Wanna know how to speed up your WordPress website in 2021? Good. Speed matters. Nearly half of web users expect sites to load in two seconds or less, and 40% will leave a site if it hasn’t loaded within three seconds.
And on top of lost traffic, slow pages can even lead to a reduction in your search engine rankings.
Luckily, In this guide, I’ll explain how to improve your website speed in just a few minutes. Let’s get started!
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First, here are two free tools you can use that show how to check how fast your website is. Repeat these tests multiple times to get a more accurate result. It’s also smart to run these tests regularly. New factors can affect your site and slow it down unexpectedly, so you’ll always need to keep up-to-date with its performance.
The first option is Pingdom Tools. This site retrieves your pages from a specific location and returns information about how quickly they loaded.
Plus, Pingdom Tools rates your site based on several metrics and shows whats wrong with your slow website.
The second option is GTMetrix. Along with free speed-checking, it also provides more in-depth metrics and even offers optimization suggestions based on your results.
Once the test concludes, you’ll get access to a lot of data. Armed with that info, you may be saying help how do I make my website faster? Here are some fast tools to help.
#1. Choose a Quality Hosting Plan
This is the most important choice you’ll make for your website. When a user visits your site, your host’s server will determine how quickly information is passed to them. Basically, even if you optimize your site for speed, it won’t make much difference if your server is slow or your hosting plan is inadequate.
For this reason, it’s crucial to pick a hosting provider and plan that suits your specific requirements.
If you’re in the market for a managed WordPress hosting service, DreamPress provides faster SSD-based storage and other built-in speed optimization solutions such as caching plugins.
Using managed hosting also makes it much easier to expand and scale your site over time.
#2. Always Keep Your WordPress Software Updated
Whether they’re core updates for your WordPress install, or new versions of your WordPress theme or plugins, it’s essential that they aren’t ignored.
The most important reason for this is security.
You should also make sure your site uses the latest version of PHP.
#3. Use Caching
The easiest way to understand caching is to think of it as a site’s short-term memory. When a site is accessed for the first time, a copy of all requested files are saved. These cached files are then displayed the next time the same site is visited.
This makes sure your website’s files don’t have to be requested and loaded directly from the server every time somebody visits it. Caching significantly cuts down on the resources required to run your site, which can speed it up considerably.
#4. Use Image Optimization
One of the biggest drains on your site’s resources is its images. They’re great for making your website look amazing, but they also require server space and bandwidth.
Those large file sizes have a negative effect on loading times and bandwidth usage, which harms the overall user experience on your site.
If you’d like to optimize your images before you even upload them to your site, TinyPNG is free and super easy to use.
However, there are also lots of plugins that allow you to optimize images automatically when you upload them to your WordPress site. Our favorite of these is ShortPixel.
#5. Minify and Compress Your Site’s Files
Minification may sound like a pulpy sci-fi term for describing a shrink ray, but it’s actually a process for making your site’s code more efficient. In short, it strips away at all unnecessary content in your code to make it run faster. When humans write code, we tend to make it as readable and clear as we can. This is helpful to a human, but computers that process the code don’t need it to look that way, a computer will read and process minified code much faster because there are fewer characters involved.
We recommend using CSS Compressor or Minify, as they both feature user-friendly interfaces and produce results quickly.
But, for a WordPress website, the best option is usually a plugin. You have plenty of options at your disposal, but one favorite is Fast Velocity Minify.
This is a free, open-source, and very user-friendly tool. You can simply activate the plugin and the default settings will work wonders, but it also offers plenty of customization options for advanced users.
That’s it for now, but don’t forget our DreamPress plans: fully-managed WordPress hosting solutions that will keep your website running with a 100% uptime guarantee. See you next time!