How To Optimize WordPress website

No visitor likes to wait for a web page to load. Nor does Google like to wait. If you want your website to be ranked higher on search engines and have more visitors, reducing the bounce rate you should definitely consider checking your website speed and optimize it as soon as possible. 

In our Tutorial “How To Optimize WordPress website” we will show you the best techniques and if you follow them, you will indeed improve the loading speed of your website without the need of an expert. Let’s get into it! 

optimize page loading speed

How do I optimize my WordPress site?

1. Choose Fast and Reliable Hosting

Previously we have mentioned the importance of the Hosting you are going to choose. This is again top 1 requirement – having a fast and reliable server. If you are not happy with your current hosting provider, and you have already performed all of the optimization tips suggested here it might be time to switch to another company. Nowadays most of them provide free website transfers and the initial prices are discounted with up to 80% depending on the chosen host/plan. 

2. Use the fastest possible WordPress theme

There are tons of free and also many, many paid WordPress themes you can choose from. But how to identify the one that will do the job? 

Sometimes people think that buying a theme, instead of using a free one, their website speed will be good. That is not so true unfortunately, as the more options one theme has, heavier and slower it would be. What you need to search for is a theme with clean code, possibly without extra functions you most probably won’t need. 

In case you are tired of searching and experimenting, we are suggesting you to use the free Hello theme, from Elementor

This is a peace of jewel and it can literally do miracles in the speed optimization of a site.

Here is what we obtained with Hello theme and Elementor with the smallest effort possible:

optimize wordpress website

optimize WordPress website with the Fastest WordPress theme ever

We highly recommend it with enthusiasm especially to beginners.
Super fast, SEO friendly and completely free, what could we want more?
However, since this theme is so clean coded it comes almost empty. That is why, it’s recommended to be used with the Page Builder – Elementor.
The combination of the two will not only speed up your site, but it will also speed up your work and will make it easier for you to build a website.
Pretty awesome, right? 

2. Delete plugins, themes and files you do not use

Try to keep the number of plugins possibly below 10. 
Avoid using more than one plugin for the same purpose as this would lead to the opposite effect – slow down your website. 
Delete the themes you have installed but no longer use as they also can slow down the website. 

It is also good to delete all the media files, like images or videos you might have uploaded once upon a time and that are not in use at all. This way you will not only decrease the speed loading time but you will also free up some disk space on your server. 

3. Enable Cache on your website

This is pretty easy I would say but there are some things to mention. 

First of all, you would need to install a good cache plugin. 
There are tons out there, again with paid and free versions.
The one we suggest however is the WP Fastest Cache plugin

Easy to use, but most of all effective. Tests have shown that even the free version of this plugin can make a great difference and it is better than many others that are being promoted out there.
Try it out you we guarantee you will be pleasantly surprised. 

Optimize WordPress website 

4. Install an SSL certificate 

A website without an SSL certificate nowadays is seen as one, that cannot be trusted and people tend to avoid browsing on such websbites. Especially because most of the browsers show Privacy warnings at the beginning and visitors simply close the tab. 

This is how a domain name looks like in browsers without SSL 

Optimize WordPress Website

And this is how it will look like with an active SSL certificate:

Optimize WordPress Website

Besides the trust factor, when you install an SSL certificate on your domain name, you actually enable the http/2 protocol. It might not sound familiar, but this protocol can speed up your website up to 2 times. So the SSL is for sure a Must :)

5. Enable CloudFlare

CloudFlare is another free service which you can enable in order to optimize significantly your website. 
To explain how this helps, we can make an example. 

Let’s assume your server is located in Europe and your website loads in 5 seconds while you are browsing from Europe too.
Now imagine a visitor from Asia, Australia or America coming on your website. For those visitors the page will need more loading time.
Your website basically becomes slower and slower, further away the visitor is from the actual location of your server(data center). 

In short words, CloudFlare stores cache of your website in their own network all around the world so that no matter how far the visitor is from your actual server, the website will load as fast for him as it does for you.

Of course, there are many other aspects that we can mention as the security protection that CloudFlare provides, the possibility to install an SSL certificate for free, analyse the website’s bandwidth and so on.

If you are interested in checking the service, here you can create your free account. PS. you can stick with the free version for ever! 

6. Optimize Images 

There are 2 things we need to mention regarding the image optimization. 

You might be tempted to upload files that are larger in size, but this would lead to slower loading and that’s what we want to avoid. 

The first step would be to compress all your images before you upload them. There are many free tools online for different image formats you can use as these two for example: 

  1. compresspng.com
  2. compressjpeg.com
  3. resizeimage.net

Once you have compressed your images you are ready to upload them. 

As an additional image optimization, you might consider installing a plugin too. We have tried many and the plugin “Smush” seems to work best. It is also great because the functionalities available in the free version are sufficient for an optimal improvement. 

7. Optimize your database

On the long run, when you delete posts, comments, save drafts, upload and delete images and so on, your database size becomes larger. The effect of a large database is a slower website. So it’s good to clean it up once in a while. There is nothing too difficult here, in fact you can again use a plugin to perform the optimization. 

You can try this one Advanced Database Cleaner

8. Check the speed results with GTMetrix

Before concluding, we thought might be useful to mention that GTMetrix is one of the most reliable speed test tools out there.
Here you can test your own website. 
This tool gives accurate results in real time. You can test the pages from different locations over the world and see the overall performance.

Hopefully today you have learned something new and useful.
We would love to hear your feedback if you have optimized a website following our suggestions! 

Optimize your WordPress website to load faster with Clean up database

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