How to Improve WordPress Website Speed and Boost Vital Score?

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Do you want to improve WordPress website speed?

When it comes to search engine ranking and conversions, website speed is crucial. If your website speed is slow, you need to work on it. Several things affect the speed of a website. And if you need to speed up your WordPress site, we have something for you.

This article will show you how to improve WordPress website speed and boost the vital score.

How to Check Website Speed?

Before moving forward with the speed hacks, we need to know how to run speed tests. The main four tools we can use to run speed tests are:

  1. MonsterInsights
  2. GTmetrix
  3. Pingdom tool
  4. Google Page Speed Insights

MonsterInsights is a freemium WordPress plugin that comes with so many unique features. It is one of the best WordPress Google Analytics plugins available in the market. And with MonsterInsights, you can track every inch of your WordPress installation. Recently, they have introduced a new feature called site speed reports.

Once you have installed, activated, and verified the license key of the MonsterInsights plugin, you can actually see the speed of the website in the reports section.

site speed report

We can get the latest site speed report right from the WordPress dashboard without using any third-party tools. Compared to the most popular website speed test tools, MonsterInsights will give you more stats.

Some of the popular stats you can see on MonsterInsights site speed reports are:

  • Overall score
  • Server response time
  • First contentful paint
  • Total blocking time
  • Time to interactive

and so on.

How to Improve WordPress Website Speed?

Now, let’s see how to improve WordPress website speed and gain more conversions or improve the total search engine ranking.

Choose the Best WordPress Hosting

wp engine hosting

If you check the market, you will see hundreds of thousands of WordPress hosting companies. But when you choose a host for your WordPress blog, you need to be careful. Several folks are offering local web hosting plans for an affordable price (like $5/ year hosting). However, it will not give the best results. Also, they will not give you the security features you wanted.

When it comes to website performance, web hosting holds the central part. First, you need to choose the best, performance-optimized WordPress hosting for your website. Of course, it will not be free. You need to spend at least $6 a month on good WordPress hosting.

In our case, we are using Cloudways as the hosting partner. And their performance and security are top-notch. Shared hosting plans will handle a basic website with a decent amount of website visitors. As your website grows, you need to upgrade the hosting plan. When you need more power, you need to consider using managed WordPress hosting plans, cloud hosting plans, or dedicated servers.

Shared hosting companies you can use for your business are:

and so on.

Some of the managed WordPress hosting companies we used and recommend:

Avoid Poorly Coded Themes

generatepress

Fancy themes are not required. If possible, avoid page builders too…

If you are using a poorly coded theme, you are making your website heavier. You need to start using lightweight WordPress themes if you want to achieve a good website speed.

On top of that, avoid page builders too. It will not give you a better speed. Most fancy WordPress themes come with sliders, a lot of JavaScript-enabled widgets. When we use them inside the site, the server will take a reasonable amount of time to deliver them to the front end.

For our website, we are using GeneratePress. It is a freemium WordPress theme with so many advanced features. If you need to unlock the theme, you need to choose the premium version.

Use a CDN

cloudflare cdn

CDN stands for Content Delivery Network.

When we register a hosting plan, we will be choosing a data center for the website. So, for example, let’s say that we have selected the USA data center for the website. So when someone from the USA visits the website, it would be fast enough. But, on the other hand, when someone from India visits it, the speed will decrease.

This is where we need a CDN.

A CDN got hundreds of data centers around the globe. So, when we list our website inside the content delivery network, the content would be served from the user’s closest network.

For example, for Indian visitors, a data center from India will serve the files. For UK users, the UK data center will take care of the job. So CDN is no more optional. It can also secure your website from malicious traffic, make it a safer place.

For our domains, we use and recommend Cloudflare. It is a freemium CDN service with unlimited website visits. We can also get a free SSL certificate for the domain.

If you need a robust solution, check out StackPath.

Optimize the Images

tinypng

When we run a tutorial blog or write a blog post that needs many explanations, we probably need to upload a good amount of images to the article. It can be vector images, screenshots, or normal images. But the thing is, uploading too many pictures to the blog post is not good. It can slow the website (that particular article) down.

What you can do is, compress the image before uploading or use a dedicated image compress plugin. You can use tools like TinyPNG for compressing images or online or plugins like ShortPixel for automated compression. ShortPixel plugin comes with multiple options for compressing images.

You can choose different types of compression methods from the settings, keep the original image files, delete them, etc. For example, inside our website, we are using ShortPixel.

Update WordPress Regularly

update wordpress

Developers will release updates when they fix the bugs and for better product stability. Inside our WordPress website, we will be using the core, themes, plugins. And all these need to be up to date. From the WordPress updates page, you can see all the outdated WordPress themes and plugins.

Thankfully, updating the WordPress themes and plugins from the repository is pretty simple. You can go to the updates page, click on the update button. No additional customizations are required. However, you do need to access the site via FTP sometimes for updating the product when it comes to third-party products.

