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HOW TO SPEED UP AND OPTIMIZE WORDPRESS SITES

How to speed up and optimize WordPress sites

WordPress is now a widely recognized content management system but 17 years ago it used to be a blogging platform with a limited set of features. The popularity of the platform resulted from many practical applications of how the CMS can be used by web developers. The system provides a lot of plugins and allows Internet users with any level of skills to create and edit websites. However, there are some pitfalls when the site that is built on WordPress gains traction. 

Before diving into the deep sea of the concepts of speed in the world of the internet, let’s have a quick look at what makes your WordPress website quicker:

  • Keep your website up to date
  • Keep background processes optimized
  • Do not forget about the importance of a CDN
  • Use lightweight themes to use fewer resources
  • Choose faster plug-ins

The user can face some troubles when he or she opens the website for the first time. The loading speed may be low causing the website elements to be moving around the page while the stylesheets are loading. Then database crashes and the server needs to be restarted to resume the work of the website.

speed up wordpress websites

When it comes to WordPress before the page is rendered the back end passes through the plugins and the theme. If the theme is written inappropriately, it may influence the loading speed of the site and result in the insertion of CSS and JavaScript without the need. In this article, we will review the ways how to optimize the websites developed in WordPress and fix the issues that cause the slow speed.

Contents

Test the speed of the site and analyze the results

The first step is to test the current speed of your website. There is a wide range of tools that you may use to find out how the site is performing now. Among these tools there are:

  • Google Pagespeed Insights;
  • Pingdom page load checker;
  • GTmetrix.

If you are using GTmetrix to test the speed of your website, you need to enter the URL of the website and then examine the results. You will see the total page size, fully loaded time, and a few scores from A – F. Also, the tool shows the detailed results for several elements of the website. 

Then you need to define the largest files. The most important results of the test are the total size of your web page that includes the following elements:

  • scripts;
  • CSS;
  • images;
  • videos.

You need to sort the above-mentioned components by size to understand which ones are the largest.

Compress images to decrease the size

The largest elements of the website are usually media files like videos and images. You need to get rid of the background videos if they are not necessary. It is better to use the video with low bitrate if it is played on your page automatically. 

optimize wordpress

Moreover, one of the useful tools to reduce the size of your media is the plugin called EWWW Image Optimizer. The images are often downloaded to your website in high resolution and then the size is decreased with CSS. This influences the bandwidth of your website negatively.

If you are using EWWW Image Optimizer you need to go to settings and choose the option “Resize detection”. After that, you will see the highlighted media that should be resized. You can change the size of these images in the editor or apply the Content Delivery Network with automatic sizing.

Minification of JS, CSS, HTML

Minification implies making the code human-readable by removing some characters to decrease the size of the web page. One of the very effective tools for these purposes is Autoptimize. After installation, you need to choose “optimize CSS code” in settings. If you are applying minification to the custom-made theme you should use the tools like gulp. 

Also, you can combine JS and CSS files with the help of Autoptimize plugin and the option called “Aggregate CSS files”. It enables us to gather CSS from every web page in one file. 

Analyze the plugins 

If there are too many plugins they may affect the operation of the web page built on WordPress. Due to the large number of free plugins for WordPress, web developers sometimes include some of them to the admin dashboard. You might remove the plugins you are not using permanently – so if you need them later you will be able to install these plugins again. 

Examine the power of web server

The server is the essential element of the website. If the server has average characteristics and bad maintenance, it will not run properly. You can analyze the power of the server by addressing the Google PageSpeed Insights. Then you need to input the link to the website and search for the “reduce server response time” in the report. If you see this caption in the result of the search, then the performance of your website is definitely affected by the slow server. 

tips to speed up

Try Gzip compression 

Gzip is a tool that allows reducing the size of the pages of your website before the visitor opens it. The browser decompresses the site and then sends the compressed version to the customer. You can try several tools to find out whether this feature works for your website. One of the most popular tools is GiftOfSpeed.

Update the version of PHP

To organize the perfect operation of the website you need to check the version of PHP you are using. Open the dashboard in WordPress, then choose “Server” and look at the current version of PHP. If it is 7.x.x or any older you need to update it to PHP 7.1.

Set up the caching of the page

If you want to set up caching you can add the new plugin that is called “cache enabler”. The plugin will help you to speed up the WordPress website significantly by saving the copy in the cache. The visitor will not have to wait while the website will be loading for the second time. In addition, the plugin is lightweight and turns the web page into the HTML file that is later delivered to the users. 

