In this article, we will learn how to speed up wordpress properly to improve the page speed.
Being able to optimize its performance will be one of the keys to improving your online project.
We will start by analyzing the theoretical aspects and, once we understand all the actors involved, we will see the operations to be performed.
How to speed up WordPress and Why it is so important?
A fast site brings benefits for everyone :
- For your users.
- For the positioning of pages in search engines.
- For your server.
The internet audience is becoming more and more demanding in terms of performance and there are many visitors who leave a site from the first page if the loading time is too long.
As a result, the number of pages visited per session also falls considerably.
This also applies to those who visit your pages from mobile devices since, the data networks used, are often not as efficient.
Google, which always puts a focus on the user experience, could not but consider speed as one of the factors to establish the positioning of a page within its search engine.
In fact, on the official forum we find:
“… We are now including a new signal in our search ranking algorithms: site speed. “
Finally, being able to speed up WordPress helps the server in better resource management.
This will also have a positive impact on your finances, because you will be able to use their full potential, without wasting money and postponing any upgrade.
Of information on how to speed up WordPress if there are many, numerous books have been written about it and it is a topic very much considered by all the big names in the network.
The objective of this article is to analyze all the concepts and operations you will need to put into practice to make your site faster.
Fortunately, you don’t need to be an ” expert technician ” to succeed. Once again, WordPress and its plugins will help you with tools for everyone.
To have a fast site there are 5 main aspects to take care of:
- The server
- The theme
- The caching system
We will give a brief overview of the first and we will focus mainly on the cache, the heart for optimizing your WordPress site.
1. Choose a good hosting service
Let’s start by clarifying one thing: having a 500 and pretending to make it go like a Ferrari is not an easy task.
If you are at the beginning of your online activity you don’t have to have a super-expensive server.
The key lies in relying on a service with excellent requirements, which you can easily expand when your site takes flight as the number of visitors.
This is certainly the first and fundamental step to be taken to speed up WordPress.
2. Avoid unnecessary and unnecessary plugins
Having thousands of plugins available is wonderful. The temptation to try them all even more, but remember that this has a “price”.
A large number of plugins at the expense of site performance and page loading speed.
Furthermore, not all plugins are programmed ” in a workmanlike manner ” and created with an eye for performance.
So the first piece of advice is to check the ones you have installed, think about which ones are really useful and eliminate the superfluous ones.
You can control which of these weigh on the speed of your site using the P3 Performance Profile plugin.
3. Use a reliable theme
The choice of the theme is a topic that we have dealt with many times in our articles and for this, I will not dwell much.
If you have not yet chosen one, then I invite you to read the article on Best WordPress themes, you will also discover all the other advantages associated with advanced themes.
As far as performance is concerned there is little to say: it is better to run with a machine built by professionals in the sector and which is meticulously developed over time.
You will have the guarantee that it will always be updated and that maximum attention will be given to it.
4. Optimize images
As soon as you access a web page. Among the resources that must be downloaded and that are necessary to visualize it correctly, there are also images.
The lighter an image is, the sooner it will be downloaded and the sooner it appears on the visitor’s display.
This is why they must weigh as little as possible. The weight of the images, in fact, is one of the parameters taken into consideration by Google.
For those who do not intend digital images, talking about resolution and compressed rescue could be complicated.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to know the topic: there are several plugins that will do the job for you.
5. Caching system
To understand the concept of cache and how they can be used to speed up WordPress, we need to give a very brief overview of the process that takes place when a user visits a web page.
- The user requests a page through his browser.
- The request browses the network and arrives at the server.
- The server queries the database and requests all the data (title, texts, etc.) with which it composes the HTML page, which it then sends to the user’s browser.
- The browser reads the HTML and begins to display the page on the monitor.
- The page and its components have been completely downloaded in the browser.
Do all clear? Perfect, let’s see than to understand the concept of the cache.
Let’s go back to point 2, where the server receives the request for the web page.
The server must do a job to create this page. Every job, like retrieving information from the database, involves the consumption of energy. This varies depending on the complexity of the page and the number of information to be retrieved.
Now: imagine that more users request the same page. What would be the point of having the same job performed on the server several times?
Think instead of the server that, once the requested HTML page is composed, instead of sending it to the individual user and throwing it away, it “parks” it in a drawer and keeps it ready to be sent to new requests.
There are therefore different types of caches:
- Database Cache – To save requests (queries) to the database.
- Page Cache – To prevent the server from repeatedly composing the page’s HTML.
- Browser Cache – To prevent the browser from downloading already downloaded resources.
- Object Cache etc. – Other types that however concern the programming.
To conclude this overview, let us note that the various caching software has a system to update/empty the caches.
This can be done according to the criteria you can set:
- The moment a change is made to the contents of your site.
- Depending on pre-established time periods.
Measure your site’s performance
Well, now that we’ve done an overview of the 5 main aspects to manage, it’s time to get down to work and check the current status of your site’s performance.
There are several free services available to you: Page Speed Tool and Pingdom Tool.
Let’s start with the first one.
Access the Google Page Speed Tool, enter the URL of the page you want to measure and press Analyze.
You will be shown the results with a rating from 0 to 100, both for the desktop and mobile versions.
Getting to high scores is very difficult ( unless you have a custom-designed site with the bare minimum ).
Try testing with “famous” sites to get an idea for reference.
The results also include suggestions organized on two levels of importance: Should Fix with higher priority and Consider Fixing of secondary importance.
By clicking on the various Show how to fix links, the arguments in question are given in specific, as we will see later.
Finally, we also have the different rules that we have respected, called Passed Rules.
Let’s try the second tool for performance analysis, called Pingdom Tools.
Enter the URL of your page and, if your traffic was predominantly the USA, select, for the item Test from Washington DC or San Francisco (closest to the USA).
In this way, it is as if the user asking for the page was in the USA.
Also in Pingdom, you will find a series of data that represent the analysis of your site: loading time, number of requests made, page weight, etc.
Repeat this test several times, because the results will not always be identical.
Remember that we are in network traffic and, as the word itself says, can be more or less congested, just like a city ring road.
Now that you know your starting point, you have the reference to understand the effectiveness of the improvements you will make to your site.
In this first article, I decided to give a general overview of the aspects to be taken care of How to speed up WordPress.