WordPress Speed Optimization

wordpress speed optimization

WordPress websites optimized for speed do miracles, as they help the business owners and the webmaster to achieve their goals and meanwhile, the unoptimized WordPress websites have put them in trouble for decades together and finally they decide to rely less on the internet presence for their business success.

Don’t ever get into this problem of concluding that the website is not helping to get the business by owning an unoptimized WordPress website.

If you have to see your business progressing through its internet presence optimize it right today by following this simple guide that I do use to optimize my WordPress website.

WordPress Performance Optimization is an art that not everybody can understand until they have exposure to WordPress platform, I mean hands-on working on WordPress, by any chance if you are not comfortable you can always opt WordPress speed optimization services from any of the WordPress developers.

Wondering how to optimize WordPress site for SEO?

Ask Kandra! Get free advice from him.

Seems to be like you have realized the importance of optimizing WordPress websites and hence you are looking for the tips to optimize your WordPress website, anyways I shall still brief you why optimizing the WordPress website is important and the ways of optimizing the WordPress website for its great performance.

Importance of optimizing the WordPress website:

1. Improves load times and thereafter improvement in the following

Advantages of Improved load times
Load time improves
  • User metrics (user experience, & user engagement)
  • Conversion rates
  • SEO progress

The above A, B, & C are the key factors for business success and unfortunately, many companies struggle to have them in place.

2. Website will rank for more keywords

After optimizing my website I have seen a great improvement in the crawl rate and my blog impressions too have spiked up significantly.

Note: Crawl rate can improve for several reasons, such as implementing the internal link strategy, sitemaps and contextual linking and hence always have a relative study or correlation of metrics, don’t ever conclude or attribute the growth to one single implementation as the improvement can happen from one of the implementation or from all of the implementation.

In my blog case, the growth is purely after optimization of the blog for its speed or performance.

3. To improve the keyword rankings or average position of already ranking keywords

Internal Links vs average position study

With the improved load times, your websites will improve its crawl stats and which in turn lets bots to understand more and make your content rank for more keywords or make existing keywords rank better.

4. To avoid unwanted traffic to the serves and thereafter bring down the server expenses

There are few hundreds of bots which would visit your website and cause harm from several perspectives and its more when your websites are built on open source CMS like WordPress or Drupal and hence it becomes crucial to have an implementation to avoid the unwanted bots to the website.

5. Improve the crawl rate of the website in order to achieve the maximum from the SEO efforts

If you are optimizing the website for search engines its very crucial to work on the elements that hinder the performance of WordPress websites.

Here are some of the common performance related problems that most of the WordPress website owners come across and taking an action or implementation in order to fix them is very important.

Poor WordPress hostings (Don’t go for WordPress hosting plans)

best wordpress hostingMany service providers don’t have the right WordPress packages, they trap you or deceive you claiming that the websites would do great on their WordPress hosting, perform well, load quickly, good CPU’s, etc, just to grab the attention of the business owners they are coming up with these filthy schemes.

Always go for a normal server with good ram and storage and build your WordPress websites.

Don’t ever prefer the poor WordPress hosting plans!

Remove Query string in WordPress

Query strings are the multiple versions of the original URL’s or resource files either contain “?” or “&” in them and these kinds of URL’s are usually not cacheable and would send unnecessary requests to the server for every time they have to serve or render a webpage.

To avoid this the query parameters have to be removed from the URL and to do this in the WordPress you can follow one of the approaches,

  1. Install the wp-cache or any other plugin that can remove query strings

My personal suggestion is don’t use any plugin for removing the query strings and you can simply follow the method explained in type 2.

  1.  Removing query strings manually

remove query stringsYou don’t have to download and activate any plugin, which typically may impact the performance of your webpages sometimes with more HTTP requests to the server. You can simply place this code in the functions.php file of your WordPress and that would automatically remove the query strings from the URL’s so that now all the URL’s will be cacheable by the browsers and therefore no unwanted requests to the server and hence the speed improves.

Code To Be Added To The functions.php

//* TN - Remove Query String from Static Resources

function remove_css_js_ver( $src ) {

if( strpos( $src, ‘?ver=’ ) )

$src = remove_query_arg( ‘ver’, $src );

return $src;

}

add_filter( ‘style_loader_src’, ‘remove_css_js_ver’, 10, 2 );

add_filter( ‘script_loader_src’, ‘remove_css_js_ver’, 10, 2 );


URL’s with query strings are unnecessary requests to the server and they would slow down the speed of the webpages

Gzip the files through HTAccess

Sending a heavy file through the HTTP would take a lot of bandwidth both for the user and for the server and in turn would impact the load times, the speed of the websites will come down and hence compressing and sending the content through the HTTP connection is very important.

There are “n” number of plugins to do this, but then its not a recommended method and hence you can follow this simple approach which is also implemented on my websites.

Code That Goes Into .htaccess

<ifModule mod_gzip.c>
mod_gzip_on Yes
mod_gzip_dechunk Yes
mod_gzip_item_include file .(html?|txt|css|js|php|pl)$
mod_gzip_item_include handler ^cgi-script$
mod_gzip_item_include mime ^text/.*
mod_gzip_item_include mime ^application/x-javascript.*
mod_gzip_item_exclude mime ^image/.*
mod_gzip_item_exclude rspheader ^Content-Encoding:.*gzip.*
</ifModule>

Enable the cache on the .htaccess file:

By enabling the cache you will be avoiding the unwanted traffic or load to the server, so that the websites may load quickly.

You can just incorporate the below code in the htaccess file and save it and rest will be taken care by that small piece of code.

Don’t use plugins for enabling the cache of the content, usuall these plugins will be very heavy and impact the load times of the websites severely, so prefer this manual method of doing this through the htaccess file.

