May 25, 2021

How to Increase WordPress Website Loading Speed

Galib Hosen
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According to backlinko 2019 study of about 5 million pages, the average page speed for the desktop was found to be 10.3 seconds. This average loading speed for mobile pages was 27.3 seconds. It is clear from this that most websites are not too worried about their loading speed. This does not mean that loading speed of a website is not important or it is not possible to increase. It is easily possible and you should increase website speed because a website's slow speed reduces the amount of traffic it can generate.

Why is site speed important?

why website speed is important

When we create a website, first of all we think about its domain name then we think about how it will be designed or how it will be done but from the point of view of a website visitor, the loading speed of website is the first experience to the user ever you make.

So you can easily understand that if the first experience is bad then there will be a kind of negativity in users mind about your site even if the next experiences are good.

Increase bounce rate

Every second of loading time increases your bounce rate. Research says that if your site loads in 2 seconds, your bounce rate will increase to 9.75% just for loading time and your bounce rate will increase to 5% for every 1 second.

Google did a research in 2017 where found that the websites increase their bounce rate by 32% which load in 1-3 seconds.

A research of section.io is saying that companies are losing 1% of their profit for the bounce rate that increases for every 100 ms of load time.

Decrease landing page conversion rate       

According to research, if it takes more than 3 seconds for your page to load, then 48% of visitors permanently leave, which is one of the biggest reasons for low conversion rate.

Most of the top converting landing pages load within 2 seconds.

Average website speed benchmarks by industries

Page speeds vary from site to site due to technical reasons. In some industries speed has been found to be a bit higher while in some industries speed has been found to be a little less.

average website speed by industries

There are some websites that are slow but enough to be normal, such as photo gallery websites. This type of website shows a lot of heavy HQ pictures that may normally take a little longer to load.

On the other hand, there are some industries to which people request a lot, such as technology. Speed also varies due to such additional requests. If the request is more, the speed will decrease a little and the request will decrease and the speed will increase.

Average website speed by country

Website speed not only varies with industry but also varies by country.

For example, the load time of technology industry in USA is 11.3 seconds while the load time of this same industry in Germany is 8.8 seconds.

Average website speed by countries

If you are interested to know about website speed by industry and country you can read the google’s research. You will also find here the average request count by industry and country, average page weight bytes by country and industry.

How fast should a website load?

How fast should a website load?

Frankly the speed of the website is as good as you can make it fast because every milliseconds of loading time will increase the chance of bounce.

Most of the marketing savvies tell a website should load under 2 seconds. I have also seen that some of the savvies tell that a website should load under 3 seconds.

I would suggest follow your competitors in this case.

Try to keep your website speed at least as equal as your competitor’s site speed.

How to increase website loading speed

How to increase website loading speed

A website increase its loading time due to various technical reasons. If we can stop all the reasons then the loading time of the site will be reduced that means the speed of the site will be increased.

Now I will try to describe all the reasons and how to stop the reasons.

Reduce http request

Http stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol. Hyper Text means website means HTML means Hyper Text Markup Language.

So Hyper Text Transfer Protocol is the process of transferring and presenting the hypertext or HTML of your website in a way that is readable to the user.

The longer the transfer process, the greater the number of http requests. The points I have made below will go a long way in reducing your site loading time in addition to http requests.

Image optimization

Image optimization to increase website loading speed

Usually the heaviest thing on websites is the picture. I have personally noticed that a page without images loads very quickly compare to a page with images.

But no page will be well presented without images. So you have to use images.

So what to do?

  • Compress image size
  • Use webp format
  • Use lazy load

Compress image size

In this case, the first thing to do is to reduce the size of the image. If you search by typing image compressor in Google, you will find many tools which are completely free.

Use any one and compress every image on your page as much as possible.

Use webp format

Google suggests to use webp format images. Webp format is called the next generation format.

When you convert a jpeg image to webp, its size will get smaller but its quality will not be lost.

If you type webp converter and search on Google, you will find many tools with which you can convert your pictures to webp format for free.

Use lazy load                     

This is an amazing thing.

Lazy Load is a system that, if enabled, will not load your website's pictures until they reach the traffic viewport. This means that it will not be unnecessary to load pictures that are not in the viewport, which will further reduce your loading time.

Good news for wordpress users

WordPress users can use the Optimole plugin for lazy loading. Not only lazy loading but also enabling this plugin will automatically compress your site’s all pictures and the interesting thing is you don't have to bother to convert every picture to webp because Optimole will do this automatically.

The extra advantage is that as soon as Optimole is enabled, the pictures of your site are copied to Optimole CDN and later it will be shown on your site from that CDN that means your site's weight will be reduced.

