12 Powerful And Easy Ways To Speed Up Your WordPress Website

Kumar Gauraw 52 Comments

To speed up your website, is to have happy visitors and happy Google, isn't that true? A website that loads fast for its visitors gains credibility and traffic much faster than those that do not. So, how do we do that?

Fast Website And Slow Website Image - Googlebot Watching Them Load

Maintaining your WordPress blog itself is a task that needs regular attention. On top of that, publishing fresh content on a regular basis is a task enough to easily keep you busy for a few hours.

But what is the point of writing fresh, well written and exciting content if your visitors aren’t happy about the way your website loads? What is the point of putting so much hard work into design and content if Google is not happy because your website loads too slow?

You and I both know that website speed is important. Also, as you continue to put more and more content and images into your website, the load on your server increases and your website becomes slow. We also know that slow loading of your website hurts your SEO, as it is one of the factors Google uses in the ranking process.

When you are running a WordPress powered website, you can be on top of the game with some awesome plug-ins and a few tips and tricks. You can speed up your WordPress, optimize your resource usage and also, protect yourself against some vulnerabilities.

Speed Up WordPress To Make Your Website Load Faster

Before you follow this tutorial and start using some of the awesome plugins and services to speed up your WordPress and improve your website loading time, I have two questions to answer for you:

Is it going to be a quick fix? No.

Will it break something on my website? Probably! And if you aren’t confident that you can do it, seek help from someone you think knows the stuff.

I think that it’s better to do this exercise and to fix any glitches, once and for all, so your visitors and search engines can have good feeling about your website. Don’t you think?

I am now going to share with you a few awesome WordPress plugins and a few optimization tips for WordPress that is going to help you speed up your website and keep your readers happy. I am speaking from experience and I know these will help you because they have certainly helped me.

1. First, Know How Fast Your Website Loads

To be able to know whether or not you are making progress as you walk through this tutorial, you need to know the current loading time of your website. You need a tangible way to measure your improvements along the way, don’t you?

Some people use Firebug in combination with YSlow on Firefox browser to know a detailed information on how long it takes to download your website and how much bandwidth it uses etc.

However, I prefer to use these online services for that purpose and I think they are not only easy to use, they are fun to use as well:

All of these services give you slightly different numbers and recommendations and that is why I use them all. But if you are just starting, you can begin with one and have fun testing your website’s loading speed.

Make a note of the information you gather by testing your website through these above services. Things like, page size, page load time, YSlow grade etc.  That way, you will be able to track your progress as you follow this tutorial.

2. Save Pictures in the Right Format

A picture is worth a thousand words and so, we all love using images on our websites. Our readers also love pictures along with search engines. However, it is important to make sure the pictures you are loading in your website, are optimized.

Image format is an important aspect of your overall website optimization work. There are only three most popular image extensions – .png, .jpg and .gif. But what you should do is, based on the type of picture, either use .jpg or .png because these are the most optimal image formats.

Since .jpg is the smallest in size when it comes to pictures taken with a camera, I prefer to use this format. However, if I create a graphic or add some text to images (such as quotes and things like that), then I save it as .png and .jpg both and whichever has smallest size without losing quality, I use it.

If you don’t pay attention to the image formats, this can make your website images bulky and unmanageable as your website grows. It’s a good idea to be smart about it right from the beginning.

3. Do Not Make WordPress Resize Your Images

Whether you get your images from image repositories or you shoot your own pictures, usually the images are pretty larger in dimensions. However, the width of your website (and your blog content area) is usually much smaller when compared with the image width.

If you load your images in AS IS condition, you force WordPress to resize your image to fit your window which is a lot of work at the time of page loading. You don’t want to put that stress on your server.

So, it is important that you resize your image to the exact width and height that you desire for it to have when it is displayed on your web page. You can use any image editor such as Photoshop for resizing your images. I use Paint.Net which is a free program and it does a great job.

Once you have resized the image, upload it and when you are inserting it into a page or a blog post, make sure you select the “Full Size” option so the dimension is specified correctly for the page to load the image without trying to resize it again.

4. Install WP Smush.It To Optimize Your Website Images

In spite of above two steps, images are still one of the things that cause most of the page loading time delays for your website pages. So, there is a bit of more optimization that is still possible.

Even though you have the correct dimensions of the image specified and have resized it to fit correctly before uploading it, it is also important that you use images in such a way that they are of the smallest possible file size without losing image quality.

Let’s understand this a bit more.

Usually, any picture contains along with it a lot of additional information such as information about the camera, the lens used, date and time etc. This piece of information isn’t really needed along with your image when you are loading it on your pages.

So, in order to optimize your images to strip out extra information, you need  WP Smush.it plugin which is designed to use the Yahoo! API to reduce the size of your images without losing any quality as soon as you upload an image to your blog.

Do you think this will help you improve your website page loading time? You bet!

