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5 best ways to speed up WordPress website

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05/05/2023

WordPress

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Speeding up a WordPress website is a matter of concern for many people. Why do we need to optimize page load speed?

Website speed has a significant impact on user experience and directly affects the website’s revenue. In today’s context, a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load is likely to drive users away to search for information on other directly competing websites.

Furthermore, page load speed is currently highly valued by search engines such as Google and Bing, and websites with fast page loading speeds are always prioritized in search rankings. Therefore, optimizing the speed of WordPress websites is vital for all types of websites, from news portals to e-commerce stores.

In this article, Bii shares a guide on methods to speed up WordPress websites. These methods can be applied by anyone, without the need for knowledge of coding or programming.

A slow website load speed negatively impacts both user experience and your business revenue.

A slow website load speed negatively impacts both user experience and your business revenue.

Factors affecting website speed

There are many main causes that lead to website speed being affected, which can be divided into 2 main factors affecting the page loading speed: causes from outside the website and specific internal factors as follows:

Off-page factors

Including all the impacts that do not come from the core structure of the WordPress website affecting the page loading speed such as:

  1. The hosting or VPS configuration you’re using has a significant impact on the loading speed of your website. A low-configured hosting directly affects the user’s accessibility and often results in time-out errors, making the website inaccessible to users.
  2. The geographical location of website servers in relation to users can be a cause of slow website loading speed. If you locate your website server in the United States, for example, customers accessing your website from Vietnam are likely to experience delays due to the geographical distance.
  3. Natural factors such as unforeseen events like fiber optic cable breakage, earthquakes, and storms… all cause the situation where the website loads slowly and sometimes cannot be accessed due to disconnection.

Overall, external factors are difficult to change or may require significant investments in server upgrades and CDN services. In this article, Bii will discuss optimizing page loading speed for internal factors within the website.

See more: Onpage SEO optimization with RankMath.

Internal website factors (on-page).

There are quite a few factors that can affect the speed of a typical website, including:

  1. The Theme you are currently using
  2. The number of plugins installed on the website
  3. The size of the uploaded images
  4. Setting up and arranging the layout structure for displaying information on the front end
  5. Overcrowding too many elements on one page
  6. Using a page builder like Elementor.

Bii will guide you through the optimal on-page optimization steps to help your website achieve the best possible speed.

The page builder is also a cause of slowing down your website.

The page builder is also a cause of slowing down your website.

How to optimize the speed of a WordPress website?

Select a high-quality Theme.

WordPress has an extremely abundant collection of Theme interfaces, whereas only the free collection on WordPress.org has more than 10,000. The theme is the most important factor in speeding up a website because it is a pre-designed framework that provides users with an attractive graphic design and flexible extension features to add additional features to the website.

When using a performance-optimized Theme, can reduce page loading time and increase the speed of your website. Creating a faster and more efficient user experience is an important factor for every website, especially for e-commerce websites or content-rich websites that are heavily loaded.

You can simply understand that the Theme is like the framework of a house, it affects the overall structure as well as the page loading speed. Themes that are not well optimized will generate a lot of unnecessary CSS and JS code, making the system cumbersome.

Therefore, choosing the right Theme is the most essential factor to start building a WordPress website. You shouldn’t use a Woocommerce sales theme to create a new website and vice versa. Some good Themes with optimized code and clean design can be found for reference.

  1. Blocksy
  2. Astra
  3. Kadence
  4. GeneratePress

All of the above Themes are lightweight, compact, and optimized for code, CSS, and JS…to help you easily achieve maximum speed and high scores on search engines. If you have any questions about what theme is being used on https://biiviet.com, I’ll reveal that it’s Cwicly – a toolkit to help you build websites on the Gutenberg core platform.

See more: Building a complete WordPress website with the Cwicly toolkit

Blocksy is a WordPress Theme that has very good speed optimization.

Blocksy is a WordPress Theme that has very good speed optimization.

Do not install many plugins.

Plugins are an essential part of WordPress, which are extension utilities to supplement missing features for a website. However, installing too many plugins on a website can make it increasingly cumbersome (similar to putting too much load on a vehicle). Besides, having too many plugins can also lead to conflicts between them, causing website structure damage or even worse, causing the website to be inaccessible.

There are no exact figures on the number of plugins to install to help a website operate most efficiently. However, according to the recommendation of Bii, you should limit a maximum of 10-12 plugins for a website and only install essential plugins that are indispensable.

