Do you want to speed up your WordPress site to load fast?
But facing a lot of difficulties in optimizing your WordPress website speed.
Don’t worry you are not alone because most of the website or blog owners are facing the same problem.
In the past we have also made lots of mistakes and this causes us a slow site speed. Due to slow speed we have lost many visitors for our website.
But after doing lots of speed optimization experiments, our website has faster page loading time now.
In this guide, we will cover all the hacks to know your how to speed up your WordPress site to load fast. But before knowing these hacks, you should consider these key points.
- What is Site Speed?
- What is a Good Site Speed?
- What is Page Speed?
- What is a good Page Speed score?
- Difference between Site Speed and Page Speed.
- Why speed is a most important factor for your WordPress website?
- What are the main reasons that slow down your WordPress site?
- How to Check your WordPress website speed?
- Benefits of Speeding up a Slow WordPress Website
What is Site Speed?
The site speed refers to how quickly a browser is able to load all fully functional web pages present in a site.
In other words, how a user is interacting with your website and go through it. If your website loads fast then this is a good indication of better user-experience and conversion rates.
While bad loading speed creates a problem for you and it negatively impacts your website user-experience and conversion rates.
What is a Good Site Speed?
Due to a shorter attention span, users now expect to load your website faster. You should try to make your website as fast as you can.
This leads to great user experience and search engines will prefer your website rather than a slow website.
But 47% of users expect to load your web pages within 2 seconds or less while 40% of users wait no more than 3 seconds. According to Google, the website page loading time under 3 seconds is good on both the desktop and mobile devices.
What is a Page Speed?
Page speed (Page Load Speed) is the amount of time it takes for a single web page to load. This means how much time it takes to display the content on a specific page.
Page Speed considers various factors, including website server, file size of a web page, and image compression.
You can easily measure your page speed through different ways. But there are three most common ways to measure your web page speed.
- Fully Loaded Page
- Time to First Byte
- First Contentful Paint
Fully Loaded Page
A fully loaded page means how much time it takes to load 100% resources on a page or how fast your web page is.
Time to First Byte
Time to First Byte means how much time it takes to start the loading process for a web page. When you land on a page and white screen appears for a few seconds, this is known as TTFB (time to first byte).
First Contentful Paint
First Contentful Paint means when the content is painted on your web page. FCP can be text or any image. In other words, you can say how much time it takes to load an actual content on a web page.
First Contentful Paint is the actual measurement of the user-experience.
Google will also consider the user experience as a ranking factor from 2021. They introduced the Core Web Vital but it will be considered as a ranking factor from 2021.
Try to improve your page speed as much as you can because it helps your user to scan your content easily.
What is a Good Page Speed Score?
There are various page speed measurement tools available in the market but we use GTMetrix to improve our website pagespeed score.
Because we find GTMetrix provides more recommendations to improve website speed. They also display the complete visualization of advanced timings in the form of Time to First Byte (TTFB), First Contentful Paint (FCP), and DOM.
According to GTMetrix, above 75% page speed score is good. The page speed score above 90% is considered to be best in GTMetrix.
We suggest you to improve your page speed score as much as possible. Because it helps you to reduce your page loading time.
Difference between Site Speed and Page Speed
|Site Speed||Page Speed|
|In Site Speed, how a browser quickly loads all your webpages present on a website.||While in Page Speed, how much time it takes to load a single web page or how much time to display a content on your webpage.|
|Site speed can be optimized through minifying the CSS and JS, CDN, removing external scripts, caching, deleting unused themes etc.||Page Speed can be optimized through optimizing your images, delete script on a page, Web Server, and file size of a web page.|
But when we do speed optimization for a WordPress website, we take both the site and page speed level optimization into consideration.
Why speed is a most important factor for your WordPress website?
The user’s attention span is decreasing. In the Year 2000, the user attention span is 12 seconds while in today’s world the user attention span is 8 seconds.
What do you understand from this statistics?
This means you have less time to show your website content to your users and convince them to stay on your website.
Nowadays, users do not like slow websites. They will leave the slower website before it even loads.
1 second delay in page loading time causes a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction, 7% loss in conversions, and 11% fewer pageviews.
Speed is now a ranking factor in the search engines. The search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo are also penalizing the slow website now by dropping their ranking in Search Engine Result Pages (SERP).
It means a slower website indicates lower search engine traffic, higher bounce rate, less customer satisfaction, and bad user experience.
The overall conclusion is that speed is now more important for every website owner ever than before.
If you want more traffic, higher conversion rates, better user experience, and less bounce rate then you must increase your WordPress website speed.
What are the main reasons that slow down your WordPress site?
There are various factors that slow down your WordPress website. But here are the 6 main reasons that affect your WordPress site performance.
- Web Hosting
- Heavy Plugins
- Theme Size
- Uncompressed Images
- External Scripts
Both Web hosting servers and hosting play an important role in site speed.
