11 Tools & Tips To Speed Up Your WordPress Website Today

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In this article, I’d like to go over a few techniques to help you speed up WordPress website right now.

Testing Your Page Speed

While going through each of the steps below, be sure to create a simple experiment to test your results.

Before you do anything, go to Google’s PageSpeed Insights and analyze your website. You can also use Pingdom or WebPageTest.

Your mileage will differ, so be sure to test your website’s speed before and after you make any of the changes below.

Hosting

First and foremost, is hosting. Without a good host, you can follow each of the steps below to a T, and your website will still perform lousy.

Solution: We recommend going with a Virtual Private Server (VPS) or a Dedicated Server if your budget permits. We recommend our DV hosting service or Media Temple’s DV (affiliate link).

Absolutely no shared hosting if you want your website to be quick and responsive.

Theme

After hosting, the second most important item is going to be your theme. If you have a theme that performs terribly, every speed improvement you make to your website won’t make a difference. Themes that you purchase as a one-size-fits-all approach are notorious for sssllllooowwww.

Solution: Purchase a theme that’s been ranked for it’s quickness (the author or reviews mention Google PageSpeed) or hire a company to develop a custom WordPress theme.

Compress Your Images

Visuals can make or break a website, the downside is that if you’re not compressing them (basically making them smaller), your site looks great, but isn’t performing as quickly as it could.

Solution: Use a WordPress plugin like WP Smush.it that does this automatically or compress your images manually at TinyPNG or TinyJPG.

WP Smush.it - WordPress Plugin

Minify CSS / JS

Adding white-space and line-breaks are great for visually organizing your code, but it’s unnecessary for computers and adds weight to your website.

Solution: Use a plugin that does this automatically like Autoptimize.

WP Optimize - WordPress Plugin

Browser Caching / GZIP

Using a browser caching plugin will create static html files of your website, rather than processing your PHP scripts that WordPress runs on.

Using gzip on your website is the equivalent of placing multiple files into a .zip file to decrease the overall weight of those files. With gzip, it compresses everything on your website and delivers it to the end user in a small package.

Solution:  Use a well reviewed plugin like WP Super Cache.

WP Super Cache - WordPress Plugin

Database Housekeeping

This one is simple. Basically, you need to keep your database clean and optimized.

Solution: Use the WP-Optimize plugin for a one-click solution.

Pingbacks / Trackbacks

Pingbacks and Trackbacks can take a load on your server. If you don’t have a reason to use them, disable them.

Solution: Disable Pingbacks / Trackbacks by going to SettingsDiscussion in Default Article Settings (in your WordPress Dashboard).

Disabling Pingbacks and Trackbacks in WordPress

Remove Social Sharing Widgets

Social media sharing widgets like Facebook’s Like Box and Twitter’s Widgets are great for letting your users know what you’re up to, but they also take a hit on your website’s speed. If you don’t have a great reason you’re using either one, ditch them.

Solution: Try disabling / removing these widgets and see how it impacts your website speed.

Remove Inactive & Unnecessary Plugins

Every plugin you install on your website is going to have an effect on your website’s speed. It can be minor or it can be major.

Solution: View the plugins you have installed your website and remove all inactive plugins and consider removing plugins that you don’t really need. Compare your current plugins and search for alternative plugins that can perform better. Read the reviews of a plugin before you ever consider using it on your website.

Other Methods

Completed everything above?

Take a look into these bonus methods as well:

Last updated on August 31, 2016. Shawn is the President of Graticle, Inc. You can follow him at Google+

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My experience with Graticle has been excellent. They are incredibly intuitive and seem to get exactly what we are looking for. They ask the right questions and return excellent work with very few drafts needed.

Among many projects, we hired Graticle to redo our company website. They presented us with an amazing site that was clean and very simple to use. They learned about our product and developed a site that our customers enjoy using.

They also redesigned our sales page which increased our conversion rate almost immediately. Again, focusing on prospective buyer experience.

They are cordial, friendly, and care about their customers. It is a pleasure working with Graticle and we have recommended their services to other companies.

Carlos Chacon

Audiotech, Inc.

www.Audiotech.com

Chicago, Illinois

I have worked with Shawn at Graticle for three years, which should speak volumes in and of itself. I am a high school teacher and serve as the Coordinator for the AVID program. Each August-September we create new t-shirts for distribution to all 140 of our students, along with supportive members of the faculty, staff, and administration.

My team of AVID teachers brainstorms ideas for both the front and back of the shirt, and I present the best one or two concepts to Shawn for his expert feedback. We quickly settle on the best design idea and colors, and then Shawn and I bounce more detailed suggestions off each other for a few days. His suggestions always result in significant improvements to my rough concept. He presents me with graphic “rough drafts” at each stage of our discussion until we have a design I’m really happy with.

Shawn then works his magic, and the final design is the work of a consummate professional. We get tons of compliments on our shirts, starting with our t-shirt printer, and usually end up having to do a second print run for additional faculty and staff who want one of the shirts. This year, a middle school in Southern California saw the design and asked if they could use it.

Another positive aspect of working with Graticle is that Shawn is easy to reach by phone or email, and he is very responsive. I hear back from him either the same day or the next day.

Working with Shawn and Graticle has been a pleasure, He produces good work quickly and at a fair price. I recommend him to you without reservation.

Bill Wolfe

Teacher & AVID Coordinator

Taft Union High School

www.taft.k12.ca.us

Taft, California