Once you have installed the plugin and activated it, go to your WordPress Admin Dashboard and go to MediaBulk Smush.It option. Use this to smush all the existing images in your media library. Please note that the service will smush images that are less than 1MB in size. It doesn’t work with larger images.

5. Install & Configure W3 Total Cache WordPress Plugin

Unless you have a membership website (where things get a bit more complex), you need a caching mechanism for your website no matter how much traffic you have. Otherwise, imagine how much load your server has to go through each time somebody is trying to access your website.

What a cache plugin like W3 Total Cache does is, it simply saves the pages rendered by the web server whenever somebody accesses the page for the first time and then shows it to the next user. That way load time is significantly reduced for the cached pages because the server doesn’t have to compile the whole code every time a user visits a page.

W3 Total Cache does a great job of caching and much more. When you install and activate it, you will also have options to compress (minify) your HTML, CSS and Javascript code which is an additional benefit. W3 Total Cache also allows you to configure CloudFlare and CDN services easily which is very valuable as your website traffic expands into other parts of the world.

While the detailed settings of this plugin is beyond the scope of this tutorial (and I am planning another post about that in near future), you can learn about configuring W3 Total Cache by visiting this article by Ansh.

6. Empower Your Website With CloudFlare Rocket Loader

A few months ago, I wrote a blog post specifically about CloudFlare and how much difference it made to my website’s loading time. If you would like to read more about it, check out this post.

CloudFlare works really well and configuration of CloudFlare becomes very easy when you have W3 Total Cache installed.

CloudFlare not only brings security benefits to the table, but also a basic CDN service that allows your website pages to load much faster using the distributed network of servers that CloudFlare uses around the world.

Last but not the least, the Rocket Loader of CloudFlare is the reason why CloudFlare is so awesome. You enable Rocket Loader and if things work out well, you will see instant improvement in your website’s loading performance by at least 50% on most cases. And guess what? All this for free!

7. Host Objects On Your Server Instead Of Hot-Linking

Although it’s not possible to completely avoid this without losing on a few features, you should pay attention to this aspect as much as possible.

Whenever you include an object such as a script or an image, the browser needs to serve an additional DNS request for that website. This usually adds to the page loading time. That means, if you can host that code or that image on your own server, you reduce that http trip for your reader’s browsers helping your website load a bit faster.

For example, when you are promoting an affiliate product or a service, it is a good idea to not just copy and paste the code that is given to you. Instead, look if the code refers to an image and if it does, download it, optimize it using Smush.it and then upload it to your blog. This will help you be in control.

8. Split Comments Into Multiple Pages

If you are getting a lot of comments on your blog, it simply means you are having a good engagement and it’s a great thing to happen. Congratulations!

However, you may want to split your comments onto multiple pages because loading all comments in a single go will cause your page to load much slower. Also, loading all comments in one page makes your page too large.

You can set the option to break comments into multiple pages using your WordPress Admin dashboard by going to Settings -> Discussion menu item.

9. Reduce The MySQL Overhead By Leveraging WP-CONFIG

Some of the things that WordPress does by default causes your website to do unnecessary lookups into your MySQL database adding to the overhead. Some of those lookups can be reduced by leveraging your wp-config.php file located under your website’s home directory (usually the /public_html directory under your website’s root).

Also, when you are editing your blog posts and pages, WordPress keeps storing post revisions which occupy a lot of space and eventually slow down your MySQL performance.

Here are a few things you can add in your wp-config.php file to reduce some of those overheads:

/*** WordPress URL Settings to avoid database call each time. ***/

define('WP_HOME', 'http://www.YourWebsite.com');

define('WP_SITEURL', 'http://www. YourWebsite.com');

/*** Disable post revisions and keep your database clean ***/

define('WP_POST_REVISIONS', false);

 

WARNING: If you don’t understand this, then it is not for you. Do not do something you do not understand because it can break your website.

10. Limit The Number Of WordPress Plugins Installed

If you don’t know it yet, this is your opportunity to know that the more plugins you have installed, the more overhead your website is going through. While plugins are installed for a reason, it is important to know which plugins are really needed and which ones can be removed.

If you have a few plugins that are not serving a great deal, it is a good idea to get rid of them and help your website speed up a bit more.

You should know that deactivating your plugin will not help. Even if you deactivate a plugin, it is still loaded in memory. So, if you don’t need a plugin, you need to remove it completely.

11. Optimize Your MySQL Database Regularly

Depending upon your publishing schedule and the comments engagement, you may decide to do this on a weekly basis or on monthly basis. However, optimizing your MySQL database is an  important activity to help speed up your WordPress website.

There are two ways to do it and either way should work fine. One way is to use a free plugin called WP Optimize (or any other similar plugin) and the other option is to use the phpMyAdmin tool from your cPanel account.

