Faster page load speed not only helps in improving your website's search engine presence, but it can also go a long way in creating positive impression among your readers. Visitors are more likely to re-visit a website that loads faster - thus in the longer run, it can help you in generating a loyal reader-base for your website.
If you are on the lookout for improving the page load speed of your WordPress powered website, then you are at the right place. Here in this article, we will bring you 5 performance optimization techniques to speed up your WordPress website.
Integrate a Public CDN Service
CDN stands for Content Delivery Network. A CDN can be visualized as a distributed network of independent servers, provisioned at multiple data centers across the globe. When you integrate a CDN service, the content of your website gets replicated and stored on all the server nodes. When a particular visitor sends a request to connect to a web page, it serves the content from the nearest available node. As the data (from the server to the visitor's web browser) has to travel a much shorter distance, it can considerably boost up your page loading speed. So by integrating your website with a public CDN, you can achieve higher availability and faster performance.
It doesn't cost you even a penny to make use of a Public CDN service and the integration process with WordPress is pretty straightforward. First, you need to register for an account with a CDN service provider of your choice. Upon registering, you will be given an activation code. Next, you are required to download a zipped plugin file from their website and upload it to your website's plugins directory. Finally, you need to configure the CDN settings in your WordPress admin panel.
A few widely used free CDN services for WordPress are CloudFlare, Incapsula, jsDeliver and CoralCDN.
Optimize WordPress Database
Database is an integral part of any PHP-based CMS platform, including WordPress. An optimized database reduces the time needed for data retrieval. That's why for your website to become lightning fast, you must take necessary initiatives to optimize your WordPress database.
If you have root/admin level access, then query optimization analyzer can be used to determine the most efficient way to execute a query. You can also make use of ‘ADD INDEX’ query for storing your data in an orderly manner. You can further enhance the performance of your database by using persistent connections and query caching techniques.
Enable gZIP Compression
For an expert level user, the most preferred option to enable gZIP compression is to edit the .htaccess file. You can find the .htaccess file inside your root (public.html) directory. Open the file using a document editor (for example, notepad) and append a few lines of code as given below -
## ENABLE GZIP COMPRESSION ##
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/css AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/xml AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/rss AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/plain
## ENABLE GZIP COMPRESSION ##
For users having lesser technical acumen, there are freely downloadable gZIP plugins available in WordPress Plugins repository. WP gZIP, Force-gZIP and gZIP Ninja can easily do the job for you.
Resize Your Media Files
Using media files for enhancing websites' visual appeal is a common practice, but it should not come at the cost of reduced page load speed. The size of an image/video file is inversely proportional to its load time. So due emphasis must be given to ensure that the uploaded media files are of appropriate sizes.
Concentrating only on WordPress performance optimization techniques may not bring you the desired results, unless you are using a quality web hosting partner. The performance of any website depends on its hosting environment. So when you are starting a WordPress blog, it is very important to find a hosting provider that has a solid reputation for providing optimized WordPress hosting service.