I was simply scratching my head to date about how to speed up my website loading time? I read many website speed optimization guides and finally able to achieve my desired page load time [less than 2 seconds]. If you can optimize your page speed further to less than 1 seconds that’s perfect, In fact, did that experiment and got 100% GTMetrix score with a very fast loading website.
Page-Speed is one of the major issues when we talk about user experience. Even if you have the best design, if your website pages take time to load users will simply avoid your website and look for a faster page. Page Speed is a signal to rank higher in Google search, it will increase your brand reputation and further increase your website conversion in every possible way.
In this article, I am going to share 23 Website Speed Optimisation Tips to speed up your WordPress site and get a very good GTMetrix & Google Page Speed Insight Score.
Website Speed Test Tools (How To Measure Your Website SPEED)
So, the very first action is to measure your website speed. If you have a website or blog and you don’t know how much fast is your website, then you must use these free website speed tools to test your website speed. A few of the popular ones are GTMetrix, Google Page Speed Insight, Pingdom Speed Tool, etc.
I achieved 100/100 in Google PageSpeed Insights Tool [Desktop], simply awesome.
In the case of the mobile version, it is showing 91/100 in Google PageSpeed Insights Tool [Mobile], which is considered as the fast website only.
GTMetrix is one of the most searched websites to test website load. This tool gives me awesome result compared to the earlier version. Although I am trying to achieve 100/100 PageSpeed and also 100/100 YSlow Score. And GTMetrix is showing the website loading time less than 1 seconds.
I found awesome when I found Pingdom is also showing the page-speed as less than one seconds. If you check the screenshot I kept for Bluehost, it is showing a great improvement in website load time.
Just check out the page SPEED in Pingdom, it is showing less than 1 seconds. And for that, I am not using any costly Managed WordPress Hosting or VPS Hosting plan. This website is hosted on SiteGround GoGeek Plan, which has features like a semi-dedicated hosting plan with a very affordable price compared to Cloud Hosting & VPS Servers.
Besides them, there are a few other website speed test tools and I checked my website speed on those tools as well. PageSpeed test results of dotcom-tools.com.
Website page-speed test using bytecheck.com. This is a very crucial criterion. TTFB or Time to first byte (TTFB) is a measurement used as an indication of the responsiveness of a web server or other network resource. TTFB measures the duration from the user or client making an HTTP request to the first byte of the page being received by the client’s browser.
Website page-speed test using webpagetest.org.
Website page-speed test using uptrends.com.
So, on average I can say that some tools are showing my website speed less than 1 seconds and some are showing less than 2 seconds. Overall a website with a loading speed less than 2 seconds is quite good as with time we are actually using a lot of design elements that impact the speed. But it’s okay for me, as I know what all the necessary elements I need and with them, less than 2 seconds website speed is a satisfactory measure only. Don’t get over obsessed with achieving speed less than 1 second.
How Fast Should Your Web Page Load in 2020?
A fast loading website gives an awesome user experience(UX). In fact, Google is preferring fast loading web pages in their higher ranking. Here is a good article was written on ShooutMeLoud about why Google is ranking websites based on their page speed.
- Super Fast – < 1 Sec
- Fast – Between 1 – 2 Seconds
- Ok (Average) – Between 2 – 3 Seconds
- Slow – Between 3 – 4 Seconds
- Worst – > 4 Seconds
The more time your website is taking to load, you are going to lose traffic. Yes, nobody likes to wait for loading a page. There are many web pages out there and if any search result gives a page which taking time to load, then this will be replaced by the better page very soon.
Besides that, users are mostly searching using their mobile devices. So another challenge is to keep your mobile version website highly optimized. Google has clearly said that, if your website is not optimized for mobile devices then your search rankings will surely fall down.
So, to stick to your #1 Google ranking you have to continuously focus on website speed optimization. Here is a beautiful chart stating how users behave with the website speed.