If you choose to use the plugin, the work is simple. Activate the plugin and then go to Tools > Optimize DB menu item and click on Optimize Now. That’s all. It will optimize your database tables momentarily and you are done!

I prefer the other option because I don’t want to add another plugin to my website just for this purpose. This method requires me to log into my cPanel account and then start the app called  phpMyAdmin.

Once phpMyAdmin is started, select all the tables by clicking on the check boxes on their left hand side and then scroll down to the bottom of the page. You should now be able to choose the Optimize Table option from the drop-down menu. Select the option and this will optimize your database size.

12. Empower Your Website With A CDN Service Like MAXCDN or CDN77

There is a reason why I mentioned this option last. And the reason is simple – it’s requires you to allocate budget to do this (although it’s not much).

I don’t want to explain a lot here about this topic because I already wrote two detailed posts about the importance of using a CDN and how much impact it makes on your website’s overall page loading speed. For your reference, I am providing the links to those posts here so you can check them out:

As you see, I wrote about two CDN service providers through those two posts and both are great providers with great prices. I use MaxCDN for the obvious reasons that they are the best as I found out through experience. However, CDN77 is also a great service with great support.

You will see an immediate improvement in your website loading speed when you implement a CDN service.

Conclusion

As you follow these steps, you will not only make your WordPress stronger, secure and better, you will be able to give a better experience to your website visitors as well. When your WordPress website loads faster, Google will like it too and you will see improvement in your search engine rankings as well.

Therefore, it’s worth the investment of your time and efforts to get this done. I highly encourage you to pay attention to the details I’ve just shared with you and I am sure you will be glad you did.

Over To You – Share Your Thoughts/Questions/Experiences

Having shared a few important WordPress optimization techniques, I would like to know if you have already done some of it and what kind of improvements did you see. Would you like to share your experiences?

If this is your first introduction to this concept and you want to speed up your website, you may have some questions. Please use the comment section to ask your questions and I will try to be as fast as I can be to get you an answer.

Thank you kindly!

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52 Awesome Thoughts So Far, Add Yours Now...


  1. Twitter:
    I do agree all the step but I’m not really sure to using W3 Total Cache if user are using Shared Web Hosting, because It’s will crash the server since I have install W3 Total Cache for my blog host in Shared Wehosting, and I got internall error every time. Perharps you do have an alternative for cache plugin as option for shared web hosting user like me?
    Duke IskandarX Recently Posted: Rozita Che Wan Dan Zain Saidin Nikah 11 Disember 2013!My Profile


    • Twitter:

      Hi Duke,
      I would rather check with your host to find out what is the situation with their environment because I have hosted my this very website with shared hosting for a long time and I always had W3 Total Cache configured. I never had any issues when I was with GoDaddy and then with InMotion Hosting. I have friends who have hosted with BlueHost and HostGator as well and they have W3TotalCache installed without any problem.

      I tend to think that there may be something wrong with your database? Or, may be with that particular server?

      Anyways, you could perhaps try using WP Super Cache which also does a great job of caching. Let me know how that goes with your site.

      -Kumar

      Kumar Gauraw Recently Posted: 12 Powerful And Easy Ways To Speed Up Your WordPress WebsiteMy Profile


      • Twitter:
        Well I have send the ticket to my web hosting provided then they say that server hosted my website are shared with 50++ other website, so the memory physical are shared to and compete each other, so sad I can’t using W3 Total Cache magic on my website. Thanks for the reply anyway mate.
        Duke iskandarX Recently Posted: Senarai 12 Lagu Layak Ke Ajl28, Januari DepanMy Profile


      • Twitter:
        In fact, initially I was using WP Super Cache and my site was loading quite fine. The moment I switched to W3 Total Cache, the site became extremely slow. So, ultimately I had to switch back to WP super cache.

        I don’t know mostly everybody recommends W3 Total Cache over WP Super Cache but in my case the opposite worked better. Not sure if I did not do it properly or for some other reason it happened.

        Great points though. I need to work a bit on my blog images optimization also.
        Pankaj Chauhan Recently Posted: Free Responsive Web Templates – 60+ HTML5 CSS TemplatesMy Profile


  2. Twitter:
    Hello Kumar,

    I’m usually fascinated when a blog passes through Pingdom and read: 1.56ms or something to that effect. My blog has never loaded that fast!

    I have being trying desperately to make it load faster. I’ve actually tried to make things faster without the use of CDN services but I’m usually stuck.

    Then this article of yours came along! I’m going to be implementing your suggestions and hopefully, I’d see a change.

    Thanks for helping out!

