Top 10 Strategies to Enhance Your WordPress Website Performance:

In today’s digital landscape, it has become common for businesses across various industries to establish their online presence through their own websites. Although each business may have unique website designs and sales strategies, one common goal is to have a website that loads quickly.

An optimized website brings numerous benefits. Firstly, website owners can reduce hosting-related expenses by optimizing their website’s performance. Secondly, visitors to the website can save valuable time as they experience faster loading speeds. Ultimately, a positive user experience can contribute to customer satisfaction, increasing the likelihood of generating more sales.

In this tutorial, I will provide you with ten easy-to-follow tips to optimize your WordPress website. These tips will help enhance your website’s speed and performance, delivering an improved browsing experience to your users.

1. Choose a Good Hosting Provider

If you don’t have a reliable hosting provider, the rest of the tips in this post may not yield significant results. The performance of your website heavily relies on the capabilities of your server. Therefore, it’s crucial to choose a hosting provider that offers sufficient resources and a robust infrastructure.

While it’s not necessary to spend a fortune on hosting, it’s important to discuss key details with your hosting provider. Inquire about the server’s processor, available RAM in your hosting plan, and the type of storage used. These factors contribute to the overall performance and loading speed of your website.

For those starting with a limited budget, shared hosting can be a viable option. However, ensure that the hosting provider doesn’t overload their servers with too many websites. Sharing resources with other websites can negatively impact your website’s performance.

If you have the budget and want to ensure optimal performance without interference from unrelated websites, dedicated hosting is worth considering.

When searching for a WordPress host, it’s beneficial to inquire whether the hosting provider supports LiteSpeed caching. LiteSpeed caching can significantly improve the speed and performance of your WordPress website.

2. Use a Good Caching Plugin

You may be aware that WordPress dynamically generates pages for visitors based on the requested URL. However, it is likely that the content of certain pages remains unchanged. By caching these pages, you can achieve notable enhancements in performance.

WordPress Caching Plugins

There are numerous excellent caching plugins available, but my personal favorite is LiteSpeed Cache. This plugin offers a range of features that go beyond what regular plugins typically provide. Its effectiveness is particularly enhanced if your web host supports LiteSpeed caching.

The plugin seamlessly integrates with LiteSpeed’s server-side software, resulting in optimal performance. In addition to caching public pages, it also supports private caching for logged-in users. It employs a crawler to proactively cache pages before they receive their first user visit.

With LiteSpeed Cache, you have the ability to purge the cache of specific pages based on a set of rules. You can also exclude certain pages from the caching mechanism altogether.

3. Update Your Plugins, Themes and WordPress Core

Everyone who uses WordPress installs themes on their website to make it look a certain way and use plugins to provide additional functionality.

The developers of these themes and plugins release regular updates for a variety of reasons including integration of new features, fixing vulnerabilities and performance improvements. You can check their change log regularly to see what things have changed since the last version release. Those change sometimes do include a mention of improvement in performance with some operations taking less time to complete.

Not all theme and plugin developers prioritize performance. Therefore, it is also essential to read customer reviews before you decide to use a theme or plugin on your website.

Similarly, any new updates to WordPress core can also give your website a significant performance boost as developers update the code that works behind the scenes to generate your webpage.

4. Reduce the Number of Plugins

Installing a large number of plugins and themes on your WordPress website can result in downgraded performance. You should consider removing inactive themes from your website and check if all the plugins that you have installed are actually needed.

Generally, you install a plugin to get specific functionality which you wanted to check but then stop using it later. In those cases, it is important for you to periodically check all the installed plugins and see if you are still using them actively on your website.

It is also important to check if there is a better plugin available for installation now in the WordPress directory compared to the ones that you are using. New plugins are added to the directory all the time and doing periodic checks ensures that you are always using the best ones.

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5. Optimize the WordPress Database

As you already know, WordPress stores all its data related to your website in a database. The tables in this database can get cluttered with useless data after some time. Some of this data won’t actually be needed to run your website so you can get rid of it without affecting your website.

