Speed is everything in the online world: slow websites just aren’t going to cut it anymore.
Because let’s face it: a site running at snail’s pace is not only an infuriating deterrent for your visitor but it also has a serious impact on your search engine rankings. that site speed is now a major factor in their search engine algorithms.
The answer? Make your site as fast as possible.
That’s where I come in. I’ve put together a list of 8 easy to digest tips on how to make your WordPress site faster this 2016. Not only will these boost your SEO, but they’ll help you create a better user experience, higher conversion rate and altogether stronger online presence.
1. Optimize Your Pages
Your pages are the foundation of your site: they hold that all important information and, as a result, can become a little weighed down as your site expands. This heavier content leads to slower loading speeds… but luckily, there are a few simple tricks you can carry out to avoid this whilst keeping your pages bursting with content.
Install a caching plugin. Caching is another huge factor when it comes to speeding up your WordPress site. Why? When you visit a website, the elements of the page are pulled together into a temporary storage (a cache) on your hard drive. This stored data makes it easier for your browser to load the site the next time you visit it. By installing a caching plugin (such as or ), your site will generate your page far more quickly for the visitor by using fewer resources.
Compress your pages with GZIP. Pages that are bursting with high-quality content (such as videos and images) tend to be larger (over 100kb) and consequently slower to download. If you want to speed up their download time, you can compress your pages together using . This enables you to create a more reliable, faster data transfer through your site. allows you to enable this from their configuration page.
2. Use a Reliable Web Host
Your web host is fundamental when it comes to your site speed: a poor host or one that simply can’t handle the size of your blog is going to slow things down considerably for you.
3. Optimize Your Website for Mobile
If it turns out that your site isn’t well set up for mobile, then you might need to hire a web developer to do it for you. Otherwise, if you want to save money, you can simply install a new theme that is responsive (or mobile friendly).
4. Optimize Your Images
File sizes are on the up: what began as kilobytes has moved into megabytes… and that growth is steadily on the incline!
For your website, this has a huge impact. Bulkier files mean lower performance and slower upload speed for your site visitors: a big turn off for readers.
You can control this with these simple steps:
Use image compressions. Install that will automatically optimize your images as you insert them onto your site. It can also optimize images you’ve already uploaded so that you can apply lossy compression to every image on your site. If you don’t want to use a plugin, you can use these tools to compress your images instead: (for PNG + JPG) or (for Mac only).
Use lazy load for images. LazyLoad only shows images above the fold (the part of your site visible without your reader having to scroll) so that as your reader passes further down the page the other images begin to load. By having images load gradually, your overall page download speed is faster. Check out to help you install this feature.
Save correctly for Photoshop. If you’re using Photoshop, you should always use the option “Save for Web & Devices” when saving a file. (File > Save For Web & Devices). If saving in JPEG, you can adjust the quality to 80-75.
Use the right image format. If it’s a photograph, always save it in JPEG format. If it’s a vector graphic or computer-generated images such as screenshot, an icon, or button, save it in PNG format: their file sizes are extremely small.
FINAL TIP. Try to keep your image file size below 70kb.
5. Delete Unnecessary Plugins & Other Third-Party Scripts
Got plugins you’re not using? Delete them.
Using third-party scripts, you do not need? Remove them.
Using many plugins can majorly slow down your site. Make sure to delete those that are not really necessary to decrease file requests (one of the major factors that could slow down your site).
For example, if you don’t need two social sharing plugins or a tracker, delete the other one. If you have inactive ads, make sure to remove them as well. Look around and review the things you don’t need then clean up (but make sure to create a backup file).
6. Minimize Redirects
Redirects occur when your site visitor is sent from one file to another due to a removed (or non-existent) page or resource.
Unsurprisingly, this can slow down your site speed. Why? Because it wastes time transporting your reader from one location to another.
The good news is that you can reduce redirects with ease. Start off by restricting your use of redirects to only those crucial cases where they are absolutely necessary. For the rest? Find other options.
For example, you should avoid having more than one redirect to take your readers to any of your resources. You should also never link to a page that already has a redirect on it.
You can also avoid creating redirects by calling your resources in the same way: so if you are using –www for your site, be sure to name all your CSS (etc) files with –www.
And remember that it isn’t just your HTML that holds redirects: check your CSS files, images and external scripts as well to see if you are holding any needless redirects. You can analyze your site using to find out how many redirects you currently have and also refer to this handy on how to go about reducing them.
7. Optimize Your Homepage
Your homepage is the first thing people see: so it’s clear that it needs to be well optimized to perform at its speediest.
There are a few simple ways to do this:
- Show excerpts rather than full posts
- Reducing the number of posts per page
- Removing unnecessary widgets and other inactive plugins you can seriously speed up loading times. (e.g. ask yourself this, do I need this widget? Is it necessary?)
8. Combine Background Images using Image Sprite
PS: This one may require you some CSS skills. You can ask a web developer to do this for you!
Your WordPress theme relies on many background images, as well as CSS commands, to fully display a clean background. So that gorgeous background you’re using? It’s most likely created with over 10 different images and, as a result, over 10 different requests to your server from your visitor’s’ browser.
You can combine these background images into Image Sprites, essentially moving them into one image that will reduce the number of bytes needed to download the page.
Further Useful Tools:
learn why speed is a super important factor when it comes to search engine rankings
Do you have any tips to add to the list? Let us know in the comments below!