Beginner’s Guide To WordPress Speed Optimization

So you have just created your first website with WordPress but it’s slow, keeps getting stuck, or maybe it just feels like not loading as fast as it possibly could. In this beginner’s guide to WordPress speed optimization, we will teach you a few tricks from our sleeve on how to speed up your WordPress site or your WordPress eCommerce store.

If you’re looking for a quick way to optimize your WordPress without diving too deep into it, consider trying out NitroPack. Which can do all the things listed in our article and more.

Why website speed optimization is important

As most who read this might already know why website speed optimization is important, we won’t go too much into detail about every single reason why you should be optimizing your speed. For those who are not familiar with the concept of WordPress or website speed optimization let’s take a few steps back and talk about why it’s important.

  1. A faster site means more visitors
    • If your site is slow up to 53% of the potential visitors will abandon it before even ever landing your site. So think about that next time you think speed doesn’t matter.
  2. Slow sites kill stores
    • Did you know that a 2-second delay in your site speed might increase your eCommerce store’s cart abandonment rate by 87%? No, you say… well now you know.

Faster page loads are always better, but webmasters should balance absolute page load speed with a positive, useful user experience.

Bing Webmaster Guidelines
  1. Search Engines care about your site speed
    • Another thing a lot of people don’t know is that search engines like Google actually care about your site speed. If your page is slow, you can pretty much say bye-bye to your 1st-page rankings.

You’ll start to see positive effects once you get out of the “poor” area in core web vitals.

John Mueller, Google 2021
  1. Slow website speed drops your conversion rate
    • Every second it takes to load your site, your conversion rate will drop by an average of 4,42%!

How to optimize your WordPress website speed

Probably one of the most important parts of any website, including a WordPress site, is good hosting. A good host will save you from a lot of trouble regarding website speed. But it’s not the only tool that can help you build a super-fast WordPress site. There is a lot more you can do to speed up your site from website cache, image optimization to CDN and HTML, CSS, and JS packaging, which will surely help you achieve fast loading sites even on older devices and slower internet speeds. But what are these exactly and how do they work? Let’s have a look.

Website cache

One of the most common and easy speed optimizations WordPress owners can do is to use a cache plugin. Cache plugins create a copy of your site’s files that the visitor’s browser can then save into the browser itself for a set amount of time. This means less downloading from the server, and instead, the browser uses already saved files of HTML, CSS, or even JS to speed up the loading of the site.

A few of the most highly recommended WordPress cache plugins are:

Image optimization

Another way to speed up your site quite easily is to optimize your images. Since most blogs, sites, and eCommerce stores have quite a few images on their pages it’s important to optimize them. Usually, image optimization includes some form of metadata removal as well as optimizing the actual size of the image so instead of loading a 3 MB image, a user would instead load just a 300 kt image which is 10 times smaller.

Few tools can do this for you which include:

Again we need to point out that some of these tools are freemiums meaning you might need to pay to get the most out of them just like with the cache plugins.

Use the right image formats

One more thing we need to point out about images is that if you want the best performance, you need to use the right image formats. If you are using a lot of PNG images because of the transparent background you could be possibly doing better when using a WebP format, which has been developed by Google and still gives you that transparency, but makes your images much much smaller in size.

HTML, CSS, and JS minification and compression

Something that might come a bit more obscure to some users is HTML, CSS, and JS minification and compression. This means turning your HTML, CSS, and JS files into minified and compressed versions that have no spaces or line changes. This makes the code much harder to read for people, but allows computers to read and process the code much faster, which again means faster performance and faster site load speeds.

Minifying and compressing HTML, CSS and JS is no easy task and often requires you to do it by hand. There is also the chance you might break your site when doing this, so be careful! Thankfully some tools can automate this process for you quite safely and they are WP Rocket and NitroPack

Choose the right theme

Another important part of WordPress website speed optimization is choosing the right theme. If you are not a code-savvy person, then a few of the most recommended themes for you might be:

Something to note on these is that all of these themes work great with Elementor Pro.

Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

You might have heard of what CDN or Content Delivery Network is or how it works, but if you are not familiar with it let us help you out by explaining it in short.

What is CDN?

A content delivery network (CDN) is a group of servers that have been distributed to different places around the world. The idea behind this is to help you deliver your web content faster to the user by storing the data closer to the end-user.

How does CDN work?

CDNs often work in a way that they save or cache your content might it be your website’s HTML, CSS, JS, or even image or video content, and distribute this content to all their servers. When a user or a visitor needs this content the CDN delivers it from the closest server to the user and makes it faster for them to download this data.

How to use CDN

One way to use CDN is to purchase it from a CDN provider or use a CDN provider like Cloudflare. There is also the choice of using NitroPack which has its CDN or WP Rocket. Both integrate with Cloudflare making them the perfect tools to get the best of both worlds and capabilities to ensure you get the best result always.

Conclusion

Creating a fast WordPress site might not be easy but as we have shown it is worth your while considering how much of an effect it can have from simple conversions to sales and even search engine rankings are affected by speed.

If you feel like doing all those optimizations from image optimization to HTML, CSS and JS packaging, CDN, and everything else that might go over your head, we highly recommend using NitroPack or WP Rocket to achieve the best possible speed for your WordPress site today.

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