Photon

The diversity of different devices makes developers think about the compatible versions of the websites that would be displayed properly on every gadget. If you want the images on your web pages to be displayed correctly you may use the service called “photon”. You can find this service on Jetpack. 

Leverage browser caching

Due to the caching of the browser some components of the site do not have to be loaded again when the user refreshes the site or visits the site again. You can set up browser caching either manually or automatically. In the first case, you may use .htaccess, and in the second case you can apply the plugin  “Leverage Browser Caching”.

Load testing 

If you want to improve the website built on WordPress you may perform the load testing with the virtual visitors. One of the most helpful instruments for this purpose is Loader. When you are conducting the testing pay attention to the memory of the server and CPU.

Check the performance again

After all manipulations with the website we have mentioned above, it is time to compare the results and raw data. You may apply GMetrix to compare the outcomes with the initial situation and then you will see the changes in the time needed for the loading of the page.

Google’s core web vitals

Google announced that since June 2021 they will consider user page experience as part of the search engine ranking. 

This drastically impacts how often a website will be seen and is a worrying event for many business owners. This earlier stated “Page experience” will be measured by “Google’s core web vitals”.

What are core web vitals?

Core web vitals are a precise set of factors that Google finds important in a webpage’s user experience. 

This set includes three main metrics designed to estimate the quality of the “core” experience of a website, generally focused on if the website feels fast or slow to the users.

The factors include LCP (Largest Contentful Paint, focusing on the loading speed), FID (First Input Delay, aiming interactivity), and CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift, focused on visual stability). 

For a webpage to get the ranking boost, It will need to be in the green measurements of all three factors.

A quick list of facts, to get to know core web vitals

  • Google will be switching to 100% mobile-first indexing in March. Therefore, even though the metrics are technically divided between desktop and mobile, it is more logical to use mobile speed signals.
  • Data is collected through CrUX, which stands for Chrome user experience report, and it collects data from consenting chrome users.
    The metrics are determined in the 75% percentile of users. So if only even 3% of your users are in the “need improvement” category, your page will be judged and ranked as “need improvement”.
  • The metrics are not set in stone. Google is constantly changing how the search engines function to best match the user base.
    Google has already redefined the metrics for evaluating speed in their tools and with it their thresholds of what fast even means. And all this will change again in the future. The constant work of staying in the high ranks will never end, you did last year, you are doing this year, and to survive you will have to continue.
  • The metrics will be evaluated individually for each page. But in case of not having enough data, according to John Mueller, signals from each section of the site or the overall site might be used.
  • Now that these new measurements are added, AMP will be eliminated as a requirement from the top stories feature on mobile.
    The new stories will not have data on the speed metrics, so, probably, the metrics from a bigger category of pages, or even the whole domain will be used for this.
  • FID and LCP cannot be measured through page transitions, in single-page applications.

How will the core web vitals affect SEO?

There are already more than 200 ranking factors, influencing your website’s SEO. Considering how many page experience components are being currently used by Google, improving your web vitals, will probably not make that great of a difference. 

Yet, there is more than one reason for giving out a good page experience, ranking is just one of them. Regardless of how they impact the SEO and ranking, Core Web vitals are still a great way to measure and better the overall user experience.

The components of core web vitals

Largest contentful paint or LCP

This is the most simple out of the three to understand. LCP is about how fast you can draw the single largest visible element on the page. 

The largest element is usually what the user is after. It can be a featured image, the

tag, a piece of text, a background image, or whatever else. As stated in the name, it is the most “contentful” element on the page, meaning that it is the most important piece as well.

LCP is new and similar to how we used to use FCP (First Contentful Paint). But LCP is a better indicator of site load time, as the largest element is most likely to be the one the user is after. 

It does not cover all the information provided by the old metrics, such as TTFB, DOM, etc., But it is a simpler, individual metric that gives out a great implication of page load.

How to check for your page’s LCP

Your LCP will be described in the web diagnostics section of the page speed insights. If you are using chrome DevTools, take these steps:

  • Go to the performance section, and then check screenshots.
  • Click on “start profiling and reload page”
  • You can find LCP on the timing graph
  • There you can find the node, which is the element for LCP.

Cumulative Layout Shift or CLS

This metric is designed to specifically measure the visual stability of your webpage and how the elements move around. How the webpage jumps around as new content, text, and images fall into place. 

Although it happens way less than it used to before, I believe we all have experienced clicking on a website and seeing the images and texts, fall out of place and jump around, as new content is loading.

