How to optimise your WordPress website for faster loading

Website speed

Everyone knows that a slow site can damage your reputation if it's slow to load. We hope this guide will show you several ways to increase your speed and make your website faster. The steps listed below generally increase your website speed from 50%-80% and you'll definitely notice the difference.

Typically as your website grows you generally start to notice the difference, especially if you are using a lot of images, video and content. It's worth revisiting your site and making the steps we've provided to be favoured more by search engines, gaining more traffic you'll need to keep your website performing at its best.

Keep your website updated

One of the most important things to do is to keep your website up to date. This only adds a small amount of speed to your website but its important to keep it updated to iron out any bugs and fixes that can slow your website.

WordPress updates include bug fixes and patches to protect your site from new-found vulnerabilities. Don’t put off updating your site to the latest CMS version, PHP version or whatever update may be due. As soon as an update becomes available, check your site's compatibility and make the switch.

They is two ways to provide automatic updates. If you are using Softaculous you can tick to enable the automatic updates, or your second option is you can install the WordPress automatic updates plugin by locating to your plugins and typing in "WP Automatic Updates" in the search bar. Click install then activate and configure WPAU to automatically update when updates become available.

Compress your images

More websites are using images with their website to make it look more creative. We all like to use high-resolution images to make it look at its best but this is also where it can have a significant impact on your site speed.

If you are using high-resolution images we recommend converting then to either PNG of JPEG format by simply opening them in paint and saving as the new file format.

The second and faster option is by using WP Smush. This is a great plugin where it compresses your images for you! It comes with a free version that optimizes your images for best performance.

Another alternative should wish to use an online alternative is to use Image Optimizer. This web page allows you to upload your images and adjust size as required. They also include a free download programme on the site to manage your images.

cPanel's optimise your website

cPanel's optimise your website is probably the easiest way of optimizing your website and is compressed using Apache. The types of content to be compressed are specified by MIME type. Your hosting provider needs to have Apache’s mod_deflate enabled on the server for it function correctly.

Compressing using gzip

The majority of big sites use GZIP. This can be a very effective tool for smaller and big sites that use images, content and video within their pages. You can check if you your website is GZIP enabled by checking using the GZIP checker tool "Check and Enable GZIP compression" with the WordPress plugins section.

If your website is already gzipped then great but if you are not then the WordPress plugin will help. Don't forget once you have enabled gzip on your website to test and confirm using the gzip checker.

Check for broken links

As you website gets bigger and older broken links can appear. What Are broken links? Links are what you take you to either another part of your website or to an external website. Broken links can happen if a domain doesn't exist anymore, they have changed the page URL or they have deleted the page, so at anytime so its always best to check. WordPress includes a simple but effective plugin called "Broken Link Checker" which scans your website for any broken links and notifies you should they be any. We recommend using this if you have a larger site and to use at least once a month to update your website as required.

Use a hosting provider that is local to you

If you are based in the UK then you will benefit from using a UK provider that offers WordPress hosting which will help keep your ping rate low and your website speed at its best. The closer you are to the server the lower your ping rate will be so data from the server to you and back will take less time.

Use a CDN

A CDN (Content Delivery Network) helps to cache your website on multiple servers which are geographically distributed to provide fast delivery of Internet content. A CDN also has many advantages including:

  • By distributing content closer to website visitors by using a nearby CDN server (among other optimizations), visitors experience faster page loading times. As visitors are more inclined to click away from a slow-loading site, a CDN can reduce bounce rates and increase the amount of time that people spend on the site. In other words, a faster a website means more visitors will stay and stick around longer.
  • Bandwidth consumption costs for website hosting is a primary expense for websites. Through caching and other optimizations, CDNs are able to reduce the amount of data an origin server must provide, thus reducing hosting costs for website owners.
  • Although our server is hardened and secure a CDN may improve security by providing DDoS mitigation, improvements to security certificates, and other optimisations.
  • We recommend using Cloudflare which is a free CDN that can provide faster loading times for your website. To add this to your website simply signup on their website and specify which domain you'd like to add.

  • On the page configuration page the clouds highlighted in orange show which you want to Cloudflare, this can be toggled on and of as required, if you are unsure which to add on Cloudflares CDN only enable your A records.

    Once you have selected the options you need to add your new name servers which Cloudflare has provided, enter these at your domains registrar. These will typically be in your domains DNS settings but we can also do this for you if you are unsure by submitting a ticket.

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