If you are using shared web hosting then it means the web server is used by other websites also. This means your website will take some time to proceed your website visitors request.
Similarly, if you choose the data center far from your country then your website will not perform well.
The web hosting provider and hosting server layout the foundation for your website overall performance.
Caching is a technique that stores a copy of the given resources and serves it back when requested. In other words, it is a temporary storage location on your website.
The purpose of using caching is to create a better user-experience. Caching creates a static version of your post and pages. When a user requests your pages and posts it loads your pages and posts immediately.
If your WordPress site does not serve caching properly then it will increase the huge amount of load on your server. In this condition, your website speed slows down or higher the chances of server crash.
In WordPress, plugins play an important role. Because with the help of plugins, you can easily perform any task like optimization, and put any script or code in your site.
But sometimes these plugins create problems in site loading speed. Using heavy plugins or too many plugins use lots of space on your web server which slows down your website.
Using larger size WordPress themes causes the speed problem and makes your WordPress website slower. Because larger size themes need more space on a web server.
Also, a badly coded and not properly optimized WordPress theme leaves many bugs in your website which badly affects your website speed and security.
You use images on your website but do not compress them by resizing. It is the biggest cause that affects the website’s performance badly.
When you optimize your website speed then keep these 6 factors in your mind because they are the main reasons for slow website performance.
But in most cases, your web hosting is the main reason for the slow loading time of a website.
You should focus on the best web hosting providers for your website as a beginner also otherwise you will face trouble in the form of bad loading time & security.
How to Check your WordPress Site speed: 5 Best Free Tools to Test Website Loading Issue
You want to check your website issue and optimize your website speed for a faster loading time then you can use these 5 best website speed testing tools.
GTMetrix is a popular speed optimization tool and it helps you to test your website speed.
Put your WordPress website URL and click on Test your site.
It will instantly generate a speed report for your website. You can download your website report in a PDF format.
GTMetrix provides the Performance scores and Page details reports.
In the Performance Score they include
- PageSpeed Score
- YSlow Score
While in the Page details report they include
- Fully Loaded Time
- Total Page Size
After these reports, GTMetrix provides the speed improvement suggestions in the Page Speed and YSlow section. Apply their suggestions on your website and improve your WordPress website load time.
By default, GTMetrix runs a test from the Canada region. If you want to run a test from your region then you have to sign up in GTMetrix.
It is our favorite tool and we use GTMetrix to improve our website speed.
2. Google PageSpeed Insights Tool
Google has its own speed testing tool named as Google PageSpeed Insights tool. It analyzes the content of a webpage and recommends suggestions to make your website faster.
Enter your website URL in Google PageSpeed Insights tool and click the Analyze button.
Google PageSpeed Insights instantly shows you the speed score for both the desktop and mobile devices. If you achieve a higher score then it means your webpages are faster and well optimized.
Google PageSpeed Insights has three performance score ranges.
- 0-49 (red) : Slow
- 50-89 (yellow) : Average
- 90-100 (Green) : Fast
As you can see in the above pagespeed insights report, we have got 87 out of 100 which is good for us because we have lots of heavy images and pop up form on our website.
Google PageSpeed Insights also offers the suggestions to improve your site speed.
Apply their suggestions and achieve the higher performance score for your website.
Pingdom is another amazing tool to test and analyze your website loading time. They use more than 70+ polling stations to test and verify the website which is good.
Enter your website or page URL in the pingdom tool and select your server location.
Click on Start test after putting your website URL and server location.
Pingdom instantly generates the report and their speed report is like this;
As you can see in the Pingdom report, they use four parameters to analyze your WordPress website speed.
- Performance Grade
- Page Size
- Load Time
In Improve page performance, they recommend various suggestions. Apply their suggestions on your website and increase the overall performance of your WordPress website.
Geekflare is a website audit tool that helps you to measure your site speed on the desktop and mobile devices. They do the speed test from the United States only.
Enter your website URL and select the device. Click on Run Audit.
Geekflare generates the speed report immediately and displays your website speed performance score.
As you can see above, they use the 6 metrics to analyze your site performance.
- Loaded In (Fully Loaded Time)
- First Byte in (Time to take First Byte)
- First Contentful Paint (FCP)
- Page Size
- Total Blocking Time
Geekflare also provides the suggestions to make your WordPress website load time faster in the Performance Audits, Diagnostic, and in the best practices audit section.
Apply their suggestions and get a better performance score for your site.
5. Isitwp Free WordPress Website Speed Test Tool
Isitwp has launched a free WordPress website speed test tool That helps you to check how fast your WordPress website loads.
Enter your WordPress website URL and click on Analyze Website.
Isitwp generates your website performance speed report instantly.