Update the cache code on .htaccess file

## EXPIRES CACHING ##
<IfModule mod_expires.c>
ExpiresActive On
ExpiresByType image/jpg "access 1 year"
ExpiresByType image/jpeg "access 1 year"
ExpiresByType image/gif "access 1 year"
ExpiresByType image/png "access 1 year"
ExpiresByType text/css "access 1 month"
ExpiresByType text/html "access 1 month"
ExpiresByType application/pdf "access 1 month"
ExpiresByType text/x-javascript "access 1 month"
ExpiresByType application/x-shockwave-flash "access 1 month"
ExpiresByType image/x-icon "access 1 year"
ExpiresDefault "access 1 month"
</IfModule>
## EXPIRES CACHING ##

Optimize The Content

optimize website contentThe content encompasses the HTML, CSS, JS, Images, and video and in order to have a high performing webpages, you have to make sure the content is all optimized so that the pages load quickly.

There needs to be a clean HTML, CSS, and JS without empty spaces, without too many lines of script, so that the script will be very light and loads quickly.

Too many external CSS and JS files will lead to too many HTTP requests to render a single webpage and hence combining the CSS and JS files to fewer CSS and fewer JS files will help to improve the speed.

Coming to the images and videos you can minimize the size of the images of videos so that they load quickly on the webpages.

Heavy images and videos are one of the biggest reasons for the higher load times on many of the WordPress websites.

Use the light theme & advanced themes

fast loading themeIf you are not building a custom theme for your website make sure you are buying the best theme for your website, many times the creepy themes with too many plugins and bad design practices impact the performance of the website.

Meanwhile there are a good number of mature themes for which the optimization and design practices are followed and are best, the plugin usage will be limited, they may have their own editors and lot more features which all make the theme amazing one and hence using such kinds of themes will be the first step for a fast loading WordPress website.

Avoid unwanted plugins and prefer manual edit

Some of the best themes which have provisions for customization or update of certain kinds of data such as tracking pixels, sharing buttons, etc would never create a need for plugins or customization of the code and in those scenarios, your website will do great without any unwanted plugins.

Wheres certain kinds of theme you use may not have any kind of provision for customization or adding the features of pixels and those cases you need to either rely on plugins or edit the .php files manually and in those scenarios prefer to edit the PHP, so that you would not have any kind of effect on the load times.

For instance here is a bonus code for you to add the sharing buttons to the articles instead of using a plugin,

Use it in the header.php

Use it in the maincss.css

You have to update you header.php and the main CSS file following the below instructions so that your blog posts will have a share button.

Disable the plugins that are not in use

deactivate plugins

Some of the plugins are needed for a specific function and you may not need them always or can be enabled whenever the need to execute that function.

E.G; Demo import, Bulk import and other similar plugins where you would be using them only once and there is no necessity of keeping them active always. Also, if they are active always they would affect the load times and hence disabling them is the right choice.

Effective use of plugins on multisite WordPress (Multisite plugin manager)

multisite plugin managerIf you are using WordPress multisite and if each of your site is using you will be able to relate what I am speaking, anyways I will brief you,

If you are using a WordPress multisite and multiple themes you probably may be using different kinds of plugins based on the need of the features for each site when each of your sites is for a different purpose and in this case of multiple plugins all would have got activated for all the sites, but then there is no such need, you can just enable set “a” plugins for website “x” and set “b” plugins for website “y”, in case if you are enabling set “a” plugins and set “b” plugins for site “x” you site “x” load times may go high with unwanted plugins activation, hence make sure you activate plugins only which are needed for the site but not all the plugins that are on the multisite network.

Compress the images/media

compress videoDon’t use any image comprising plugins when your hosting is not that great, better avoid the image compressions plugins and always compress the images manually and upload to the media library, so that your webpages would load fast despite images are published on webpages.

Host the images and videos on CDN

cdn hostingHosting all of the images and your own server may cost you a lot and also since they consume a lot of bandwidth your site will slow down and hence it’s always good to host your images on CDN in order to have a quick loading website.

Segregate the content:

wordpress multisiteIf you have a website serving multiple purposes prefer to have multiple WordPress instances or multisite with effective usage of plugin or usage of a specifc set of useful plugins for the respective website. This implementation doesn’t permit the interference of other plugins needed for the site serving a specific purpose so that the load times will not get affected. In case if you have all the plugins enabled for various purposes you will have an impact of the same across.

Use SEO plugin

yoast SEO plugin

SEO plugins are very much suitable especially when you have to optimize your website for search engines and they do take care of the provisions for adding the tracking pixels and few other functionalities, since these packages comprise a lot of functions that are compulsorily for the WordPress website you don’t have to download too many other plugins and that’s how you will be able to avoid download of many other plugins and that in turn will not have any kind of effect on load times.

Implement lazy loading or load on click:

You don’t have to enable all the components on the web-pages especially when the content is dynamic and you can prefer them loading while scrolling the webpage or load only when user request for it, so that the sites will load quickly.

Handle dynamic content effectively:

Espescially when content need to be served based on the loaction prefer the best IP to location APi;s that can load quickly and accurately, so that you can server the content quickly to the user when the request is placed.

 

 

 

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One thought on “WordPress Speed Optimization

  1. kandra says:

    //* TN – Remove Query String from Static Resources
    function remove_css_js_ver( $src ) {
    if( strpos( $src, ‘?ver=’ ) )
    $src = remove_query_arg( ‘ver’, $src );
    return $src;
    }
    add_filter( ‘style_loader_src’, ‘remove_css_js_ver’, 10, 2 );
    add_filter( ‘script_loader_src’, ‘remove_css_js_ver’, 10, 2 );

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