How to Optimize WordPress Website Speed | Reduce Page Load Time 2020 |List Of 25 Tips to Improve WordPress Speed | Get 100% GTmetrix + PageSpeed Score
Want to speed up your WordPress site & reduce load time? Well, I will show you how to optimize your WordPress website speed using plugins & get 100/100 on Gtmetrix, PageSpeed Insights & Pingdom speed test report With 25 WordPress speed optimization tips including Woocommerce (2020).
Optimizing your WordPress speed will improve user experience, reduces bounce rate, increase your page views & also improves your ranking in search results. People will leave your website if it takes too much time to load & you will lose customers and subscribers.
So, are you ready to optimize your WordPress site? Then keep reading.
Table Of Content
Why Speed Matters?
Website speed is an important ranking factor in search results. Google, Bing & Yahoo is now ranking only those websites that load quickly and decrease the ranking of slow websites which ultimately reduce traffic.
According to a study, a page load slowdown of just 1 second could cost Amazon $1.6 billion in sales each year. Even Mozilla has reduced its page load time to 2.2 seconds, which added an additional 60 million Firefox downloads per year. If your site also takes too much to load then you are losing your visitors.
How to Check Your WordPress Website Speed?
A good web page time should be under 3 seconds for desktop & for mobile, it should be under 2 seconds. The speed may differ from pages to pages, as it depends on mainly two factors:
- The size of the web page,
- The number of requests it generates.
Just run a speed test using the following speed testing tools.
Now, take a screenshot of the speed test result & compare it later with the final result.
Before you start optimizing your site please backup your WordPress site.
In this post, I have shared mostly the plugins to make your WordPress website load faster instead of codes because when you update WordPress or theme all the codes that you have applied in order to speed up your WordPress site will get removed & you have to apply those changes again & again which ultimately is a waste of time.
1.Choose a Better Web Hosting Provider
One of the biggest reasons for the slow WordPress sites is using poor quality web hosting. They store too many websites on the same server which results in increasing server response time. Just run a speed test on Google page speed. If you see reduce server response time in needs improvement section, then its time to change your hosting provider.
Web Hosting Provider Recommended By WordPress.Org
- SiteGround (#1 web hosting provider in Facebook Polls)
Siteground offers high-speed SSD hosting with 99.9% uptime. Top websites like Yoast, Elementor are now using Siteground hosting & recommended by WordPress.
SiteGround ranks at the top in most of the best web hosting polls on Facebook.
Moving your WordPress site to Siteground improves your WordPress website load time even without compression. Because of the servers that are designed especially for WordPress.
As you can see Hostgator hosting was taking 13 sec to load & when he moved his site toSiteground the same site with the same page size is loading in 2.78 sec.
Some Feedback about Siteground hosting:
Siteground offers reliable web hosting plans for small & medium websites, manage WordPress hosting for WordPress hosting, For Woocommerce site, they have a separate plan & lastly cloud hosting for high performing sites.
Under each plan, here are 3 sub plans.
In the Startup plan, you can host 1 website with 10 GB of web space & it can handle up to 10000 monthly visitors.
In Grow Big plan you can host unlimited websites with 20 GB of web space & it can handle up to 25000 monthly visitors.
In Go Geek’s plan, you will some additional webspace & can handle up to 100000-month visitors.
Top Reasons why I like SiteGround:
- Speed up your WordPress site.
- Custom speed optimization plugin for Siteground users. (SG Optimizer).
- Recommended by WordPress & Yoast, Elementor, etc.
- Free WordPress migration plugin to move your site to Siteground hosting. (SiteGround Migrator).
- Fast support.
- 30 days money-back guarantee.
Use The Latest Version Of WordPress & PHP
Update your site to the latest version of WordPress & PHP version (at least PHP 7.0) which will make your WordPress site load faster.
By default, most of the web hosting provider gives PHP 5 or PHP 5.6. They support PHP 7 but you have to upgrade it manually.
You can check your PHP version by installing Display PHP Version Plugin.
You can also check & update your PHP version using Cpanel.
The next step is to check your themes & plugins if they are compatible with the latest PHP version. Use PHP Compatibility Checker plugins to check the compatibility.
Use Cache Plugin
The second most important factor after hosting is using the best cache plugins for WordPress. WP Rocket is the best all in one cache plugin to speed up your WordPress site. SiteGround users can use SG Optimizer plugin for WordPress speed optimization. Wp Fastest Cache, Asset Clean Up & Swift are some of the free cache plugins. W3 total cache is also a nice plugin but it is too complex.
With WP Rocket, you don’t need to install any other plugin. But with other cache plugins, you have to install at least 6 extra plugins, which will also increase your page sizes.
- For lazy load images & videos, you can use WP Youtube Lyte.
- To Clean your Database you can use WP-Optimize.
- Host Google Analytics locally, you can use CAOS For Analytics.