As you can see above, they consider 4 parameters to check your website speed;
- Load Time
- Performance Grade
- Page Size
Isitwp also provides the page speed improvement suggestions for your website in the form of Lab data, Diagnostics, Opportunities, and Miscellaneous.
Apply their page speed improvement suggestion and improve your WordPress website load time.
Benefits of Speeding up a Slow WordPress Website
A faster loading website achieves more benefits in comparison to a slow loading website. These benefits are following;
1. Improve User-Experience
According to Google Stats in 2017, 1 second delay in website speed drops the customer satisfaction 16%. While 79% of visitors would not buy if they are not satisfied with your website performance.
So that’s why the faster loading website plays an important role. If your website immediately loads in front of your users then they can easily scroll your web page till the end. This improves your website user-experience.
Better user-experience boosts users satisfaction and trust on your website. The website speed also builds the confidence in the users to share their personal information (Name, Email, and Billing Information).
2. Reduce Website Bounce Rate
Speed up a site from 7 seconds to 2 seconds reduce the bounce rate from 32.3% to 9.61%. This means a user is willing to visit 3 pages or more.
Above stats shows that faster loading websites produce lower bounce rate and more sessions for your website.
3. Higher Traffic
According to Google Reports, A delay of half a second in page loading caused a 20% drop in Google while 1 seconds delay causes 11% fewer pageviews.
That’s why a faster loading website is much needed. Shopzilla company increases their traffic by 25% after reducing their page load time from 6 to 1.2 seconds.
After improving our blog loading time, we also experienced 3 times more traffic than previously.
4. Impacts SEO Ranking
In 2010, Google had included speed as a ranking factor in their algorithms but it came to effect in 2016.
Google is now focusing on how they can provide quality content with better user-experience. As you know that faster loading time produces greater user-experience.
Greater user-experience leads to more pageviews which is a good signal for your website and Google starts ranking your website on higher positions.
If your website has a faster loading speed then it increases the chances of indexing and crawling more web pages in Google.
More indexed pages mean higher the chances of achieving better ranking results in Google.
5. Increase Conversions
79% of users would not buy if they are not satisfied with your website performance. This means users like faster loading websites. Faster loading speed means higher conversion rates.
According to Google and Amazon Studies, improving 1 second website loading time increases their conversion rate between 10 to 20%.
While in Mozilla Studies, reducing the page load time to 2.2 seconds causes them 15% higher conversion rates.
Walmart also grew its revenue by up to 1% after reducing speed to 100ms.
All these studies indicate that a faster loading website is the customer’s first choice. The customer would be more willing to purchase. Which indicates higher conversion rates through a faster loading website.
How to Make Your WordPress Site Load Faster in 2020: 25 Guaranteed Ways
Follow these 25 hacks to optimize your WordPress website speed. You can optimize your site speed without writing any single line of code using these hacks.
1. Use Managed WordPress Hosting
In website speed, web hosting has a major role. Because most of the websites are slow due to their web hosting. So that’s why we put this on 1st place.
Your users including Google like faster websites. There are various factors that determines how fast your web hosting is;
- Web hosting providers must use SSD storage. It is a type of hard drive that makes your website load faster.
- Your web hosting must use cloud storage because it loads your website faster. (Siteground is using Google Cloud Storage.)
- Web hosts must use dedicated resources that means your website is not sharing their web space to other websites. This is the main reason to avoid shared web hosting and use Managed WordPress hosting.
- SSL Certificates because they make your website safer or faster.
- Use CDN because they play an important role to load your website faster. (Siteground is Using Cloudflare CDN).
Which web hosting you should use to make your WordPress website faster.
From the last 6 months, we have been using Siteground Managed WordPress hosting because this web hosting is especially for WordPress, Joomla, Magento, and Prestashop websites.
Before using Siteground Managed WordPress Hosting, we tried various shared hosting (HostGator and ResellerClub) but we did not get a better website performance and backup solution.
That’s why we lost the complete website. Due to the UpdraftPlus backup plugin, we recovered our website but the free version left various bugs and corrupted the image files.
After facing these problems, we took a decision to move to a better web host that could give us better performance, free daily backup, migration plugin, CDN, speed boosting, and on demand backup of our website.
So we started research on the internet and read various web hosting reviews. After reading various web hosting reviews and WordPress.org recommendations, we found Siteground is the best web hosting solution for us.
This decision has proved to be best for us and now we are enjoying better loading time.
From the last 6 months, we have not had any tension regarding web hosting because we know that our website is secured now and if our website is lost then we can easily recover our site through Siteground free backup services.
How Much does Siteground Hosting Costs?
Siteground has three web hosting plans:
- Grow Big
1. Start Up Plan
This is the basic plan where you can host 1 website and get 10GB disk space with limited options. This plan starts from $14.99.
2. Grow Big Plan
In this plan, you can host unlimited websites with 20GB disk space. This plan gives you advanced options regarding speed and backups. This plan starts from $24.99. This plan is recommended and we are also using this plan.
