In this post, you’ll find everything you need to know about how to make WordPress faster. Here I have gathered some useful tips, hacks, tweaks, and WordPress plugins that can help you make your WordPress site load fast.
Why make WordPress load faster?
Studies have shown that when a person lands on your blog for the first time, you have only few seconds to capture their attention and convince them to stick around. But if your blog loads slowly they are most likely to leave before they even read the headline. And if this happens, you are going to lose traffic as well as revenue.
How to Make WordPress Faster?
Choose The Right Web Hosting Service
Most of the bloggers prefer to start with a shared host from a reliable hosting company like Hostgator and Bluehost. But a lot of the times people try to save money and compromise quality. It is not worth it. Here are some good and affordable web hosts that you may consider to start with.
Choose Right WordPress Theme/Framework
When it comes to speed up WordPress, a fast loading theme can make a huge difference. The default WordPress themes Twenty Ten/Twenty Eleven are great for people who want a fast loading WordPress theme, but if you are looking for something unique and creative then you should buy premium WordPress themes or frameworks.
Make Use Of Caching Plugins
Since WordPress is a PHP script it executes queries every time someone visit your blog. Hence making it slow and even crash due to server load. A caching plugin can solve this problem by allowing visitors computer to store static content such as images, CSS and JS.
So if they revisit your blog without clearing their cache, these static contents will not have to be retrieved from your host, and will therefore appear fast.
Some recommended WordPress caching plugins are:
Optimizing images not only to make WordPress faster but will also reduce bandwidth use. And if you are a photo-blogger then optimization of image files needs to be a top priority for you.
The best solution to optimize images is to install WP Smush.it plugin on your WordPress blog. It will automatically reduce image file size you add to a page or post without loosing quality. The best part is that it has a bulk image optimization option that you can use to optimize old images.
Optimize WordPress Database
There are two ways you can optimize WordPress database. One way is manual hard-core way. Another is to install WordPress plugin.
To do it manually, you need to go to phpMyAdmin and select the database you want to optimize. Then go towards the bottom, check all and select “Optimize Table”.
Or rather run this SQL command.
OPTIMIZE TABLE 'wp_comments';
If you don’t want to do this manually, install WP-Optimize plugin. It allows you to clean up your WordPress database and optimize it without phpMyAdmin.
Use Lazyload Plugin
No doubt images can make your blog stand out, and a good way to capture visitors attention. But using lots of images can slow down your WordPress blog.
To solve this issue install BJ Lazy Load plugin. This plugin not only make WordPress faster but also saves bandwidth. It will replace all your post images, thumbnails, gravatar images and content iframes with a placeholder, and will load them only when the visitor scrolls the page.
Compress and Combine CSS and JS Files
WordPress load time can be reduced drastically by reducing the number of HTTP request, and by decreasing overall page size. To do this you need to compress and combine your CSS and JS files.
Recommended WordPress Plugins are:
Alternatively, you can use W3 Total Cache plugin for combining and compressing various JS and CSS files into one file.
Add Expire Headers for Static files
Another good way to reduce the number HTTP request is to add expire headers for static files. By doing this you tell the browser how long to store a file in the cache. This way you improve load times for returning visitors.
To can set the expire header you need to edit your .htaccess file.
Reduce the Number of External Scripts
If possible try to avoid external scripts, directly or through plugins. Another way to reduce the number of external scripts is to use AddThis to display third-party buttons like Facebook, Twitter, Google+,Pinterest, Foursquare etc.
Remove Inactive WordPress Plugins
This may not sound cool but it is on of the best method to reduce WordPress loading time. If you have any plugin that you no longer use, then get rid of it. Because plugin uses code and the more plugin you have, the more your blog can slow down.
Update to Latest WordPress Version
Last but not the least,stay updated with the latest stable release of WordPress to boost performance of your site and to keep your blog secure.