11 Tools & Tips To Speed Up Your WordPress Website Today

February 04, 2015    Reading Time: 3 Minutes


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 12, 2019. Shawn is the President of Graticle, Inc.

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The Friends of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge are so thankful to Graticle Design for their amazing work! They re-vamped and updated our website in the time promised, and made it so user-friendly! It is so easy now to go in and edit, change and move things around compared to before. The user options are exponentially better than before, with easy add and use boxes, places to enter information while editing that will show up in multiple places throughout the website; and, my favorite part, easily editable and accessible buttons that can be added to every new webpage module. This makes linking people to important information, other pages on the website, other websites, and to our own uploaded content a breeze!

Shawn and his team made our site more mobile friendly (more as in, now it is mobile friendly!) and the video tutorials that were created to walk us through adding content to our new website are so clear and easy to follow, we had our new website filled with content and up and running in just a week, once the Graticle team finished creating it.

We would highly recommend Graticle for your website needs! Affordable and unbeatable quality and support.

Friends of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge

www.RidgefieldFriends.org

Ridgefield, Washington

We recently hired Graticle to design our new website, which is optimized for content marketing. Shawn not only is a terrific digital design talent, he also has a wealth of knowledge about how to visually and verbally guide site visitors through a sales funnel. He carefully planned every design element to deliver a powerful call to action, and helped us edit our content to avoid leading users in the wrong direction. Shawn also is one of the most efficient, pleasant and professional designers we’ve ever worked with. He delivered everything in an orderly way, communicated frequently throughout the process, and rapidly adopted our project management system. He delivered great work on time and on budget. Graticle is truly one of the best web companies we’ve ever worked with. Highly recommended.

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Portland, Oregon