3. GoGeek Plan
You can host unlimited websites with 40GB disk space in this plan. You will get more advanced options and higher priority customer support. This plan starts from $39.99.
Note: We suggest you to use GoGeek Plan for better performance and security. If you purchase Siteground WordPress hosting from our link then you will get a 60% discount on these plans. No extra charges will be taken from you.
After using our link, the Startup plan costs you $6.99/month, the GrowBig plan costs you $9.99/month, while the GoGeek plan costs you $14.99/month.
Note: Do not use Shared web hosting because you can’t get better loading performance. They share your web server with different sites that affect the loading time badly. Choose the nearest server location for better site performance. Siteground has 6 server locations and For small or medium businesses and bloggers, we find Siteground the best web hosting solution.
2. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
Are you targeting an international audience or your website is getting visitors from all around the world then you should use CDN?
A Content Delivery Network (CDN) delivers your website content to people more quickly, based on their geographic location.
A CDN offers faster website loading experience to the users on the desktop and mobile, no matter where they are located.
When someone visits your website then CDN uses the closest location to deliver the static content (images, java file etc) of your website. In this case, the data travels a shorter distance.
Have a look through this image, it will tell how a CDN works for your website.
In this image, a CDN is using the closest server location to deliver the data to your website visitors in geographic location. This is the process to deliver the faster website experience to your users.
If you are using Siteground Web hosting then they are providing free Cloudflare CDN. They are using 194 Cloudflare CDN locations all around the world.
You can easily set up a free Cloudflare CDN in Siteground through one click. Activate Cloudflare CDN in Siteground and enjoy the faster website user experience.
In Cloudflare free plan, they are providing security, caching, code minification, and SSL Support.
3. Use Latest WordPress Version
WordPress releases updates on a regular basis to fix old bugs, improve security & site performance. Because they are in the process of continuous improvement to make WordPress more secure and user-friendly.
Your theme and plugin providers also do the updates to make compatible with WordPress’s new version.
As a website owner, it is your responsibility to update the WordPress site, plugins, and themes manually to improve your WordPress site performance and security.
Otherwise, the older version of WordPress and its plugins & themes makes your website slower, insecure, and unreliable.
If you are using Siteground WordPress hosting, then you do not need to update your WordPress site manually because they are providing WordPress and its plugins auto-updates where they will automatically update your site in 24 hours after any major release.
In Siteground WordPress Auto Updates, you can choose your autoupdate timing after major or minor release.
4. Use Latest PHP Version
WordPress is developed through PHP language. PHP is a server-side language that runs through your web hosting provider.
All good web hosts use the latest PHP version on their server due to the stability reasons.
The newer PHP version is 2 times faster than its older version. This means it boosts your website performance and you should take advantage of it.
In most web-hosting providers, you have to update PHP manually through cPanel.
In Siteground you do not need to update the latest PHP version. It automatically updates the PHP version for your website to boost your site speed.
Siteground main focus is to deliver higher performance for your website. That’s why they use the latest PHP version.
If your web host uses the older PHP versions and not use the latest version then you should ask your web host to update the PHP version otherwise you should look to a best managed WordPress hosting provider.
5. Disable Pingbacks and Trackbacks
Pingbacks and trackbacks are two main functions for a WordPress site that tells a website owner where they are receiving the links from.
These functions are useful but sometimes the hackers and attackers misuse this function through DDOS attacks by sending the spammy requests to your website.
These spam requests create an undesirable amount of load on your web server. This means your website has a higher chance of a server crashing. If you want to avoid this situation then you should disable trackbacks and pingbacks.
In WordPress, you can easily disable trackbacks and pingbacks. Go to Settings > Discussion and uncheck the Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks) on a new post in Default Post Settings.
After disable pingbacks & trackbacks, your server load time will surely reduce and deliver the faster loading speed experience.
6. Delete Unnecessary Themes and Plugins
WordPress installed some plugins by default in its plugin directory and these plugins have not any importance for you. Sometimes, you install a plugin and do not use that plugin.
In this case, you should delete these WordPress plugins because plugins take up space on your web server. More space means the higher load on your web server which causes a slow website.
Before installing any WordPress plugin, you should check their size and compatibility. Because heavy plugin size also makes your WordPress website slow.
Try to use the lightweight WordPress plugins for WordPress site for higher website performance.
WordPress has also installed default themes in its directory. If you are using other themes then you should delete WordPress default themes.
Because these default themes have not any importance for you & take up unnecessary space on your web server also. More server space creates lots of problems in your website loading time.
Some themes are heavier in size and make your WordPress site slower. So that’s why you should avoid heavier themes and try lightweight themes because they take less space and optimize for higher website performance.
7. Use Premium WordPress Themes
WordPress themes play an important role for a website because an owner can easily create a beautiful design through themes without writing any single line of code. They provide free and premium themes.
