimize Images.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Images are beautiful and they display a message which is not possible in few words, but the main issue is they slow down your blog if your blog containing a large number of the image.

JPEG are best for a photographic image where PNG and GIF are best for text images but before uploading, you should check which image format producing an image with small size.

For optimizing images first resizing image to make it smaller, then download riot and optimize through it.

Install ShortPixel in WordPress blog and upload an image. ShortPixel automatically detects your image type and its generates best compressed images for blog.

ShortPixel provides free and paid version. Free version helpful for new blogger and they provide 100 image optimization / month. Use My ShortPixel link and get extra 100 image optimization / month free.
Check this How to: Easiest way to Compress Images to optimize your images.

6. Optimize Database.

One thing which is good about WordPress is it have plugins for every task like a database optimization.

Database Optimization makes a database clean from garbage, and this directly affects our site speed.

If a database is full with some shitty garbage code, then blog open with slow speed.

Wp Optimize is simple and effective plugin allows you to extensively clean up your WordPress database and optimize it without doing manual queries.

Note: Always take a backup of your database which is helpful if anything goes wrong.

7. Add an Expires header to static resources and Gzip.

If someone visits your blog the first time then browser download all files from your blog, expire header set a expire time for your static content.

Means if the same visitor revisits your blog then browser don’t re-fetch your static content (Images, CSS Files, JavaScript Files) and this saves your precious bandwidth.

Copy below code and paste in your .htacess file.

## EXPIRES CACHING ##
<IfModule mod_expires.c>
ExpiresActive On
ExpiresByType image/jpg "access 1 month"
ExpiresByType image/jpeg "access 1 month"
ExpiresByType image/gif "access 1 month"
ExpiresByType image/png "access 1 month"
ExpiresByType text/css "access 14 days"
ExpiresByType application/pdf "access 1 month"
ExpiresByType text/x-javascript "access 14 days"
ExpiresByType application/x-shockwave-flash "access 1 month"
ExpiresByType image/x-icon "access 1 year"
ExpiresDefault "access 14 days"
  
## EXPIRES CACHING ##

Above numbers are changeable means you can set it to one year or one weak instead of one month.

Gzip compress the files at the server level before sending to the user. The weight of Minified Jquery library is 91Kb but after gzipping it’s only a 27 to 29KB.

Gzip really helps you to save your bandwidth and speed up WordPress.

Copy below code and paste in your .htacess file.

## BEGIN : Enable GZIP Compression (compress text, html, javascript, css, xml and so on) ##

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
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-httpd-php
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-httpd-fastphp
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE image/svg+xml
SetOutputFilter DEFLATE

## END : Enable GZIP Compression ##

8. Use a Minified Resources.

When browser communicates with your website, it’s downloading a requires file which is help to display your website to the user.

When you add some fancy plugin in your blogs like a sharing plugin or slider, they inject a CSS or javascript file in your blog to render their functionality.

Browsers are designed to fetch 2 or 3 item parallelly from one domain at a time.

Think if your blog has 10 to 15 CSS files and javascript file means it takes a time to download all items from the blog.

This makes your website slower so instead of downloading all file individually pack them into one file and served to visitors.

Many good plugins are present to do this work but my personal favorite and used at this blog is Autoptimize.

Install it and forget it. All task is done automatically.

Autotomize minimizes your HTML, JS, and CSS file and served them in the fewer HTTP request. In my opinion, make your HTTP request below 50.

9. Add Lazy Load to your images.

Lazy Load displays images on a page only when they are visible to the user.

This reduces the number of the HTTP requests mechanism and improves the loading time. This not only save your time, but it also saves bandwidth by loading less data for the visitor which does not scroll down or simply left your blog.

Use jQuery Image Lazy Load WP or Rocket Lazy Load to add Lazy Load in your blog. Both plugins work automatically.

10. Optimize your homepage to load quickly.

Always adjust your front page, many blogger uses default settings for front which display too many post with endlessly scroll down to check another posts.

Some points for optimizing a front page:

  1. Display summery instead of full post
  2. Reduce the amount of post in front page(Mine is 5)
  3. Remove sharing widgets from front page
  4. Remove unnecessary widgets from your front page
  5. Don’t display too much ads
  6. keep it simple

11. Keep Installation Updated.

Always make sure your blog software is updated, updated code apply the best practices which is followed by modern web. Its helps you to give a cutting edge technology to your users.

12. Turn off pingbacks and trackbacks.

For interacting other blog, WordPress uses pingbacks and trackbacks.

Every time another blog mentions you, it notifies your site, which in turn updates data on the post.

A turning of this setting does not destroy your backlinks. For more detail, read this explanation of WordPress Pingbacks, Trackbacks and Linkbacks.