It can turn out to be extremely irritating, especially when you are already halfway through the article and you lose your place or are clicking on a button and the button suddenly moves and you see that you have clicked on something else.

CLS is a fresh Metric and extremely unique and different from the other metrics before it in many ways. 

But there are still a few bugs with this metric, one being that it keeps measuring long after the initial load of the page. Google is still testing CLS and taking feedback on it, so some changes are probably going to be made to smooth the overall experience.

Here are some of the reasons your webpage might have bad CLS

  • Not applying fonts and styles early enough in the load
  • Dimensionless ads, embeds, and iframes
  • Dimensionless images
  • Injecting content via JavaScript

How to check for your page’s CLS

Open up page insights, and under diagnostics, there will be a list of the shifting elements. Another option is to use a GIF generator called Layout Shift. Smashing Magazine provided an intriguing technique as well. 

They outlined everything with a 3px solid red line and recorded a video of the page loading to determine where the layout shifts were happening.

If you are using Webpage test, in FilmStrip View use the options stated:

  • Change your Thumbnail size to Huge
  • Change the Thumbnail interval to 0.1 sec
  • Highlight the layout shifts

When we tried this on our model, our font restyled between 5.1s-5.2s, changing the layout as the custom font was applied.

First Input Delay or FID

FID measures the time between when a user interacts with your webpage and the page responds or the browser processes that interaction. 

FID aims to evaluate the interactivity or responsiveness of a page. Interactions include clicking on a link or button, selecting a drop-down menu, clicking on a checkbox, putting text into a blank field, etc. Interactions like scrolling and zooming are not included.

Many users will not have an FID value as they will not interact with the page.
Unfortunately, this metric cannot be simulated, because it depends on when a user actually interacts with your page and how long that takes to be auctioned.

Lab test tools will not be able to test FID, as they are not interacting with the page as well. A better choice would be Total Blocking Time or TBT.

What causes FID?

There is only one main thread and JavaScript competes to run threads on it. This is what causes FID. 

The delay experience happens when a task is running, so the page cannot respond to user input. The delay will be as long as the task. The space in between the tasks is where the page finds the ability to respond to the user and switch to the user input task.

Real user metrics versus lab-based

We have already discussed that the core web vitals are based on field metrics or RUM, aka Real user metrics. Google makes data available in the CrUX (chrome user experience report) by using anonymous users’ data to feedback metrics. 

With this data, they measure the three components of core web vitals that affect the ranking. CrUX can be found in many tools, for example in the Google search console for your site.

It makes a great difference that Real User Metrics are used. Many Lab-based or synthetic web performance tools that have been the staple for many years (for example lighthouse) are used with high-powered developer computers. 

When it comes to RUM, real computers and browsers and user experiences matter; the results are not going to be the same. 

Lab tests do not mirror the real experience the users will have. Therefore Google will use real user metrics to test core web vitals instead.

How LCP, FID, and CLS are reflected on processors

LCP

Your page’s LCP is heavily determined by the processing power of the device it is accessed through, and the network conditions. 

Many more people than you imagine browse your page use low-powered devices.

But some experts believe that at least for sites with a mostly western audience, the devices used are probably more high-powered than tools like lighthouse may suggest. 

Therefore you may find field data better than what some of these tools may find. You can change the lighthouse mobile settings, so it better reflects how your site is truly perceived.

FID

FID relies on the speed of the users’ processors and the device’s ability to handle all the information and data it receives. 

This includes JavaScript, elements to the layout of the page, and many other things like images.

CLS

You would think CLS would be easier to measure in tools. You might think the differences between RUM and LAB don’t matter here as CLS is less dependent on the device’s power, hardware differences, and the network. But there are few things you might have to take into account:

  • CLS is not only measured in page load like some lab tools do but through the whole life of the page. The LAB CLS could be lower than the RUM version because the CLS is caused by changes after the page load that testing tools usually evaluate, scrolling for example. This can turn out to be a great source of confusion.
  • Many factors affect how a browser might see your page.
    While browsing people will face cookie banners, many use ad blockers, there is customized content like promotions, and much more. All of those influence how the content is drawn, and what CLS users experience.
  • Different devices have browser Windows with different sizes. Most tools measure mobile and desktop, but they often do not take into account the difference of the mobile screens, and desktop windows are usually larger than what the tools test.
  • CLS is still evolving and has a long way to go. The chrome team has been repairing some “invisible” shifts and other things that should not impact the CLS. This ongoing progress means that depending on what version of chrome you are using, you might see different CMS results.

