Top 10 ways to boost WordPress speed for visitors

One of the most preferred Content Management System (CMS) platforms for blog and websites is WordPress. However, it might get slow if not optimized properly. There are several reasons why you should speed up WordPress. Google ranks websites that load faster. Online customers expect fast loading of pages and are usually very impatient. In case of an e-commerce website, the product details should be displayed faster or else the consumer might not be interested in browsing the product catalog and might move to another website. You can see the Top 10 ways to boost WordPress speed for visitors and select the best one for your website.

And, if you are on a shared hosting then the chances of getting your wordpress blog or website slow are more because of the configurations. You can beat those settings done by your host by following and implementing the tips to speed up WordPress on a shared hosting.

Web pages that quickly load help in enhancing user experience. This further helps in increasing the number of visitors for your website. So what are the different ways using which you can speed up your WordPress website and boost performance? Let’s have a look at the Top 10 ways to boost WordPress speed and improve WordPress website speed.

Top 10 ways to boost WordPress speed for visitors

Stop or limit post revisions using wp-config method

WordPress enables its users to undo modifications and go back to the previous version of a post. Such a feature offered by WordPress is called post revisions or revisions. Stopping or limiting post revisions using wp-config.php file is one of the Top 10 ways to boost WordPress speed for visitors.

While writing any blogs, articles or posts, most writers tend to make mistakes. At times, they wish they had not deleted what they have written earlier. Post revisions enable them to go back to the state prior to making any changes in the articles and undo any modifications done. So how does this post revision feature work? A revision of the post is saved each time a user saves a post or when an auto save feature occurs. The auto save feature saves a post at an interval of 60 seconds and the post is saved as a special revision. The old auto saved revision of a post is replaced by a new auto saved revision.

Post revisions consume a lot of space in the WordPress database and they also affect the performance of database queries. Therefore, to speed up WordPress and boost its performance, it is required to stop or limit the WordPress revisions. You can stop the revisions by adding the following line of code to the wp-config.php file:

define( ‘WP_POST_REVISIONS’, false );

To limit the revisions, add the following line of code to the wp-config.php file:

define( ‘WP_POST_REVISIONS’, 2 );

The preceding line of code will limit the revision to last 2 revisions only and remove older revisions automatically.

Note that these lines of code must be added above the ‘ABSPATH’ or else it will not work. Make these changes and save the wp-config.php file and reload it to the server.

Manage WordPress HeartBeat

Controlling WordPress Heartbeat API is another way to boost the speed among the Top 10 ways to boost WordPress speed for visitors.  WordPress Heartbeat API enables interaction between Web browser and server. It enables revision tracking, auto saving and session management. You can do it simply using the Heartbeat Plugin.

To install the API, perform the following steps:

  1. Log into WordPress admin dashboard
  2. Take the cursor on Plugins on the left side menu and click on Add New.
  3. Enter Heartbeat Control in the Search box and press the Enter key. The Heartbeat Control plugin appears.
  4. Click on the Install Now button. The plugin is downloaded and installed.
  5. Click on Activate Plugin after the installation of the plugin. The next step is to configure the plugin.
  6. Take the cursor on Tools on the left side menu and click on Heartbeat Control.
  7. Select Allow only on post edit pages option to disable the API on specific locations such as on post edit pages.
  8. Select the post edit pages to make a Post request after every 60 seconds which otherwise is of 15 seconds.
  9. Click on Save Changes to limit the API.

Stop Brute Force Attacks using Wordfence

One of the Top 10 ways to boost WordPress speed for visitors is by stopping Brute Force attacks using Wordfence security plugin. It is the most popularly used cyber security plugin for WordPress. It is the most secured plugin used to protect WordPress against Brute Force attacks. Brute Force attacks are password guessing mechanism using which attackers gain access to confidential information such as encrypted passwords or PINs. Using the Wordfence plugin also makes the website 50 times faster.

3-minRemove unwanted plugins 

Another best option among Top 10 ways to boost WordPress speed for more visitors is by removing unwanted plugins. Excess or unwanted plugins use many resources. This in turn tremendously reduces the website’s loading speed by adding excess http requests. This will eventually slow down the loading of your website and customer trust will be lost. This will also affect the sales figure immensely. A study showed that one second increase in the loading time resulted in a 13% decreased page views and 17% decreased customer satisfactory. So you can imagine what effect it can have if the loading speed is increased.