23 Ways To Speed Up WordPress Site
Before exploring these 23 Best Website Speed Optimisation Tips, I would say you must keep your website’s current page speed using the page-speed testing tools & websites I have used so far.
Let’s explore these website performance optimization techniques to boost the page-speed & ranking in 2020. Whether you are blogging for making money or fame, you need enough traffic to get recognized. And without proper optimization and SEO, your articles will not rank #1 in Google search engine.
1.Move To A Fast Web Hosting Service
Many people don’t realize that web hosting plays a major role to load your website faster. Yes, this is a myth to achieve a fast loading website. Whatever lightweight theme and design you create, if your web hosting server is not fast enough, the pages will load always slow.
I have tried many shared hosting services to date and finally come to the conclusion that with a shared hosting plan, it is quite difficult to get a fast loading website. Except, your website is on a quality hosting like SiteGround. My website is hosted on SiteGround GoGeek plan, which actually offers premium features like a semi-dedicated plan. Although the StartUp plan is cheapest, the basic SiteGround GrowBig plan offers many premium features compared to similar shared hosting plans. You can read which SiteGround Plan is the best guide for a better understanding.
As a beginner, spending money for a good web hosting is always a challenge. If you have money then go for VPS servers or Cloud Hosting plans for the best website speed. But for a cheaper option, SiteGround is the only hosting company that are doing extremely well in this space of shared hosting. Another hosting company I trust is A2 Hosting.
Basically you will find 3 types of web hosting plans.
Without any doubt, VPS and Dedicated hosting plans are the best hosting plans to provide your website with the fastest loading experience. But these hosting plans are not for beginners. Read my detailed SiteGround WordPress Hosting Review where I have mentioned more than 20+ Facebook Polls screenshots where people voted SiteGround as #1 WordPress Hosting.
Just check whether your web hosting provides speed features like the latest PHP version, SSD servers, FREE Backup, server-side cache system, etc. SiteGround shared hosting plans come with all these features at a very cheap price of $3.95/mo only. This is a 70% discount on the actual price.
2. Use A Fast-loading WordPress Theme
Your website design is highly responsible for your website speed optimization after web hosting. There are many WordPress themes available as FREE & paid which offers a lot of modern-day features. But they don’t load faster, which is the biggest drawback.
In the 2020 web design, one thing is clear. A good looking website without a fast loading page has no value. So, you must spend good enough money to design a website to load faster keeping the user experience in mind. There are plenty of premium WordPress themes that are good enough to give you a fast-loading design and here are a few of my picks.
#1. GeneratePress: It’s awesome free to use the theme. but they have a premium plugin which I have used this theme and got a very fast-loading design. I found their MARKET child theme perfect for my website. And as I said I don’t want to compromise on site speed, and with GeneratePress & following all these WordPress optimization tips I am able to achieve this site-speed less than 1 second. Right now you can save 10% Off using GeneratePress Prom Code.
#2. StudioPress Themes: Genesis Framework is the best WordPress theme framework and the way they are growing is simply awesome. I am using their themes on a few of my websites, including this website. If you are looking for SEO-friendly WordPress theme, fast loading and high-quality themes as per your blogging niche then you must check the list of best Genesis child themes.
#3. WPAstra: I have not used this theme though, but I read many good reviews of WPAstra. This is a perfect theme that will work perfectly with any of the best page-builder tools to give you the best theme. Understand different Astra Theme Pricing options so that you can save some money.
Note: If you are using GeneratePress or Astra theme, you can create a stunning design with the help of a page builder plugin. A few of the most popular ones are Elementor Pro & Thrive Architect Plugin.
3.Use Content Delivery Network (CDN)
CDN or content delivery network plays a huge role in speed up your website. And the best part is that one can easily enjoy this awesome thing completely free of cost using Cloudflare CDN.
In simple terms, your website copies will be created in different countries and data centers so that all the static resources of your website can load faster. And avoid fetching the files from the actual server every time. Although with free CDN you can’t enjoy all the entire data centers, you have to upgrade to a paid version.