    - Terungwa
    Akaahan Terungwa Recently Posted: IS YOUR POVERTY AN ACT OF GOD?My Profile


  3. Twitter:
    Hi Kumar,

    I couldn’t agree more with ALL that you’ve written :)

    Yes, I do use Pingdom, Pagespeed insights and GTMetrix from the ones listed and they give a good round up of how fast your blog is loading, though I check it occasionally :)

    I agree about the images and the fact that resizing it does help a great deal. I use Photoshop and Smush. It too, works well so far – touch wood! W3Total Cache and CDN are great combinations with CloudFlare, though sometimes one of them doesn’t work with certain plugins, so we need to be sure to backup our blogs, just in-case.

    Ah…splitting the comments I’d tried earlier, but sometimes people like to read previous comments and interact with earlier commenters and they don’t have the time to go back to 1-2-3 pages for checking those comments, so I didn’t enable that. I agree about limiting your WordPress plugins to the minimum, or else it just keeps adding to your load time. Optimizing your database regularly is also very important.

    Even the updates, if I may add additionally, we need to make sure we keep doing, and also take care of broken links by using the broken link checkers. I guess if we do take care of all that you’ve listed, our blogs certainly load better and that’s what our readers and Google likes.

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week, and a lovely new month ahead :)
    Harleena Singh Recently Posted: 5 Best Ways to Find Love That LastsMy Profile


    • Twitter:
      Hi Harleena,

      I agree with your thoughts about comments and this has been a difficult decision for me to make as well. But I decided to do it anyway just to ensure that the pages load faster with less comments to load.

      Although I might switch it back to the old style if my readers complain about it. But other than that, one good aspect of breaking comments into multiple pages is, people who want to read other people’s comments, will probably visit the next page (which loads fast anyway) and then, it will help reduce bounce rates at the same time :-) How about that?

      Thank you for your thoughtful comments and you gave me something to think about my comments as well. But, since you get way more comments, I take your feedback as an important one :-)

      Have a great day week!

      Regards,
      Kumar
      Kumar Gauraw Recently Posted: How to Install And Setup WordPress For Your Self-Hosted WebsiteMy Profile


  4. Twitter:
    Thanks for sharing these tips Kumar. I’m recently all in for speeding up my websites :)

    I find Smush it to be a great plugin. And yes, asking WordPress to resize images is such a bad idea. But sadly many website owners are using that.

    Cloudflare is a great option to increase the speed as well as to decrease bandwidth load. However, sometimes it can block real visitors off. I’ve had complaints from visitors and then I disabled it.
    Jane Recently Posted: What Is Wrong With Your Goal Setting Worksheet?My Profile


    • Twitter:
      Hello Jane,

      Cloudflare allows you to set your security level to “Low” or “Medium” or “High” and if your visitors were being challenged, may be, you should try setting it to “Low” and see how that goes. I have never got a complain from a real visitor in my last 2 years of being with CloudFlare and their Rocket Loader has helped me tremendously.

      On another note, you may only set the Security option of CloudFlare to “OFF” and still use all other features. Isn’t that amazing facility for FREE?

      Thank you for dropping by and sharing your experience!

      -Kumar
      Kumar Gauraw Recently Posted: Mark TwainMy Profile

  5. Hey Kumar,

    What a wealth of knowledge when it comes to different ways to speed up your wordpress plugin. I’ve heard of CDNs but never really looked into it. But then again I wasn’t getting a lot of traffic back then. Now I’m definitely going to consider since the traffic is starting to build up.

    I’m also making a habit to avoid using a lot of plugins. After my site was compromised and fixed, i deactivated and uninstalled a lot of plugins, and it made a world of difference! So now, I’m pretty hesitant when it comes to plugins. If there is a way for me to just add code, and if it’s easy to understand then I’m down for it.

    I’ve used w3 Cache in the past as well. I didn’t see too much difference as far as loading time, but then again I wasn’t getting a lot of traffic. But you know I’m definitely going to use this post as a reference, especially when my site start lagging in load time LOL… Thanks for sharing this great info.
    Sherman Smith Recently Posted: Does Money Really Motivate People?My Profile


    • Twitter:
      You are very welcome Sherman! I am glad to know you found it helpful. W3TC may or may not make a visible difference in many cases. But it definitely reduces the PHP processing time for your server and helps configure CloudFlare and CDN in an effective manner.

      If you are on a VPS or a dedicated server and have things like APC caching enabled, w3TC takes care of that as well. Basically, it’s a plugin designed to do a lot of great things and enable a lot of complex features with ease without having to install many plugins. However, I have also heard many people that they weren’t able to make it to work on their Website. So, it really depends… but for most, it works very well!

      Good luck to you :-) and also, if you need any help, please let me know. Shoot me an email.

      Regards,
      Kumar
      Kumar Gauraw Recently Posted: Leadership Lessons From The Life Of The Legendary Little MasterMy Profile


  6. Twitter:
    Hi Kumar,

    This is a very good post with so much information. I read it first thing this morning, but didn’t have time to comment on it then.

