16 Simple Hacks to Speed Up WordPress Site in 2019

Every blogger wants to speed up WordPress site and achieve a better Google PageSpeed Insights score.

In today’s dynamic world, a small delay in loading time of a website can make visitors abandon your site and move to your competitor.

Would you like to have such kind of user experience only because of the slow loading time?

The answer will be definitely ‘No.’

Even, top search engines including Google and Bing consider the website loading time as a ranking factor for displaying search engine results.

Slow loading websites often have a higher bounce rate and lower average time on page — again, a red signal for SEO.

If SEO is driving a major percentage of traffic to your website, then you must focus on website speed optimization.

The delay in loading time affects conversion rate adversely whereas improvement in site speed can boost user experience and help to get more positive feedbacks.

That’s why you should consider loading time very important and make your website amazingly speedy for the visitors.

16 Actionable Tips to Speed up WordPress Site

I have shared some useful tips here to make your website surprisingly faster and smooth.

1. Invest in High-Quality WordPress Hosting

High-quality web hosting is very important to speed up WordPress site. Since the poorly optimized web hosting affects page loading time and may give frequent downtime with a small increase in site traffic, self-hosted WordPress sites must pick a good hosting service from a reputable company.

An average server response time beyond 200ms or extreme variations, are both signs of you need to improve your web hosting service.

Find and fix the issues including lack of adequate memory, slower database queries, and slow routing of your requests to see a significant improvement in the server response time.

The web hosts having the latest hardware installation and only an optimum number of websites on each server tend to face the least problems with all the above. So choosing a better hosting solution is a crucial factor to increase page speed.

Here are a few recommendations for web hosting services —

Sr. No. Type of Website Recommended Web Hosting
1. Micro-Niche Blog/Small Affiliate Site SiteGround
2. Authority Affiliate Site WPX Hosting
3. Growing AdSense Site A2 Hosting
4. News Publication Site Kinsta
5. Business Website/Blog WPX Hosting
6. E-commerce Store Kinsta

If you are expecting a massive surge in website traffic, then choose a reputed Cloud hosting which can scale in real-time and manage all visitors without any downtime.

** Kinsta is premium managed WordPress hosting using Google Cloud platform for achieving the lightning fast speed. Any business that cares about its visitors and revenue, should consider hosting its website with Kinsta.

2. Use the Latest Web Technologies

A WordPress site uses multiple web technologies including PHP, HTML, CSS, and HTTP. The latest versions of web technologies come out for different reasons. They contain new features, bug fixes, improvements, and often faster speed.

For example,

PHP 7.3 is faster than its previous versions, and when compared to PHP 5.6, it can handle almost 3 times more requests per second! (Source: Kinsta)

**Make sure you have the latest backup copy on remote location before making any changes or test on a staging site first. This way you can quickly revert changes if anything goes wrong.

3. Choose a Fast-loading Theme

So your theme should be highly responsive and optimized for search engines. The poorly coded themes often have junk of unwanted code that can harm your page loading time.

That’s why try to choose a lightweight theme with only the features you need and nothing else. You can add extra functionalities via plugins or custom codes if you need to improve its serving area.

GeneratePress and Astra are a couple of speed-optimized and mobile-responsive theme to load your WordPress site within a blink of an eye.

Also read: GeneratePress Review 2019 – Best WordPress Theme to Speed up WordPress site

MyThemeShop is a premium web development club offering a variety of fast-loading themes, and MTS AdSense is one of the most popular WordPress AdSense theme from MyThemeShop repository.

4. Use Effective Caching Plugin

Caching is the process of storing data from one request and reusing it for subsequent requests.

When the client requests something, fetching resources over the networks is slow and expensive because the download requires multiple round-trips between your server and the client. It costs users with incurring data and may block rendering web page content by processing delay.

Since caching uses previously stored resources, it significantly reduces the load on the server and serves web pages faster.

Use of caching plugins including WP Fastest Cache(Free) or WP Rocket(Premium) is the easiest way to enable caching mechanism.

