This article will give you some tips on how to improve the speed of your WordPress website. Having a fast site is essential if you want to provide your visitors with great user experience and rank well in the search engines like Google and Bing which take the loading speed of your pages into consideration.
Enable Dynamic Caching
Adding Dynamic caching to your WordPress site will have the great effect on its speed. There are many services like Varnish and APC that can be used but all of them require a lot of server configuration and tweaking of your application to work correctly. This is why we at SiteGround have created a tool called the SuperCacher. With it, all you need to do is install a small plugin and enable the Dynamic caching with a single click.
Enable gzip compression
The easiest way to enable the gzip compression for your images, CSS and JS files is to add these lines to your .htaccess file in the root WordPress folder:
Use a CDN
Content delivery networks (CDN) are server networks that clone cached copies of your site on all of their location nodes. This means that when your visitors request your site, the cache of it will be served by the closest server location, rather than the main data center of your hosting provider.
Optimize your Images
Images are the essential part of every website. It is important to have them optimized. There are few things regarding your images that you should have in mind when developing your WordPress site:
- Use images with the proper size. Do not upload big images and then scale them with HTML. Make sure that your photos and other images are not bigger than the size you're actually displaying them in.
- Smush your images. Smushing them will remove all the additional data from your photos - creation date, camera used for the photo, GPS coordinates, etc.
- If possible, use Sprites for your themes. Using sprites is a CSS technique that uses a single image to show multiple design elements on your pages. This way instead of loading dozens of small images (making http requests each time), your site will open a single one. Sprites, however, must be considered when the theme is designed. So always look for themes that utilize sprites.
Leverage browser caching
Leveraging the browser caching means that you can specify for how long your visitors' browsers should cache your images, CSS, JS and flash files. However, if any of those resources is cached, your server will notify the visitor's browser and the cached content will be replaced with the new one. You can add the following lines to the .htaccess file of your WordPress in order to enable this technique.