WordPress is such a swiss-army knife for various publishers. It offers flexibility so we can customize our website with ease, even without coding experience. A good looking website often times not balanced with its website loading speed. On this article, we will share how to make our WordPress site load faster, with zero coding!
A slow website not only affect the SEO scores, but it also gives a bad experience to our visitors. Users typically leave our website if the loading speed is slow and it should not happen.
Examine our existing website speed
Before we start optimizing our website, we should know what’s current conditions can be optimized. Let’s start with the page speed test. Page speed test is testing for analyzing our website with automatic tools available on the Internet. There are popular free page speed tests like Google PageSpeed Insight, GTMetrix, and Pingdom Tools. For the current scenario, let’s use Google Page Speed Insight.
Head over to https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/ and input our website.
As shown above, PageInsight displayed the steps to render our web page we can check what costly process (a process that eats more times than the average website, marked with red text).
Check Document Size
Flexibility often costs low efficiency. We can start to check what’s the document size of our web page, with our web browser. Google Chrome offers a tool for web developers to inspect element, examine HTTP request and much more.
Open your Google Chrome browser and right click the window then click inspect element, then open your website on the address bar and click enter. It will show your web page and what elements in the backend side. Click Network tab and it will display all network requests for the current page.
The metric on the bottom left is very important, It shows how long it takes to render our page, how many page request and many more. The size may vary, but if our website doesn’t serve a lot of images then < 1.5 MB is good. Check assets that block more time ( as seen on green waterfall graph).
Use Fewer WordPress Plugins
The more we use plugins, the more the document size. Especially if it also rendered on the web page. Use plugins that important for your website.
Cache our Website
What is a cache? According to Wikipedia, Cache is a hardware or software component that stores data so that future requests for that data can be served faster; the data stored in a cache might be the result of an earlier computation or a copy of data stored elsewhere
In a nutshell, web cache saves generated pages and serve it for the next request. When the cache is invalidated ( expired or page updated) it will be deleted and fill the cache with the fresh one.
There is plenty of WordPress cache plugins available. We can try with WP Super Cache, WP Fastest Cache, or W3 Total Cache.
Compress image assets
There are various tools to compress our image, without losing data. Below we list popular image compressor that you should use.
Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a geographically distributed network of proxy servers and their data centers. The goal is to provide high availability and high performance by distributing the service spatially relative to end-users.
In simple terms, it’s like cache but it’s involving bunch of edge servers (Point of Presence /PoP node). The web page from origin server is stored on nearest region so when another user from the same region request the same page, the CDN will deliver content from that region instead of from origin server.
WordPress has an awesome plugin that includes CDN service for free, that’s Jetpack. If you haven’t installed it yet, this plugin is recommended. Just click Jetpack settings and enable site accelerator.