Let’s be honest.. no one likes a slow blog or website. We are so used to not having to wait anymore that one of the reason why we leave a page is because it takes too much time to load.
Who doesn’t do that.
Truth is, this can also happen to your blog too, making readers go away… before they even start reading what you have to say.
That’s not nice 🙁
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How to increase speed on a WordPress blog or website
There are different reason why your blog or website can start to slow down and, most of the time, is a combination of different things. First of all, and most important, I would make sure that the problem really exist.
Is my blog really slow OR it’s just because of external factors?
For this question, try to run a speed test to make sure the problem is actually your website. Sometimes it might happen that because of poor signal or a busy broadband, your blog or website takes ages to load.
There are many speed test websites, some of the most famous are GTmetrix and Pingdom. I personally prefer the last one as you can choose the server location to run the test from.
After the test, you will get a list of things that are slowing your website down. To improve the speed, follow the 5 simple steps I will show you in this post.
Images are great to make your blog nicer, but unfortunately big size images will lead to slow load times. This is because the page has to load each image individually.
To make images load faster you can optimise them by using a plugin, for example WP Smush. In this way, you won’t have to sacrifice the beauty of your website by reducing the number of images.
PRO TIP: Take image optimisation a step further with the “lazy” loading method. That means that images will be loaded only when the users are about to view them. In WordPress, you’ll simply need download and set up a plugin for that. My favourite one is BJ Lazy Load.
Cache your website
The first time reader will visit your blog, they have to download every single aspect of the page like the text, logo, menu, etc.
If they visit a second time, there is no need to reload the whole blog from the beginning. You can use a caching plugin like W3 Total Cache to keep that content saved on the readers browser for the next time they visit.
In this way, the plugin will reduce the amount of content that needs to be loaded from your server. Only the content that hasn’t been loaded the previous time will need to be loaded.
PRO TIP: Use the plugin W3 Total Cache to fix the result “Remove query strings from static resources”. You only need to uncheck (if already checked) an option and it will remove query strings from 90% of the URLs.
Remove unused plugins
Plugins are great to customise and add functionalities to your blog. Some of them are loaded for every single page, also if not needed.
Keep only the plugin that you need and remove the unnecessary ones. For example, try to look for plugins that include more functionalities instead of installing different ones.
Looking for some great plugins to use on your blog or website? Check my best 5 in this post.
Use A Content Delivery Network
A Content Delivery Network, or CDN, help your website to load faster by choosing the closest server to your location.
When you visit a website, that website is loaded from the server at the hosts location. So, if your hosting provider is located in UK and someone visits your blog from United States, it has to go from one location to the other to load.
When you use a CDN, it will determine which server is closest to your reader and load it from there, without “travelling” from the opposite side of the world.
Upgrade Web Hosting
When starting, many bloggers decide to go for a cheap hosting provider. That’s fine, at the beginning is totally understandable to use cheaper service as finances are limited. And cheap hosting doesn’t mean bad quality.
However, as your business grows, so should your hosting. You want to make sure that your readers don’t leave the page because it takes to long to load.
In some cases, a reason for the cheap price is because the hosting is on a shared servers. This mean that the server has to simultaneously load your blog altogether with other websites.
As you can imagine, not all of this website on the server has the same amount of views at the same time. Some get more, some get less. But if your page views increase, the server total capacity doesn’t, leading to a slower website.
The best way to ensure that your site stays speedy is to choose a host that offers dedicated servers and prioritises speed. One of them, where I’ve seen good results for my clients, is Bluehost.
Increasing your blog speed is something you can absolutely do yourself. As I said before, you have to consider the different factors and keep an eye on them as your blog grows.
Make sure your website speed is okay every once in a while or you can always ask a professional to do it. Check my services if you need help with that.
In the meantime, I’d love to know if you already do some of the steps above or ever tried something different to increase speed of your blog.