By the way, if you don’t know about CDN you’ll know it up front.

Use a caching plugin

install a caching plugin to increase website loading speed

Caching plugin is a plugin that is not used for a specific reason. There are a number of things you can do to reduce your site's http request.

There are several caching plugin available free and premium. You can use any of them. You can use w3 total cache. This is free up to a point.

Browser cache

This is very important to increase your site speed. By enabling browser cache you will be able to create a copy of your website in user’s browser.

When a user enter into your site this plugin automatically create a copy of your website in the user’s browser for this reason when the user enter your site again next time the browser will view it from the copy. So it definitely increases your site speed.

After installing W3 total cache you will get the option of browser cache in general setting section and there is a dedicated section browser cache. you will get the option here too.

Minify HTML, CSS and java script

From the minify section you can minify the html css and java scripts.

When a site is designed there are many spaces and unused code available in the file. This will remove the unwanted places. In this way your site will be lighter so it can be loaded much faster.

You will all the minify option into minify section.

Alert: Sometimes it happened that after minifying the files site’s design is changed. So I would suggest you to create a backup of your site before minifying the files.

Combine CSS and java script

Sometimes your page has multiple css and java script files that increase your http requests and http requests increase your loading time. With a caching plugin you can combine them into a file. This will reduce your page size which will increase your page speed.

In minify section you will get option to create combine.

Alert: Same as above.

Gzip the files

Gzip is a file compression system that allows you to compress by make zip all the files and browser first unzip the files and then download the smaller files.

Some specialist says that it can take time to zip-unzip the files. That is true but if you don’t zip the files then browsers take more times to download the bigger files. So basically gzip compression will lower your loading time.

You will find the gzip option in w3 total cache in browser cache section.

Improve server response time

Improve server response time

Another name of server response time is time to first byte (TTFB). This is directly related with your hosting server.

Not all hosting servers provide the same response time in all countries. If someone requests from a place where you do not have a hosting server or you do not host on a server in that country, the response time may be a little longer.

You should focus on hosting server which provides response time within 200 ms.  There are several types of hosting servers available. Better you should know the difference among different types hosting servers so that you can understand which server can be best for you.

I would suggest to choose a hosting server as your hosting provider which has server in your targeted country.

DNS prefetching

DNS means domain name system or domain name server. Every website has an IP, no domain name. The work of DNS is to convert the IP into preferred domain name.

In this case you can enable DNS prefetching. In this way download the content first and then process the domain in background. This will definitely reduce your loading time and reduce the time to first byte.

This will need to just add an extra attribute in your HTML file <link rel=”dns-prefetch” href=”//example.com”>

Use a lite theme

Most of the people who are doing new marketing want to use WordPress free theme. But the free theme has a variety of problems.

Maybe your theme has too many libraries. Or extra css and java script is used which is not required for your site. And for all this, the theme becomes very heavy. Normally a heavy theme will take longer to load.

I will suggest you to purchase a lite and SEO friendly theme. You can checkout ThemeForest or if you want to build personally by doing drag and drop you can try Thrive Themes.

If you want to purchase a theme then Astra can be a good theme.

Enable optimization from cpanel

There are many hosting providers that have an option called Optimize Website in the software section of Cpanel. Make sure you have enabled that option. This will help you to boost up your website speed.

Use less plugins

People who use WordPress fix all their design and development related issues through the plugins. That's normal. But many people don’t know that extra plugins slow down the website.

In this case a light design site should be created. If the design of the site is light and thin, it will reduce the need of using extra plugins.

Test plugins

There are different types of site speed testing tools like Gtmetrics, Pingdom etc. You pick any one you like.

Uninstall a plugin of your site and test the speed of your site. Install it again, uninstall another and test the speed of the site.

In this way of Install, uninstall and speed testing you will find the plugon which are most responsible for making your site slow.

I know this is an annoying process if you have installed many plugins. There is an alternate way and for that you have to install a plugin named “Plugin Performance Profiler”.

After installing the plugin go to setting and run a site scan by clicking scan button. Then you will see in few minutes the complete breakdown of the performance of your each plugin.

After checking this you can uninstall the plugin performance profiler because after checking this you won’t need this plugin anymore. If need then install again.

Use a content delivery network         

Use a content delivery network

The content delivery network is CDN. CDN companies create multiple servers around the world.

When you add your site with a CDN it sends a copy of your website to all the servers they have around the world.

When a visitor requests to access to a site, CDN will open the page from a server located closest to that visitor because CDN has many servers around the world.

Now think,

Your site is hosted in New York but a visitor from Bangladesh is requesting to enter your site.

This is what will happen in this case your site has to come to Bangladesh from New York.

