WordPress is an amazing platform that allows individuals and businesses to build and maintain a professional website without the need or help of a website developer. Of course, if you’re looking for a more customized option a WordPress developer (like me!) may be exactly what you need to help deliver a site that is optimized to perform and meet your organization’s goals.

With all of the great tools and options WordPress provides, keeping your site loading fast is key to visitor retention, search engine rankings and more. Here, we summarize 6 ways to increase your WordPress site speed. 

  1. Make sure your host is the right fit

    Not all hosts are created equal for WordPress sites. Look for a host that specializes in WordPress optimization for faster page and database loading. WordPress is database-driving so making sure the host can serve up this data will make a noticeable difference in page content loading on your site.

  2. Enable caching on your site

    Web caching allows the storing of a websites HTML, pages and images within a browser to reduce serve lag from your host. This provides a significant site speed improvement and is a method that is recommended by Google to assist with better site speed scores. There are a number of quality Cache plugins you can use that can help allow this functionality within a few clicks.

  3. Minify CSS and JavaScript

    Minification is the process of removing unnecessary characters and spacing from your site’s CSS and JavaScript files without effecting the function of these important files. This can help speed up how fast these files are loaded which helps improve overall site speed times. 

I recommend using a quality plugin to accomplish this, but always backup your sites when performing this as some source code can be negatively affected. Our best practice is always to test before implementing in real time.

  4. Opt to “Lazy Load” images

    This is a technique that defers images from loading on your WordPress pages that are below the fold instead of long pages loading all images at once. This will reduce load times and is recommended by Google along with compressing images to reduce overall image sizes.

  5. Get a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

    A CDN is a system of distributed servers (network) that geographically distributes your site to provide faster delivery over a singular server location. A CDN does not replace your host but serves as a partner to enhance your site performance and is highly recommended.

  6. Remember to clean up your site

    Plugins are what make WordPress so wonderful. Having the ability to add whatever tool your site needs to perform a specific function on a page is why so many turn to this platform over others. But having too many plugins can create speed issues because of the number of HTTP requests your site has to perform during load.

    There is a way to combat this issue instead of completely eliminating all of your plugins of course. Unfortunately a large number of plugins can apply files to pages that do not need them. Improving site speed by removing plugins involves unloading unused plugins from pages that are not using them, and taking a few other steps to make sure the site is still functioning as intended.

Using any of these techniques can help with WordPress site speed. The real power will come from combining these approaches, to make your site a lean, mean, page loading machine.