10 Ways to Speed up Your WordPress Site

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2. Choose a Lightweight Theme

Is your theme lightweight? If not, you should consider switching to one. Unlike premium themes that offer many features – most of which you probably don’t use or need – and unnecessarily load too many scripts and styles, lightweight themes come with only the basic features that you need, making them faster than premium themes.

You can use various free plugins to optimize your site speed but you won’t see results if your theme is not fast to begin with. WPDean has gathered a great selection of the fastest themes out there, so be sure to check those out.

3. Reduce Image File Sizes

Images take up a lot of space in your wp-content folder and consequently lower your site speed. That’s why it is always a good idea to compress all your images.

Plugins like EWWW Image Optimizer and Compress JPEG & PNG Images reduce image file size without losing too much quality. For example, the latter plugin compresses image file sizes by 40-60 percent for JPEGs and 50-80 percent for PNGs without a visible loss in quality.

4. Add Lazy Load to Images

Lazy Load is a tool that can drastically speed up any image heavy site. What it essentially does is force images to load only when they are in a reader’s view, so above the fold. For example, if you were to see an entire post on a single page, the first few images within your view will load and the rest will load as you scroll down the page.

Ready to implement it? Here are a few popular versions that’ll get the job done with minimal effort from your part:

  • Lazy Load: Straightforward and easy to use. Just install, activate and you’re good to go. A no-brainer for anyone’s site.
  • Rocket Lazy Load: A lightweight plugin with a tiny script (less than 2 KB!).
  • Unveil Lazy Load: More lightweight than Rocket Lazy Load with an even smaller script (0.5 KB).
  • Image Lazy Load: More lightweight version of Lazy load. It does give you more options and has settings for lazy loading images on mobile.

Arnaud, a foodie from Bruges, Belgium, is the editor for the Semper Plugins blog. He also manages the translation teams for All in One SEO Pack (over 58 languages!).

52 comments on “10 Ways to Speed up Your WordPress Site
  1. Oka says:

    Thanks a lot!

  2. Emenike Emmanuel says:

    Hello Broes,

    Thanks for sharing. Speed is an advantage to your success as an online entrepreneur.

  3. Karen Denise says:

    Helpful, thanks a lot!

  4. Charles says:

    Thank you..

  5. June says:

    Could you check my website please?

  6. Rabia Rani says:

    Thanks for this useful information.

  7. IT eKattor says:

    Helpful, Thanks for sharing.

  8. Arga Eryzal says:

    Awesome tips, gonna try this. Thanks for your tips 🙂

  9. Noel Mades says:

    A lot of informations I’ve found here. Thanks a lot.

  10. gunter says:

    Hello Arnaud
    Could you check http://www.eucmh.com and then contact me please ?
    Thanks
    Gunter

    • Arnaud Broes says:

      Hi Gunter
      You should talk to your hosting agency.
      We can’t help you with loading times.
      Arnaud

    • You have a great-looking site.

      I think the site needs improvement in:

      1. Loading time. The problem lies in the amount of high-resolution image files. There are more than 30 image files about 100kb – 600kb. They of course slow down the loading time. You could compress the .jpg files by using compressjpeg.com. Just upload your files and select the desired quality. The file size will decrease significantly without losing image quality visually.

      2. You are eager to show everything in the sidebar, making it look crowded.
      – You can move some of the links in the sidebar to navigation and footer.
      – You can move login, register, translate EUCMH to the top menu.
      – You can use the Twitter widget to accomodate Tweets.
      – Rather than showing all Pinterest thumbnails in the sidebar, use a link to your Pinterest (social media plugin).
      – Reduce the tag cloud link , because the more links on a page, the more they becom a burden by just moving the mouse.
      – Reduce a lot of links, only show the important things so that your banner ads look more prominent.

  11. Gary says:

    Great tips… thank you.

  12. Vedz says:

    Hi Arnaud,
    This information is very useful but i have a question in my mind.

    I installed W3 Cache into my tech blog techhuntz.com after apply some setting my blog was deleted.

    Is any cache plugin is good for any website?