You can easily install free themes through WordPress site but the free themes have so many limitations. These limitations are;
- Limited Options to use for customization
- Not secured.
- Not optimized for speed.
- You can’t create an attractive website.
So that’s why you should avoid free themes and use premium themes. Because premium themes do not have any limitations and they are completely secured and optimized for better loading time.
Premium themes have less size and you can create an attractive and faster WordPress website.
If you are a blogger then you should use the GeneratePress Premium theme because it is a lightweight theme and properly optimized for better loading time.
We are using the GeneratePress theme for our blog. GeneratePress is the most recommended theme for bloggers and after using this theme we have improved our website speed.
For business websites, we recommend you use Templatemonster WordPress themes because they are offering highly designed themes to their users.
Templatemonster themes are well optimized, attractive, search engine friendly, and compatible with WordPress.
8. Enable Caching
Caching helps you to load your website instantly in front of your users. This is the main reason to use caching for your site.
But sometimes the website’s latest preview does not show. In this case, you should clear the cache to make a new static version.
There are various speed optimization plugins (WP Rocket, W3 Total Cache, WP Fastest Cache, Autoptimize, etc) available in the WordPress directory. You can use these plugins to enable caching in your WordPress site.
With the help of these plugins, you can easily clear the cache in one click. But the free versions of these plugins have limitations for proper speed optimization and you have to purchase premium versions.
WP Rocket is the best speed optimization plugin to optimize your website speed and enable the cache but its starter plan costs you $49 per website for 1 year.
Don’t worry if you are using Siteground Grow Big hosting plan then you do not need to purchase any premium caching plugin because they have their own free plugin named SG Optimizer.
You can easily enable dynamic cache on your website through the SG Optimizer plugin. But for showing the latest website preview, you have to enable Cache purge.
In SG Optimizer, you can purge cache through automatic and manual methods. If you want Siteground automatically purge the cache then enable the automatic cache purge.
Sometimes, your plugin also creates conflict then to resolve this problem you should enable browser-specific cache for better loading experience.
For Powerful object caching, enable Memcached for your website because it stores the queries in the database and reuse them for better website performance.
9. Add Expire Headers for Reducing HTTP Requests
Expire headers tell the browser what resources can be stored and fetched from the browser cache. It means your website directly loads from the caching, not from the web server.
When your website directly loads from the caching it makes your website fast and reduces the HTTP requests on your web server.
In WordPress, you can set expire headers through coding & the caching plugins (W3 Total Cache, WP Rocket, and LiteSpeed Cache, etc). You have to enable Browser Caching in these plugins to set the expire headers for your WordPress website.
If you are a Siteground customer then you do not need to install any extra plugin to set up expire headers for WordPress websites. With the help of the SG Optimizer plugin, you can easily set up the expire headers for your website in one click.
Go to SuperCacher Settings, Enable Browser Specific Caching option in Dynamic Caching.
After enabling browser-specific caching, it automatically sets the expire headers rule in .htaccess file and also reduces the HTTP requests.
Fewer HTTP requests mean less amount of load on your web server which results in better loading time of a WordPress website
10. Use DNS Prefetching
DNS prefetching allows you to resolve a domain name before a user clicks on a link. This means a browser caches all the content of a page in the background and makes it quickly displayable in front of the users.
You can see a DNS prefetch tag in your website coding and its look like this;
<link rel=’dns-prefetch’ href=’//domain.com’ />
In WordPress, you can enable DNS prefetching through the LiteCache Speed and Perfmatters plugins. But Siteground users do not need to use any extra plugin because they are offering the DNS Prefetching option in the SG Optimizer plugin.
Go to Environment Optimization and you will see DNS Prefetch for External Domains option. It automatically adds your website domain name but you can add external domains like CDN, Google Analytics, and Google Tag Manager like this;
After adding the external domains for DNS prefetching, the browser will load the web content faster and improve your WordPress site performance.
11. Optimize Website Images
Heavy images make your website slower because they are not properly optimized and take more space on the web server.
You have to properly optimize your images through resizing or by compressing through any WordPress plugin.
There are various image optimization plugins (Smush, Short Pixel, EWWW Image Optimizer, and Robin Image Optimizer, etc) available in the WordPress directory. These plugins will automatically compress your images to make them lighter.
But all these plugins have limitations because they can only compress a limited number of images. If you want to compress all website images then you have to purchase these plugins.
But don’t worry, if you have Siteground hosting then you do not need to purchase any plugin. Because they have an SG Optimizer speed optimization plugin which is completely free.
SG Optimizer has a Media Optimization option where you can compress all images of your website automatically.
Enable New Image Optimization and it will automatically optimize your images through compression. You can also reoptimize your old images manually in SG Optimizer.
SG Optimizer has an option to select the image optimization level. This means you want to compress your images with or without compromising the image quality.
