How to speed up your WordPress website
Before we even get started on how to speed up your WordPress, let’s have a quick chat about why you should have fast WordPress.
Millions of people use WordPress all over the world, and why not? It’s an excellent platform for your website. Some stats online claim that WordPress powers over 40% of the web, and I think they’re right. WordPress is affordable, customisable, and powerful.
But with great power comes great responsibility!
With thousands of apps, widgets, plugins, WordPress can get bloated and become sluggish. Slow WordPress means slow site loading, slow apps, slow everything.
Why is this bad? Slow sites usually get low ranking scores on search engines such as Google. This will affect your site’s visibility on the web. Slow loading sites are also a massive put off for your target audience. With all the competition on the web, people don’t have time to sit around waiting for your site to load.
Of course, keeping your WordPress and plugins updated and uninstalling unused plugins is a practical step in the right direction, but something far more important is often overlooked!
You guessed it! Hosting.
Hosting is a service used to hold and present your website data – including text, media, images, etc.
It’s important to understand that not all hosting is the same. This is why selecting the correct type of hosting, and the right hosting company is crucial to the smooth running of your site.
Shared hosting is usually the cheapest and most popular option. This does not, however, mean it’s the right hosting for your website. Numerous companies offer this service, and this might be a great starting point for smaller businesses with smaller site requirements. But what you must bear in mind is that this is shared hosting – you are using a shared space on a company’s server. Therefore, you could be sharing the space with hundreds of other sites. And although this might work fine, you will, at times, inevitably, experience slow load speeds and occasional downtime.
You might think that this is worth the discomfort considering the amount you are paying, but wait… there is another, better option.
When people get serious about their website, whether it be a blog or an entire eCommerce website, they look to managed hosting with a reputable and reliable hosting company.
What is managed hosting & why the hell should you get it?
Managed hosting is more expensive than standard hosting… but that is for a good reason. Managed hosting means you have an experienced team supporting and taking care of everything behind the scenes. That’s right, no sluggish speeds and lack of security updates, and a considerably reduced threat of downtime.
The hosting management team will ensure everything is running smoothly and take regular backups of your site. If something goes wrong with your site, you can contact the hosting management team, who will quickly and painlessly restore your site to perfect health.
QuickHostUK’s managed hosting has a dedicated team of specialists who offer 24-hour management support. We pride ourselves on a quick response and turnaround time… or we wouldn’t have called ourselves QuickHostUK!
There are also numerous technical benefits of using QuickHostUK’s managed servers, including:
LiteSpeed Web Server – undeniably the fasted WordPress stack.
LiteSpeed Web Server has the fastest built-in cache, superior performance, and accuracy with ESI- enabled server-level caching.
LSCache for WordPress with intelligence and optimisation. Simply the best WordPress cache plugin with page speed optimisation.
Quic.cloud CDN (Complete Acceleration) that caches all of WordPress, not just images and static content.
The best part about this is that QuickHostUK gives you all this power and speed for FREE.
Now that we have got all the critical stuff out of the way, there are a few simple, quick things you can do yourself to speed up your WordPress.
Be careful when using themes!
There are some great paid and free themes available for WordPress, and it might be very tempting to go for the cheapest and prettiest, but some themes are poorly developed and bloated. So it is usually best to instruct a developer to get your site up and running. Preferably an experienced one who understands optimisation.
Image size matters!
The larger the images your site is loading, the slower it will load – this is basic physics. But did you know that there are free image compression plugins for your WordPress? So get an image compression plugin and reduce the sizes of your images to improve page loading speeds.
Consider lazy loading
This is particularly useful for pages with lots of images as it loads images as you scroll to prevent the page from loading sluggishly. Lazy load overall offers a better user experience.
Don’t get carried away with Plugins!
There are so many great WordPress plugins. It is not difficult to get carried away and download loads, but remember that plugins use power and can easily slow your site down, increasing the risks of security vulnerabilities if they are not regularly updated. Also, remember when uninstalling plugins, they sometimes leave tables and rows in the database, which, over time, can accumulate and take up room and result in slower load speeds.
When it comes to content – the more high-quality content you have on your site, the better. But, if you have loads of posts, you might want to consider using pagination to help organise your content structure and prevent your site from loading vast amounts of data in one go. In addition, pagination will undoubtedly contribute to faster load speeds.