The speed of your website has a direct impact on its success. We will therefore show you how you can make your WordPress site faster.
The faster your WordPress site is, the higher the positive user experience. In addition, speed is a factor in how you are displayed and found on search engines.
The first step is to analyze the current status. There are a few tools to measure your WordPress performance. For example, there are free website checkers that analyze not only the loading speed but also the general appearance of the site, SEO aspects and security. You will receive direct recommendations for action for optimization.
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In the following we will show you which points you can use to make your WordPress site faster.
When choosing your WordPress hosting provider, you should choose a package that suits your needs. Since there is now a large selection of WordPress hosters, you should check the most important factors in advance.
These include, for example, the current WordPress requirements (PHP version 7.3 or higher, MySQL version 5.6 or higher and HTTPS support), that the provider of your WordPress hosting works GDPR-compliant, the server location is in Germany and the web host is on HTTP/2 aligns.
With most web hosts, you can choose a suitable plan from a variety of plans. As a rule, the tariffs for special WordPress hosting start at just a few euros per month.
2. Enable Gzip compression
Gzip compresses all files exchanged between users’ servers and browsers. Gzip reduces the respective file size by 40 to 70 percent.
Using the WordPress plugin WP SuperCache, you can easily set up Gzip compression by ticking the “Compress pages so they serve faster to visitors” box.
3. Compress images
One cause of long loading times are images that are too large. The solution: Compress your images. Even before uploading to WordPress, online tools like “TinyPNG” are useful for making the images smaller.
You can also use a WordPress plugin. Once the plugin is activated, it optimizes and compresses the images directly within the WordPress database.
4. Reload images via lazy loading
Lazy loading means that the images and videos embedded in your WordPress site are not loaded the first time the page is accessed, but only when the visitor scrolls and enters the visible area.
The positive effect of lazy loading is clear, especially for photo blogs or websites that are particularly image-heavy. You can use special WordPress plugins that add lazy loading to your website.
5. Enable browser caching
Browser caching is a suitable means of optimizing the loading time of the page with relatively little effort. You can activate browser caching via the .htaccess file.
Uploading to the root of your WordPress site will enable caching:
EXPIRES CACHING ##
Expires Active On
ExpiresByType image/jpg “access 1 year”
ExpiresByType image/jpeg “access 1 year”
ExpiresByType image/gif “access 1 year”
ExpiresByType image/png “access 1 year”
ExpiresByType text/css “access 1 month”
ExpiresByType application/pdf “access 1 month”
ExpiresByType application/x-shockwave-flash “access 1 month”
ExpiresByType image/x-icon “access 1 year”
ExpiresDefault “access 2 days”
## EXPIRES CACHING ##
6. Install caching plugin
Caching plugins are there to create a static version of the pages and thus improve performance significantly. An example of this is the “Cachify” plugin, which defines certain points such as the cache storage location or the validity.
If you are interested in other caching methods, other plugins like WP Supercache or W3 Total Cache may also suit your needs better. It is important to note, however, that individual caching settings are usually available for each plugin.
7. Disable unnecessary plugins
The longer you work with your WordPress site, the more plugins accumulate in the WordPress backend that you only use rarely or not at all. This can be a factor in your website not running as fast as it did when it first started.
For security reasons, you should also deactivate and delete the plugins that you have not used for months. If you need the plugins again at a different time, you can simply download and install them again at any time.
8. Choice of WordPress theme
The choice of your WordPress theme can also affect the speed of your website. Therefore, it is best to make sure when making your selection that you include the ratings and experiences of other users regarding speed. This gives you a better overview of how the theme performs in practice.
There is also the option of merging multiple files to reduce the number of HTTP requests. That’s exactly what programs like the “CSS Minifier” are for, which will help you with optimization.
10. Disable or cache Gravatar
Gravatars are images of users that can usually be found when they leave comments under your posts. On the one hand, this should ensure identification with the website and clear assignment.
However, since the GDPR came into force at the latest, gravatars should no longer be part of legally secure websites and at the same time have a negative impact on the speed of your WordPress site.
The deactivation is done quickly: To do this, go to the “Discussion” sub-item in your WordPress settings. Uncheck the “Show avatar” box to disable the setting.
Conclusion: Make WordPress site faster in 10 steps
It only takes 10 steps to make your WordPress site faster. Plan a little time for this – but it’s worth the effort. Your visitors prefer to stay on your website longer and you will be found more easily via search engines.
If you don’t have a website yourself yet, you can register your own domain in just a few steps to get started with your WordPress site.
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This article is part of our content hub for web hosting, cloud services and domains and is sponsored by IONOS.