If you do not want to compromise image quality then you have to choose lossless compression otherwise you can choose lossy compression for compromising the image quality.
12. Enable Image Lazy Loading
When your server loads your website content with images then it takes some time to load your web content. But you can resolve this problem through image lazy loading.
Image Lazy loading instantly shows your images when the user scrolls down the web page. Image lazy load reduces the load on your server and improves your WordPress site performance on both the desktop and mobile devices.
In WordPress, you can easily enable the image lazy load through a3 Lazy Load plugin. A3 Lazy Load instantly shows the images when your user scrolls down the content.
Note: WordPress has also brought the image lazy load feature in version 5.5. You do not need to use any plugin it will automatically implement lazy load and show your pictures with some delay.
If you are a Siteground customer then you do not need any image lazy load plugin because you can easily enable image lazy load in the Media Optimization section by enabling Lazy Load Media in SG Optimizer.
In Lazy Load Media, you can enable lazy load for your site images, thumbnail, Gravatars, and widgets. You can use lazy load on mobile through this plugin.
Most of the premium WordPress themes have image lazy load options. In this case, you do not need any image lazy load plugin. You can enable lazy load through a premium WordPress theme.
Image hotlinking is the process when someone finds an image on your website and uses the URL of the image directly on their website. The Image will be displayed on their website but it will be served from your web server.
Image Hotlinking is an illegal process which is called image theft. It will impact your server performance badly.
You can easily prevent image hotlinking in WordPress websites through the All in One WP Security & Firewall plugin. It is a free security WordPress plugin.
Go to Firewall option in All In One WP Security Plugin and enable the Prevent Image Hotlinking option in Prevent hotlinks. After enabling the prevent image hotlinking option, save the settings.
No one can steal your image after enabling the prevent image hotlinking option.
If you are a Siteground customer and using their free Cloudflare CDN then you do not need to use any plugin to prevent image hotlinking. Login into your Cloudflare account and Go to Scrape Shield option.
In Scrape Shield, enable the Hotlink Protection option. It protects your images from off site linking and reduces the undesired load from your WordPress site.
14. Enable GZIP Compression
You can enable GZIP compression in your WordPress website via plugin or manually using a code.
But you can compress your website files through plugins easily in comparison to write code.
If you are a Siteground user then you do not need another plugin to compress your website files. Because Siteground automatically enables the GZIP compression for your WordPress site through SG Optimizer plugin.
They automatically enable the Combine CSS & JS files options in Frontend optimization to use GZIP compression on your WordPress website.
Minification refers to the process of removing unnecessary data like code comments, formatting, and removing unused code using shorter variables, function names, etc.
You have to enable the Remove Query String option in Frontend optimization because it also removes the unnecessary strings to make the file size shorter.
16. Avoid Too Many Redirects
Redirection is good in terms of SEO and traffic because when you update your content and create a new permalink then you have to redirect old permalink to the new permalink for passing the link juice to achieve higher rankings.
For instance, you redirect old permalink to the new permalink & after some time you change the new permalink and redirect it again to the old permalink. This creates an infinite loop and creates too many redirection problems.
When you face too many redirection problems, your website does not open and sends too many redirect problems that generate a higher amount of load on your web server.
If you want the Old URL then take the help of Google Search Console and deindex the new URL which you do not want to show. It saves you from creating an infinite redirection loop.
Sometimes, too many redirects can arise due to caching and plugins. In this case, clear your cache through the caching plugin and deactivate those plugins who are generating too many redirection problems.
In Conclusion, we would like to say that apply redirection carefully & avoid too many redirections to achieve faster loading time for your WordPress site.
17. Configure HTTPS/SSL Properly
SSL (Secure Socket Layer) is important for every website because it is a ranking factor now and also a trust factor in Google.
If you use SSL then your website opens with HTTPS. HTTPS is known as a secured version of a website. Now all the hosting providers are offering free SSL to their users.
When you move your website from a non secure version to a secure version (HTTP to HTTPS) then you get a mixed content problem that slows down a WordPress website. Most of the time, your website does not open in any browser due to this problem.
But you can resolve this problem easily by using the Really Simple SSL plugin. Install Really Simple SSL plugin and activate the SSL. It automatically redirects your website from HTTP to HTTPS through 301 redirects.
After activating the SSL, Enable the Mixed Content Fixer option in Settings and your website opens properly with HTTPS version without any mixed content problem.
If you are using Siteground hosting for your WordPress website then you do not need to use any SSL plugin. Because you can easily enable SSL in Siteground using SG Optimizer plugin through one click.
Go to Environment Optimization and enable HTTPS & Fix Insecure Content options.
After enabling these options, Siteground automatically applies HTTPS and also fixes the mixed content problem.
So that’s why proper HTTPS/SSL configuration is necessary otherwise it hurts your website reputation in Google and creates bad user-experience.