The plugins that improve security, improve loading speed and improve user engagement should be retained and rest unwanted plugins should be removed. Before you actually start removing the plugins, you must first take a backup of the website. To remove the unwanted plugins, go to Dashboard then on Plugins and finally on Installed Plugins. Deactivate and uninstall the unwanted plugins.

Remove unwanted themes 

Over a period of time it becomes essential to clean WordPress and improve its performance and loading speed. Cleaning of the clutter is essential because of the following reasons:

  • To maintain good loading speed
  • To improve the security
  • To take backups

One of the Top 10 ways to boost WordPress speed is by removing unwanted themes. Before you remove themes, you must first take backup of the website. On the Dashboard, go to Appearance and then on Themes. A list of themes installed will appear. Remove the unwanted themes from the list one at a time.

Configure a Cache mechanism

Caching is another mechanism to speed up WordPress and is listed among one of the Top 10 ways to boost WordPress speed. It helps in storing Web pages and displaying these pages as static files when revisited again thereby reducing the overall processing load on the server.

Caching feature can be enabled on WordPress by using caching plugins, server-side caching and browser caching. Plugins such as W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache are easy to install and help in caching posts and pages in the form of static files.

W3 Total Cache is latest performance plugin and offers an optimal user experience for WordPress users. It offers page caching, database caching and manages headers.

WP Super Cache refers to a plugin that provides HTML files without processing heavy PHP scripts.

Set up CDN

Setting up Content Delivery Network (CDN) is one of the best ways to improve the loading speed of your website. We have listed it among Top 10 ways to boost WordPress speed for visitors because it has a remarkable improvement in the speed improvement. A CDN helps in delivering all the files which include CSS, images, JavaScript on a server that is nearest to the visitor. This helps in reducing the download time. In addition to speed, a CDN also affects user experience, the time users prefer to stay on your website, conversions and so on.

Plugins such as KeyCDN and MaxCDN are available that help in providing affordable CDN options as compared to competitors such as Amazon which offers Amazon Cloudfront plugin.

If you need a free option, cloudflare can be your option.

Enable browser caching

Browser caching helps in minimizing load on server by reducing the requests sent per page. For instance, by configuring the file headers on files that are static, browsers will cache such files. This mechanism enables browser to check if any modifications are done on files rather than requesting them. The result is that the Web server can now easily answer more than 304 responses and confirming that the file has remained unchanged rather than serving just 200 responses.

You can enable browser caching by downloading and installing a plugin. If you have already installed W3 Total Cache then you need not to install any other plugin because it provides you an option to enable Browser Caching.

Install an image compression tool like Ewww or WP Smush

As per a report, 56 % of a website page is built of images. So if you optimize the images and compress them, then this will reduce the size of these images and will help the pages to load quickly. Installing an image compression tool is one of the beast among Top 10 ways to boost WordPress speed for visitors. WP Smush and Ewww are two plugins that help in compressing and optimizing images.

WP Smush is an image optimization plugin that helps in resizing and optimizing images. This plugin will compress the images and at the same time retain their quality. WP Smush scans all the images that are uploaded on the server, reduces all the unwanted data, compresses them and later adds them to the media library.

Similar to WP Smush, EWWW is also an image optimizer plugin and it automatically checks and optimizes the images that you upload on your website and also optimizes the previously uploaded images. This plugin also converts images to the file format that generates the smallest image size.

Combine CSS and JS

Too much of code can slow down the loading of your website. CSS and JavaScript (JS) codes perform a lot of work and therefore it is required to combine CSS and JS codes to reduce space between codes. When a line break is inserted in the code, it puts more space than required in the page. If these line breaks are removed, they will save a lot of bandwidth and will help in fast loading of websites.

Install the JS & CSS Script optimizer plugin to place JS codes at the bottom, combine CSS files into a single file and much more.

Top 10 ways to boost WordPress speed for visitors

Among the above mentioned Top 10 ways to boost WordPress speed for visitors, you can select the one that suits your requirement and enjoy easy loading of websites and improved speed of WordPress.

Deepak Gupta

Deepak Gupta is a Freelancer. He does freelancing related to Ebook Conversion, SEO, SEO Copy writing, Guest Blog Posts, and much more. He can be contacted at http://www.fiverr.com/weformat
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