Everything in today’s digital world revolves around speed and efficiency. If your website takes longer to load than it should, it is safe to assume that your traffic and bottom line will suffer as a result. With this fact in mind, many developers and business owners question whether it is possible to construct a fast WordPress website.
WordPress Site Speed
WordPress is a popular content creation tool that has swept the globe. However, just like any other website construction tool, you will need plugins, themes, and other tools to make a site that looks nice and let your branding shine through. Unfortunately, regardless of your content management system, these tools can slow things down.
With that said, it is entirely possible to build a fast WordPress website. All it takes are a few techniques and top-quality hosting to optimize your WordPress site speed.
The Fundamentals of a Fast WordPress Website
Every WordPress site is one-of-a-kind. So, there are a variety of reasons why your WordPress site is slow including infrastructures, setups, and limitless combinations of plugins. However, there are a few fundamental principles that apply to all WordPress sites for optimizing speed.
WordPress is the Smartest (and Slowest) Software in Your Stack
You may well be aware that WordPress is capable of completing a wide range of jobs. However, just because WordPress is theoretically capable of doing everything does not imply that it should. Finding tasks that squander WordPress’ computational resources is a part of WordPress site speed optimization.
Cache Optimization Cannot Be Overstated
The ultimate bottleneck is your database. Handling requests before they ping the database is a big part of increasing your WordPress site speed performance. Thus, caching pages and objects allows your site to respond to client requests faster by avoiding the bottleneck.
Hardware is Only a Short-Term Fix
By improving your server’s processing speed and power, you can observe some short-term performance advantages. However, if your site’s architecture is slowing you down, this is only a temporary solution.
WordPress Site Speed Performance Needs to Be Part of Your Process
Even the most efficient sites will acquire junk over time, slowing down WordPress site speed. Thus, it is critical to keep track of new code, make enhancements, and perform automated testing.
Six Must-Haves for a Fast WordPress Website
Building a fast WordPress website is possible with these six elements:
- Updated PHP with Opcode Cache: Using an out-of-date version of PHP is akin to using a flip phone instead of a smartphone — it works, but it is not nearly as powerful. PHP 7 is 20 to 100 percent faster than PHP 5.2. To reduce CPU demand, keep your PHP up to date and use the built-in Opcache.
- Persistent Object Cache: Redis or Memcached can help you reduce database load and CPU overhead.
- Reverse Proxy Page Cache: Other subsystems can provide cached pages up to 200 times faster than WordPress. Varnish, a reverse proxy, not only improves performance but also makes your site more stable during traffic spikes.
- Solid State Drives (SSD): It is highly worth considering as the only hardware recommendation on this list. There is a physical limit to how quickly data can be recovered with spinning-disc drives, resulting in a significant performance gap.
- The InnoDB Engine: To avoid table-level locking, ensure your database can keep up with the SSD speed by utilizing the InnoDB Storage Engine. InnoDB also aids in the preservation of data in the event of a crash.
- Dedicated Search Index: WordPress can also perform searches, although not as well as an external solution. A dedicated index is more responsive and includes additional functionality not available in WordPress’ default index.
How to Cut Down on Page Loading Time
There are several basic methods you may apply on your own to help these tools create a fast WordPress site. One of the simplest methods is to allow your site to be cached. Here are a few more pointers to consider.
- Display Summaries instead of Full Text: If your blog’s homepage takes a long time to load, convert to a summary or “read more” format to make it load faster and easier to browse for your users.
- Optimize Image Sizes: Before uploading, make compressed thumbnails of .jpg files. Consider using .png instead of .jpg for photos with only a few colors to save space. When possible, use vector-based .svg files, which are generally smaller than their binary equivalents because they are text files.
- Optimize Your Database: For routine maintenance, use WordPress’ built-in optimizer and a plugin for a deep clean.
- Remove Unused Plugins, Themes, and Media: Take no prisoners when auditing your files and data. Plugins that perform the same purpose, themes you have never used, and the midi file for your corporate anthem — get rid of them all.
- Update to the Latest Version of WordPress: WordPress is fully supported, secure, and optimized for maximum speed in its most recent version. Ensure that you are up to date on core changes by using automated updates or a custom WordPress update strategy.
WordPress Hosting: A Key to a Fast WordPress Website
The ideal host can help you improve your WordPress site speed, while the wrong host can slow you down. Look for a host that includes performance optimization as part of its platform. If your host is a worthy partner, much of the regular job of optimization and performance monitoring becomes easier.
More specifically, look for a management platform with the following characteristics:
- Built-In Caching: Major performance components include reverse proxy and object caching. Your caching should consist of both your loadout and your host’s initial loadout. Reverse proxy caching can be provided via a global content delivery network (CDN), allowing pages to load rapidly regardless of the requester’s geographic location.
- Databases Properly Configured by Default: Too many hosting companies sell only empty server space, leaving stack design to you. The correct host will put you on the path to success right away.
- Easy Updating: Your host should make it simple to install the latest PHP and WordPress core versions.
- Scalable Container-Based Infrastructure: The correct infrastructure can scale up and down on-demand, maximizing uptime and responsiveness without breaking the bank.
If you want to learn how to build a fast WordPress website or optimize your existing WordPress site speed in the most efficient way possible, Bauertech is the answer! Find out how Bauertech can help you build a fast WordPress website today.