    I like the fact that you’re saying that sumsh it does work, because I’ve read that it does and then that it doesn’t, but what you’ve done is clarify the whole thing for me by specifying that it works up to a certain size.

    I will save this post as there’s so much to digest here.
    Sylviane Nuccio Recently Posted: It’s Not What You Do But Whom You KnowMy Profile


    • Twitter:

      Actually Sylviane, I was in the same situation for a long time. Smush.It didn’t work for a long time. But, since the WPMU guys took over, things changed and now it works like a charm under the limit. So, yes, you should give it a shot again :-)

      Thank you for the words of appreciation and have a great evening!

      Kumar Gauraw Recently Posted: Website Setup Education Online – A Powerful Course!My Profile

  7. Hi Kumar,

    Well this is so impressive! Because I’ve been doing research on how more and more people are using their phones to read just about everything, I’ve been wondering about my blog.

    I did check it and it is slow. Now, I won’t fool around with plug-ins because that is not something I ever do. I leave it up to the experts…like you my friend.

    A little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing, that’s why I really need to overhaul my entire blog. These plugins make total sense because we need our blogs to download quickly. One of my bit to do’s for 2014 is to revamp my blog. It is 4 years old and is just not doing what I want it to do lately.

    Thanks for explaining how these WordPress plugins work!

    -Donna
    donna merrill Recently Posted: Using An Avatar When BloggingMy Profile


    • Twitter:

      Hi Donna,

      I am glad to know it was helpful today. Four year is a long time to accumulate a lot of data, content and images on a website. I am sure you’ve got a lot of content on your website by now and it sounds like a good plan that you plan some cleanup activities in the new year. It’s going to be fun :-)

      Well, if I can be of any help, please let me know. if I can help, I most certainly will do!

      Regards,

      Kumar

      Kumar Gauraw Recently Posted: Website Setup Education Online – A Powerful Course!My Profile


  8. Twitter:
    Hi Kumar,

    Thanks for the awesome post! This is an area that many don’t know about or even give any consideration to, yet it’s very important. Posts like this can help immensely. There are a couple of things here that I didn’t know about so thanks for giving me a couple of extra pieces of knowledge to add to my arsenal.

    Just to add a further thought to the subject: oftentimes, when someone’s site is loading slowly, the first thing that is blamed is WordPress plugins, image sizes, etc. There’s good reason for this, of course, as these things are often to blame. However what we also need to bear in mind is that, with plugins, it’s not necessarily the number of plugins that we have installed that causes problems but rather badly coded plugins. You can have a number of well coded plugins installed and they will have minimal impact on loading times but it just takes a few badly coded ones to cause problems.

    The other thing that can contribute severely to slow loading times is a slow server response time, which is something we would need to contact our host about.

    Thanks again for the awesome and informative post, my friend. :-)

    Kind regards,
    Glenn
    Glenn Shepherd Recently Posted: How to Get Other People to Build Your ListMy Profile


    • Twitter:

      Hi Glenn,

      You are so absolutely right about the plugins and their codes impacting WordPress performance. In fact, I have 26 plugins installed on my blog and my site loads under a second in most cases whereas I know sites that have 7 plugins and they take 15-20 seconds to load. Number of plugins is almost a myth however, not having too many of them is generally considered as a good idea anyway and I, kind of, like to mention it simply because most people don’t know the details.

      Thank you for dropping by and sharing your insights with us today. Have a great week!

      Regards,

      Kumar

      Kumar Gauraw Recently Posted: The Rise Of Smartphones – Amazing Statistics [Infographic]My Profile


  9. Twitter:
    Hi Kumar,
    I love how you think. I especially like how one can use this information, even as time permits, to go through the list to
    make the changes that will enhance their website. I know that
    I need to look after image optimization, and that is one thing I
    will direct my attention to, as I desire my site to be even faster.

    I agree with you about the number of plugins as well.
    Too many create extra overhead, so finding out exactly what ones
    give your website optimal performance is very important.

    Thanks again for a very informative post.

    Have a terrific week!
    Bill
    William Butler Recently Posted: 10 Ways To Overcome Loneliness & Have A Happy LifeMy Profile


    • Twitter:

      Thank you Bill. This week is going to be terrific for sure with me starting out to travel to India just in less than 2 days time. I am all excited about that because it’s always exciting to visit India :-)

      You don’t have too many plugins and probably you are right about paying attention to images because when we don’t pay attention, they consume a lot of space and become unmanageable in the long run. So, it’s better now than later :-)

      You have a wonderful week as well. I am excited about your post coming up next week!!

      Kind Regards,

      Kumar

      Kumar Gauraw Recently Posted: Leadership Lessons From The Life Of The Legendary Little MasterMy Profile


  10. Twitter:
    Hi Kumar,

    Great write indeed! I think you nailed it with all those … insane tips!

    I have on question. I usually drop my images on Flickr and allow it to ‘pull’ back to my site. Is this recommended or I should just upload those to my site only?