- Host Google Fonts locally, you can use OMGF.
- For Heatbeat control, you can use the Heartbeat Control plugin.
- Prefetch DNS Request you can use Pre* Party Resource Hints plugin.
WP Rocket Plugin includes all these features in One plugin, easy to use & don’t need to install any other plugins.
Best Free Alternative Of WP Rocket:
Improve WordPress Speed Using WP Fastest Cache.
This is one of the best alternatives to WP Rocket. It offers most of the setting that are required for WordPress Speed Optimization. You need to install some additional plugins for cleaning your database (WP-Optimize plugin), Lazy Load For Videos & CAOS plugin to host Google Analytics Locally.
How to optimize your WordPress site speed With WP Fastest Cache?
Install & activate the WP Fastest Cache plugin.
Go to the WP Fastest Cache Setting.
Under the setting tab:
- Cache system: Enable
- Widget cache: Turn ON (Premium)
- Preload: Enable. A pop up will appear, check all the tab, Set the pages per minute between 4-6 for shared hosting, 8-12 for VPS hosting & click OK.
- Logged-IN Users: Enable.
- Mobile: Enable.
- Mobile Theme: Turn ON. It caches the mobile theme. (premium)
- New Post: Enable. A pop up will appear & select Clear all cache.
- Update Post: Enable. A pop up will appear & select clear all cache.
- Minify HTML: Turn On.
- Minify HTML Plus: Turn On (Premium).
- Minify CSS: On.
- Minify CSS Plus: On (premium).
- Combine CSS: Enable.
- Minify Js: Enable (premium).
- Combine Js: Enable. Uncheck this if you are using the premium version.
- Combine Js Plus: Enable. (premium)
- Gzip: Check this box.
- Browser caching: On.
- Disable Emojis: Turn On.
Finally, Click on the Submit button.
Step 2: Delete Cache Tab
- Click on Delete Cache & Minify CSS/Js.
Step 3: Cache Timeout
- Set timeout Rule to clear all cache – Once a Day.
Step 4: Image Optimization
This is a premium feature to optimize your images and improve your WordPress website loading time. If you are using any image optimization plugin like WP Smush, Short Pixel or Imagify then uninstall these plugin & only use WP fastest cache plugin image optimization. Using 2 or more plugins for the same work might break your site.
Step 5: Exclude
In this tab, you can exclude pages from being cached. For Woocommerce users, exclude checkout pages.
Step 6: CDN
Connect your CDN with WP Fastest Cache. Content Delivery Network (CDN) makes your WordPress site load faster & also adds additional security to your site like protecting from a DDOS attack, Blocking bat bots, etc.
Reduce WordPress load Time Using Autoptimize Plugin
Install & activate Autoptimize plugin.
Go to Setting> Autoptimize
- Optimize JavaScipt Code = Turn On.
- Aggregate JS- files = Turn On.
- Also Aggregate inline JS = Turn On.
- Exclude scripts from autoptimize = make it blank.
Under CSS Options:
- Optimize CSS Code = Enable.
- Aggregate CSS files = Enable.
- Also aggregate inline CSS = Enable.
- Generate data: URls for images = Enable.
- Inline all CSS = Enable.
- Exclude CSS from autoptimize = keep only admin-bar.min.css
- Optimize HTML Code = Check this option.
- Select all the 3 boxes under misc options.
Finally check on save setting & empty cache.
Step 2: Images Optimization
If you are using any other image optimization plugin like WP Smush or Imagify then don’t use this feature. This feature is best for Short Pixel plugin users.
Step 3: Extra
Under Extra Auto-Optimizations
- Google Fonts = Choose either remove Google Fonts Or Combine and link in head.
- Remove Emoji = Turn ON
- Remove query string from static resources = enable this option.
Lastly, click save the setting.
You can also use W3 Total Cache (but it is too complicated).
Clean Your WordPress Database
Post revision, trash folders, drafts, spam & trash comments, deleted WordPress plugins increase your database size which ultimately affects your WordPress website speed. These file unwanted files that WordPress stores automatically.
You can also clean your database with WP-Rocket plugins & you can schedule database cleanup. Before you start cleaning your database please backup your WordPress site.
WP-Optimize plugin is the free alternative of WP Rocket to clean your database.
How to Cleanup WordPress Database?
Install & activate WP optimize plugin.
- Click on the WP-Optimize tab on the left.
- Select the files that you want to delete by checking the box
- Then Click on the run optimization button.
Next, click the Table Tab at the top which will take you to your WordPress database Page.
If there are any Remove buttons on the right of any database folder then you can remove that. Because most of these folders are created by plugins & even after you delete those plugins their folder will be there which unnecessary increases your database size & affect your website speed. (Don’t delete any folder, if you are not sure. It may affect your website & your website can go down).
