People have always been obsessed with speed, whether we’re talking about cars, aeroplanes, Usain Bolt or the internet speed. It’s no surprise that it is one of the major SEO factors when it comes to rating your website and for a good reason. Search engines put a lot of effort in understanding and serving you best results and they presume you like speedy things, too.
You’ve got to admit that there are few things more annoying than a slow-loading website. If you’re trying to speed up your WordPress, because of the whole user experience thing or just because you want to boost your SEO rankings, here’s a brief list of things you can do.
1. Limit the Number of Plugins You Use
Plugins are a great way of extending WordPress functionality and if you ask me the only one. Sadly, many plugin developers don’t follow WordPress best practices and neglect the load their plugins put on servers when activated.
- Use plugins you actually need
- Regularly update plugins
- Deactivate and delete the ones you don’t use
2. Caching Stuff
Caching serves pages faster by saving static copies of files and limiting server-side processing. There’s a bunch of free WordPress plugins that’ll do this for you. Just do a search for WordPress Cache Plugin or take a look at these posts and select one :
- WPTuts+ | WordPress Caching Plugins
- WPMU | The Best Caching Plugins for WordPress – Recommended By Our Readers
We don’t use any caching plugins here on ThematoSoup, since they’ve recently become a hacker’s tool for breaching WordPress security.
You can do several things with your .htaccess file to increase WordPress speed, that’ll mimic stuff cache plugins do.
3. Optimize Content (images, java-script, CSS)
Large, uncompressed and non-optimized images slow down many WordPress websites. There are a couple of ways you can deal with this issue:
- Optimize image before you upload it, so its resolution fits your layout. You can use this free online service called PicResize or Picture Slash.
- Install a plugin called SmushIt. It compresses and strips all meta data and unused colors from your images.
The other thing you can check out is content delivery networks. CDNs will host the static content of your blog (images, videos, java-script, CSS) and load it much faster. I suggest these two CDNs:
If you decide to try content delivery networks, you can read a review about these two free CDNs.
4. Choose a Well-coded, Simple Theme
Sometimes, the speed problem lies with the WordPress theme. Perhaps you’ve chosen a theme that has a lot of images and graphics. Perhaps it has a lot of bulky code and uses inefficient functions. If this is the case, you will need to simplify your theme or choose another.
If you’ve just begun building your WordPress website, see if you can start with the default WordPress theme and add features and styles as you need them, using plugins and CSS, or you can use Cazuela, free responsive WordPress theme, developed by us.
5. Minimize Advertising
6. Move To a New Host
If you’ve tried all of the above and still experience a slow-loading website or a lot of down-time, then it’s time you move your whole website to a different place. Different hosts take different time to process PHP files and MySQL queries.
Cheap shared hosting may do the job for you, but if you’re a professional who has a lot of traffic you may be better off with Media Temple or WestHost (25%-off & 60-day money back guarantee). If you’ve already tried them and weren’t satisfied, you should go for WP Engine. These guys offer top notch service and are specialized in WordPress hosting.
ThematoSoup is currently being powered by Namecheap and I must say we’re pretty satisfied with their service and their customer support is just amazing.
Speed of your WordPress is highly appreciated by both search engines and people as you’re making your website more usable and more crawlable. You can also increase speed using .htaccess and using CDNs or content delivery networks.
If you know of any other tip for increasing WordPress speed, please let me know in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to our mailing list for more of the WordPress tips.