Some experts suggest renaming the metrics in your LAB testing tools, as they might draw confusion. Many of these metrics are named the same, while they do not mirror the RUM results. 

LAB metrics should be used separately and not as an accurate representation of the RUM ones. Renaming them assures that.

In comparison to the previous web performance metrics

Another reason you might find the core web vitals confusing is that it is new and different from the metrics we are used to. 

Tools like PageSpeed Insights are easy to use and fast. You can enter any URL you want and in a few seconds, you will be presented with desktop and mobile results.

Lighthouse

Lighthouse at the top has been an established metric within the web performance communities for a while now. It sums up the complexities of many metrics into one key, easy to aim for number. 

The lighthouse score does have similarities with the core web vitals but it does not directly represent them and includes more metrics. At the moment the lighthouse performance score is the combination of six main metrics:

  • FCP or First Contentful Paint
  • CLS or Cumulative Layout Shift
  • SI or SpeedIndex
  • LCP or Largest Contentful Paint
  • TTI or Time To Interactive
  • TBT or Total Blocking Time

These six are not weighted the same. For example, although CLS is one of the Core Web Vitals, it only makes up 5% of the overall lighthouse score. 

This makes Lighthouse a not very great way to measure core web vitals. You could achieve a green-colored, high lighthouse performance score, and yet fail on core web vitals. To grasp a good understanding of the three metrics, you will have to measure them separately.

Field data

An alarming thing is that not only all three core web vital factors are shown in the field data section, but also First Contentful Paint. 

This may be something that is just in need of adjusting but it can turn out to be pretty confusing. We do not know why FCP is included in the field data section. 

It might have closely missed being a core web vital, or it may go well with the other three, balancing them well.

In case there is no field data available for the URL you have typed in, origin data will be displayed for the entire domain. This section is hidden by default if there is field data available for your URL.

Lab data

We have already discussed the six metrics that estimate the performance score. To get more descriptions of those metrics, you can click on the toggle, located on the top right.

You will find Largest Contentful Paint and Cumulative Layout Shift labeled with a blue mark as they are both very important. 

You must keep in mind though that both of them are lab versions and will not be accurate as we already said. 

PageSpeed Insights has a greatly helpful calculator link as well, that lets you view how these scores affect the total score. You can also adjust them to see how the improvement of each metric will influence your score.

Lighthouse executes over 50 other checks on extra opportunities and diagnostics. These diagnostic do not affect the overall score but are mere suggestions on how to improve your site performance. 

You can find these suggestions listed below all the other metrics.

These diagnostic are amazing pieces of information for performance optimization. They present the LCP element and shifts that affect your CLS score.

How to view your website’s core web vitals

To get a look at how Google perceives the core web vitals on your website, use Google Search Console. 

Although there have been complaints about the data updates on the products, it is free, relatively easy to use, and lets you see what Google sees. But the way most people still prefer to do it is by checking their URL on PageSpeed Insights.

SEO teams have been using Google Search Console for a while now aiming for WordPress speed optimization. 

But with the increasing importance of Core Web Vitals, it should now be used by developer teams as well. All needed to access the product are a Google account and the verification of your ownership of the site.

Google is going to apply Core web vital ranking to mobile for now, but they will surely proceed to include desktop later on as well.

To be considered passing the test, you want all your pages to be green. You should not have reds or yellows. 

Yellows are the second best and mean that you are fairly close to passing, but they should not be what you settle for. 

Getting all greens is what earns you the benefits. You can click on a report to see which of the core web vitals have failed and received an example affected URL.

Most pages of a website will have similar problems, this makes it easier to fix them and lessen the number of URLs that do not pass. A great feature the Google search console offers is the grouping of URLs into buckets, allowing you to address similar pages at once. It is your choice afterward whether you need all your pages passing or a few key ones.

The Chrome User Experience, also known as CrUx

You might find yourself frustrated after fixing the Core Web Vitals report a few times and not seeing an impact on the results. 

Although the graph is updated daily, it does not update when you have changed some stuff and made some repairs. PageSpeed Data shows the URL failing as well.

The reason this happens is that the field data is based on the last 28 days of data in CrUX, and only 75% of that data! 

This allows a more accurate reflection of the performance and removes variances and extremes.

How to increase WordPress speed

It does not matter how well put together and contentful your WordPress website is, as long as it is not fast as well. 

Speed can be the entire undoing of all the work that you have put into your website. Your website needs to load in under three seconds.