You have to be careful about the data the you remove from the database. This means that it is a good idea to backup your website before you try to do any database cleaning yourself. A safer option would be to use a plugin. Most of the plugins will remove things such as spam or trashed comments, trashed posts, posts revisions etc.

LiteSpeed Cache Database Optimization

Some plugins like LiteSpeed Cache will also offer the option to optimize the tables in your database.

6. Update Your PHP Version

Did you know that WordPress uses PHP and MySQL behind the scenes to dynamically generate its webpages?

Updates to PHP work just like plugin updates which patch vulnerabilities and improve performance. Basically, each new version of PHP will add new features to the language and improve upon the existing codebase to make everything run faster.

A faster PHP version means a faster WordPress core as well as faster plugins. You can check the PHP version installed on your webhost directly from the admin area of your WordPress website. First, log in to the admin dashboard of your WordPress website. Now navigate to Tools > Site Health and then switch to the Info tab. Scroll down a bit and you will see a section that provides information related to the server setup. Here is a screen of the information for my website.

WordPress Site Health PHP Version

It is also important to make sure that the version of PHP you are using is compatible with all the installed plugins and themes. Otherwise, you website will stop working.

7. Serve Optimized Images to Users

Images make up the majority of the page weight on most websites. Serving optimized images to your users can significantly reduce the amount of data that they have to download when visiting a webpage. There are two primary ways in which you can serve optimized images to users.

First, resize your images to be of more appropriate size. Serving an image with dimensions 1920*1080 on a mobile device does not benefit anyone. All your images should be sized appropriately for the device where they will be viewed.

Second, compress your images to reduce their size without significantly downgrading the quality. Using the right image format is important here. In some cases, you will get a smaller image size with .png files while in other cases .jpeg files will have smaller size. You could also use .webp images which usually have the smallest size of them all.

LiteSpeed Cache Image Optimization

The LiteSpeed cache plugin that I talked about earlier, also comes with settings to optimize images. You can find all these options by navigating to LiteSpeed Cache > Image Optimization > Image Optimization Settings. The plugin will take care of a lot of things for you such as image compressions as well as delivery of .webp images where appropriate.

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8. Compress JavaScript and CSS

Another way to reduce your overall page weight and improve page load times involves compressing the JavaScript and CSS that you serve to users.

There are quite a few tools that you can find online to compress your CSS and JavaScript files such as HTML compressor. Important thing to keep in mind here is that you don’t compress your development files and only compress the production files that will be served to users.

The savings in size resulting from compression of JavaScript and CSS won’t be as much as those from compressing images. However, you will still be able to save a few milliseconds which add up in the end for significant performance boost.

9. Lazy Load Your Images

Even after you have compressed and resized your images, it is still possible to optimize image delivery by loading them lazily. Let’s say someone visiting your website doesn’t scroll past the top of the webpage. Any images that are outside the viewport will still be downloaded by the browser. This results in wasted bandwidth for you as well as your visitors.

Lazy Loading Images with LiteSpeed Cache

There any many plugins that will give you the option for loading images lazily without having to write any code. You can also load other resources such as iframes lazily to further improve website performance.

10. Use a CDN to Deliver Resources

Using a CDN to deliver your website resources can give a big boost to your website loading times. This is because how long a webpage takes to load also depends on the distance between the website server as well as the user.

A content delivery network or CDN will have web servers distributed all over the globe to deliver static files such as images, CSS and JavaScript to all your website visitors. For example, a visitor in India will receive those static files from the server nearest to them and a visitor in Europe will receive those files from the server nearest to them.

Some CDN providers such as Cloudflare even provide basic CDN functionality for free. The LiteSpeed plugin that I talked about earlier also has its own QUIC.cloud CDN to serve resources and make your website faster.

Final Thoughts

In this tutorial, we learned about 10 different tips that you can follow to optimize your WordPress website and get a performance boost. It all basically boils down to using a good hosting, keeping everything like the plugins, themes as well as the WordPress core updated. You can also use optimize the delivery of images and other resources by using good caching plugins and a CDN.

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