However, keeping the website updated is highly recommended.

Make Use of Caching Plugins

WP Rocket Homepage

WordPress caching plugins can make your website faster and reduce the server load. No matter you are running a small website or a massive website with millions of visitors. You can’t avoid caching plugins. Instead of directly delivering all the website files, the caching plugin will generate a copy and save it inside a folder.

So when someone visits your website and the posts, the caching plugin will serve files from the folder. Most caching plugins come with a lot of speed optimization options.

Four popular WordPress caching plugins we can find on the market are:

We will always go for the WP Rocket caching plugin. It is a premium WordPress caching plugin with lots of website speed optimization opportunities. On top of that, some WordPress hosting companies will develop their own caching plugin.

Reduce Third-Party Font Usage

Typography matters.

If you use a user-friendly font inside your WordPress website, visitors will love to read the content. On the other hand, when you are not using a user-friendly font, your visitors will start leaving the website. However, for hosting fonts, we have several solutions. The main ones are hosting fonts on our own server, calling external fonts, and using CSS to display them.

When you call external fonts, you are increasing the HTTP requests. And this can affect a website’s performance. This is because there are so many font hosting services are available. The popular one is Google Fonts. In addition, some WordPress themes will embed multiple fonts to the theme’s header. If you are not planning to any of these fonts, you can remove them.

On top of that, if the font hosting service is loading slow, this can reflect in your website too. If you need to host fonts, try to host them inside your server and embed it by modifying the functions.php file.

Optimize CSS and JavaScript

css and js optimization

Optimizing your CSS and JavaScript can save you a lot of extra loading time required. Several plugins are available for optimizing the CSS and JS like Perfmatters, Autoptimize, and so on.

Thankfully, we do not need to write extra codes for the optimization. Instead, activating a dedicated plugin and configuring it properly will do the job. You need to consider that combining some CSS or JS will break the website’s styling. So once you have modified the CSS/JS optimization, you need to check the website from the front end.

If everything is good, you are good to move forward.

Don’t Upload Videos

dont upload videos directly

Videos can help users understand the content better. However, if you prefer showing the website visitors’ videos, please don’t upload them directly to your WordPress installation. It can affect your website performance. In addition, some WordPress hosting companies will also limit the hosting plans’ resources such as disk space, bandwidth, etc.

When you upload a video inside the WordPress site and display it in the front end, you will exhaust the bandwidth.

If you need to display the video, upload them to YouTube, embed them inside your post.

Clean the Database

optimize wordpress database

You need to optimize the database regularly if you are publishing content every day or working with revisions. In addition, the database can be bulky in some cases, and you need to optimize it for best performance.

Using the WP-Optimize or any WordPress caching plugin, you can optimize the database. By optimizing, you can take care of the

  • Database tables
  • Post revisions
  • Auto-draft posts
  • Trashed posts
  • Spam and trashed comments
  • Unapproved comments
  • Expired transient
  • Pingbacks
  • Trackbacks
  • Post meta
  • Comment meta
  • Orphaned relationship data

and so on.

NOTE: When you optimize your database, make sure that you have generated a complete WordPress site backup. In case if anything goes wrong, you can restore the backup. You can use BackupBuddy or BlogVault for generating backups.

Use Lazyloading

enable lazy loading

If you have added too many images inside a blog post, the visitor needs to wait until the page is fully loaded. According to the image’s size, the loading time can differ. For example, when you write tutorials or something, you will probably be adding several screenshots. Instead of loading all images once, you can try enabling lazy loading.

Lazy loading is a technology used for images to serve better according to the user’s scroll. There are several plugins available for enabling lazy loading inside a WordPress site. Or, some WordPress caching plugins like WP Rocket come with the feature too.

Enabling lazy loading can help you with image delivery and optimization.

Delete Plugins You Are Not Using

wordpress plugin deleting

You don’t want to keep the plugins you are not using. It can consume the disk space and affect the performance too. So, you need to remove it from the server.

Deleting a plugin from a WordPress installation is pretty simple. All you need to do is go to the plugins section, click on the delete button. You can also deactivate the plugins you are not using. For example, if you use the WP Rocket plugin, you do not need additional WordPress database optimization plugins. Since WP Rocket comes with the feature, you can skip the second plugin.

On the other hand, if you upload already compressed images to the website, you do not need to use an additional image compression plugin. You can remove the image optimization plugin from the website. Removing unused plugins will always help.

However, in some cases, some WordPress plugins will become vulnerable. So, deleting plugins you are not using is a great way to speed up your WordPress installation and secure it.

Get Started with MonsterInsights

You can get the MonsterInsights premium version from below.

Get MonsterInsights

These are the best ways to improve WordPress website speed and boost the vital score. We hope you have found this article helpful and enjoyed the blog post. Feel free to share it with your friends to let them know about the tips.

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