How to Host Your WordPress Website 20x Faster

People are constantly looking for ways to improve the performance of their sites, especially when it comes to blogging platforms like WordPress. If you’re reading this, I assume that you’re also a busy blogger who’s looking to improve your site’s speed so that you can get back to what you do best – writing content and engaging with your audience.

The reality is that there isn’t a single magic fix or short cut that can make your site faster. However, with a little bit of knowledge, some strategizing, and the right tools, you can put in place a successful plan that will dramatically improve the speed at which your WordPress website loads. Let’s have a look.

Find The Real Reason Behind The Slow Load Time

The first and most important step to making your WordPress website faster is to understand the root of the problem. Did you ever stop to think that the reason why your site is so damned slow is because you’re probably already hosting it on a dedicated server that’s maxed out at its capacity? Or did you just assume that the reason your site is so sluggish is because you’re hosting on a cheap hosting plan through Amazon or GoDaddy?

Yes, it’s possible that your site’s performance is hindered by the limitations of your web host, but it’s also likely that the load time of your site is largely due to other factors.

The Most Common Reason Why WordPress Sites Are So Slow

There are 4 main reasons why your WordPress site might load slowly:

  • Too Many Plugins – A site loaded with too many plugins will strain the resources of your server and slow down website performance.
  • Unoptimized Images – Images are a vital part of any web page, but unless you use an image optimization tool, your site’s images will be huge and take a long time to load.
  • Too Many Blog Posts – The amount of data that your server has to process simply from reading the blog posts on your site will make it extremely slow.
  • Outdated Software – Updating your web server’s software often helps, but in many cases, this is not practical because it requires a lot of effort to maintain the backups and test setups that come with the package.

To improve the performance of your WordPress site, you should first eliminate these four main causes, but there are also a few tips and tricks that you can try to make your site load even faster.

Try The Browser’s Back Button

When you visit a new site, regardless of whether it’s a blog or a conventional website, you’ll notice that there’s often a little bit of a wait before you can click on elements like links and buttons. It’s usually a couple of seconds, but at times, it can feel like a lifetime. Why is that?

The reason why the browser’s back button is so useful is that it allows you to navigate your way back to where you came from, which in most cases is the previous page. If you used the back button on your phone after you entered a site and the page loaded, would you actually click the Back button on your phone’s browser to go back to the prior screen?

Of course not! You’d use the browser’s back button to navigate to the previous screen.

Well, the same thing happens when you’re on a page that you think is slow. If you hit the back button on your browser when you’re on a page that loads slowly, you’ll load the previous page and skip to the end in a jiffy. This is a popular solution with people who complain about slow load times on social media platforms like Twitter, where you can’t use the browser’s back button. Your best bet is to develop a habit of hitting the enter key on your keyboard instead, which will submit your input and move you along to the next screen in the same fashion as using the back button on a smartphone.

Use A Content Delivery Network (CDN)

A content delivery network, or CDN, is a network of servers that are scattered across the globe. When a user in Sweden visits your site, the request for the content will be routed to a server located in Sweden. Likewise, when a user in Australia visits your site, the request will be sent to a server in Australia. This approach is usually taken to reduce the strain that would otherwise be placed on your own server by having numerous copies of the same content – such as Javascript files or image slices – stored elsewhere. CDNs enable you to create faster, more responsive websites because they allow content to be loaded from multiple locations around the globe, thus reducing the wait time for the user. You can use a range of content delivery network providers, including Cloudflare, MaxCDN, and Surge.

Reduce The Number Of Third-Party Scripts On Your Site

There are a lot of third-party scripts – usually in the form of JavaScript or CSS – that you might load onto your site. Third-party scripts can sometimes be useful, but they can also hinder the speed at which your site loads. One popular plugin, for example, is Woothemes’s Maxcdn. Maxcdn is a content delivery network created and maintained by Woothemes. When a user visits your site, the request for the Maxcdn script will be sent to a server located in the United States, which then locates the required script and returns it to your server, enabling you to run the script. So, in this case, Maxcdn is a bit of a mixed blessing. Yes, it’s delivering much needed content to your site, but it’s also adding to the time needed for your site to load. You can find many other similar plugins and scripts that increase your site’s load time.

Use HTTP/2

HTTP/2 is an extension to the HTTP protocol upon which websites run. The standard protocol specifies how content should be transferred from a server to a browser. HTTP/2 enables faster speeds and more optimal resource utilization by allowing more than one file to be transferred at a time. In some cases, HTTP/2 can enable your site to load in under a second. Given the above reasons, you should seriously consider making the switch to HTTP/2 as soon as possible.

Use Better Web Hosting

If you’re using a shared hosting plan from a low-cost web host, you won’t be able to install software like Varnish or Squid, which are both used to cache content. Better web hosts offer different packages that include these features, along with domain privacy, which keeps your personal information secure as well as allows you to set up multiple sites on one host without revealing your personal details. The better web hosts also provide free backups, which makes recovering from a host meltdown less stressful.

Make Sure That Your Hosting Company Is Up To Date

Another issue that can slow down your site is outdated software on your host’s server. If you’re not running the most recent version of wordpress or similar software, then your site will be plagued by bugs that make it sluggish. Updating your site’s software usually helps with performance, but it’s also a lot of work, so weigh the benefits before you do it. In most cases, staying on top of your host’s software updates is the key to keeping your site running at its optimum capacity. If you’re worried about how to update your host’s software, then consider getting a managed service provider who can take care of all of that for you.

Set Up Your Site For Better Performance

Once you’ve established that there’s a real issue with the speed at which your site is loading, then it’s time to start looking for solutions. The best way to improve the speed of your WordPress site is by establishing a solid foundation of content – including titles, abstracts, and keywords – that will attract searches from users looking for content like yours. Having many of these pages will also help to establish yourself as an authoritative source in your niche and allow you to grow your audience over time.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to making your site faster, as different situations require different solutions. Still, by eliminating the most common causes of slow site performance – including plugins, outdated software, and third-party scripts – you’ll usually get there in no time at all. Once you’ve done that, consider looking into the ways that your host can make your site faster. Remember to use a content delivery network (CDN) to reduce the strain that would otherwise be placed on your own server by having numerous copies of the same content – such as Javascript files or image slices – stored elsewhere. Using HTTP/2 and upgrading your web hosting to take advantage of its various features will also help to improve the speed at which your site loads. Don’t forget to set up your site for better performance using WordPress.