Why? It will make you lose your audience! 53% of mobile users bounce off a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. More than 87% of carts are abandoned it takes two seconds or more for them to load.

And at last, when a site is slow, people are less likely to return. 79% of users who do not have a satisfying experience with a website do not make another purchase there.

Ways to make WordPress faster

Well, there are many things you can do to achieve a faster load speed after doing a speed test.

Optimizing your hosting

The perfect hosting can speed up your WordPress site a lot. While searching for your ideal hosting, you should ensure that it fits the size of your site and is capable of handling your traffic levels. 

You should keep in mind that with progress, comes bigger traffic, your hosting must have the ability to handle increased traffic levels as well. 

Also, keep in mind to check if your hosting is configured properly and runs the best and latest hardware and software.

WordPress size

Loading speed may be affected by the size of your site. You will want to size your site down as much as possible, through suitable hosting and proper optimization.

 This way you will not have to sacrifice the user experience, and the website quality.

A generally minimalistic approach

Anything that is not absolutely needed is better to be removed. The main focus point should be content and functionality. Especially your website homepage must be super simple and fast. 

It should be optimized to load as quickly as possible; it will lower your bounce off a lot. A simple way to achieve this is to reduce the total number of posts and show only excerpts of content. 

Anything, even something as small as a widget should only be there if it is useful to the users.

High-quality WordPress theme

If your theme is badly coded, you will find your load time increased. The security of your website will be threatened, and it will require way more plugins to earn a moderate level of control over the theme.

Bad choice of plugins

Minimalism in web development includes plugins as well. Plugins will only slow down your site if they are unnecessary, inactive, out modeled, and bloated.

How do plugins interact with and optimize your WordPress

There are various key features that WordPress plugins focus on. Including cache, deferring scripts, WordPress HeartBeat API, reducing or disabling Ajax, CDNs, minification, concatenation, lazy loading.

Cache

Caching is one of the most popular practices to get your WordPress website to load faster and also generally perform better.

What is cache?

The term cache is referred to the data that is saved temporarily to provide fast access upon request. Usually, computers have to go through many processes to get information.

Cache speeds up this operation by saving the most commonly accessed data in temporary storage and providing it on demand. 

WordPress websites are capable of this as well. When you visit a WordPress website, you gather data and perform several functions, before the site shows up on your browser. 

This is because of the amount of data they store as CMS or content management systems. But if you use a cache plugin, you will be able to skip many of these steps, by just making a copy of a page, after you have visited it for the first time. 

This may create a significant difference and that is what makes caching so popular.

What is Ajax?

aJax updates parts and pieces of the page, without reloading it completely. Although Ajax might be a little hard on your CPU, it can also be extremely handy.

What does deferring scripts mean?

This means classifying your files, in a matter that CSS or JavaScript files are the last to load, making your website more quickly accessible to visitors.

What is WordPress HeartBeat API?

HeartBeat API is a simple server polling API. It makes real-time frontend updates possible and controlling it will decrease your CPU usage and maintain your Ajax at a manageable amount.

What is a CDN?

CDN makes it easier to access a WordPress site, by providing you the data from a server that is the closest to you. 

CDN stands for the content distribution network. It is a network of servers, laid out across a geographic location, saving time by delivering the content to you through the closest one.

What is minification?

Minification decreases the page load time, by eliminating redundant and excessive content in CSS, JavaScript, and HTML files.

What is concatenation?

Concatenation lessens the number of your site requests, by merging separate files into one.

What is lazy loading?

Loading a complete webpage takes longer than loading only a part of it. Lazy loading loads only the parts that the visitor is viewing right at that moment.

The best speed plugins for WordPress

Jetpack boost

Jetpack boost is a plugin that was recently released by automatic to help you achieve a better core web vitals score.

It is a free plugin, constantly getting upgrades and new features. It may also include some premium features in the future, but it aims to be useful in both the premium and the free versions.

According to automatic, jetpack boost is not made for live production sites. It strives to be the easy, one-click solution to boost speed and core web vitals metrics. 

It does not require much technical awareness to be able to use Jetpack boost. The alpha version currently speeds up three areas, but the program has just developed and will probably extend. The current main three features are:

  • Local critical CSS
  • Defer non-essential JavaScript
  • Lazy image loading

Local critical CSS

CSS stands for cascading style sheets and is a code that determines how a browser styles a webpage. Any aesthetic and style factor, such as the width of the page, the font’s colors and sizes, and the size of images. 

