How to speed up WordPress in 2022

19 Easy Ways to Speed Up WordPress Sites in 2022

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No matter how big or small your WordPress site is, speed is always important. If your site is slow, it can hurt your business in several ways. For one, it will frustrate your visitors, which could lead to them leaving without taking any action.

A slow site can also impact your search engine rankings, as Google takes page speed into account when ranking sites.

Fortunately, there are various methods to speed up WordPress. In this article, we’ll share 19 easy ways that you can apply to improve your website’s performance.

19 Easy Ways to Speed Up WordPress – Summary

Why Speed is Important for Websites?

There are 3 main reasons why website speed is important, such as customer experience, competition, and Google ranking. Below we will discuss each of these reasons in more detail.

1. Customer experience

No one likes a slow website, and if your website is slow, customers will likely leave and go to a competitor’s site. In fact, a recent study found that 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. And if a website takes more than 5 seconds to load, it can result in a loss of up to 95% of potential customers.

2. Competition

Another reason why website speed is important is because of competition. In today’s day and age, there are literally millions of websites out there competing for attention. So if your website is slow, customers will likely go to a competitor’s site that loads faster.

3. Google ranking

Search engines like Google take page-loading speed into account when determining where to rank your website in search results. So if your website has a slow loading speed, you’re likely to be buried on the back pages, where no one will ever find you.

How to Measure Website Speed

The best tools you can use to speed up WordPress and test your website’s performance are Google PageSpeed Insights, Pingdom, and GTmetrix. These tools will analyze your website and provide you with a report that includes multiple different performance metrics about your website’s load time, and recommendations for how to improve it.

To get started all you need is to visit any of them and paste your website URL into the input field. After a few seconds, you will have your report that looks something like this:

How to measure website speed test result (desktop) on Google PageSpeed

How to Speed up WordPress

These are the most effective ways to speed up WordPress. If you want to further improve your website’s performance, then feel free to try some of the following advanced techniques.

1. Optimize images (size and dimensions)

Optimize images size and dimensions

Images are one of the most common culprits when it comes to slow WordPress sites. Large images can take a long time to load, so it’s important to optimize them for speed. One way to speed up WordPress is to make sure that your images are the right size and dimensions.

If your images are too large, they will take longer to load. Additionally, if your images are not the right dimensions, they will be resized by your browser, which can also impact speed.

To ensure that your images are the right size and dimensions, you can use an image optimization plugin like Smush. This plugin will automatically optimize your images as you upload them to WordPress.

2. Use a fast WordPress theme (Astra)

Astra's Speed Results on GT Metrix
Astra’s Speed Results on GT Metrix

The WordPress theme you use can also impact speed. Some themes are faster than others, and some themes like Astra are even specifically designed to be fast.

When choosing a WordPress theme, you should also make sure that it’s well-coded. A poorly coded theme can lead to speed issues, so it’s important to choose a theme that has been coded by a reputable developer.

We highly recommend Astra, which is a lightweight WordPress theme that is perfect for bloggers and all kinds of niche websites. It is highly customizable, well coded, and responsive, and it also provides numerous useful features and options that make it one of the most popular WordPress themes on the market.

3. Update WordPress and all plugins

One of the best ways to speed up WordPress is to make sure that you’re always using the latest version of WordPress, and your installed WordPress plugins.

By keeping WordPress and your plugins up-to-date, you can help ensure that your site is as fast as possible, as these updates will often include speed optimizations and bug fixes that can impact speed.

You can choose to update them automatically or manually by clicking the “Enable auto-updates” in your WordPress admin panel (installed plugins list).

However, it is recommended to switch on the auto-update feature only for reputable plugins as some plugins might not be compatible with newer versions of WordPress, and always back up your website before performing the updates.

4. Use a WordPress managed cloud hosting platform

Your WordPress hosting provider can have a big impact on the speed of your WordPress site. That’s why it’s important to use a managed cloud hosting provider instead of shared hosting, which can be much slower.

A good example of managed cloud hosting is Cloudways because it offers blazing fast speeds, by offering speed-optimized servers, top-notch security, and excellent customer support.

Cloudways offers features that can help speed up WordPress sites, such as a proprietary caching system, content delivery network, and multiple data centers all over the world.