    Just want to make sure that I am doing it correctly.

    Thanks for sharing and talk to you soon!
    Reginald Recently Posted: How To Configure CloudFlare Page Rules?My Profile


    • Twitter:
      Hi Reginald,
      From your website’s performance perspective, perhaps it is not necessarily a bad thing that you load up your pictures into Flickr and then just embed them within your posts. It works very well.

      However, I am afraid you are not getting SEO benefit off of your image because those images are being indexed (if at all they are being indexed) as a Flickr image by Google and not as your site image. Perhaps you are losing out on a lot of image search traffic because your images are sending traffic to Flickr instead of sending it to your website.

      Hope it helps?

      Regards,
      Kumar
      Kumar Gauraw Recently Posted: How to Install And Setup WordPress For Your Self-Hosted WebsiteMy Profile

  11. Hi Kumar !!!
    It’s my first time to see you & visit on your Blog. Kumar I came to you from http://www.aha-now.com/ways-find-love/ & I saw your Blog. Well let’s move on to This valuable post WordPress Post. Kumar I did most of thing which you have mention in your Blog. I tell you ! I have a WordPress Blog & that used to open very slowly but after doing some work now it open on right time ! I had install Total Cache WordPress Plugin so I just need to confirm, Does this Plugin help to make more faster WordPress.


    • Twitter:
      Hi Disha,
      Glad to meet you and you came from Harleena’s blog means referrals do work :-)

      Well yes! The idea behind W3TC is that it caches your blog’s pages on your server so that next time a visitor comes on the same page, your server wouldn’t need to execute PHP to render the page. That reduces the loading time of your pages significantly. Plus, W3TC allows you to enable Cloudflare efficiently on your blog and I believe that is a real game changer for your blog’s speed if you can get it to work!

      Good luck to you and if you need any help, let me know.

      Thanks,
      Kumar


  12. Twitter:
    Another great post Kumar. Always looking for speed! I still need to do CDN, which I remember reading a post on your site (great post too), and your #9 – reducing SQL overhead seems interesting. Couple that your audience may want to add to the mix – dedicated versus shared hosting. Obviously there is a cost factor with this one; And the theme you are using – not all themes are created equal – some heavy, some light. Thanks for sharing this with us.
    Gary Hyman Recently Posted: Connecting The Important Dots Between Your Ideal Client And Your Content Marketing StrategyMy Profile


    • Twitter:

      Hi Gary,

      It’s good to hear from you :-) I was thinking about pinging you on Twitter yesterday and then it slipped my mind. Thanks for dropping by!

      Yes, hosting is a big deal. A lot of people (including myself) get started with shared hosting and then graduate to VPS or dedicated service as their needs grow. Or, some move towards managed hosting services such as WP Engine or Web Synthesis. Of course it cost a lot of money when compared with shared hosting and so comes the speed along with security and peace of mind :-)

      And themes, oh yes. Some themes will keep dragging your site down no matter what you do. A well coded theme is absolutely important. Thank you for bringing it up.

      Regards,

      Kumar

      Kumar Gauraw Recently Posted: How To Choose The Best Web Hosting Service For Your WordPress WebsiteMy Profile

  13. Jeevan Jacob John


    Twitter:
    Hey Kumar,

    I have tried some of these methods in the past, so they are definitely on the plugins list for my new blog :D But, I haven’t really thought about some of these points (comments for example). I suppose the reason is I always got below 20-30 comments (My initial goal is to get more with my upcoming blog – averaging 50 comments per post within the first month of the blog).

    For images, I prefer using PNG (In terms of file size, it is a bit bigger than JPG, but it preserves the quality of the images).

    For plugins, I have tried both Cloudflare and W3 Cache. They are great tools, but they have caused me some trouble (I suppose they have improved now. So, I will be giving them a second try, let’s see how it goes :D).

    As for post revisions, doesn’t WP Optimize help us to remove post revisions? I don’t want to turn the feature off (It has come in handy a few times).

    Anyways, I appreciate the tips, Kumar :) Thanks!


    • Twitter:
      Hi Jeevan,

      Yes, optimizer plugin does the work of removing the revisions and if you are using that feature, you don’t need to turn it off. I don’t use the feature because I do all the work in MS WORD and only go to website to post it. So, I don’t really need revisions and one less thing to worry about :-)

      And yes, Cloudflare and W3TC have come a long way. You may want to give them another shot!

      Thanks,
      Kumar


  14. Twitter:
    Hey Kumar, You have so much information in this article my friend that I had to start taking notes! I did read some where that having to many plugins would slow down my site so I did go in and deactivated a few that I knew I really didn’t need. But I didn’t know that I had to delete them as well. I am on my way to do so now.