18. Optimize WordPress Website Database
You should optimize your WordPress website database because when you work on the website then there are various unnecessary data that continue to be stored on your website.
This unnecessary data can be spammy comments, deleted plugins & themes code, old post revisions, pingbacks & trackbacks, and pending comments. It also creates undesired loads to your web server which makes your website slow.
So you can remove this undesired load from the servers through cleaning up the WordPress database.
But before optimizing your website database, create a backup and then clean up the WordPress website database.
You can optimize the WordPress website database through WP-Optimize, WP-DB Manager, Advanced Database Cleaner WordPress plugins easily.
But Siteground users do not need any separate database cleaner WordPress plugin because you can easily optimize your WordPress website database through SG Optimizer Plugin.
Go to Environment Optimization, Enable Scheduled Database Maintenance. It will continue to delete all unnecessary data from your website database every 48 hours.
After removing unnecessary data, it makes your database clean & reduces the undesired load from the server to achieve a better website loading speed.
19. Limit the Post Revisions
WordPress automatically saves the temporary revisions of your post to get back the older version.
But after doing a post, you do not need post revisions because more post revisions take up more space in your website database. Which affects the database queries and slows down your WordPress website.
So that’s why you should limit the post revision and you can easily limit the post revisions in WordPress through the WP Revisions Control plugin. Set the post revisions from 2 to 3 only for taking up the less space.
If you are using Siteground Web hosting then you do not need to use other plugins to control the post revisions. Because the SG Optimizer plugin automatically deletes all the post revisions after 48 hours during the database maintenance.
After limiting the post revisions, your database will take less space & improve your website speed.
20. Show Limited Posts on Homepage or Blog Page
When you show more posts on your blog page or homepage then your WordPress website takes more time to load your content?
So, it is recommended to show minimum posts on your blog page or website homepage to load faster.
In WordPress, you can easily set the maximum post for your blog page or homepage.
Open the Reading Settings in the WordPress Admin Dashboard and set the post limit. Maximum 6 posts are enough to show on your blog page or homepage.
After setting the post limitation, save the changes and your website will show limited posts.
When you reduce the post numbers on your website homepage or blog page then it produces better loading speed results for the overall website.
21. Split Blog Comments into Pages
Are you getting more comments on your blog post? If yes, Congratulations! Because getting more comments is a sign of an engaged audience.
But loading more comments on a single page affects the WordPress website speed. For maintaining better site speed, you have to split your blog comments into pages.
So don’t worry! For this process, you do not need to write any code because WordPress has a built-in function to split your blog comments into pages.
Simply Go to Settings >> Discussion and check the box “break comments into pages” option. After enabling the “break comments into pages” option, save the discussion settings.
It will break your comments into separate pages and show the comments in the form of older or newer comments.
22. Split Long form Blog Posts into Pages
In-depth and long-form blog posts tend to perform well in the search engines and the readers also love in-depth guides. But long-form content has more images than shorter content which affects your website loading speed badly.
In this situation, you have to split the long-form blog posts into pages. So don’t worry! Because WordPress has an in-built function for breaking blog posts into separate pages.
Go to your long-form blog post and use the Page Break function to create separate pages. The Page Break function is present in the Layout elements section.
After using the Page Break function, your long-form blog post will divide into multiple pages and improve your website page loading speed.
23. Optimize the Loading of Google Fonts & Disable Emoji’s
Google has its own font family which has access to over 900 fonts. Each font has its own weightage and the browser needs to download before showing them.
If you do not optimize the Google Fonts then it takes time to load in front of users that affects the user-experience badly. So you have to optimize the Google Fonts for quick loading.
You can easily optimize Google fonts through Optimize My Google Fonts plugin but Siteground users don’t need to use this plugin. You can optimize the Google fonts through the SG Optimizer plugin.
Go to Frontend Optimization and enable the Optimize Loading of Google Fonts.
After enabling Google Font optimization, it combines the loading of Google fonts and sends the fewer HTTP requests to your browser for instant loading.
WordPress supports Emoji in the browsers and sometimes it generates Emoji automatically on your web page. But the big issue with Emoji is that they send additional HTTP requests to your browser. Additional HTTP requests slow down your website performance because the Emoji load is sitewide.
If you are not using Emoji for your website then you should disable it for your site. You can disable Emoji through the SG Optimizer plugin in one click.
Go to Frontend Optimization and enable the Disable Emojis option.
After enabling this option, it automatically prevents WordPress from generating emojis and sends the fewest HTTP requests to decrease the emojis load sitewide.
24. Don’t Upload Audio & Video Directly in WordPress
You can upload audio or video files directly in the WordPress site and it automatically displays these files through an HTML5 player.
But you should never do that because it takes more bandwidth and your hosting company charges you more for this. Sometimes they shut down your website if you are using unlimited bandwidth hosting plans.