A few managed web hosting services like Kinsta offer server-side caching so that you need not install any caching plugin to your WordPress site.

5. Use Content Delivery Network (CDN)

The CDN (Content Delivery Network) has a wide network of the web servers & data centers distributed across the different geographical locations.

Content Delivery Network CDN
Content Delivery Network (CDN)

CDN helps to deliver the static contents including the software programs, games and large media files faster and more efficiently compared to the single server.

Since CDN works as a mirror of your web host and provides contents from the nearest possible server (which results in the reduced latency), you can see around a 200% increase in your website speed.

Setting and operating CDN infrastructure is a massive investment, so you need to pay premium subscription charges to use this service. StackPath (formerly MaxCDN) and KeyCDN are a couple of great option for growing website in the affordable budget.

However, a few companies like CloudFlare have free tier plans for basic users with limited features.

Almost every managed hosting company offers free CDN integration which is the best option for any website.

Our recommendations —

Sr. No. Web Hosting Company CDN Integration Add-on Price
1. WPX Hosting WPX Cloud Free
2. Kinsta KeyCDN Free (50 GB to 1TB)
3. SiteGround CloudFlare

Free or $11.95/Mo

6. Optimize Images

Poorly optimized images are often the main culprit for slow loading websites. A webmaster can easily optimize those images to speed up WordPress site using the simple tips.

  1. Define standard resolution for all images on your website including featured images, blog header, blog images (in the content body), ad banners, and infographics.
  2. Define preferred image type — JPEG, PNG or WebP
  3. Compress all images before uploading to your website without compromising on visual quality.
  4. Server images from the CDN

Many people may already have uploaded images files to their WordPress sites that need to be optimized.

In such cases, installing the ShortPixel WordPress plugin will help to improve website performance to the next level.

Shortpixel is a freemium image optimization plugin for WordPress offering 100 free credits/month. You can upgrade to their premium plan if you need to optimize more images.

If you have an image-heavy site including a photography blog, creative graphics/art collection site or wallpaper download site, then you should choose a speed optimized WordPress hosting or serve large image files/downloadable from external sites like Dropbox.

7. Optimize Video Contents

Although WordPress is perfectly capable CMS of serving videos, hosting large files directly on the WordPress site is not a good idea.

There are a couple of major disadvantages not to do so.

  1. Large files cost you bandwidth increasing your web hosting budget.
  2. Adding too many videos makes your site considerably large and thus harder to back up.
  3. More importantly — videos are used as a conversion element to educate visitors and ask them to take action, but uploading videos directly to the WordPress site increase the web page size which takes a longer time to load. In such cases, the visitors may abandon your site and never come back.

That’s the reason why you should host the large video files from super fast external sites like YouTube, Vimeo or Wistia.

You can also optimize the embedded YouTube or Vimeo video files using a WordPress plugin called Lazy Load for Videos.

This plugin replaces the embedded video with a clickable preview image and loads it only when the user clicks on the preview image — using jQuery. So, unnecessary JavaScript is not loaded.

8. Disable Hotlinking

If the third-party website is directly linking to your website’s files, primarily the large media files like images or videos,  then your site may loads slow due to a high number of HTTP requests or you need to pay for additional bandwidth and server resources.

Once your site becomes more popular and a large number of people starts scraping your web files, you may face the issues related to WordPress performance optimization. Or, in the worst case, the website will go down (server downtime).

To avoid hotlinking for your media files, you can —

Create custom images for your site and add your logo/watermark

Use WP-Copy protection plugin to protect your contents

*High-quality infographics often attract more natural links. However, you must verify whether you’re getting backlinks from a good site or not.

9. Optimize Your Homepage

The homepage is the most visited page on almost every website.

A person is typing the web address of your site most probably lands on the homepage.

So optimizing the homepage is a crucial step to improve overall page speed score.

As I mentioned earlier, the design template or theme is very important to keep your homepage size to the minimum.

Here are a few simple tips for optimizing your homepage for achieving a better score in Google page speed insights.