Some plugins are relatively resource-heavy and can affect page loading speed, such as:

  1. Woocommerce
  2. Page Builder (Elementor, DIVI, WPBakery…)
  3. Contact Form 7
  4. Broken Link Checker
  5. Jet Pack
  6. WPML
  7. Yoast SEO

These are all famous plugins and really necessary for the website. If your website does not really need the features that those plugins bring, you should remove them from the website to improve the page loading speed

Installing multiple plugins is the reason why websites become slow.

Installing multiple plugins is the reason why websites become slow.

Optimize images before uploading them to the website

For most websites, images account for a large portion of storage capacity. To achieve optimal performance, you should adjust the image size and optimize image compression before uploading.

Images uploaded to websites should be limited to a maximum of 100kb. If possible, remove plugins that optimize images and instead use free online image compression tools. Currently, there are many image compression tools available that maintain image quality. One of the online image compression tools you can use is:

Above are tools that help you optimize images before uploading them to a website, with very good image compression capability and quality after compression that is difficult to distinguish with the naked eye.

Websiteplanet is Bii's favorite image compression tool.

Websiteplanet is Bii’s favorite image compression tool.

Use one cache plugin

A plugin cache is the simplest solution to help optimize the loading speed of a website, which is very effective. The main task of the plugin cache is to create a storage buffer for storing data information and images so that customers don’t have to wait for the website to prepare the content from scratch (just like how food is prepared in advance and ready to be served).

In addition, some other features of the plugin cache can be mentioned such as:

  1. Optimizing and cleaning up CSS and JS files helps make the website lighter and more streamlined.
  2. Supporting image, HTML, JS, and CSS compression significantly improves website speed.
  3. Some features, such as Lazy Load for images, can reduce hosting load. Some high-end cache plugins also support Lazy Load for HTML, CSS, and JS.
  4. Warm-up functionality (Preload Cache) can make a significant difference to first-time visitors’ perceptions of the website.
  5. Support for asynchronous loading means that instead of loading the entire Front End interface for users, cache plugins only load portions, reducing query requests and wait times.

Basically, any WordPress website should install a cache plugin. This helps improve website performance significantly and reduces the load on hosting. Some popular caching plugins include:

  • WP Rocket: The national speed-boosting plugin, currently the most widely used caching plugin with over 5 million downloads.
  • Flying Press: Considered a racehorse in the field of WordPress website speed optimization, Flying Press operates extremely effectively. In Bii’s personal opinion, it is better than WP Rocket with a user-friendly interface and more stable quality.
  • Accelerator: This is a comprehensive website speed-boosting plugin that Bii is using for projects. It may not be well-known, but its quality will truly surprise you.

Read more: Amazing WordPress Accelerator plugin boosts speed.

Speed up your WordPress website with Accelerator.

Speed up your WordPress website with Accelerator.

Do not stuff too many elements into one page.

“To ensure the best stability of a website, you need to appropriately divide the layout structure of the website interface. Adding too many elements to a page increases its Doom size (similar to stuffing too many items into a warehouse). According to Google’s recommendation, the Doom size should only be at a level < 1,500. There are some methods to reduce the Doom size, such as:”

  1. Divide the website structure reasonably, and use internal links to link pages together.
  2. Limit the number of queried posts and products (between 4-6). Displaying all posts and products will increase the website’s loading time.
  3. Use an asynchronous loading feature (usually supported by caching plugins). Applying asynchronous loading to Footer and third-party plugins will improve loading time.
  4. It is recommended to break down the website into multiple sub-pages, which helps reduce the page size (such as maps, contact forms, and order forms…can be placed on separate pages, not necessarily crammed into the Footer or sidebar).
Lazy load is a feature that significantly improves website speed.

Lazy load is a feature that significantly improves website speed.

Question about website acceleration

Is it possible to install multiple cache plugins to increase speed even further?

No, you should only install 1 cache plugin, using multiple cache plugins can cause conflicts, disrupt the structure, and damage the website.

What should I do if I have applied all the methods but still can’t improve?

In case you have already optimized your on-page but the speed has not improved yet, consider upgrading your hosting. Hosting has a big effect on page loading speed.

What cache plugin is biiviet.com using?

Currently, biiviet.com is using Accelerator, which is an impressive website speed-boosting plugin. You can refer to the review article about this plugin here: Review Accelerator.

I hope this article has provided enough information and helped you improve and optimize the speed of your website.

Bii Nguyen

Hello everyone, I’m Bii Nguyen – the founder of this website. The website was created with the desire to spread useful knowledge to everyone.

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With over 7 years of experience in the field of Digital Marketing, Biiviet.com is a blog that shares knowledge on building a personal brand and making money through websites and social media. All the knowledge provided is free and based on real-life experiences.

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