E.g. my website is hosted on SiteGround USA data center. SiteGround has 4 different data centers so that one can get the advantage of local traffic as per the website niche & visitors. But my website content is not only for USA, anyone from anywhere in the world will be benefited from my website content.
So, I set up Cloudflare CDN with just a few clicks using SiteGround cPanel.
And this will create various copies of my website in different countries to improve the page-speed. That’s simply awesome[what else you can expect in free of cost]. So, if your web hosting company doesn’t offer FREE CDN integration, then you have to do it manually create your Cloudflare account.
4.Enable Browser Caching
This can be easily done by installing a cache plugin like W3 Total Cache or Paid cache Plugin WP Rocket. I am using WP Rocket Plugin, which is helping me to solve many page speed errors that I am going to mention in this article. You can know more about browser caching from this link.
If your website is on SiteGround Plan, then you can easily enable Browser cache with SG Optimizer Plugin. In fact, they call it Dynamic Cache which is even more powerful.
5.Optimize Your Images
Image optimization is another key point to improve your website speed. Again if you check your website speed on GTMetrix, you will face a common error “Server Scaled Images”. There are multiple ways to optimize your images so that they can load easily when your website pages are loading. Follow the below image optimization tips.
- Choose the right image format like png, jpeg, gif as they are the best file format and supported by all popular web browsers.
- Always compress the images before uploading them to your WordPress site. You can use websites like TinyPNG, Compressor.io, etc.
- Use the Image Optimisation plugin. You can get this feature with SiteGround SG Optimizer Plugin and WP Rocket plugin.
- Activate Lazy Load images so that you can render image loading and speed up your website loading. For that, you can install any Lazy Load Plugin or if your website is on SiteGround, with SG Optimizer you will get this feature. This can be done with WP Rocket Plugin also.
6.Reduce The Number Of WordPress Plugins
We all love WordPress because of the availability of plugins. Whatever is your need or requirement, we know there will be a plugin to resolve that problem. But do you know that installing huge number of plugins will actually slow down your website speed? Not only that, there are plugins that are responsible for High-CPU usage and impact your website speed.
For that reason, you have to do an audit of your installed plugin and immediately remove all the plugins which are not necessary. Also, find out the alternative plugins to replace the high-CPU usage plugins. E.g. When I have installed Rank Math SEO Plugin, I have removed 5 plugins immediately. And after WordPress 5.4 update, you can remove Lazy Load Plugins (if installed) as it will be the part of WordPress only.
So, a similar way does an audit of all the installed WordPress plugins and try to remove the plugins which are not necessary. It is good to compromise on the look or feature a little bit, but you can’t compromise with website speed optimization in 2020.
Minification improves response time since the size of the download files is reduced. This is one of the common GTMetrix errors. This can be handled easily by installing a cache plugin.
8.Optimize Your WordPress Database
As your website grows, there are many pieces of information that are getting stored in your WordPress database, which has no use. That information is actually making your website database heavier and they can’t respond as fast as they are expected.
For that, you have to make sure you always optimize your database and remove all unnecessary things. There are a couple of amazing plugins available like WP-Optimize, WP-Sweep Plugin, etc. These plugins will make sure to clean up your WordPress database tables and optimize them from time to time.
If you are using the WP Rocket plugin, you don’t have to install any additional plugin. Otherwise, you must install any of the plugins I have mentioned above.
9.Reduce HTTP Requests
Now if your website has more plugins, that means your website will take more time to load because of HTTP requests. In short, these HTTP requests impact your website page speed and this will further affect user experience, bounce rate, and SEO. The fewer HTTP requests your site sends to the server, the faster your site will load.
This can be done easily by installing any cache plugin.
11.Reduce the TTFB (Time To First Byte)
What is TTFB? It’s the time to the first byte from the server. TTFB is a very crucial criterion to find out how good is your webs hosting company servers. Generally, any shared hosting plan comes with a very high TTFB, which is not good for your website speed.
