5 Tips to Optimize WordPress Website Page Load Speed

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.

wordpress site optimization

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.

  1. 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.


  1. 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.

  1. Minify JavaScript & CSS Codes

A significant percentage of overall page loading time goes in to fetching the website layout and scripting files. In case of WordPress, the site layout is defined by CSS Stylesheets. You can clean up the unnecessary codes to reduce the size of your CSS files. White spaces, empty new lines and comments add to the overall file size. By chucking those out of your CSS stylesheet, you can minify the file size and improve your website’s page load speed. Similarly, you can also minify the scripting files like JavaScript or iframe tags to boost up your page loading speed.

Considerable technical expertise is required to minify JavaScript and CSS codes. If you do not possess sound coding knowledge, then it is better to seek assistance from an expert coder. Alternatively, you may use one of the free online tools to perform the same. Quite a few relevant plugins are available in WordPress Plugins repository. ‘W3 Total Cache’ is the most widely used plugin for minifying CSS and JavaScript files.

  1. Enable gZIP Compression

When a visitor requests for accessing a particular URL, data gets transmitted between the web server and the visitor’s browser. By enabling gZIP compression technique, you can direct the server to wrap all the web objects (HTML, XML, CSS, JavaScript, RSS) before they are transmitted over the internet to your visitor’s browser. So instead of sending different responses for each individual objects, the server can send a single consolidated wrapper containing all the objects available on a particular web page. It helps to load the requested webpage in a quicker time.  

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
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xhtml+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/rss+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/javascript
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-javascript
## 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.

  1. 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.


Conclusion:

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.

 

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