Fast loading websites have a lot of benefits: Designing WordPress for speed usually results in a higher customer satisfaction and better SEO results. Why? Because Google and surfers hate to wait for slow webpages to load. Therefore it is generally a good idea to optimize your WordPress installation for faster page load times. During this tutorial I’ll guide you through the complete proceess on how to speed up wordpress.
As a rule of thumb every page of your website should load in less than two seconds. Most pages of larger websites load within 1 to 2 seconds. Unless you are using a larger WooCommerce installation within your WordPress site which typically loads a bit slower you should aim for the mentioned 1 to 2 seconds with two seconds being the maximum.
Here are the main areas to think about:
Identify your bottom line first
Before you start optimizing your wordpress speed you should (edit: you must) identify your baseline. It`s really easy to identify your current page loading times. Head over to pingdom (https://tools.pingdom.com/ ) and type in the full URL (e.g. your http://www.domaint.tld) of your WordPress website. Choose the closest pingdom server and wait until the results are loaded. Pingdom will come up with several helpful information for you.
The absolute time your page needed to load. Does your site need more than 2 seconds? Are you in the mentioned range of acceptable 1-2 seconds? Pingdom will also give you a percentage how many websites (in the world) are slower – and how many are faster. Further down the page you’ll find some helpful tips on improvement areas – like expiration settings or minification options (we’ll talk about it later on)
There is an even more technical breakdown of every single piece of your analyzed page (a bit I similar to the developer tools you can plugin to chrome or firefox) Of course you could even measure your personal load times if you like. You should repeat the bottom line assessment at least two or three times –ideally at different times of the day. Note your results down in writing.
Before you start speeding up your WordPress installation let me explain what slows down your website and what elements make it faster:
Choosing your plugins wisely
While a fresh WordPress install is usually pretty fast, page load time increase over time and making your visitors wait longer. The main cause for it: too many installed and activated plugins! Before adding another plugin to your WordPress blog you should rather considering not to us it. Though many plugins add valuable functions to your website every additional plugin slows down your site.