An Ultimate Guide on How to Speed up WordPress

15 ways to speed up wordpress

For every WordPress site owner, it is essential to learn how to speed up a wordpress site. 

A fast loading site influences a lot of things, starting from traffic, bounce rate, conversions to user experience, satisfaction, and SEO.

So here in this detailed guide, we put together some of the definite ways to speed up WordPress. We also talked about why page loading speed matters, what affects a site loading speed, and how you can measure it. On top of that, we compile the best techniques that you can use to speed up your wordpress site.

So if you also want to reduce the loading time of your wordpress site, then continue reading it.

But before that, we should know why site loading speed matters.

Why Website Speed Matters, and why should you focus on speed up WordPress?

Does this question ever strike on your mind: why should I focus on my page loading speed in the first palace? Isn’t it ok if it takes just more than a few seconds for loading? Can’t the visitors wait for a minute before the page loads?

These are some of the questions that I had in my mind. And if you also have similar thoughts, then the answer may surprise you.

Reasons why website speed matters

Slow load speed leads to lost visitors

Few studies have shown sites that take more than 2 seconds of loading time lost almost 47% of their visitors. But why?

Here are some of the statistics concerning page load time and user-behavior:

  • Between the period of 2000 to 2015, the attention span of an average human dropped from 12 to 8 seconds. Now we don’t want to spend more time accessing something.
  • More than 40% of the visitors abandon a site that takes more than 3 seconds to load. (src:
  • 47% of the people expect a site to load within 2 seconds or less. (src:
  • For e-commerce sites, a 1-second delay in page response can cost them a 7% reduction in conversion. (src: 

Although these may not sound much in abstract numbers, it has a wide range of outcome in the real world.

Amazon calculated that a one-second delay in their page response time would cost them around $1.6 billion in the yearly sales.

Although we are not running a massive site like Amazon, however, the takeaways should be clear. So when it comes to visitor retention and conversions, every single second count.

Site load speed is a ranking factor for search engines

Google likes to give its users the best experience possible, so they always try to rank the sites higher in search results, which load quickly as compared to the slow-loading sites. 

Site-speed is also one of their ranking factors of Google. So if you also want to increase your position in SERP, then speed up wordpress can be one of your priorities.

How Google uses site speed to rank up a wordpress website?

In this case, Google uses user behavior itself to determine it. A slow loading site increases the bounce rate, which means users leave the site almost immediately after landing on it. They don’t even bother to stick around until the page is completely loaded, and instead, they hit the back button.

Whenever this to any website, Google takes note and downvotes the site considering it is a sign of a low-quality website.

This problem is more prevalent in mobile traffic. Google recently stated that for mobile indexing, the loading time of a page is a primary factor.

Consider these facts and make sure that your site is loaded quickly on all devices. (If not then start speed up your wordpress).

How to test the loading time of your wordpress website?

For checking the speed of a website, there are quite a few tools available across the web. These are-

  • Gtmetrix

Analyze the current load time of your website. You can start analyzing your site from your Homepage, as we use it as a benchmark.

The loading speed of pages may differ from one page to another due to varieties of reasons, namely-

  • The entire size of the page,
  • Number of External requests,
  • Whether it is cached or not,
  • Kind of content it hosts and a few more

Important: If your site loads quickly on your device, it doesn’t mean it will be similar for users who came to your site for the first time.

It is because you frequently visit your site, and those advanced browsers like Chrome store the website in the cache and load it almost immediately. But in the case of a new user, it is not possible. Also, the user from different geographical areas may experience your site differently.

That is why we always recommend speed up WordPress.

How fast a Website should load

As per the data, we can say a site should load under 2 seconds.

However, the faster you can make your site, the better it is.

A difference of a few milliseconds in load speed can make a big difference in results.

What makes a wordpress site slow?

Whenever you do your site speed test, it will give you some recommendations for improvements. Most of them will be technical jargon, which sometimes becomes very hard to understand.

However, some of the primary causes of slowing down websites are: 

  • Web Hosting: A web hosting is a place on the web where you store all your website files. It is one of the primary factors for the loading speed of a website. If your web hosting server is not composed well, it can harm your wordpress speed.
  • Page size: It is another reason for the slow speed. If your pages are not well optimized/compressed, especially the images, it will affect your load speed.
  • Bad Plugins: If you are using plugins that didn’t receive any new updates or using any poorly coded plugin, then it can surely harm your loading time.
  • External Scripts: External scripts like ads, font loader, etc. can also slow down your website.

Knowing the reasons for slowing down a website can help you in improving performance and making smarter long-term decisions.

Now that you know the reasons for slowing down a website, so let’s take a look at how you can speed up your wordpress website.

15 ways to Speed up WordPress Performance

Here is a list of the techniques that you can use to better your site performance.

Note: We didn’t organize the list in any particular order or criteria

1. Choose a Good Hosting Service provider.

Web hostings have huge impacts on any website performance. Therefore, choosing a good quality web hosting will be your first step to speed up wordpress.