    I also have never heard of the site paint. net to resize images before I will also check this out.. Thanks for the great post. I am book marking this one.. Chery :))
    Chery Schmidt Recently Posted: Wealth Without RestrictionsMy Profile


    • Twitter:
      I am so happy to know that you found some of this steps useful for you Chery.

      If you have any additional questions, please let me know.

      Good luck to you and hope these steps get you a much faster website :-)

      Regards,
      Kumar


  15. Twitter:
    Hey Kumar,

    Well you’ve shared just a couple more things that I don’t think I’ve heard to do yet but since it’s not my area of expertise I’ll continue to hold off on that.

    For the most part I do quite a bit and I’ve tested my load time and it seems to be quite good. I’m sure there are always areas of improvement but as they say, don’t fix what’s not broke.

    So I do resize my images before I load them but instead of having a plugin smush them for me I use a site to compress them before I load them. A few people complain that’s one extra step they don’t want to make but to me that’s one extra plugin I don’t want to have.

    As I’ve probably shared so many times I get tired of hearing me but I don’t use a caching plugin. I’ve tried the 2 major ones and even had Ashvini install them for me because I just didn’t understand a lot of the settings. They did nothing but mess up my blog so my new hosting service said at this time it’s not necessary so thank goodness for that.

    I don’t use CloudFlare and I don’t use a CDN service. Again my hosting service said that they’re not necessary for me at this time. I do optimize my blog though and I would think that would help with the coding that you suggested be added for the MySQL database am I wrong? Are those 2 totally different things?

    Like Harleena, I’m not splitting my comments into different pages because people like to go through them even though at times I do have quite a lot.

    At this time I only have about 14 plugins so I try to keep them at a minimal. I’m thinking about getting one more but that will actually take the place of 2. Always looking for ways to cut back.

    Great share Kumar, thank you so much for this. Really awesome tips and I know others will really appreciate it.

    ~Adrienne
    Adrienne Recently Posted: How To Get Noticed In A Sea Of BloggersMy Profile


    • Twitter:
      Hi Adrienne,

      Optimizer plugin that you use, does help in cleaning up your database and I know you do that regularly, so revisions are taken care of. However, the code in WP_CONFIG.PHP I suggested does a bit more than that. The first two are there to avoid database query by WordPress to get the home address. So, that is for a performance purpose at run time.

      I know that you don’t yet use CDN and I perhaps you don’t need unless your website doesn’t show signs of slow load. Right now, I think you have done a great job of speeding up and without using a cache plugin if you are doing great, you don’t need to worry about it anyway :-)

      Thank you for sharing your experience and have a great rest of the week!

      Regards,
      Kumar


  16. Twitter:
    Hi Kumar,

    Wow, a great post that lists almost all the aspects needed to speed up a website. The best part is that most of the tasks can by done by anyone, even by those bloggers who don’t have much knowledge and understanding of the WordPress backend.

    Clean indexed sitemaps and robots is also loved by Google and using Webmaster Tools is a good idea always. I keep an eye on it quite closely, so that if there is something wrong at the site, it could be fixed instantly. After all, page load also depends on a site free from any kind of error.

    Thanks for putting it altogether and help people speed up their site.
    Ashutosh Recently Posted: Real and Active Twitter Followers Help Businesses In SMM ActivitiesMy Profile


    • Twitter:

      Hi Ashutosh,

      Thanks for dropping by and sharing some valuable information. Webmaster Tools and Sitemaps are a definitely important topic. However, I didn’t mention of them here because those things are not related to the speeding up a website. Yet, that is a very important aspect of SEO.

      Have a great rest of the week!

      Regards,

      Kumar

      Kumar Gauraw Recently Posted: Leadership Lessons From The Life Of The Legendary Little MasterMy Profile

  17. Awesome Article Kumar!

    I’m really happy to see your this Helpful article, I knew about this trick but some little bit, after reading your this post I’ve come to know that how to speed up our wordpress site. Well, I’m going to create my new WordPress blog & I’ll Install plugings which you have mentioned in your above Article.

    Thanks Kumar for making me understand about this Useful Post


  18. Twitter:
    Kumar, great points. I did not know about #8. I haven’t checked my speed in a while but I may wait til I do a redesign which I hope happens in January to start off the new year. This is one post I must put in my Listly so I can refer back to this one. I love using Smush it and I also optimize images before uploading. It can really make a difference. I’ve never seen comments going on multiple pages, another interesting idea Kumar. Have you an example of one? Thanks for these great tips on speed!
    Lisa Recently Posted: The 13 Most Memorable Blog Posts of 2013My Profile


    • Twitter:
      Hi Lisa,

      The example is right here :-)
      For testing purpose, I have enabled breaking comments into multiple pages on my posts. So, after 15 first level comments, my comments are broken into two pages. For example, right on this post, your comment is the 16th first level comment and it naturally went into the next page :-)

      I am not 100% sure if I am going to keep it this way in the long run or not. But I am going to try this for a while and see how does this work from speed perspective. I mean, for a blog that has 100′s of comments, this definitely makes sense. But for 30-40 comments, it may not make a huge difference. So, I’m just playing with it for a while :-)

      Have a great week!