But if your site was added to CDN, then your site would be opened from the server closest to that visitor. If the CDN Company has server in Bangladesh then your site will be opened from Bangladesh.

I hope you understand that how much speed it is able to increase.

In w3 total cache pro virsion you will get a CDN but if you want to use a free CDN then you can add your site to Cloudflare.

Reduce using web fonts

There is no doubt that web fonts have become very popular with exact reasons but the matter of sorrow that web fonts increase the http request which will decrease the page speed.

Moreover web fonts are hosted on a server if the server once goes down you will have no control.

If you use custom fonts then it will look different who doesn’t have your custom fonts. Moreover custom fonts are not scalable and high DPI friendly.

Use fallback fonts instead

In this case you must use the fallback font. These fonts are called web safe fonts. These fonts are pre-installed on different operating systems and do not require css @font-face declaration. They are safe from server down issue.

According to cssfontstack.com the top 5 web safe fonts are

  • Arial
  • Verdana
  • Trebuchet MS
  • Tahoma
  • Arial black

Reduce redirects length

Reduce redirects length to increase website loading speed

In a simple word the more redirects, the more loading time. We sometimes make long redirects unknowingly while doing redirects and we may do that when necessary but we should always keep in mind that we should keep as few redirects as possible.

Use screaming frog to find out your redirects.

Suppose 3 pages a, b, c

You redirect “a” page to “b” and then redirect “b” to “c”.

Now if anyone clicks on page “a” first he will go to page “b” then he will redirect to page “c”. This is a long journey. Normally it would take more time.

In this case you can redirect page “a” to page “c” and page “b” to page “c”. This way reduces the redirects length.

Use external hosting for video

Now a day video is the visual boss. A video increases the quality of content and influences visitors to take action. So you should use video in your content.

But many marketers host their video in their internal hosting means in their website’s hosting. This makes your site heavy which decreases the site speed very much.

In this case you can use external hosting like YouTube, Wistia. There are many more video hosting provider and they most are free. Moreover from like YouTube type platform you will get more visitor with having site keep lite.

Disable wp-cron jobs

If you use WordPress, you must have noticed that there are options for scheduling postings. It's not just about posts, it's about scheduling check-ups to update any plugin, theme update or sending email notification or more.

By default wordpress set it up and when someone visits the site while have a scheduled task present, a query is asked from cron jobs “is it time to do anything yet”.

This is not a major problem for sites which are gaining a low amount of traffic. But when you achieve a high amount of traffic then the checking of schedule task can be a big cause of your site being slow.

You can easily disable wp-cron jobs.

  1. 1
    Go to your wordprees file manager fron cpanel
  2. 2
    Go to public html
  3. 3
    Open the file wp-config.php
  4. 4
    Edit the file by adding the code define('DISABLE_WP_CRON', 'true');

Reasons of being site slow which are out of your control

Reasons of being site slow which are out of your control

There are some reasons to make your website opening late which are not in your control. So in this case you can’t do anything. But as a web expert you should know this.

User’s computer performance

If a computer is not updated for a long time, then there are various technical problems that slow down the running of different apps. In this case, all the websites on that computer will run slow because the computer is slow

User’s internet connection

Internet connection usually depends on the internet provider. Each provider provides different speeds. However, sometimes the internet connection is fine, but the user's router cannot receive that speed, so the internet speed is less. In that case any site will run slow.

User's Backdated browsers

Regular browser update checkups come but many do not update without noticing it. In that case the browser runs slow. It also slows down the running of the website

Important Q&A about website speed

I have seen in many places like quora, even from my email subscribers to ask some questions related to website speed. I thought I will clear about all questions so that there are no more any website speed misconceptions.

How is my website speed now?

There are plenty of website speed testing tools available in the internet. The checking process is also so easy. You will need to just past your website url in the specific box. The tool will show the total speed breakdown of your website.

Some of the tools are

Google page speed insight

GTmetrix

Pingdom

By searching on Google with the word “best website speed testing tool” you will find a tons of speed testing tool. You use anyone.

What is the role of CDN for website speed?

The main purpose of creating CDN is to eliminate the latency between the web page and the user. CDN is to create for breaking the physical distance.

So where there is no latency no distance there is speed. CDN send a copy of your latest website to the every single server that the CDN Company has.

When anyone request your link CDN open your page from the server that is located nearest of the requestor. So CDN reduces the distance to get a super speed.

What is the cheapest way to improve your website's speed?

I have some confusion with the question because cheap can be 2 types. If something has low price with great support then it will be cheap on the other hand something consumes very low time with great support then it will also be cheap from my point of view.

If you have read the whole article, you must have understood that the process of increasing website speed are not so time consuming.