Hosting audio or video files also takes more bandwidth that causes bad loading speed and your backup size also increases. An increase in backup size means you can’t restore your WordPress website easily.
So instead of uploading the audio or video files, try to use third party websites like Youtube, Dailymotion, and Vimeo, etc because they have enough bandwidth for it.
WordPress has an embed feature for audio or video, so copy the audio or video URL from Soundcloud or Youtube and embed the URL directly into your post. It will embed your video or audio automatically.
After embedding the video, your WordPress website uses third party bandwidth which saves your money and bandwidth. It is the best practice for achieving better website performance.
25. Use Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
According to Statista, 52.2% of traffic came from mobile in 2019. It means your website should be responsive and mobile-friendly otherwise you are losing a big traffic opportunity from mobile devices.
In recent times, most of the free WordPress themes are mobile responsive. Due to heavy CSS and JS, their loading time slows down on mobile devices which is not good for user experience.
So, it means that with mobile responsiveness, your website loading speed should be fast. With the help of Google AMP, you can instantly load your website on mobile devices easily.
AMP means Accelerated Mobile pages that make your web page lighter through AMP HTML and quickly loads your web pages on mobile devices. It was launched by Google in October 2015.
In WordPress, you can easily set up AMP for your website with the help of plugins. There are various AMP Plugins available in the WordPress repository but we have used AMP for WP plugin for our website and found it useful.
Most of the time, we have seen AMP Pages get the top position in Google quickly in comparison to non-AMP pages. Hence you must use Google AMP for your WordPress website to get instant loading on mobile devices.
FAQs About How to Speed Up Your WordPress Site to Load Fast
Here is the list of amazing questions that are asked by the users on the various forums regarding speeding up of a WordPress website in 2020 or beyond.
1. What is fully loaded time?
Ans: Fully loaded time is the measurement of a time from initial to end where no network activity takes place till 2 seconds after document completion. This term is associated with GTMetrix and it comes into the picture after the Onload event fires.
2. What is a good Page Load Time?
Ans: Your website page load time should be under 3 seconds because most of the users do not wait above 3 seconds and abandon the website.
3. How fast should a website load 2020?
Ans: The ideal condition for loading a website is below 2 seconds but you should make your website as fast as you can. Because a faster website attracts more attention than a slower one.
4. Does the website speed still matter in 2020?
Ans: In 2020 or upcoming years, speed will be a major factor for search engine rankings, user-experience, and conversions.
5. Is Page Speed Optimization good for traffic?
Ans: Yes, page speed optimization is good for traffic. Because speed has a relationship with traffic. After optimizing the page speed, your page performs well which improves the user experience. Better user experience meaning higher the chances of traffic.
6. How Important is Page Speed Optimization?
Ans: Page Speed Optimization is most important because it helps you to rank higher in the search engines, creates a better user-experience, and attracts more traffic.
7. How do I check Website Speed Optimization Issues?
Ans: You can check your website speed optimization issue through GTMetrix, Pingdom Tools, and Google PageSpeed Insights tools.
8. How Accurate is Google PageSpeed Insights & GTMetrix?
Ans: Google PageSpeed Insights & GTMetrix help you to optimize your website speed. These tools are not 100% accurate but good for optimizing your website speed.
9. How much does website speed optimization cost?
Ans: You do not pay any cost for website speed optimization because speed testing tools and some speed plugins are free. So, check your website speed issue through GTMetrix and solve these issues in WordPress through speed optimization plugins like SG Optimizer and WP Rocket.
10. How does website speed optimization influence conversions?
Ans: Yes, website speed optimization influences the conversions. If you optimize a website speed then you will get more conversions. In a Walmart Research, for every 1 second improvement in website speed they experience 2% increase in their conversions.
11. Do WordPress plugins affect website speed?
Ans: Yes, heavy plugins affect the WordPress website speed badly. So try to use lightweight and updated plugins for your website to achieve good page loading time.
12. Does Website Speed affect the rankings in Google SERP?
Ans: Yes, speed is a ranking factor for search engines and most of the websites present in the search engines are not properly optimized for speed. So take advantage of it and make your website faster to get higher search engine ranking.
Final thoughts on Speeding up Your WordPress Website in 2020
We hope this article helped you learn how to speed up your WordPress site to load fast. Go ahead and try out these techniques for your website or blog. But before using these techniques, check your website speed through speed testing tools then implement these techniques.
So you should try to make your website faster because a faster website provides more benefits (higher website traffic and conversions) than a slower website.
If you have any questions regarding this article, let us know in the comment section and please share this article to Facebook & Twitter to help others to speed up their website.
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and add no additional cost to you, I’ll earn a commission. When you purchase a product or service using one of my affiliate links, the company compensates me, which helps me to run this blog and keep my content free of charge to you. Know that I also only recommend products I personally stand behind.