  1. Go to Dashboard >> Settings >> Reading and enable Summary instead of Full-text.
  2. Reduce the number of posts displayed on the homepage (preferably 5-7 if you’re using blog layout or up to 4 if you’re using static homepage).
  3. Remove unnecessary elements and widgets.
  4. Minimal design or at least limit heavy-files loading above the fold
  5. Depending on your end goals, create a clean and beautiful homepage that loads under maximum a couple of seconds.

10. Enable Gzip Compression

Gzip compression lets you compress your website’s source code into a hard to read copy as well as the server can use Gzip to compress your files automatically.

It helps to deliver the compressed contents to users and uncompress when they receive the requested file.

To enable the Gzip compression, take a look at the Apache Module ‘mod_deflate’ or the HTTP Gzip Module in ‘Nginx.’

Using Gzip compression is a technical task and non-techies may need to hire a developer to make this optimization.

If you’re using WP Fastest Cache plugin, then you can enable Gzip compression with a single click.

11. Optimize Your WordPress Database

Optimizing WordPress database manually is an extremely boring job. However, you can see a significant improvement in your WordPress site speed as a fruitful result of your hard work.

Do you want to know the easiest option to optimize WordPress database?

Simply install the WP-Optimize plugin and run optimization for the recommended items.

This plugin will help you to perform the following actions.

  1. Optimize Database tables
  2. Remove unnecessary Database table
  3. Clean all post revisions and auto-drafts
  4. Clean all trashed posts
  5. Remove expired transient options
  6. Remove spam/trashed comments
  7. Clean orphaned post metadata/comment metadata and orphaned relationship data
  8. Remove Pingbacks and Trackbacks

* Don’t forget to take a backup before starting WordPress database optimization.

12. Optimize the Comment Section

Comments are a great way to interact with your audience. You can choose either native WordPress comment management suite or third-party comment services including Disqus or Facebook comments.

Since engagement is an essential growth element for any website, optimizing comment section for speed is a no-brainer.

How can you achieve that?

  1. Remove all spam comments or use Akismet Anti-spam WordPress plugin that takes care of every spam comment.
  2. Use plain gravatar images or remove them if possible.
  3. Use pagination if comments count exceeds 20 per post.
  4. Turn off commenting after specific days in a few niches like daily news or sports.
  5. Turn off pingback and trackbacks.
  6. Optimize the comment section in WP-Optimize as mentioned in the previous point.

13. Remove Unnecessary Plugins and Themes

The plugins are useful for adding extra functionality to the WordPress site.

However, installing too many plugins simultaneously consumes a significant percentage of server resources and increases the website loading time.

To tackle this problem, always install only required WordPress plugins.

Sometimes, your website may have plugins which are not actively updated for a long time causing many performance or security-related issues.

Instead of continuing with these products, delete them and try to find alternative solutions.

I have seen many beginner bloggers having multiple WordPress plugins on their website that serve the same purpose. E.g. Yoast SEO and Rank Math SEO plugin.

In such cases, keep a single plugin that servers your site requirement more precisely.

Similarly, initial WordPress installation often comes with default themes. If you’re not going to use any of them, then consider removing every unnecessary theme from your site.

14. Strengthen Website Security

Protecting website from the potential security attacks is an often underrated and unacknowledged WordPress speed up technique.

Ideally, the server resources should be used in processing website code and database queries — in short, running a website smoothly without any interruption.

However, if your website is under DDoS attack or has malicious code eating your server resources, then you won’t be able to serve user requests efficiently.

Here are a few tips to improve site security and performance.

  1. Choose a high-quality host that actively protect your site(s) from hacking, malware attacks, DDoS attempt, and spam.
  2. Never install nulled themes or plugin even it’s distributed by a reputed source. Instead, get WordPress products from original developers/authorized theme marketplaces or use free products from official WordPress library.
  3. Install security plugins and keep them updated.
  4. Scan your website regularly for malware attacks.
  5. Limit login attempts, add captcha on the login page and use strong passwords to minimize chances of getting your site hacked.