      Regards,
      Kumar
      Kumar Gauraw Recently Posted: WordPress Is Not A Ping Spammer And You Don’t Need Any Ping OptimizerMy Profile


  19. Twitter:
    Hi Kumar
    Great list of speed options here. I use most of them, but not yet all.
    I have had some problems with Cloud Flare and heard others have too, so I am leaving that one for the moment.

    I am not sure I fully understand a one of your points though.
    When you say WordPress resizes your images what do you mean? I believe the images are uploaded and then shown at a different size by the browser and WordPress adds the size to the IMG tag. They are not actually resized per se. The big problem with this is we are loading an image that is bigger than what we need. And as images are the main page load issue, this should be avoided. Images should be resized to the biggest size required before you upload them. Correct me if I am wrong about the this.

    Also perhaps you should add mention of P3 when you say to not add plugins – because it is not the number of plugins that is the issue so much as what they are doing on your site. And you cannot really know, so its best to test with P3 and see if they are really causing an issue, rather than guessing. But of course having less plugins is a good rule of thumb, but just a bit misleading sometimes.
    Great job my friend
    ashley
    Ashley Recently Posted: Market Samurai Review – Get on page one of GoogleMy Profile


    • Twitter:
      Hi Ashley,

      Good to hear from you my friend! You have done a great job with your blog for sure (and yes, I solved my comment spam problem :-) )

      Alright, speaking of resizing of images by WordPress, you are right, they are not resized per se although WordPress does generate two more images from your original image and stores it in your uploads directory. But that wasn’t my point. It was about scaling of the image at the time of the page rendering. By browser essentially for the reasons you mentioned and what I mean is, uploading NOT the biggest possible size. Instead, uploading of the exact size of the image you need to display and also, making sure that “FULL SIZE” option is selected for display of the image while inserting into the intended post/page. Does that clarify my point?

      I did not add P3 because many times I have found it misleading. It confused me more than it helped, so I removed it :-)

      But you are right about the quality of the plugins VS the number. It depends on how a plugin is coded as well. But for somebody who is just starting out or doesn’t understand too many technical things, it is a good idea to have a thumb rule of ‘LESS IS MORE’ when it comes to plugins :-) What do you say?

      Thanks for dropping by and have a great rest of the week!

      -Kumar
      Kumar Gauraw Recently Posted: How to Install And Setup WordPress For Your Self-Hosted WebsiteMy Profile

  20. Hey Kumar.

    There is nothing that is more stressful while getting on a website and it loads much slower than it should. It slows down the overall process of getting things done, and I usually click away if it takes too long. This is very helpful for everybody that makes websites. Thanks for sharing.
    Spencer Recently Posted: How To Lose Fat If You Don’t Have A Great MetabolismMy Profile


  21. Twitter:
    Kumar, wow enlightening stuff! I have often wondered about what affects the speed of my site loading, thanks for sharing this, looks like I have a lot of stuff to look/work through ;)
    The Food Curator Recently Posted: #Free #Kindle – Man Vs FireMy Profile


  22. Twitter:
    Great tips here…am going to take note and the first one I need to implement is the images…never realised that would slow down the wordpress site from loading…! Always learn something usually more when I visit here Kumar, thanks and hope you are enjoying your holiday!
    Sarupa Shah Recently Posted: “Can meditation help heal my money story?”My Profile


    • Twitter:
      Thank you for the appreciation Sarupa. Yes, it’s great to have a vacation in the first place :-) and when the destination is India, the excitement knows no limits :-)

      Regards,
      Kumar

  23. Hi Kumar,

    thanks for sharing this information. I did not know about the option on WP to split up comments into pages. What a good idea. I just did it right after I read your article. I’ll try it and see how my readers will respond to it.

    I am going to add the info you provided to wp-config.php. I revise my posts a lot when I write and it always concerns me that all the revision files are saved. Honestly, I don’t see why WP is doing that and why after the post is published the revisions are not deleted.

    Cheers,

    Dita,
    Dita Recently Posted: One Thousand Dollar Day Club – Success StoriesMy Profile

  24. Hi Kumar,
    Can you tell me the ideal website loading time? Thanks for the helpful post.


  25. Twitter:
    You have covered almost everything that one needs to start optimising their blog for faster loading time…. One thing which also plays a major role is your server config… Specially for WordPress, nginx is better than Apache, and very few like Dreampress in low budget offer nginx server config… In higher budget one can look into managed WP hosting which is also a good option…
    Harsh Agrawal Recently Posted: Top 5 Social Media Sites For Online Marketers & BloggersMy Profile

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