13. Remove Google Web Font.

Google Web Fonts are used to beautify our blog. Now a day every theme developer including it to a theme. It’s visually appealing to the user.

Google Web Font adds extra 10 to 50 kb in your blog and this slows down your blog.

A user wants a Simple blog with lots of contains, that’s means removing a Google Web Fonts from your blog not affecting your blog, but its improves your blog.

Some reasons for not using Google Fonts might be privacy and security, local development or production, blocking of Google’s servers, characters not supported by the font, performance.

For removing this font automatically use Remove Google Fonts References.

14. Use Google CDN for JQuery.

Now a day every theme uses JQuery for some reason like animating stuff or for nav bars.

When you inspecting any website code and found this code for JQuery <script type="text/javascript" src="/js/jQuery.min.js"> and if you are also follow this method means you are doing something wrong.

Lets me Explain, when a user hits your website and downloads Jquery from your website means you are wasting your bandwidth and make your website slow.

If you use Google hosted Jquery file chances are it’s already downloaded to your visitor computer means browser uses a downloaded file instead of redownloading it.

its decreased latency, increased parallelism, and better caching.

For adding it in your blog copy below code in your theme function.php file.

/* Google JQuery*/
add_action( 'wp_enqueue_scripts', 'register_jquery' );
function register_jquery() {
    wp_deregister_script( 'jquery' );
    wp_register_script( 'jquery', ( 'http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/2.1.3/jquery.min.js' ), false, null, true );
    wp_enqueue_script( 'jquery' );
}

15. Host your videos externally.

If you are a video blogger than its important point for you, host all videos externally.

Use YouTube or Vimeo for hosting your videos.

Why can’t you host video? If you host your video on the own host then its need lots of bandwidths, and I think your host is not faster than youtube server and one major disadvantage is your videos not responsive where YouTube and Vimeo detects a device and offer correct resolution videos for a device.

If you have a mobile than they offer a video which is optimized for your mobile device and if you have a desktop they offer a video which is optimized for desktop and both device seeing the same video.

16. Reduce the no of Plugins.

As I said, earlier WordPress have a plugin for every task but always prefer manually coding over a plugins installation.

Always keep plugins count below 20 or 30 because extra plugin means extra database calls.

If too many database calls happen in your blog, that’s slowing down your blog even if you have a top-notch hosting.

Only keep those plugins which are necessary to your blog and remove all inactive plugins from your WordPress installation.
I have only 18 installed in my blog.

17. Use CloudFlare.

With and Without CloudFlare
With and Without CloudFlare

Image Credits: An Overview of CloudFlare

If you own a self-hosted WordPress site, it’s no need to an introduction.

CloudFlare protects and accelerates any website online. With 23 data centers spread across the globe, CloudFlare’s free CDN and DNS service supercharged and protects over hundreds of thousands of websites.

The best part of the CloudFlare, it’s free. Before installation of CloudFlare, my blog dies at 50 to 70 concurrent user accessing my blog. After installation and with WordFence caching, my blog handles up to 300 concurrent users.

Thanks for reading, please share this article if you enjoyed it.

If you have any doubt or have a suggestion to improve this post, drop your comments in the comments box.

8 thoughts on “17 Free Easy Ways To Speed Up WordPress

  1. Where are the hostel type articles?
    They were really good..

  2. Hello Shaikh Masood Alam,

    Excellent Tips! One of my site has few big size images on homepage and i was thinking to use “jQuery Image Lazy Load WP” or “Rocket Lazy Load” so that it could load faster. Which plugin should be used out of two?

    Thank You!

    • Shaikh Masood Alam

      Its purely based on your choice.
      i prefer “Rocket Lazy Load”

  3. I tried “Rocket Lazy Load” too and seems to be working fine. jQuery Image Lazy Load WP hasn’t been updated since long.

    Thank You!

  4. Kenneth Marshall

    Let me highlight the point “Reduce number of plugin”.

    Most people don’t realize how much this affects performance. They install a whole bunch of plugins to optimize performance which is just self defeating.

    I recommend JCH Optimize plugin. It practically does the work of 5 plugins in one. It minify js and css, aggregates, compress, optimize images, generate sprites and more.

    Its a commercial plugin but you can try out the free version.

  5. That’s a heck of a list.
    I’m already using many of these plugins but I’m definitely going to add the one that defers JS loading since that seems to be the biggest bugbear when trying to speed up WordPress sites (particularly for mobile devices).
    Huge thanks

  6. Great ways, Shaikh!
    At point 5. I use Shortpixel instead. I get high compression ratio, and I can work with big images too like 10mb/image even when you use multiple images at once.

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