15. Eliminate render-blocking resources

You may find the render-blocking resources are the main culprit in page loading time when you run a WordPress speed test using Google Pagespeed tool or GTMetrix.

How to eliminate render-blocking resources?

Remember, loading some JavaScript and CSS resources is necessary for good user experience.

However, you can eliminate many render-blocking resources (CSS and JavaScript) to produce the fastest possible experience for your users that are conditional means only applied in specific cases or simply not needed to render above-the-fold content.

You can optimize these codes manually or simply install Autoptimize WordPress plugin to remove render-blocking resources.

16. Speed up WordPress Site for Mobile Using AMP

AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is an open source initiative of Google to provide faster web browsing experience to smartphone users.

Accelerated Mobile Pages are often cached and served from Google CDN making them load instantaneously.

Since using AMP can speed up WordPress site for mobile and improve user experience to the next level, I strongly recommend using this technology.

You can simply install and activate AMP WordPress plugin and see your site is loading within a moment.

I have also seen a significant boost in mobile search ranking and organic traffic after I started using AMP on my website.

Wrapping Up

Now, you know how to speed up WordPress site for mobile as well as desktop. It’s not a rocket-science; even a beginner with the basic WordPress knowledge can follow this step-by-step WordPress speed optimization guide and improve his website loading time.

One small request,

If you have found this article helpful, then please share it with your blogger friends so that maximum people can get benefit from this article.

3 thoughts on “16 Simple Hacks to Speed Up WordPress Site in 2019”

  1. No doubt, the page loading time is significantly essential for any website/blog and as because of the slow rendering websites lose almost everything. For any internet site, the loading time is a major factor in developing now. I’m usually busy on one side trying my best to optimize the overall loading speed of my blog. The clean & near coding of HTML can help you to cut off a couple of seconds on your blog. One point I want to tell you that after I moved to Genesis or magazine framework, my blog loading speed has decreased by over 2.2s. Possibly that’s because it has a plain and lightweight structure and it even corrected me to remove unwanted and heavy plugins.

    About the images, not so many users are well aware of Photoshop, so for the alternative to optimize graphics there are lots of websites to help you to compress image size that matter greatly on the entire size of your HTML page rendering on the user side. Also, I switched to a dedicated server and the faster CDN (Content Delivery Network) that not only work for WordPress for the Blogger as well. The use of CDN and can cause a significant difference in site loading time. I used to make changes to HTML and keep an eye on site loading. A dedicated hosting including regular tweaking can make a difference.

    The slow loading causing the two most valuable things to stay away from your website that matter is “Google” and “Visitor.” So it really matters to work hard on optimizing the loading speed of the site and each page.
    No doubt, the page loading time is significantly essential for any website/blog and as because of the slow rendering websites lose almost everything. For any internet site, the loading time is a major factor in developing now. I’m usually busy on one side trying my best to optimize the overall loading speed of my blog. The clean & near coding of HTML can help you to cut off a couple of seconds on your blog. One point I want to tell you that after I moved to Genesis or magazine framework, my blog loading speed has decreased by over 2.2s. Possibly that’s because it has a plain and lightweight structure and it even corrected me to remove unwanted and heavy plugins.

    About the images, not so many users are well aware of Photoshop, so for the alternative to optimize graphics there are lots of websites to help you to compress image size that matter greatly on the entire size of your HTML page rendering on the user side. Also, I switched to a dedicated server and the faster CDN (Content Delivery Network) that not only work for WordPress for the Blogger as well. The use of CDN and can cause a significant difference in site loading time. I used to make changes to HTML and keep an eye on site loading. A dedicated hosting including regular tweaking can make a difference.

    The slow loading causing the two most valuable things to stay away from your website that matter is “Google” and “Visitor.” So it really matters to work hard on optimizing the loading speed of the site and each page.

  2. Yes, the speed of a blog is very important; it is one of the main ranking factors. Site speed also provides a better user experience. You’ve explained it very well. Great job.

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