Wanna Reduce load time of your WordPress Blog
Wanna, Give your visitors a good experience ?
After the algorithm updates from Google, Speed became an important aspect for every blog.
Not only that, User experience can be disturbed, Because of bad loading time.
If I visit a blog from search engine like Google, I expect a good loading time, Maximum 8 seconds to load it fully and properly. If a webpage takes more than 8 seconds to load, I will immediately stop loading the webpage and visit another from SERP.
Well, This is just my opinion. I wait for 8 seconds. But, Many people never compromise like me.
According to a study,
Visitors love blogs or websites that takes 4-6 seconds to load fully.
If your blog have high loading time, you may lose your Brand, Authority and loyal reader too.
So, it is a must to take care of the loading time of our blogs in order to get more conversions, Subscribers etc.
In this blog post, I will try my best to give you a list of working tricks to optimize and reduce load time of your WordPress blog
10 factors that affect blog loading time [ at a glance ]
Improper configuration of caching plugin
Not using a CDN service
Neglecting DB optimization
Blog posts on homepage
To many Advertisements
RAM consuming plugins
Tips to Reduce load time of your WordPress blog [ in-depth ]
Note: This isn’t a list type article that gets arranged in an order. We can’t define, which is the most important factor to take care of ?
So, you will have to take care of each and everything listed in the article to reduce your blog loading time
If you wanna start a WordPress blog, You need a hosting provider that stores your data and hosts your databases.
But, All hosting providers won’t offer the same features and tools.
For example, BlueHost is best known for their pricing, Free domain name offer, Support etc. But, Recently, I have heard that, their servers are lacking speed.
Since, This article is mainly concentrated on speed, I can’t suggest BlueHost, Even it was an officially recommended host by WordPress.
So, Some of the hosting providers which provides good speed are:
1. Siteground ( Highly popular for their speed and pricing )
2. DreamHost ( popular for their Speed and support )
Digital Ocean is an unmanaged VPS which offers VPS hosting for as low as $5/month.
They have very fast loading times
Undoubtedly, Google Cloud is one of the best cloud hosting providers with a great speed
If you have a good knowledge on servers, You can also go with AWS ( Amazon’s cloud )
But, How Hosting is related to Speed ?
That’s because, Every server has its own internet connectivity speed. For example, Some servers would have got 500 MbPS speed port attached to it, Where as some, Would have got a 1GBPS connection.
At the same time, Stable internet speed matters a lot. If a server has 1gbps port, It has to give 1gbps constantly to provide good speed to the customers.
And, Normally, RAM and processor matters a lot to process things faster.
That’s How, A good hosting provider improves the speed.
I suggest you to buy hosting package from the providers, I have recommended above.
2. Theme or Template
Well, You might be using a colorful eye-catching template for attracting your readers.
But, have you ever thought, How many resources does the template use in order to provide the eye-catching effects and colors ?
If you are concentrating on speed, You have to think like that.
So, in order to provide your readers a good speed and experience, You should select a minimal template
A minimal template is a type of template that contains low effects and Color combinations etc. I used a low number of resources like JS, CSS which is directly proportional to speed of your blog.
If you need both effects and speed, Go with Genesis framework which costs $99 ( Lifetime validity ).
Purchase it right away:
At the same time, You should pick a Genesis child theme to give your blog a good look and Speed.
If you are not willing to go with Genesis, You can try Thrive themes. But, Genesis is my first priority 🙂
Selecting a good theme is a must for Reducing loading time of your WordPress blog and providing best user experience.
3. Removing unwanted plugins
Plugins are one of the best features of a self-hosted WordPress blog.
Plugins help us in doing things and styling our blog without writing a single piece of code ( You might have to write a short code :p )
Anyway, I have seen many WordPress users Installing 30-50 plugins on their blogs.
Do you know ?
It doesn’t matter, How many plugins you have installed in your blog.
The main thing is ” Does the plugins coded nicely ? “.
Here nicely refers to the coding that is highly optimized for speed.
If you are using a plugin that isn’t updated for more than a year, That means, The plugin isn’t using new languages.
New languages will load faster when compared to the old languages.
So, I suggest you to only use plugins that has higher update frequency.
At the same time, I only recommend you to use plugins that is recommended by experts and WordPress plugin directory.
And why installing many plugins, If one plugins does the thing ?
For example, if you consider Jetpack plugin, it works as a statistics plugin, Subscription, Social sharing etc.
That’s why, It is recommended to use one fully functioning plugin other than using multiple plugins
In order to Reduce load time of your WordPress blog, You should use those plugins with high ratings, Active installs and those which will get updated at least once for 3 months
4. Improper configuration of caching plugins
Before moving on to the topic, you must learn, The concept of caching and it’s advantages
In simple words,
When a visitor visits your WordPress blog, His web Browser starts a conservation with your hosting server ( Not really a conversation :p )
The conversation would be made in sending Mysql queries, PHP processing, Checking index file etc.