    • Arnaud Broes says:

      Hi Vedz

      I haven’t had any issues with this plugin in the past. In any case, caching plugins can be helpful to speed up your site’s performance.
      I do recommend that you always try new plugins and commit changes to a development version of your site, and not the live one.
      That way you can experiment all the way you want and do not break your live site when causing a fatal error.

      Kind regards

      Arnaud

  13. martin says:

    Thanks, Pingdom is a great tip.

  14. graham says:

    Thanks for the information about website speed problems. I use siteorigin page builder on my website. This uses lots of widgets on each page. Does using a page builder to build website pages affect the display time?

    • Yes, these page builders can severely affect the performance of a site. You can test this by comparing a copy of your site that is running no page builders and a basic theme such as the default Twenty Sixteen theme to your live site and see if there’s a difference in page speed.

    • Pat Bell says:

      You don’t have to use all the widgets. Imo SO pagebuilder is a great asset in building pages, so much quicker than faffing around with the complex CSS I’d need to do the same. I have just optimised several sites and the main slug was Jetpack, even with no widgets activated, just to WordPress.com connection was enough to give frequent error 500s. Removed it and I haven’t had one since.

  15. Buy, Hold Long says:

    Oh nice one, these tips should help me speed up my site. Thanks for that.

  16. Faisal Zamir says:

    Thanks for sharing these great tips.

  17. Eyu Clifford says:

    You are right, but why are some websites fast and others slow?

    • Arnaud Broes says:

      Site speed mainly depends on the amount of content that has to be loaded, the amount of traffic (visitors) the site has to process and the performance of the webserver (webhost).

  18. Jerry Peri says:

    Thanks a lot for the useful information, will sure benefit from it!

  19. Patrik says:

    Thanks a lot, will use most of your advice. Will be needed on my website.

  20. Seng Rean Sey says:

    Thanks a lot for sharing. I hope I can now improve my site speed.

  21. Granit aŞ says:

    Peki bu eklentiyi sizdenmi satın alacagız yardımcı olurmusunuz?

  22. Andreas Kramers says:

    Hey Arnaud, nice post. I especially like the hotlinking tip.
    As for caching plugins, WP Rocket is by far the easiest to configure and imho the fastest caching plugin. Boosts any WP installation with at least 30%.

    Keep it up!

  23. Afa says:

    The article was a big help, just implemented some of your recommendations. Thank you.

  24. Janice says:

    Hi Arnaud, lots of great advice. Thank you. I’m using Jetpack with WordPress. After enabling everything and adding the proper plug-ins, my Google page speed came back with an 88 and one thing to fix. What do I do with “eliminate render blocking Javascript and CSS above the fold”? Is there an easy solution without having to deal with code? Thanks again for all your great advice.

    • Hi Janice,

      Assuming you’re referring to the above-the-fold Google Analytics Javascript, you can safely ignore that message. The code is exactly where Google wants it, despite the Google Pagespeed message.

  25. great tips says:

    Thanks for sharing, but you said 10 ways? Where are they?

    • Arnaud Broes says:

      This blog post is paginated. You should click on the next page to find out.

      • great tips says:

        Oops, thanks a lot!
        Is that option of pagination good for SEO?
        What do you recommend ? A pagination post or all content on a single post ?

        • Arnaud Broes says:

          There’s no direct advantage for SEO. The main purpose of paginating posts is to add more structure to your text and enhance the reader’s experience. Important to note is that you have to implement these tags into the HEAD section of your code, otherwise you may actually experience a negative impact on your SEO:

          http://prntscr.com/e16re4

          However, improving the reader’s experience could have an indirect positive impact for your ranking & SEO due to the fact that readers will likely enjoy your content more, browse your site longer and revisit, increasing the popularity of your content which in turns raises your PageRank score.

  26. Tim says:

    Brilliant. Thanks. Less pages next time please. I am reading on a mobile. 🙂

  27. katimbo says:

    But I heard that too many plugins slow down the site.

  28. mike says:

    I like the information, but I want to know more about WordPress usage, what can I do?

  29. Michelle Hoffmann says:

    Thank you! 🙂

  30. BBO Crystal says:

    like it,Thank you!

  31. amit misal says:

    Helpful information for internet marketers like me.

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