August 6, 2022
improve WordPress site load time

Improve WordPress Site Load Time

improve WordPress site load timeSome site owners need to speed WordPress up in order to improve load performance. Over time, even the most lean themes become bogged-down as more pages and/or posts are added and visitor traffic increases. Another culprit is inefficient coding. So, it becomes necessary to speed sites up. These will not only be a benefit for visitors, but increases key search optimization elements; it also saves a bit on hosting bandwidth measurements.

Ways to Improve WordPress Site Load Time and Response

Many websites utilize server-side coding, which allows HTML and CMS platforms to load faster. This is because the “serving-up” of a property resides on the server itself and visitors’ browsers don’t have to carry a heavy load. Therefore, to speed WordPress up, some configuration on the server side, if accessible, can be done. But the majority can be done within the CMS to make it faster.

WARNING: The following WordPress configuration tutorial requires users to make changes in their site’s internal code. Such changes can cause serious damage to a site if not properly executed, including but not limited to: radical changes in the look, theme behaviors and search engine optimization.

If your site is slow to load, you can do one or more of the following to speed it up:

  • Update to the latest version. One of the best ways to speed WordPress up is to stay up to date with the latest versions. These updates not only make your site faster, but help to keep it safe from hackers and reduce spam. Most updates come with optimization elements to improve response, along with feature updates. Theme updates are also important to keep up-to-date.
  • Update plugins. As with the latest version of the CMS, updating plugins helps to speed up sites. Outdated plugins might be code-heavy, draining precious resources. Many plugin developers not only seek to increase performance, but help to block hackers and spammers.
  • Delete plugins. Unused plugins don’t serve any purpose but do take up space. While deleting plugins won’t make an immense impact, it will shave off a significant amount dead weight. This is because plugins can use a substantial amount of code resources. Purging used ones will do quite a bit of good.
  • Cleanup the code. Whitespace, internal scripts and long CSS, all take up unnecessary space. To increase performance, site owners can eliminate some things, use external code, and use shorthand CSS. This is a great way to really improve performance and significantly decrease site load time.

Speaking of whitespace, it’s everywhere in the WP CMS. Indented tabs and line breaks are included for organization. But they’re not completely necessary. For instance, change code like this:

php
add_action('wp_footer', 'add_googleanalytics');
function add_googleanalytics() { ?>
// Paste your Google Analytics code from Step 6 here

To this:

php add_action('wp_footer', 'add_googleanalytics'); function add_googleanalytics() { ?> // Paste your Google Analytics code from Step 6 here 

External Scripts

Way too much can be placed in the header and elsewhere. So use external scripts to decrease load time. It’s better to use external sources like this:


Shorthand CSS

Change long, drawn-out CSS code from this:

.test {margin-top: 9px; margin-right: 2px; margin-bottom: 7px; margin-left: 4px;}

To shorthand CSS like this:

.test {margin: 9px 2px 7px 4px;}

If your WordPress site has become slow, address it as soon as possible because if it’s affecting load time, visits will steadily drop while bounce rate will increase.

Owen E. Richason IV

Covers social media, apps, search, and similar news. History buff, movie, and theme park lover. Blessed dad and husband.     

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