5. Delete unused plugins

One of the biggest speed killers for WordPress sites is having too many plugins installed. Unused or deactivated plugins not only will bloat your WordPress website but will also expose your website to potential security threats. So take some time and go through your plugins, and delete any that you’re not using.

Additionally, you can use a plugin like Query Monitor to identify and disable the plugins that are slowing down your WordPress site.

6. Use a caching plugin

WP Rocket - best WordPress cache plugin
WP Rocket homepage

Caching is a technique that helps speed up WordPress sites by storing a copy of your site’s files in memory. When someone visits your site, they can be served the cached version, which can speed up WordPress significantly.

There are many caching plugins available for WordPress, but the best one in the market and the most popular cache plugin is WP Rocket. It’s easy to use and it has a lot of features that can speed up WordPress.

7. Minify CSS and JavaScript

Minifying refers to the process of removing unnecessary characters from code, such as whitespace, comments, and line breaks. When you minify CSS and JavaScript files, you can reduce file size and speed up WordPress dramatically.

WP Rocket can help you minify your files automatically as well as combine multiple CSS and JavaScript files into one to further reduce file size.

8. Use a content delivery network (CDN)

Cloudflare best CDN
Cloudflare homepage

A CDN is a type of service that helps speed up WordPress sites by caching your static files on servers around the world. When someone visits your site, they’ll be served the cached versions of your files from the server closest to them. This can help speed up load times, especially for visitors who are located far from your server.

One of the best content delivery networks is Cloudflare. Their free plan is good enough for most WordPress sites, and you can always upgrade to a paid plan if you need more features.

Cloudflare offers great tools that can help speed up WordPress, such as caching your DNS records and minimizing the size of your files, as well as securing your website with features like a firewall and DDoS protection.

9. Minimize external scripts and HTTP requests

Minimize external scripts and HTTP requests

External scripts are scripts that are loaded from another server, such as social media widgets. These scripts can slow down your WordPress site, so it’s important to minimize them.

Additionally, HTTP requests are requests that are made to a server when someone visits a page on your WordPress site. Each request takes time to process, so the more requests a page has, the longer it will take to load.

WP Rocket can help with both of these issues by loading external scripts asynchronously and reducing the number of HTTP requests.

10. Use lazy loading

Lazy loading is a technique that helps speed up WordPress sites by loading images only when they’re needed. This means that images below the fold (the part of the page that’s not visible without scrolling) won’t be loaded until the visitor scrolls down to them.

Lazy loading can help speed up WordPress sites because it reduces the number of HTTP requests that are made. Additionally, it can also help reduce the page size.

If you’re using standard image formats like jpeg or png for your WordPress website, you don’t need to worry about it as this lazy loading has been included by default since WordPress 3.5.

But if you want to use next-gen image formats such as WebP, then you should consider using a plugin like ShortPixel Adaptive Images, as the lazy loading is not natively supported for WebP images in WordPress.

11. Enable GZIP compression

enable gzip to speedup WordPress – gzip check example

Gzip is a type of compression that helps reduce the size of files being transferred between a server and a browser. When Gzip is enabled, it can help speed up WordPress by reducing file sizes.

With WP Rocket you can easily enable Gzip compression with a click of a button. You can check if your site is using Gzip compression by visiting GiftOfSpeed and pasting your website URL. If it’s not, then you can enable it with WP Rocket.

12. Optimize the WordPress database

The WordPress database stores all of your website’s data, such as posts, comments, and settings. Over time, the database can become bloated and slow down your WordPress site.

To speed up your WordPress site, you can optimize the database with a plugin like WP-Optimize. This plugin will help reduce the size of your database and speed up your WordPress site.

13. Host your videos offsite

If you have a video on your site, it’s best to host it offsite on a popular video hosting platform like YouTube or Vimeo. This can speed up your WordPress website as the videos will be served from their servers instead of yours.

To do this, simply upload your videos to YouTube or Vimeo and then embed them on your WordPress site by copying and pasting the embed code they provide.

14. Compress images and use next-gen image formats

Compress images and use next-gen WebP image format

Next-gen image formats like WebP can speed up WordPress by reducing image file sizes while also maintaining quality. This is very important for mobile users, where page load time is critical.

ShortPixel is a great WordPress plugin to help you compress images and use the next-gen WebP image formats.

By compressing your images, you can improve your website’s performance and reduce your bandwidth usage. ShortPixel also offers a variety of other features, such as lossless compression, bulk compression, and automatic WebP conversion.

