4 tips to increase your WordPress site’s speed and performance

4 tips to increase your WordPress site’s speed and performance

Britt Dreisbach's Layout avatar

It is a proven fact that the slower your site loads, the more likely people are to leave. So if your page is taking forever to load, you’re losing both potential conversions and customers. Especially with the holidays just around the corner, your website needs to be running smoothly and ready to take on the influx of visitors!

If your site isn’t moving quite as quickly as it should be, start here. “These four easy tips will help keep your site performance blazing fast and incredibly speedy. ”

layout by flywheel increase website speed and performance man looking at watch over table with laptop

1. Do a plugin audit

One thing that always has the potential to slow down WordPress sites is plugins. Admit it: How often do you test a new plugin and just let it sit there on your site for a while? Even if you’re not actively using it, plugins require extra resources from your site and therefore can decrease load time. Take a second and delete those plugins that aren’t necessary.

Even if you find a plugin with the functionality you like, take note of your site’s speed before and after you install it. Sadly, it’s just a fact of life that some plugins will slow your site down. Just be conscious of it and be sure to benchmark your site’s performance so you can look for alternatives if a plugin isn’t quite up to speed.

And last, make sure you update any plugins that aren’t up to date. Not only is that a security risk but sometimes those updates will include performance enhancements. A win-win!

2. Use a CDN

Adding a CDN (Content Delivery Network) is a great way to get your website content across the globe in a snap! A CDN is a collection of servers around the whole world that hold a copy of your site. When someone goes to your website, the server closest to them will serve the request, meaning the site loads in record time. Load time is slightly dependent on the location of your site’s server and the location of the site visitor, so a CDN can drastically speed things up if you have a global audience.

If your site is hosted on Flywheel, you can easily add a CDN. Learn more about the blazing fast speeds!

3. Downsize your creative assets

A big contributor to slow website speed is content size. While it’s natural to want high-quality images and the best resolution, you’re going to pay in load time if you’re using images that are “better” than you actually need them to be.  

layout by flywheel increase website speed and performance person typing on WordPress site with laptop on table and colorful screen in background

Instead, you can compress and downsize your images without sacrificing quality. This keeps your load time low and your site moving fast.

When working with different files, you can downsize with various methods. When using images, there are tons of free tools like ImageOptim or TinyPNG to help compress your images without losing the quality you want. Another tip is to export all images at the size you actually need to use them at before uploading to your site. This will help decrease the file size and avoid unnecessarily large images.

While this may feel more time consuming than my other tips, if you can build image optimization into your workflow, it almost guarantees faster sites moving forward.

4. Find an awesome host!

It’s no secret that having a web host that has your back is one of the most important parts of keeping your website’s performance high and mighty! When it comes to hosting, you want a company that gives you the most bang for your buck and has a support team ready to swoop in a save the day whenever you need it.

If you’re paying bottom dollar for hosting, you can almost always expect slow site speeds, irregular performance, and frequent downtime – all things you shouldn’t have to deal with.

While there are many options out there, Flywheel’s managed WordPress hosting platform truly gives you everything you might need to keep your site running at top speed. We take care of all caching and backups to keep your site lightning fast, plus we also offer a CDN and have WordPress experts ready to help you day or night.

Save time with Performance Insights

We know that hosting alone can’t solve all your WordPress performance woes (even though Flywheel’s cloud platform really does make your site fly!). Small details on the front-end can really slow things down… and with so many plugins, themes, and technologies working together, it may be difficult to know where to start.

Our Performance Insights Add-on gives you an in-depth look at the high and low-performance aspects of your site. From there, we take it a step further and provide you with recommended actions straight from our team of experts, so you know exactly where and how to improve your site’s speed! Learn more here.

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Comments ( 2 )

  1. Rahul Taneja

    December 15, 2017

    Great information on speeding up the website. Would really like to know about the plugin audit, like keep them up to date and uninstalling the plugins not used, but how to measure if a particular plugin is slowing down the website. More details about the same would be highly appreciated.

  2. Dave DeWitt

    December 1, 2017

    These are all great suggestions. However, I'd like to focus on Number 4. When we moved our website to Flywheel's Managed WordPress Hosting all of our site speed issues were in the "rear view mirror". In addition to the speed advantages Flywheel's Staging makes site development a breeze. Finally, we have not had to make one call to support for any problem related issues since we signed up. Thank you Flywheel Team! Editor

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