After a successful conversation, Your server agrees to show the data to the web browser and Starts sending your data.
After all of your data sent, the visitor can watch your blog
But, This process can take up sometime which have a great impact on your blog loading time.
So, If you enable caching, This process would be simplified.
A caching plugin replaces the whole process by generating a static HTML file and sending it to the web browser.
The static HTML file contains all the data which was requested by the web browser. So, your site loads faster.
Well, There are many definitions available on the internet related to caching, But all of them can only be understood by experts and Robots :p
Now, You should got some idea on caching and now we will jump on to the topic, without wasting any time
To generate a static HTML file, You need a caching plugin.
There are many caching plugins out there. But, My recommendations would be, W3 total cache and WP rocket cache ( Paid ).
But, Configuring a caching plugin requires some knowledge. If you do any mistakes, It can cost you so much to recover ( Cost ? Nothing actually :p )
So, You should follow a good guide from top blogs like ShoutMeLoud, WP Beginner etc
Any improper configuration of the caching plugin can result in breaking up your blog or results in slow load times.
At the same time, Some plugins are not supported by some hosting providers, So make sure, your server is fully compatible with the caching plugin
Here are some guides on configuring caching plugins:
Configure W3 Total cache properly
Configuration guide: WP super cache
Tutorial to configure WP fastest cache easily
5. Not using a CDN service
What is a CDN ?
A content delivery network (CDN ) is a system of distributed servers (network) that deliver pages and other Web content to a user, based on the geographic locations of the user, the origin of the webpage and the content delivery server.
The above paragraph is a very complex one for beginners, So, In simple words:
A CDN ( content delivery network ) is a service that works with multiple servers from multiple locations.
A CDN provider has their own data centers on many locations. If you are using a CDN service, each and every page of your blog gets cached and stored in their servers ( Same files, stored in all the locations ).
Here comes the main thing:
For example, A visitor from India, visited your blog. You are using a CDN service for your blog.
The CDN provider has data centers in the following locations:
So, You can see in the above listed countries, India is very much near to Singapore
So, The cached copy of your blog will be loaded from Singapore. It will increase your blog time easily.
If you are not using a CDN service, and your servers are located in US.
Due to the long distances, server may respond slowly or serve data slowly which has a lot of negative impact on your blog load time
So, got it ?
If you are not using a CDN service, start using it from now, to speed up your WordPress blog
Actually, it is an optional step, But, if your servers are taking long time to respond, you should start using a CDN service.
Here at Blogger WP Hacks, we are not using a CDN service since we have good server response times and load times
5. Neglecting database optimizationWordPress is a self hosted blogging platform that uses MySQL databases for storing data and other important things.
Without a Database, you can’t keep your site alive.
Since, all important data, User data and all other things stored in the DB, it is important to keep it optimized.
We have seen in caching paragraph, That, a web browser starts receiving data once it successfully completes a conversation with the server using PHP, MySQL queries etc.
So, for a browser, to load your blog quickly, it needs to contact the MySQL database first.
If the DB is not optimized, The browser takes more time to have a successful conversation and it will make your blog load much slower.
Wherever, someone makes a comment on your blog, it will be added to DB as a query.
Wherever you install a plugin, it will add the required MySQL queries to your database
Wherever you simply remove a plugin, the data of the plugin will be stored in database of your blog.
With all the database related issues, The size of DB increases which in turn results in very slow response time of your blog.
So, How to optimize DB ?
A simple, DB error can break your site easily. So, it is a must to backup your DB before doing anything related to DB.
To optimize Database:
Install wp sweep or WP optimize plugin from your admin panel
Go to the wp sweep tab
Sweep ( clean ) the unnecessary things
For example, cleaning, Unused terms from wp-sweep plugin can remove your draft posts. So, make sure you don’t have any drafts before sweeping them
And one thing !!
The changes are irreversible
To Reduce load times of your WordPress blog, frequently cleaning up your database is a must.
We have already talked about, the conversation between the web browser and hosting Server.
After a successful conversation, Your server sends the data to the web browser.
While the server starts sending the data, Browser will download ( Fetch ) each and every file of your blog including JS, CSS, Images and all the files an display your blog to the visitor.
But, Template developers or designers, For some more effects, Styling, use external JS and CSS files.
An external JS File is a file that is not stored in your blog, But, works as normal JS file.
The main difference is:
While the web browser receives data from web browser, Your server will direct the web browser to the external JS file.
So, The browser has to visit the external JS file and fetch it to proceed.