At first, it may seem like a good idea to host your site on any shared hosting, as it came under a nominal price and offers a good deal like “unlimited” bandwidth, space, emails, domain, and more. These look like a great deal, isn’t it?

But the main issue with these shared hosting is performance because you are sharing that same server space with countless other websites, and you can’t say how much resources those other sites are using. If any of your neighbor sites get more then usual traffic, it can impact the entire server performance, and in turn, it will slow down your website too.

Another option that you can choose – Managed WordPress Hosting. These hosting servers are configured specially for wordpress websites, and you don’t need to take care of any technical stuff to run the website. On top of that, these managed wordpress hosting companies offer automatic backup, updates, and more advanced security configuration to protect your website from getting hacked.

Apart from that, you also can choose Cloud Hostings as it is secure, fast, and well optimized. You can get your dedicated cloud server for SiteGround, DigitalOcean, Amazon Web Services(AWS), and even Google cloud at a nominal price. However, setting these servers are quite daunting, as you need to set up the entire server from scratch.

So a Good hosting is our primary step for speed up wordpress. Now let’s head to our next method.

2. Use a Lightweight and Simple Theme

Themes can be another decisive factor in WordPress website speed. WordPress themes provide a lot of dynamic elements, sliders, social icons, and many more things that are quite appealing to the eyes.

Using these elements too much can increase your page size, and your server has to load too many codes to access the page, which ultimately slows down your site from sheer weight.

So it is always better to choose a simple, lightweight theme than a theme that is bloated with layouts, flashy animations, and other unnecessary features. You can always add those functionalities by installing quality wordpress plugins. In this way, you can keep your site lean and lightweight.

Some of the lightweight themes that you can use are GeneratePress, NEVE, and Astra.

So choosing a good theme is very important for speed up wordpress.

3. Use a Caching Plugin

Using a caching plugin is very important for wordpress websites. All the wordpress experts also recommend using a caching plugin. 

A caching plugin drastically improves your page load time by clearing all the chases. And the best thing about them is that they are free and easy to use.

Some of the best caching plugins are- W3 Total Cache, WP Super Cache, WP Fastest Cache, and a few more.

4. Use a Content Delivery Network(CDN)

The location of your hosting server can affect your site load speed. The farther the server that hosts your site from visitors, the longer it will take to transmit your site data. And because of that, visitors from different locations experience different loading times of your site. 

In this case, using a Content Delivery Network(CDN) can help you to speed up your WordPress and loading time of all your visitors.

A CDN is a network of servers across the globe. Each of these servers hosts static files such as images, CSS, and JavaScript of your site. And whenever someone requests to access your site, they can get it from the closest possible location, and it helps to increase the load time speed by cutting download time.

Using Content delivery network helps in Speed up WordPress
By Kanoha – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0.

There are a few good services available these days, such as StackPathGoogle Cloud CDN, and Cloudflare.

5. Optimize Your Images Properly

optimizing images also helps in speed up wordpress

Images help in boosts the engagement of any content. Researchers found that using colored visuals in your content makes readers more likely to read the content.

But in case if your images are not optimized well, it can hurt you more than helping. These not optimized images are one of the primary issues for slowing down a site. 

So, to speed up wordpress, you need to learn how to compress the image without losing the quality.

To optimize your images, you can use a site like TinyPNG, which helps you to compress your images without losing the quality.

You can also use plugins like WP Smush or EWWW Image Optimization. Both the plugins help you to compress the images for free.

6. Use the latest version of WordPress

It always suggested using the latest version of wordpress and its components. Each of the latest versions of CMS comes with different new features, bug fixes, security issues, and more, which makes your site run more efficiently and prevent it from slowing down.

An up to date website not only helps you in speed up but also in securities issues as well.

7. Maintain Database

Like the WordPress core, your database is also getting loaded with information that you probably don’t need anymore. And for that reason, regular maintenance of your database is very crucial. Deleting those unwanted data from your database will make it leaner and usable.

Remove those spam comments, fake users, old drafts of your content, and even those unwanted plugins as well as themes. All of this will reduce down the size of your database and web files, and thus helps you to speed up wordpress.

You can easily do this with plugins like WP-Sweep Plugin or WP-Optimize. This plugin will make the process more comfortable. It allows you to clean your entire database by cleaning things like spams, drafts, unused tags, post revisions, etc.

See this guide of WpBeginners on how to optimize and clean your database for improved performance.

8. Minify JS and CSS files

File minification is another technique to speed up wordpress- your WordPress. 

If you ever look at your website code, such as the CSS stylesheet, you can see that it was organized quite neatly with proper comment and formatting, and that makes the code easier to read as well as understand.

However, this formatting makes the files larger from what they should be. And we already learn that larger files take more time to download. 

So, in this case, you can minify these files by reducing the number of JS and CSS calls, which in turn will help you improve the site loading speed. 