Cheap from price

You don't have to spend any money for the methods I mentioned to increase speed. But there are also premium versions of each of the plugins or tools I've talked about.

Like I said Optimole for image optimization which if you get more than 5k traffic per month you have to take the premium version of it.

Same for W3 total cache plugin. Up to point it is free. If you take the premium version of it will get a CDN.

On the other hand you will get CDN free. Like Cloudflare. This is free but up to a sage. If you take premium version you will get more features.

Do WordPress plugins affect website speed?

Generally wordpress plugins are like apps for you wordpress site which enable more features in your website. Such as for creating contact form people use plugin, people use plugin for creating ecommerce store. Plugins used to create table in content.

But using much more plugin is the cause of being your site slower.

How plugins affect website speed?

Each plugin has different design, functionality and features. There are some plugins that make database calls at the back of the site and others load the assets to present the data at the front end such as html css etc.

Complete loading takes time for both database call creation and asset loading. So Plugins should be used as little as possible.

How many plugins are too many?

Just as the functionality and features of different plugins are different, so are the developers of plugins not all equally experienced and careful.

A bad plugin can load up to 15 files at a time whereas a good plugin will load a file.

A nicely coded plugin will load as few files as possible. You can use 12-15 well coded plugins but on the other hand a single bad plugin can slow down your site a lot.

I would suggest you to use plugins which have many trustworthy reviews and which are standing for a long time in the industry.

How fast should a website load?

I have told about the problem happened for being website slower. Every second of delay increase the bounce rate and decrease conversion rate.

But with look at the average website speed by industries and countries and the reaction of delay loading time it seems 3 seconds is the last terminal. If your site loading time crosses 3 seconds then it will really be a very bad experience for both you and your reader.

Most web experts agree that a website should load completely in 3 seconds. This is good but I would suggest you to follow your competitors in this case.

Try to keep your site speed at least equal to your competitors.

Why is my website slow?

There is no specific reason for a website to be slow. Websites can be slow for a variety of reasons.

There are several photo gallery websites that may have everything right but using a lot of high resolution pictures only this reason can make that site slow.

Again a site can become slow due to using only a bad hosting even though everything is fine.

If you have read the whole article, you must understand why the website is slow and how to solve them.

I am giving you some reasons

  1. 1
    Using high resolution pictures without compression
  2. 2
    Not using lazy load
  3. 3
    Bulky files
  4. 4
    Not combining CSS and JS
  5. 5
    Not combining CSS and JS
  6. 6
    Uploading videos directly on website without external hosting
  7. 7
    Inefficient code
  8. 8
    Using bad hosting
  9. 9
    Spikes in traffic
  10. 10
    Keeping high length redirects.
  11. 11
    Server location
  12. 12
    Using many bad plugins         

How much does website speed matters?

I have told this once that website speed is the first experience ever you make to your visitors. You have to mind it that first experience is the last experience.

So from this point of view website speed is the first experience and the last experience.

Moreover bounce rate is heavily associated with website speed. If your website is slow then most of your traffic will bounce only for the reason of your site being slow.

For this reason you will lose your search engine rank. This means you will lose tons of free traffic daily.

How to increase website speed at mobile device?

The methods that I have mentioned not only increase the speed of the website on the computer but also increase the speed on the mobile.

But Google has introduced a feature to the AMP integration. AMP stands for accelerate mobile page. It copies your complete content into an amp url which is more compatible for mobile devices.

In amp version you will get some special benefits like seo boosting, increment server performance, limitations of CSS and JS etc.

But problem is amp has ad limitations. This may affect your revenue.

By using AMP plugin you can easily create amp pages. This is a trusted plugin for creating AMP pages and the setting process is very easy.

Note                                     

When you create amp pages it creates a duplicate page of original page. In this case if you don’t tell to Google about which is the original page Google will understand 2 pages are original. There is issue of duplicity.

For this you have to give the canonical url. Canonical url is the original url. Then Google can understand which is the original and which is the amp.

You can create the canonical url by using “yoast seo” when you are making post on your website.

Last word

If the article is completely later, I hope you will not have any confusion about the speed of the website. I have used these methods to make my own website fast and some of my clients have made my site fast using this method. From that place of trust, I am saying that you can also increase the speed of your site by using these methods.

If I missed any point or if you can't find any answer to any of your questions related to website speed from this article, the comment box is for you.

Galib Hosen


I like to share my experience because I love to make people self depended by doing them a strategical independent online business.


what I have gathered in my marketing life I have sorted them into such an easy and understandable way so that people can do affiliate marketing in a very appropriate, focused and profitable way which will make them an Affiliate Wiz.


GalibHosen

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