E.g. you can check out my website’s TTFB and find out how fast it is loading. My website is hosted on the SiteGround GoGeek plan and I am using the Cloudflare CDN network also. Besides that, I am following various other Website Speed Optimization tips to make sure my TTFB is better.
12.Enable GZIP Compression
If you want to load your website pages fast, then you have to make sure your website pages are low in size. For that, you have to Enable GZIP Compression so that your website pages can be lightweight.
This feature can be enabled easily by installing the W3 Total cache for Free or Wp Rocket Plugin. In fact, this feature is also included with SG optimizer Plugin which is exclusively available only for SiteGround customers.
13.Improve Mobile SPEED
Mobile SPEED has become the most important mobile ranking factors. Yes, if your website is loading slow on mobile devices then you will definitely find search ranking drops. Now for mobile optimization, the most important thing you have to do is to get a theme that is well optimized and responsive for mobile devices.
Besides that, all other points I have mentioned in this website speed optimization guide will apply on mobile speed also. Just follow these tips and get a good professional responsive theme, your website will load faster on mobile devices also.
Another tip to speed up your website on mobile devices is that, make sure to skip the popups, email signup forms and other similar features on the mobile version of your website. This thing works best on a laptop or desktop or tablet, but annoy users on mobile phones.
14.Host Google Analytics Locally
Hosting Google Analytics locally can help you to speed up your WordPress site by reducing extra DNS lookups and resolve the “leverage browser caching” issue from their script. Google Analytics script is a must and we can’t skip this.
There are a couple of plugins to do this job as well. E.g. WP Rocket’s Google Tracking add-on if you’re already using it as your cache plugin. Otherwise, CAOS | Host Google Analytics Locally works. It also allows you to load the analytics script from your own CDN which can help you take advantage of a single HTTP/2 connection.
If you are using Swift Performance or Wp Disable Plugin, it also has an option to bypass Google Analytics.
15.Reduce URL Redirects
URL redirects are a very common problem and they create a bad impression for your website too. This can happen because of many reasons like movement from non-www to WWW or vice versa, HTTP to HTTPs, deletion of old posts, lots of broken links, etc.
In that case, if the user landed on a page that doesn’t exist or has multiple redirects, the final landing page will take time to appear and load. This will impact heavily on your website reputation and also reduce website speed badly. You can install Rank Math Plugin and easily handle redirections.
This is a common GTMetrix error. To fix this issue, make sure to redirect your main pages properly and minimize the redirect chain so that your website can easily find the target article in case of 404 pages not found and return a target page faster.
16. Use Pre-Fetching Technique
Pre-fetching is a technique through which browsers are loading all necessary files of a website. This will help the browser to load any pages of that website fast as the maximum common resources are already stored in the browser.
Pre-fetching can be of different types and you can find details here. Now to speed up your website, you have to make sure you are using this feature. You can install plugins like Wp Flying Images or the Preload feature of the WP Rocket plugin.
17. Keep Your WordPress Site Updated
There are a lot of updates going on from the WordPress site and from different plugins we use on our website. To make your website fast loading and secure, we must take action on these updates immediately.
If you don’t do that, these old versions of WordPress or plugins may slow down your website. You can set up the auto-update feature and stay tension free. But it is always good to update your WordPress & Plugins manually after understanding the changes. As sometimes, some updates may break your website completely.
That’s the reason I always use plugins from reputed or trusted developers only.
18. Add Expiry Headers
This is another common error in GTMterix and this is also a big reason for your WordPress website loading slow. Generally, the expiry header is the information that you need to set up so that the browser can understand whether to load that file from the server or browser cache.
In fact, this is a part of your browser cache settings that you can achieve by installing a cache plugin easily. The idea is to set late expiry times for items that don’t change on your website (logo, colors, etc). Set short expiry times for things that change regularly.