Disable Heartbeat Control
Disabling Heart Control of your WordPress site can help you reduce your WordPress website loading time. You can disable it With WP Rocket.
The best free alternative of Disable Heartbeat is by Heartbeat Control plugin.
Videos can also slow down your WordPress site. So, it’s better to optimize the videos by lazy loading the videos. Again you can use WP-Rocket to video optimization.
If you are not using WP-Rocket, No Problem use WP Youtube Lyte Plugin which also does the same things.
Host Google Fonts Locally
Fonts also affect your WordPress website speed. To fix this, you can host your fonts locally using OMGF plugin.
Host Google Analytics Locally
Everyone uses Google Analytics to track their website visitor. But it also affects your WordPress site speed. So, it’s better to host Google Analytics locally. WP-Rocket Users can fix this via Add-ons status.
Use CAOS Plugin to host Google Analytics locally.
According to Google, a website should load within 3 seconds and the page size should not exceed 500KB. With the use of Cloudflare CDN, you can reduce your website loading time for free. If a WordPress website takes time to load then it will also increase bounce and will affect search engine ranking. Check out my complete blog on how to set up Cloudflare CDN to boost your WordPress speed & performance.
Use CDN (Content Delivery Network)
WordPress recommends using CDN for your site. They recommend Cloudflare, Amazon Cloudfront, MAXCDN to improve your WordPress website speed.
Wait, you might be thinking that you use Cloudflare, so is it required to use any other CDN?
Yes, there are some other CDN providers that have more data centers which result in more speed.
Serve Scaled Images
You might be getting this warning in your speed test to serve scaled images. It means you have resized those images that are appearing in a smaller size. Gtmetrix tells you the correct image dimension.
How to Fix Serve Scaled Images In WordPress?
To fix this, You have to download those images, resize it according to the dimension given in Gtmetrix and replace it.
Specify Image Dimensions
Specify image dimensions means that the width & height of the images is blanked in HTML. This mainly happens in the Widgets. Gtmetrix will provide you the correct dimension for that image & you just need to insert it.
How to Fix Specify Image Dimensions?
Go to the widget area, find the widget where width & height are missing. You just insert the correct width & height (see the example below).
Images play an important role in your website speed. If you are using heavy images then it will slow down your WordPress site.
Optimize your images with the WP Smush plugin. This plugin has both free & paid version. I use WP Smush over any other image compression plugin. You can also use Imagify or ShortPixel plugin (both are free but they monthly limit).
Note: Use JPG format images instead of PNG or any other format. You might be thinking what’s the difference?
Well, The JPG format images files are smaller in size although it slightly reduces the image quality. But PNG format images are a little bit heavier as compared to JPG Images.
You can easily convert any PNG images into JPG by using an image converter tool. There are many online image converter sites are available where you can upload your PNG images & the site will convert those PNG images into JPG format in a smaller size. The online image converter tool that I use is PNG2JPG.com.
All the images In Digirockstar are JPG images.
Best Image Optimization Plugin For WordPress:
Optimize your images With WP Smush
Install & activate the plugin.
Click on the WP Smush tab.
Step 1: Bulk Smush tab setting:
- Image sizes: All
- Automatic compression: ON
- Metadata: ON
Image Resizing: On (choose max width = 2048 & max height = 2048)
Then click on the Update setting.
Step 2: Directory Smush
Choose the folder from the web directory that you want to optimize. You can also compress themes images which is one of the best features of this plugin.
Step 3: Integrations
- Gutenberg Support: OFF
- WPBakery Page Builder: Enable it if you are using the WPBakery page builder editor. Note that this feature is currently in BETA.
Click on the update setting.
Step 4: Lazy Load
- Media Types: Check ALL
- Output Locations: Check ALL
- Display & Animation: None
- Include/ Exclude : Check ALL
- Scripts: Footer
Finally, update these settings.
Step 5: CDN
This feature is available in the PRO version. You can connect your CDN with WP smush.
Step 6: Tools
- Image Resize Detection: ON
Click Update setting.
Step 7: Setting
- Color Accessibility: OFF
- Data: Keep
Finally, click on the Update setting.
If you have any unsmush images then it will appear in the WP Smush Dashboard. For the free version, this plugin compresses 50 images & it will stop after 50 images. You have again click the Smush button to start the image compression process.
For PRO version it compresses even more without any limit.
14. Remove Unnecessary Themes & Plugins
Delete unnecessary themes & plugins that you don’t use anymore. Even for Google Analytics don’t use a plugin to insert the Analytics code directly in the footer or host it locally.
15. Enable Gzip Compression
Most of the cache plugin supports Gzip compression. But still, if you are getting this warning in the Gtmerix speed test then use this plugin called check and enable gzip compression.
Gravatars takes too much time to load if you have blog comments. The best way to fix this by hosting it locally using the WP User Avatar plugin.