One of the key factors of a successful website is speed. This is not only beneficial for users, but plays an important role for search engines as well. If a website loads quickly enough it means, it can provide a good user experience and Google will give a higher value and probably better ranking for these websites. There are many factors that can slow down a website, but today I will show you the most common things that will speed up your site significantly.
Web hosting is the base
You can consider everything from the upcoming suggestions, if you have a slow hosting provider, your site will remain slow. So the most important thing to do is to get a reliable and high performance hosting account. BlueHost offers wordpress optimized hosting at a very cost effective rate. Possibility of upgrading your hosting package is also a must need, if the website traffic increases your site can slow down and you will need a VPS or dedicated host. At BlueHost you will be able to upgrade your hosting package easily.
Using a simple and professional theme
There are many themes available for WordPress, some of them perform better others may slow down your site. Try to find a free or premium theme that is simple, easy to customize for your needs, has a legitimate support and is updated frequently. Try to not use very fancy themes with hundreds of inbuilt features. From our experience, very complicated themes that can do everything are tending to significantly slow down websites. Find a theme that provides the features that you need, nothing less nothing more.
Content Delivery Network for WordPress
If your site targets a worldwide audience, a CDN is highly recommended. Content delivery networks are built using multiple servers located all over the world, that work together to provide the content of a website as fast as possible. Cloudflare.com is one of the most popular and reliable service and the very good thing about it is that you can get a free account to test how your site performs with a CDN. Sure, the free account has some limitations, but you can upgrade to pro if you need more resources.
Image optimization is very important. Before you upload your images to the site, make sure you save it for web and do not upload it in its raw format. Resize your images and do not let wordpress resize them for you. If it is possible use different sized images for mobile users.
Cashing pages using a plugin
Our choice is W3 Total Cache plugin, which has been around for a very long time; it can be used for free and is integrated with the above mentioned CloudFlare service.
Remove unused plugins and themes
Everything that is unnecessary for your site will slow it down. Why have multiple templates installed to your system if you are using only one? Remove all plugins that are not in use, and if you think some plugins may slow down site performance, try to find other that will to the job and replace it. It is also very important that you always keep your plugins and themes up to date.
Limiting comments and spam
Comments can also cause issues in performance, especial spam comments. Use an anti-spam plugin to prevent this. Delete all unwanted comments and do not keep them as un-approved. Showing only a limited amount of comments on one page can be also a good way to speed up your site, but probably you want to consider closing the comments after a certain period of time for certain posts.
Finally, test your website!
There are many tools that can test server response and website performance. My favorite is the free PageSpeed Insights service, offered by Google. This will test your site and will give you tips on how to improve performance and user experience.
Hope this article was useful and you were able to speed up your wordpress site with the above mentioned tricks. Probably I missed something, but the comment section is open to more suggestions.