10 WordPress Tips to Improve Your Website Performance

This post is to help bloggers who are using WordPress to run their blogs. And facing difficulties in keeping up their website performance. Here, we’ve brought some tips that can turn a WordPress blog to handle a minimum of 1000+ users without any issue. It’s a fair amount of traffic for a website running on shared hosting. And most of us as bloggers use to start with a shared hosting plan like we did.

Since we’ve fixed a lot of website performance issues in the past, and each of them led to speed up WordPress site by 10x. So we thought to summarize our learnings in this blog post. Out of the many fixes made, we are sharing the ten most essential tips that would only take 10 minutes to improve your website performance.

Next, there is no regret in accepting that we failed in the beginning. It was because we began installing tons of WordPress plugins to speed up the website as most of us do. It’s the most common tip you’ll find on many blogs. But the problem strikes when you follow it without knowing the outcome.

Hence, there is not a single plugin you’ll see in the below tips. And believe us that WordPress offers a lot more than you think. Hence, we’ll tell you how to use it for setting your website for best performance and without using any plugin.

Also, we are sure that you would already have tried many performance plugins but still not satisfied. Then, you won’t regret reading this post as our tips are easy to use and serve to the expectations.

Next, probably you knew that the page load and rendering response time are the two most critical factors to run a successful blog. And our website performance tips will directly lead you to cut the load time of your site by 20% and quicken rendering by 5-7%.

We’ve tested these methods on multiple websites and seen significant improvements. That’s why we decided to group these methods and prepared to share with you.

But before getting started, let’s get to the neck of the topic.

Question: Why is the Website performance significant?

Website Performance or site optimization means to make changes that reduce the page load time and improve the rendering response.

And there could be many factors that can affect your website performance. For example, the higher server response time can slow down your site. Also, the delivery of CSS and JS can lead to slowness.

Let’s make the subject more practical and checks out a research done by the team at Microsoft Bing. Probably, you know it as Windows Live Search. It will give you a fair bit of idea about the fallout of a website performance.

The study clearly outlines the impact of just a 2-second delay in the page loading time.

  • User satisfaction down by 3.8%.
  • Per user revenue reduced by 4.3%.
  • CTR dropped by 4.4%.

So you can see that no one likes to visit the sites with higher load time. Also, it leads to higher bounce rate and lower earnings. Furthermore, Google counts site speed as one of the factors in its ranking algorithm.

Question: How can you determine the Website performance?

Try experimenting with any of the following website performance monitoring methods.

Solution: Ten Tips to Speed up A WordPress Site.

Website Performance Tips to Speed up WordPress Sites

Website Performance Tips to Speed up WordPress Sites.

1. Speed up WordPress Site by Enabling Browser Caching.

To apply this method, you’ll need to connect to your website using FTP. Via FTP, you can access all your website files.

The next step is to locate your <.htaccess file> which resides in the root directory of your site. Now we’ll be adding few lines of code in this file to turn on browser caching.

Copy paste the below code in the <.htaccess file> and save the changes. Go back to your website and make sure it’s still functioning normally.

For your note, if you’ve SEO Yoast plugin installed, then you can also use its “File Editor” tool to edit the <.htaccess file>.

 

2. Improve Website Performance by Turning off Post Revisions.

You can restrict the number of post revisions. By default, WordPress tracks every change you make in your pages and posts.

Preserving too many of these legacy files can drag down your website performance and cause it to run slow.

Locate your <wp-config.php> file in the root directory of the WordPress installation. Add the given line of code to <wp-config.php> file.

Alternatively, you can direct WordPress to not archiving the revisions at all. You would then change your code as mentioned below.

 

3. Speed up WordPress Site by Minifying Your Style Sheets.

Google page speed tool lists all the style sheets used on the website along with their sizes. Pick those CSS files which are more than 1 MB in size. As per a study, it reveals that the ideal weight of a CSS should be 1 MB or less.

If you wish, please refer a good explanation on ideal CSS size from CSS-Tricks.com. Once you decide the style sheets, use any of the below online CSS minify tool to reduce CSS size.

 

4. Improve Website Performance by Turning off Hotlinking and Avert Leeching.

Would you imagine if someone can just steal your images and use your direct URL to display on his website?

It’s a spurious action, called hotlinking which is totally unfair. The person behind this is not only fishing out your images but also eating up the bandwidth of your site.

Its impact can manifold if more and more people screw in your posts or your site images.

But you don’t need to worry, append the below piece of code in your <.htaccess> file. These few lines of code would alert your web server to turn down hotlinking and prevent leeching.

You just need to replace “YourDomain” with the real name of your site.

 

5. Speed up WordPress Site by Cutting down Pingbacks and Trackbacks.

Traditionally a WordPress blog interacts with blogs that have the ability to exchange pingbacks and trackbacks.

Whenever another blog references you, it notifies your site. And updates data on the blog post in return.

Disabling these notifications will not ruin the backlinks to your site. It will just invalidate the setting that generates unnecessary load on your site.

You can easily disable the pingbacks and trackbacks from your WordPress blog settings. This option is available under the Settings>>Discussion Settings property page.

There you just need to untick the checkbox with the label as “Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks)”.

 

6. Improve Website Performance by Optimizing <jQuery> JS.

It’s very simple to apply this method. You just need to change your WordPress theme’s <functions.php> file.

We are attaching the PHP source code for the performance fix below.

Please append this code to the end of <functions.php> file and save. Every WordPress installation comes with a theme editor which you can use to edit any theme file.

 

7. Speed up WordPress Site by Introducing ‘Async’ or ‘Defer’ Tag.

Render-blocking JavaScript is one of the reasons for slow loading of the site. It forbids above-the-fold content on your page from being rendered until the JavaScript has finished loading.

Such a script can ruin your page speed and in the end your ranking within search engines. It can adversely affect your user’s experience too.

This ‘async‘ or ‘defer‘ attribute directs the JavaScript to load asynchronously or stay deferred, therefore speeds up the page loading.

To apply this method, copy the below PHP code. And paste to the end of the <functions.php> file.

 

8. Improve Website Performance by Disabling Embeds.

Lately, WordPress 4.4 introduced a JS file which auto embeds the videos, images, and tweets. Since most of us don’t use this feature, so it’s better to cut this off.

So to speed up your site, add the following code snippet to the tail of your <functions.php> file.

 

9. Turn off Avatars to Speed up WordPress Site.

Probably, it’s one of the simplest ways to reduce the page loading time. Just open the WP dashboard, and go to Settings > Discussion.

And untick the <Show Avators> checkbox under the <Avators> section. It’ll remove the avatar images from the author and comment writer’s links. And instantly improve the website performance.

 

10. Disable Loading of Duplicate JavaScripts and CSS files.

It’s one of the tips that the GTmetrix tool recommends. When you run it on your website, it’ll tell you if the site is loading any duplicates JavaScript or CSS file.

If you see this issue on your site, then either fix it manually by searching for the scripts or use the below code. Add this method to the <functions.php> file.

Also, to check out what GTMetrix says about this issue, so just browse through this link.

 

Final Word.

We wish that you try the above Website performance tips and succeed to speed up your WordPress site. Hence, the message for you is that it’s possible to increase website speed without using any performance plugin.

However, we aren’t up against using any plugin at all. But you must do a reality check of plugins before you add them to your blog.

Also, we suggest that you should use caching and DB cleanup plugins. These plugins will help you in accelerating the performance of your site to an advanced level.

We’ll be exclusively talking about few of these advanced plugins in our next submission. Till then try out all these free and plugin-free methods.

 

All the Best,

TechBeamers.

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