How to Make Your WordPress Site Load Faster

When it comes to website performance, many bloggers assume that bigger is better.
But that’s not always the case.
There’s a whole world of difference between a slow web server and a fast web server.
And while it may seem easy enough to just pick up a VPS and start cranking out content, you may be surprised by how much work actually goes into making a blog perform well.

Here are a few tips on how to make your WordPress site load as fast as possible.

Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) offers a CDN that you can integrate into your site.
A content delivery network stores and delivers your content so that you don’t have to.
With a CDN, your site loads faster because the content is already being delivered by servers located near your readers.
If you host your site on your own server, you’ll need to make sure that the server is capable of handling the load.

An added bonus of using a CDN is that Google recommends doing so in order to improve your site’s SEO.

Optimize Image Dimensions And File Sizes

When someone visits your site, the first thing they probably notice is the huge images on your blog posts.
But did you know that image size and file size are 2 key factors that affect website speed?

According to Google web performance analyzer, a tool that can be accessed from any browser, a typical 20 MB WordPress image takes about 6 seconds to load.
On a smaller scale, a 240 x 180-pixel image takes about the same amount of time to load.

There are a variety of reasons why images on your blog might take so long to load.
From the size of the image to the file format to the way in which the image is stored, there are numerous factors that could cause your images to load slowly.

To fix this, you need to make sure that your WordPress installation is configured to serve small images first.
To do this, visit the Appearance > Layout tab in the WordPress dashboard and click on the Image Size button. Here, you can choose to serve images based on your site’s theme (which we’ll get into later) or you can choose to serve the smallest image first.

Now, if you’re using WordPress as a standalone blogging platform and your images are just sitting there on your website, you don’t necessarily have to do anything.
WordPress will automatically serve the smallest image first, optimizing your site’s load time.
But if you’re using a content delivery network to host your site, you need to make sure that the CDN is optimizing your images too.

Use The Right Server

Just as with your web host, you’ll want to make sure that the server you choose is capable of handling the type of traffic your site receives.
For the best performance, you want to go with a dedicated server.
Dedicated servers are large computers that are solely used for website storage and/or hosting.
They’re less likely to be overwhelmed by the amount of activity your site generates and can handle more visitors at one time.

On the other hand, VPSs (virtual personal servers) are cheaper but can still be overwhelmed by the amount of activity a site like yours generates.
If your site gets more than a few hundred requests per day, you may want to consider a dedicated server instead.

Use The Right Theme

Besides images, the other thing that can affect your site’s speed is the way that your content is displayed.
The fastest way to create an eye-catching, functional blog is with a fresh new theme.
But what if you don’t want to use a third-party theme?

You have two options.
You can either use one of the many available WordPress themes specifically designed for speed, or you can build your own.
The first step toward making your own theme is to visit the WordPress repository and search for a parent theme that you like.

Then, visit the Themes section in your dashboard and click on the Add Theme button to install the parent theme.

Now, it’s time to customize the theme in order to make it suitable for your blog.
Visit the Appearance > Design tab in your WordPress dashboard and click on the Import Templates button to get started.

This button will take you to a screen where you can choose which templates you want to use to edit your theme.
You can browse through all the templates provided by WordPress or search for a specific design you want to use.

Once you’ve found the design you want to use, click on the Use Template button to make the changes.
You’ll then be brought back to the dashboard where you can preview your work.
If you’re happy with what you see, click on the Update Theme button to finalize the changes and activate the new design.

Keep in mind that if you’re using a content delivery network, your site may be hosted on multiple servers.
Hence, the reason why you want to use a dedicated server instead of a VPS.
Although using a VPS is much cheaper, it also means that your site won’t be as fast as it could be because it’s sharing resources with other sites.
With a dedicated server, all of your site’s resources – including storage, processing power, and bandwidth – are available only to you.

Use CSS Sprited Pages

As we’ve established, images can slow down your site’s load time.
But it’s also important to keep in mind that your site’s front page, posts, and other elements that make up the structure of your site can also slow down your site’s load time.

This is because when people visit your site, they have to deal with all these different elements that make up the blog’s layout.
Luckily, you can fix this with CSS sprited pages.
This feature allows you to create a separate stylesheet for your site’s front page, posts, and other elements that make up the blog’s structure.
Then, when someone visits your site, they’ll only have to wait for the page to load before the style sheet loads too and everything falls into place.

This feature is especially useful for those who use a content delivery network and have their site hosted on several servers.
Because instead of loading several different stylesheets for the different parts of your site, everything will be loaded from the same place.

Minify JavaScript And CSS

JavaScript and CSS are the two other big gun factors that can affect your site’s speed.
Most people think of these elements when it comes to online security and want to keep their sites as safe as possible for their readers. And for good reason.
These elements can contain a variety of harmful scripts and styles that can cause your site to load slowly.

But just because these elements can be harmful, that doesn’t mean that they have to.
You can always use software to minify these elements and make your site as safe and secure as possible while keeping the speed as high as possible.

Use CDNs For JavaScript And CSS

Just as with images, you can also use a content delivery network for JavaScript and CSS.
But this time, you have the option of whether or not to load the content from the CDN.
You can connect your site’s CDN to the Content Delivery Network connector in your WordPress dashboard and choose to load from there.
If you don’t have a CDN yet, it’s the perfect opportunity to get started.
Plus, if you use a reputable CDN, your site will load much faster because your web server won’t have to look for, download, and cache the content.

Now, if you don’t want to use a CDN for your CSS and JavaScript, you can manually connect these resources to your web server.
And if you do want to use a CDN but don’t have the money for a dedicated server, you can always go with a VPS instead.

By taking the time to properly diagnose and then fixing the issues with your site’s loading times, you’ll be able to greatly improve its performance.