How you can minify your files

If you have the technical knowledge and know your way around wordpress themes, then you can read this guide by Google and do the fixing. Or 

You can use plugins to accomplish this goal. The most popular plugins are Autoptimize and W3 Total Cache; they can help in optimizing CSS, JS, and even HTML of your wordpress website.

9. Uninstall Plugins

There is no point in keeping those unwanted plugins on your wordpress site. They just add a tremendous amount of junk to your web files, which ultimately increases the size of your files and puts an overwhelming amount of load on your server resources. 

So it is always better to get rid of the plugins that you aren’t using.

10. Add Expire Headers

Expire headers tell browsers whether they need to request a specific file from the server, or they should grab it from the browser’s cache.

It also helps in reducing the number of Http requests, which reduces the time it takes for the servers to communicate with the browsers. 

It also allows the users to reuse the cache file stored in the browser so that they don’t need to re-fetch any static content such as CSS, JS, images, etc.

This way, it can cut the load time for regular users.

Use the code below to add the Expire header to your site. You need to Copy and Paste the code to your root .htaccess file:

ExpiresActive On
 ExpiresByType image/gif A2592000 
 ExpiresByType image/png A2592000
 ExpiresByType image/jpg A2592000
 ExpiresByType image/jpeg A2592000

Here the numbers are set for a month(in seconds). Change them as per your wish.

11. Disable Hotlinking

disable hotlinking to speed up wordpress

Hotlinking is a form of a steal of your Bandwidth. It is a practice where a website is using images, not from their site. Instead of uploading an image to their own media library, they simply provide a link to another site where the image is loaded.

If you also have popular content on your site, it might happen with you too. And you will lose your bandwidth as your server has to work to deliver the images to other sites, and you will get nothing out of it.

So to stop hotlinking, simply add these codes to your .htaccess file.

RewriteEngine on RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$ RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://(www\.)*$ [NC] RewriteRule \.(gif|jpg|jpeg|bmp|zip|rar|mp3|flv|swf|xml|php|png|css|pdf)$ – [F]

Don’t forget to replace the with your actual domain name.

12. Avoid Hosting Videos/Audios

WordPress is perfectly capable of hosting and playing videos/audios. But doing so will not be an intelligent move.

Hosting videos and audios on your site can cost you bandwidth, and if you have a limited hosting account, then it will create problems. Even if you have an unlimited hosting plan account, it is still not recommended to host videos on your site.

Apart from bandwidth, another issue with hoisting large files, it increases the backup sizes and makes it difficult for you to restore your wordpress from backup.

Instead, you can use audio and video hosting services like Youtube, Vimeo, SoundCloud, etc.

WordPress has a built-in feature that helps in the embed videos. You just need to copy the video URL and paste it directly into your post, and it will play the videos automatically.

13. Limit Post Revision

WordPress, by default, saves each of the post revisions that you make and which ultimately takes up space on your database.

But you can easily limit those revisions for each post by simply adding this line of code in your WP-Config.php file.

1define( 'WP_POST_REVISIONS', 4 );

This code will limit the number of revisions for each post, pages only to 4 (your last save), and will discard the older versions automatically.

If you are not much familiar with codes, don’t worry, you can use plugins for it. You can use a plugin like WP Revisions Control, set in into a minimum of 3 to 4 revisions in case you have something to fall back on. Make sure the revisions are not too high otherwise, it will create unnecessary drafts in the backend.

14. Add LazyLoad to your Images

If you are using many images and multiple videos embedded in your blog posts, then your site can be benefited from lazy loading.

What lazy-load does is that instead of loading all the images and videos at once, it downloads only those that are visible to the visitor’s browser window, and the more the reader scrolls down, the other images begin to load. 

To add lazyload to your images, videos, Gravatars, you can use the Lazy Load-by WP rocket plugin. You can also use the Autoptimize plugin as well.

15. Turn Off Pingbacks and Trackbacks

Pingbacks and Trackbacks are the two components of wordpress, which alerts you whenever other blogs mention you or receive a link.

Keeping this on puts an undesirable amount of strain on your resources because every time a site tries to link up to your site, it generates requests from wordpress back and forth. And it ultimately slows down your site.

For more detail, read this explanation of WordPress Pingbacks, Trackbacks, and Linkbacks.

Conclusion- Are you ready to Speed up WordPress- Your WordPress

A website load speed is one of the most important things for its success. It influences the bounce rate, conversions, rankings, and many more.

In this article, we describe some techniques that can help you to speed up your wordpress website.

Follow all the techniques that are within your means and capabilities. Even a small change can make a big difference, and you can always optimize it later.

Just remember, speed is not everything. It is only a factor among others. The goal is always to create content that provides value to the readers in the best possible way.

If you are planning to create a website for you then you can check out our guide on how to create a WordPress website from scratch.

Thanks for reading! Please share this article if you find it insightful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *