Annoyed by your slow loading website? Looking for a solution on how to improve website loading speed? Well, Webpage loading speed is one of the most common issues faced by a business or individual webmaster. Not everyone knows how to optimize their website in order to improve loading times. In this article, we’ll talk about how to improve loading speed of your WordPress website.

Before we begin, let’s understand some basics of how a website is built behind the doors (or backend).

Your WordPress website structure is made up using HTML, think of like a skeleton. Secondly, JavaScript (JS) makes your website perform specific actions and gives it more power (JS would be like the muscles to the skeleton), and then CSS is to beautify your website and its visuals (CSS would be the skin to our skeleton and muscles)

Let’s examine a bit how and what might be causing an increase in the loading times. Suppose that you entered a URL into the address bar, a website that has some text, buttons and images or sliders. Now, the browser is retrieving the website structure from the server, the HTML structure might have been retrieved easily, but the browser realized that the slider in the website needs JS code to execute before it can be displayed. Browser now executes the JS script, and then of course your button or image borders had to be displayed correctly, so the browser also executes CSS. After everything is done, the website is ready to be displayed….but oops, that took around 8 seconds maybe, or more, which is bad for a visitor, and hence your business!

There are many factors that may affect the loading speed of a website. You might be aware of some already. Let’s talk a bit about what those factors might be:

Overall content:

That’s logical of course, the more content you add on a webpage, the longer it will take to load that content.

Image sizes:

Using images that are too large or have a resolution that’s not needed will surely impact loading speeds. This is understandable too, but people still use large images, thinking of them as normal sized, hence, negatively impact their page speeds.

Using the normal image format:

Using PNG or JPG on a website might not be a good idea (Unless you have an insanely powerful server) WEBP is the format you’d want to use on your website. The decrease in image size is amazing and the loss in quality is great too! Win-Win.

Minification:

Minification is the process of removing ‘spaces’ in the code in order to save data. Your code will still work fine but it might be harder to understand because of no spaces. You don’t have to worry about that since most of the people use page builders and theme on WordPress.

Optimizing CSS & JS:

This might be difficult for beginners to understand and might actually break your website if you do it incorrectly. Optimizing your scripts is like telling the browser how to load the script, whether to wait for a specific script to load at first, at last, or together with some other scripts. Optimizing your code is great and will help you achieve good score on PageSpeed Insights

Those were some of the factors that might be impacting your website performance, now let’s talk about how to improve website loading speed.

As you already know, WordPress has tons of plugins that you can install in order to achieve specific goals. Some of them are free, and some are paid. We recommend you buy a subscription to unlock all the features or use our website & social media management service in which you’d get access to not only performance tools, but also:

  • SEO tools
  • Auto backups
  • Social media posts
  • Easy migration
  • Pro security

We’ll be using our tools for optimizing speed. You can find many other plugins. Every plugins aims to do the same in different ways. Most plugins offer automatic configuration and caching! Let’s get started

Turn on page cache

Caching pages will help the pages load quicker and save bandwidth. Nearly every plugin will have that option

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Use GZIP compression:

This can also be done on the server side. If you have an Apache VPS server  using Plesk, it’s easier. On NGINX servers, you’ll  have to add a code to the conf file. But some plugins offer GZIP compression too, easily configurable! 

Tools we use detect your server type first, and if it’s Apache, then GZIP compression is turned on, easy as that. However, for NGINX servers, you will have to ask your hosting provider to add a code snippet, there are different snippets for that, search them on the web.

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Run a speed test to identify what scripts take the most time

Use PageSpeed insights to measure your performance score and what causes your load times to increase

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Optimizing JS & CSS:

This step will help you  optimize JS & CSS files. However, compressing some critical files might break your site. What we do here is 

  • Compress scripts
  • Load files from the footer
  • Stop loading files that are not needed on the page
  • Load files that are not in the main section at last
  • Combine smaller files together to lessen the number of requests

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Convert & compress images:

PNG & JPG format are large in size and cause load times to increase. It is highly recommended that you convert your images to WEBP format and use them instead. WEBP format compresses the image size magically and the loss in quality is hardly visible.

Use a CDN:

Using a content delivery network will serve your website data to a network of fast servers around the world. If a user from US visits your website, the server closest to the user location will send the data to their browser. 
Cloudflare offers you free CDN & SSL certificate. All you need is you point your domain to it. Learn how to setup CDN here!

These are the steps we take to optimize a website. If your website is hosted on a VPS server with us, we can get even higher PageSpeed score simply because we’d have more control over the server side optimization. 

Chat with us if you need any suggestion or any help