15. Paginate comments and posts

Pagination is a great way to improve the speed and performance of your website, especially if you have a lot of content.

By breaking up your content into smaller pieces, you can help reduce the amount of time it takes for your pages to load. In addition, pagination can also help reduce the amount of data that needs to be transferred between your server and your visitors’ browsers.

Pagination can be used for comments, posts, or any other type of content that is divided into multiple pages. In general, it is a good idea to use pagination whenever you have a lot of content on a single page.

When using pagination, Its is important to ensure that each page has a unique URL. This will help prevent search engines from indexing duplicate content, which can negatively impact your SEO. In addition, it is also a good idea to use rel=”prev” and rel=”next” tags to indicate the relationship between the pages of your paginated content.

16. Use the latest version of PHP

PHP is the programming language that WordPress is built on. The latest version of PHP, 7.4, offers significant speed improvements over older versions.

To speed up your WordPress site, you can upgrade to the latest version of PHP. Most managed cloud hosting platforms offer an easy way to do this, so you shouldn’t have any problems.

17. Eliminate render-blocking resources

eliminate render blocking resources

Eliminating render-blocking resources basically means making sure that the visible part of your content loads first, and then loading any resources (like CSS and JavaScript) that aren’t required for that initial display afterward.

Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool is a great way to find out what resources are blocking your pages from rendering and it will generate a report that includes a list of all the resources that are blocking your pages from rendering.

A common render-blocking element is google fonts. Once we’ve managed to fix the google fonts render-blocking element issue on our website, our mobile page speed score has increased from 83 to 90.

18. Turn off pingbacks and trackbacks

how to turn off pingbacks and trackbacks

Turning off pingbacks and trackbacks can help speed up WordPress and the overall performance of your website. Pingbacks and trackbacks are two features that allow you to automatically notify other websites when you link to their content.

However, these features can often lead to increased traffic and server load, which can slow down your website.

You can disable pingbacks and trackbacks, by browsing into your WordPress admin dashboard in Settings > Discussion and uncheck “Attempt to notify any blogs linked to from the post” and “Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks) on new posts”.

19. Fix all broken links

ahref free Broken Link Checker
ahrefs free broken link checker

Broken links can negatively impact your website’s speed and performance. When a link is broken, it means that the website you are linking to no longer exists.

This can happen for a variety of reasons, such as the website being deleted or the URL is changed. This can cause your website to appear slow and unresponsive, as well as negatively impact your SEO.

To detect broken links on your website, you can the ahrefs Broken Link Checker. All you need is to visit the Broken Link Checker page and enter your website URL. Once you hit “check”, the tool will start scanning your website for broken links.

Final Thoughts on Ways to Speed Up WordPress

As you can see, the speed of a WordPress site can be affected by many factors, but by following these tips, you can improve your website’s speed and performance, as well as your SEO and user experience.

It’s also worth considering doing regular backups of your website to prevent data loss in case anything goes wrong.

Ways to Speed Up WordPress FAQs

Is it complicated to speed up WordPress?

No, it is not complicated to speed up WordPress. We have described some of the easiest yet most effective ways to speed up WordPress in this article. However, if you are not comfortable with making these changes yourself, we recommend hiring a professional.

How can I speed up my website?

There are multiple ways that you can speed up your website, and we covered 19 of the most important ones in this guide, among which using a fast, well-coded WordPress theme, a caching plugin, a content delivery network (CDN), and optimizing your images.

Isn’t WordPress fast enough already?

No, WordPress is not fast enough already. In fact, WordPress sites can be quite slow, depending on how they are configured and what plugins and themes are being used.

How fast should my website load in 2022?

The ideal website load time in 2022 is 2 seconds or less.

How much does website speed matter?

Website speed is important for several reasons, such as customer experience, competition, and Google ranking.

What is a good website speed score?

A good website speed score is one that is in the green on Google PageSpeed Insights, which is a score of 85 or above.

How do I make my WordPress website faster without a plugin?

The best ways to make your WordPress website faster without a plugin are using a content delivery network (CDN), a fast WordPress theme like Astra, and optimizing your images.

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Cosmin is a full-time blogger and has been designing and developing websites for over 8 years. He's a crypto enthusiast and loves anything tech-related. This led him to start, where he helps people launch and grow their own online businesses, through comprehensive how-to guides and reviews.