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Day 35: 4 ways to speed up your WordPress website

Wed, May 24, 2017 | Read in 3 minutes

You know how they say today’s generation has an ”Oh, hey, squirrel!” attention span?

People tend to cater to distractions more often than not these days. And I guess it’s a natural reaction to the current technologies that we have at our disposal.

From a website perspective, though, this isn’t a good sign.

Slow pages could lead your visitors to other sites. Or it could give them a not-so-favorable browsing experience.

But you can prevent this from happening once you have the proper optimizations in place.

In WordPress-speak, optimizations basically mean plugins.

And although known for its powerful features, WordPress plugins can be so daunting.

The scenario that usually happens when you’re presented with lots of options is that you tend to use them all. Or at least 50 of them just for good measure. 😉

Having too many plugins could use up a lot of resources, though. What’s worse? It could even break your site instead of, you know, “heal” it.

That said, I still use a good number of plugins to keep my site running as I want it to.

To increase WordPress website speed…

You can try the following plugins:

  1. Akismet. Although spam (comments) isn’t directly related to site speed, it’s still beneficial to consider eliminating the resources that could slow down your website. More unnecessary comments means increased file size for your webpage. Naturally, bigger files take more time to download. Also, another good way to take care of spam is to use Disqus as your alternative commenting system. The Disqus plugin allows you to manage your website comments via a third party.
  2. Autooptimize. This plugin has helped increase my PageSpeed Insights rating to almost 100% from a very low 70%+. One of the common problems with slow websites is that their CSS and Javascript code aren’t fully optimized. The Autooptimize plugin takes care of this. More info here.
  3. WP Super Cache. Super Cache is described as a “Very fast caching plugin for WordPress.” And true to its word, it does help increase page load time since it generates static HTML files to be served to your website visitors. Static HTML files load much faster since they don’t require as much requests from your web server as dynamic files would.
  4. WP Optimize. At the backend, this plugin essentially helps get rid of nonessential database entries (due to multiple saved revisions, etc.). Optimizing your database is fundamental to save space and, consequently, help improve the overall speed of your website.

So there you have it, the plugins I personally use to increase page load time. Besides plugins, you can also take advantage of the compression options from your web host. cPanel usually offers a GZIP compression feature that you can enable in order to compress the files/ web pages served. This blog post has also helped me tremendously in choosing the plugins above.

What are some of the ways you use to improve site speed? Did I miss any good plugin/s? Let me know in the comments.