If the JS file, Is at the header of your blog, The browser will first fetch the external file and then fetch your site. It will slow down your blog very much.
An example of external JS is:
So, we will add a tag to external JS to control the fetching.
Here are the two tabs to control the external JS fetching:
1. Async tag ( Asynchronous )
2. Defer tag
Async tag: It is an HTML tag which tells the web browser to load the blog files along with the external JS. So, your blog main files and external files load simultaneously.
Defer tag: It is an HTML tag which tells the web browser to fetch the external JS file once all of your internal files are loaded.
This means, your blog gets loaded first and then the external JS file. The visitors will see your content rapidly and then the lagging JS will load
Here is a plugin to control the Async or defer of JS. Install the plugin, select the control tag ( Async or Defer ), According to your requirements and you are done.
7. Minify JS and CSS
A simple JS file can have an approximate size of 10-30 KB, It may look like a small thing
But, in terms of blog loading time, Even a single KB is a must watch.
For reducing the page size which in turn speed up your WordPress blog, we will minify ( Compress ) the JS and CSS ( HTML too ) files.
Here is a great plugin to minify the JS, CSS, HTML Files automatically. According to the function of the plugin, The name of the plugin is Autoptimize
All you need to do is:
Installing the plugin, enabling HTML, CSS, JS minifying settings and done !!
Manually without a plugin:
You can compress/minify JS, CSS files without a plugin
Search for a JS/CSS compressor, Copy the code of the JS files and Paste them on the box and click on minify
The code will be minified in seconds, You have to replace your JS code with the optimized JS code.
8. Image Optimization
Images plays a crucial role in the journey of every blogger.
Without Images, Your blog posts would look like a piece of Junk and no one gets interested to read it.
But, Images are bigger in terms of size, A quality image can easily reach upto, 300 KB
In the above JS section, we have minfied a small 30 KB file. So, why leaving a huge 300KB file ?
It is a must for every blogger to optimize their blog images in order to get good blog load times.
But, Quality is also a great aspect of images. Without quality images, Again, No one likes to read your blog posts.
That’s why, Keeping the quality along with reducing size is a must.
Here is a simple plugin, Called WP Smush developed by WP DEV
It has an automatic image compression technology. It will reduce the size of the images without affecting it’s quality.
Quality will be affected a bit, But it won’t matter.
At the same time, Wherever you upload a new image, It will automatically gets compressed by WP Smush.
Well, there are many plugins out there for image optimization like Eww optimizer, ShortPixel etc.
But, We use WP Smush for image compression, That’s why, it is our recommendation.
To reduce load time of your WordPress blog, Image optimization is one thing which you need to concentrate on.
9. No. Of blog posts on Homepage
If you are using a static page for your blog like us, There is no need of reading this one.
By default, The homepage of your WordPress blog would display your latest blog posts
Along with the blog posts, Featured images would also gets displayed on the homepage.
So, it will take some more time to load the homepage.
So, we suggest you to lower down the blog posts on your homepage.
This is a simple trick to reduce load time of your WordPress blog instantly ( Only homepage will be optimized with this technique )
Here at Blogger WP Hacks, we have a static page, So, There is no need of lowering down the blog posts on homepage 🙂 🙂
10. Too many advertisements
Monetization is an important aspect for every blogger who wants to make some money from their blogs.
If you are using Affiliate Marketing or EBook selling, there is no need of reading this paragraph.
When it comes to advertisements, Adsense is the only network that strikes our mind instantly.
Placing more ads can result in more clicks, But, It will result in slow loading of your blog.
Even though Google had introduced Asynchronous tag to the Advertisements.
It won’t work effectively when compared to the async of JS and CSS.
The only thing that works here is, Reduce the number of advertisements on your blog. It will have a good impact on your blog load time.
To Reduce load time of your WordPress blog, You should reduce the number of advertisements in your blog.
Instead try placing ads effectively in those places which gets high number of mouse hover on your blog
You can use a Heatmap service to know the highest paying place in your blog.
11. RAM consuming plugins
Some plugins use so much memory of your hosting server which in turn affects your blog performance
Since, The plugin Is a RAM consumer, You have very low amount of remaining RAM.
Since you have very low amount of RAM available, So, whenever a visitor visits your blog, Your blog loads slower
For controlling the memory consumption, You should catch the RAM sucker.
For checking the consumption of plugins, There is a plugin called P3 profiler
It will scan all your plugins and notify you which plugin is consuming your RAM.
Deactivate and remove the plugin, to speed up your WordPress blog.
These are the tricks used by us, To speed up WordPress blog.
Will there are many other factors that affect the performance of your blog. But, all of them have a minor impact on your blog.
These are the main factors that cause a very much Slower website.
Do you know any other factors that affect the performance of a blog ?
Let us know and help us to improve this blog post