19. Split Comments Into Pages
As your blog grows old and your articles become popular, many people will engage in write quality comments. With more comments, you will find that your website will start loading slowly. Another thing is that, if you are allowing website URL in a comment, it will also take some time to load those websites & gravatar images which can make your WordPress site slow.
Go To WordPress Dashboard>> Settings >> Discussion
So, in that case, it is better to break the number of comments on one page and split them into multiple pages. This way, if someone is really interested to read the old comments, they can go to the next page and read those comments without impacting the website speed.
20. Never upload Audio or video files
Podcasts & video content is in high demand. So that’s why you must always add more podcasts, rich-media, infographics, videos to your content to add more value to readers. But never upload them to your WordPress website directly.
This kind of file takes huge space and it can eat up a lot of your web hosting space & bandwidth. This will further impact your web hosting resources and your website may get down also. Besides that, this will take a lot of time to backup & restore your website.
That’s why it’s better to upload this kind of file on third party websites. E.g. you can upload videos on YouTube and use that link to embed in your article using the Gutenberg Block easily. This will take care of the loading also without impacting your website speed. Here is a video from my YouTube Channel.
21. Uninstall all High-CPU Usage Plugins
There are various plugins that are not at all optimize from their end and when we install them on our website, they will slow down our website. You should know what kind of plugins comes under this list and immediately uninstall these plugins. Better to look for a good alternative. Here are a few of those plugins which can impact your website speed badly.
- AdSense Click Fraud Monitoring
- All-In-One Event Calendar
- Backup Buddy
- Beaver Builder
- Better WordPress Google XML Sitemaps
- Broken Link checker (use Dr. Link Check)
- Constant Contact for WordPress
- Contact Form 7
- Contextual Related Posts
- Digi Auto Links
- Disqus Comment System
- Divi Builder
- Essential Grid
- View Full List Of 65 Slow Plugins
22. Use Lazy Load Feature
If you use a lot of images on your website or you are running an image website or quotes based website where loads of images are uploaded, then you will find your pages are very high in size. In such a case you can use lazy load features.
This feature is available with SG Optimizer plugin, WP Rocket plugin or you can install a free plugin. Besides that, from WordPress 5.4, the lazyLoad feature will be a part of the core WordPress itself. That means we don’t need any further plugin to enjoy this necessary feature. Let’s wait for WordPress 5.4 Update.
23. Use Latest PHP Version
Are your web hosting servers updated with the latest PHP version? As a beginner, you may not aware of that and frankly speaking, the majority of shared hosting plans don’t provide the latest PHP versions.
But SiteGround hosting is different here and that’s why I love them. They always make sure their servers are fast loading and as per the latest speed technology. All good WordPress hosting companies use the most stable PHP version on their servers. Right now they are migrating to PHP 7.3.
FAQs: About Website Speed Optimization Tips
What is a good average page load time?
It is good to have a page-speed under 3 seconds. As majority people don’t like to wait more than that & they leave the website which is a negative feedback. With more speed, you can actually increase your website traffic.
Why do websites take long to load?
I have already mentioned 23 points where I havediscussed why a website take long time to load and how can you speed-up your website taking necessary measures.
Conclusion: Effective Website Load Time Optimization Tips
So, I am sure after reading these 23 website speed optimization tips, you can easily conclude that the major reason behind a fast loading website is a good quality fast web hosting, well-optimized theme, a good cache plugin and less number of plugins. If you are serious enough, then don’t hesitate to invest in blogging.
- Get SiteGround Hosting (70% Discount)
- Get A Fast-Loading WordPress theme
- Get WP Rocket Plugin (10% Discount)
Website speed optimization is not a one-time activity. There are certain things where you will invest once, but you have to keep a track of various factors & activities on every website maintenance so that you can create pages with small size so that they can load faster.
Do you think this website speed optimization guide is enough for you to speed up your website in 2020? Write a comment below and share your queries or thoughts if any. Feel free to share this article on social platforms also.