How to optimize website performance and loading speed for WordPress website

The performance and loading speed of websites play a key role with regard to user experience as well as the ranking on search engines, today's rapidly evolving Digital World. High bounce rates, decreased conversion rate and low user satisfaction can result from delayed loading of websites. Because of the platform's dynamic nature, it will become even more imperative to optimize performance for WordPress websites. In this article, we'll take a look at seven effective ways to enhance performance and loading speeds for WordPress websites.

With page speed and patience, there’s no room for error. Google estimates that your website should come online within two seconds or less. And visitors are going to stop being interested as time goes on. Google, for example, uses page performance as one of the criteria used to rank websites. If your site is fast, you will be more likely to land a premium position on the search engine results page.

Many approaches to speed up your WordPress are not technically necessary, but others may involve installing a plugin or changing some of its code yourself if you know what you're doing. After just a few of the steps, you'll be starting to see improvements.


How to Speed Up Your WordPress Site

1- Optimize Images

Images are one of the most important parts of web designs, but they can also have a significant role to play in helping websites slow down. The larger image size can result in a longer loading period, negatively impacting the user experience and deterring potential visitors from visiting your site. Also, because the search engines give priority to fast and user friendly sites, slowloading websites are less likely to get ranked by Search Engines.

You can compress image files with Photoshop or any other Online image Converter. You can also try a WordPress image optimization plugin like Smush, EWWW Image Optimizer or TinyPNG.

- Improved Loading Speed

You can greatly minimize the size of files, which in turn will speed up loading times on your Web pages, through image asset optimization. The faster-loading sites are likely to have a lower bounce rate, better user engagement, and improved conversion rates.

- Enhanced User Experience

There is a user expectation that sites will be loaded quickly and smoothly. Optimized images ensure a smooth browsing experience, providing users with the information they are looking for without annoying delays.

- Better SEO Performance

Search engines, like Google, consider website speed as a ranking factor. A faster website with optimized images is more likely to rank higher in search engine results, leading to increased visibility and organic traffic.

2- Lazy Load Content

You can also add lazy loading if you have a lot of images in your WordPress. Instead of fully displaying all the pictures in a page at once when it is first opened, lazy loading only loads images that appear in user's browser window and waits until users scroll down to them.

Because your content is slowly loading, rather than requiring a browser to load all of the work at one time, slow loading gives rise to an impression that you are getting quicker page loads. Besides pictures, other media such as videos embedded in the page may also be subject to lazy loading including text and comments.

WordPress offers various plugins that make it easy to implement lazy loading functionality on your website. Some poppular lazy load plugins are: Lazy Load by WP Rocket, A3 Lazy Load and Smush.

- Faster Initial Page Load

By implementing lazy loading, only the visible content is loaded initially, reducing the amount of data that needs to be fetched from the server. This results in faster page load times and an improved user experience, especially for pages with a significant amount of media content.

- Bandwidth Optimization

Lazy loading reduces the amount of data transferred to the user's device, which is particularly beneficial for users with limited data plans or slower internet connections. It helps optimize bandwidth usage, making your website accessible to a wider audience.

- Improved Performance and Engagement

By prioritizing the loading of content that is visible to users, lazy loading ensures that users can interact with the page and consume the content faster. This leads to increased engagement and reduced bounce rates.

3- Reduce CSS and JavaScript File Sizes

In your website, CSS and JavaScript are very important because they're the building blocks for pages that extend beyond standard HTML. However, whenever a visitor visits the page, those files must be sent via your Web server to his or her browser. Consequently, it is faster for your pages to run when you make those files smaller so that they do not affect the look and functionality of your Web site.

To reduce CSS and JavaScript file sizes, you can use a WordPress plugin like Autoptimize or WpRocket. These plugins scan your CSS and JavaScript files, delete unnecessary code (like spaces and comments), and shrinks down the files enough to load without lag.

Check out this tutorial from Ahrefs, which gives some other solid recommendations for speeding up WordPress:

4- Use a caching plugin

Every time a user requests a web page from a non-cached site, your WordPress has to retrieve all the relevant content from your database, assemble it into an HTML file, and send that file to the client. It has its own advantages, such as the saving of server space and the ability to create dynamic website content. However, it'll take more time and energy than putting a written web page together.

Caching plugins create and store a static version of your web pages, including HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and other static assets. When a visitor requests a page, the caching plugin serves the cached version directly from memory or disk, bypassing the need for time-consuming database queries and PHP processing. This allows for faster delivery of content and improved website performance.

WordPress offers various caching plugins that to help your website load faster. WP Rocket, W3 Total Cache, WP Super Cache or WP Fastest Cache or Litespeed Cache.

5- Use a light weight theme

If you have an active WordPress theme, it may be an unnecessary burden on your server, just like plugins. It can be cool to have themes packed with high quality images and effects, but it also comes at a price. The fancy effects may require a lot of code and many themes are designed in an inefficient manner, which inflates the sizes of files and slows page performance.

Instead, pick a simple theme with only the necessary features for your pages. You can always add more effects later through plugins or custom CSS if you’d like. Here are few light weight wordpress themes you can use to help your site load faster.

Astra: Astra is a highly customizable and lightweight theme known for its speed and efficiency. It offers a range of starter sites and integrates seamlessly with popular page builders, allowing you to create stunning websites without compromising performance.

GeneratePress:  A lightweight and responsive theme that focuses on speed and clean code. It offers a modular design, allowing you to enable or disable specific features to keep your site lightweight and fast.

OceanWP: A lightweight and feature-rich theme that offers excellent performance. It comes with a variety of customization options, including multiple layout choices and built-in integration with popular page builders.

6- Use a CDN

Realworld distance is also a significant cause of poor performance. The devices which are more than a kilometer away from your web server's geographical location will be used for loading the pages. International users and users in remote areas are particularly affected by this. Luckily, you'll be able to reduce this effect by using content delivery networks, or a Content Delivery Network for short.

A CDN is a set of connected Web servers that reside all over the world. The copy of your website's JavaScript, CSS and image file is stored on each server. The server closest to the user will send these files as soon as they request a page on your site. For all visitors, near and far, a CDN will give your website global reach and speed of loading.

CDNs for any WordPress site can be easily set up and managed. You are likely to have a Content Delivery Network service offered by your hosting provider, either as part of the plan or through an integrated payment solution. Your CDN will automatically manage all delivery for you. Cloudflare and StackPath are some of the most widely used CDNs.

Like many aspects of running a WordPress website, speed optimization is your responsibility. Thankfully, there are several strategies you can implement to optimize your load time and provide the most satisfying, user-friendly and fast user experience. It’s worth spending a bit of your time to save your visitors a lot of time.