The world is growing impatient and so do, our web browsers and visitors. And so, webpage load speed has emerged as a very important feature which needs to be indispensably fast. But speed is always an issue with a WordPress blogs.

Don’t worry, it won’t be now!

Today I’m going to share some tips and tweaks to help you  make your WordPress blog faster .

But before I move to how to make your WordPress blog faster, let us first know why it’s important to speed up your blog.

Why is speeding up a blog important?

Think about two websites/blogs providing the same information but one loads quickly and one takes more time to load.

Which one are you going to prefer?

Obviously, the answer is clear. The one that loads quickly is bound to get more audience. It just a matter of a few seconds where a casual user landing from a search engine can be converted and made to hang around your blog. So even SECONDS MATTER!!

Speed has also been added in Google and other search engine’s search algorithm to sort results for a particular query by a user and so, speed plays a vital role in SEO and ranking of a website too.

A slower WordPress Blog leads to depleting traffic, reduced conversion-rate and a poor Search engine optimization.

Thus, speed is important.

Pingdom is a great tool to test any blog’s or website’s speed. Go and check how your blog performs.

Here’s the speed test result of this blog on Pingdom:

gyantastic.com-speed-test

Let us now move to know how you can make your WordPress blog faster.

How to make your WordPress Blog Faster?

1. Get a good theme with a solid framework

Themes do contribute a lot to a site’s speed. Themes that have a solid and a simpler framework can handle most of the speed issues for you. The free themes like Twenty Ten or Twenty Eleven available in WordPress by default are quite fast.

So always select a theme with a solid framework. In any case, if you have a theme and do not wish to change that, there are other ways too to speed up your WordPress. Lets go ahead.

2. Never forget to optimize the Images

If you have a WordPress Blog that loads so slow, images could be the culprit. Images are a factor that alone can slow your website to a large extent. So it’s wise to spend time optimizing images.

While you upload images to your blog, or add them to any post, you must ensure that the images do not have more than 30% quality and do not take more than 30 KB of space. If they are so, either optimize them using some software such as Adobe Photoshop etc. or simply, reject.

However, if this sounds to you as time-consuming and a hectic-task to be done repeatedly, then don’t worry. Yahoo! YSlow has something to rescue. Yahoo provides a service by the name ‘Smush.it‘ which optimizes the images, keeping the images quality the same by lowers the file-size. For the ease of WordPress users, Yahoo provides a WordPress plugin Wp-SmushIt. This plugin is free to use and once, installed, it will automatically optimize all the images while uploading them. Indeed, this is going to help a lot.

‘CSS Sprites’ is another way to save on space and get a faster loading. CSS Sprites lets one to combine multiple images into a single file. You can learn to use them and know more about this by Chris Coyier’s tutorial on CSS-Tricks. Read here.

Another way to save on the bandwidth of the user and load the pages faster is something called Lazy Load. Lazy Load is the process of loading only the images that are visible in the visitor’s browser window. As the visitor scrolls down, the other images also begin to load i.e. they load just before they come into view.  WordPress has a plugin for the same by the name jQuery Image Lazy Load plugin.

3. Cache Your Blog- Install a Caching plugin

Caching Plugins are the ones that work to drastically improve your page-loading time by caching a copy of your web-page.

You might wonder what is a caching plugin and why’d one need to use this. Imagine yourself into a condition where you have to give a document to 100 people. So there are two ways, either you write the same document 100 times or you simply write one and get it photo-copied 100 times and then, distribute.

Obviously, the second way is faster and needs less efforts. This is what a caching-plugin does to your blog/website. It acts like that photo-copier which caches the necessary things and helps one to load a page faster by supplying a copy of the same.

There are several caching plugins available for WordPress and most of them are free too.

Some of the best caching plugins are:

1.W3 Total Cache
2.WP-Cache
3.WP-Super Cache

After testing the most of them, I liked W3 Total Cache and use this. It is an amazing plugin and provides a good performance. Installing and configuring this complicated plugin is amazingly easy.

However, this depends on the type of website too and so, on your website/blog, some other plugin may work better than W3 Total Cache. Always experiment and then follow. 🙂

Do share your experience with these caching plugins in the comments section below.

4. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

CDNs or a content delivery network is a great thing to be used on a WordPress website/blog as this effectively increases the speed of a web-page. Every big website uses one or the other CDN to speed up their websites. CDNs work to pick up all the static files such as CSS, images, JavaScript etc., present on a website/blog and then helps the visitor to load the webpage/content faster by serving the files on the servers as closely as possible.

There are many such Content Delivery Networks present that help speeding up a WordPress blog, some of which are:

1. MAX CDN
2. WP CDN
3. Google (Google can be used to host the static files and libraries on their CDN.)
4. Akamai
5. Free CDN(Free to use, but not updated from last 2 years. Might work for the same.)

One needs to try to see which provider gets along to provide the best speed for one’s website. However, Max CDN and WP CDN are reputed ones. Setting these is really easy, though.

There is another CDN that can be used for the same purpose, namely as Cloudflare. This is also a very good network and a reputed one too. This network also works fine with W3 Total Cache and act together to increase speed to great levels. However, again one need to test Cloudflare for one’s blog/website. Share with us what worked for you.

5. Filter your Plugin List- Remove Database Heavy Plugins

Plugins in WordPress are something that adds to a page a piece of code every time it loads and saves one from adding that code manually to every page. No doubt, it is a myth that more number plugins lead to a slower speed of a website. Also for the plugins making a lot of database queries, caching plugins (discussed above) compensates for the speed.

But there are plugins that add JavaScript to the pages and that affects a lot. So, you get to reconsider if you really need those plugins. To see which plugin adds JavaScript, load your homepage and press ‘Ctrl+U’ to view the page source. In the page source, look for the JavaScript and look for the plugins, if any.

Also in case you have plugins that create heavy databases, then you should also be reconsidering them or caching plugins are a must to install.

It is also recommended to keep the plugin count less than ten as every plugin adds an extra code to load.

Summarizing the whole thing:

  • Speed is important is every aspect.
  • Always choose a good host.
  • Choose a simple theme with a solid framework.
  • Always optimize the images you upload. Use WP Smush.It and Lazy Load Plugin.
  • Install a caching plugin.
  • Get a CDN.
  • Reconsider using heavy plugins. try limiting the number to 10.
  • Keep the homepage simpler. Use minimal number of widgets.

Follow the steps mentioned above. This will surely help you speeding your WordPress Blog.

Keep Experimenting.

In case you have any queries, please leave a comment below.

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