It also stops users from rendering a webpage before the CSS is completely downloaded.

Critical CSS creates the perception of a fast load, by extracting the CSS necessary for showing the content above the fold. 

The extracted CSS will also be inlined, meaning that it will be placed in the web page code instead of being put in a different file.

Defer non-essential JavaScript

In this case, differ refers to a JavaScript attribute.

While elements are like building blocks of a web page, an attribute is a modifier of an HTML element. The JavaScript element has a defer element. 

The defer element orders the browser to continue building the page while downloading the JavaScript at the same time. It also tells the browser to not run the JavaScript, until the page has been completely rendered and downloaded otherwise. 

The defer attribute is used concerning non-critical JavaScript, for example, a video at the end of the page.

Lazy image downloading

As stated earlier, lazy downloading (in this case lazy image downloading) allows a webpage o to be rendered, without every single image being downloaded first. It only downloads the images that are within a browser’s screen view.

Simplicity

Jetpack boost is an extremely easy plugin to use. You install it, turn on the module that you need and that is it. You have to keep in mind though that this is still only the alpha version and not the final one.

 It is not meant to be tested on live sites and if you have a lot of custom JavaScript you must check that the defer javascript feature does not mess it up.

The 1.0 version will be released in a few weeks and more features are going to be added to the plugin in the future.

WP rocket

WP rocket provides a relatively easy-to-understand setup process. It offers many great features along with the caching functionality you would expect from a plugin like this. Although it is mostly represented as caching plugin, it offers way more features, such as database optimization, lazy loading, and the ability to host google analytics code. 

It also defers non-essential JavaScript, which can greatly affect your webpage speed. WP rocket provides most of your plugin needs all at once, so you don’t lower your load speed with unnecessary plugins. It is a paid app and the price starts from 49$.

Features:

  • Page caching
  • Cache pre-load
  • Advanced cashing rules
  • Minifying CSS, HTML and JavaScript
  • Database optimization
  • CDN integration
  • Google analytics integration to load the code from your server
  • Delay JavaScript execution time
  • User-friendly interface
  • Image lazy loading
  • Direct Cloudflare integration
  • Settings import and export

And more!

Perfmatters

Perfmatters takes a minimalistic approach and helps eliminate the unnecessary options WordPress has, that slow down performance. You can disable as many of those options as you find suitable easily. 

This plugin also allows you to disable the non-essential HTTP requests that are the main reason for a slow load speed. With Perfmatters, you also become able to disable these scripts on each page separately. This allows you to stop plugins from loading not-needed codes.

Along with all that, Perfmatters also has many performance-boosting features such as DNS prefetch, pre-connect, local Google Analytics script hosting, etc. Perfmatters is also not free and the costs start from 24.95$ a year.

Features

  • Goes well with an existing caching plugin
  • Disabling WordPress options that are weighing your site down
  • Disabling scripts on each post and page
  • It is very lightweight
  • Heartbeat control
  • Rest API control
  • Supports advanced performance-boosting functionalities, for example, DNS prefetch and reconnect

NitroPack

Nitropack does it all at once. The concept behind this platform is to replace having several plugins doing different tasks and have one tool, that does it all for you. 

It aims to simplify the process of speeding up websites, and having to manually decide what to optimize.

After installing the connector plugin, you decide how harsh do you want the optimizations to be. Then it will be all done automatically. 

Nitro pack will implement a global CDN, minification, compression, image optimization, various caching types, deferring of JavaScript, DNS prefetch, etc. 

What Is more, nine of these optimizations are run on your servers, so your server usage is heavily lessened.

This plugin can optimize your core web vitals, time to first byte or TTFB, your main thread work, and more. Nitropack can do it all for you automatically, but you can also customize the settings to see even more huge improvements. 

This plugin is free for very small sites or testing purposes, but a powered-by badge will be added to your footer. With paid plans, the badge is removed, and more resources are accessed.

Features:

  • Automation of website optimization
  • Supported by WordPress and other CMS
  • Defer JavaScript loading
  • DNS prefetching
  • HTML, JS, and CSS minification
  • HTML, CSS and JS compression
  • Convert images to next-gen formats
  • Automated image optimization
  • Global CDN included and automatically configured 

WP fastest cache

A performance plugin concentrated on caching. This plugin is simple, but just the right amount. After you have installed it, you go to the settings, click on save, and it is done. It also includes nice details, such as the ability to set an expiration time for certain URL strings.

Over a million users are using this plugin, and it has great reviews on wordpress.org. This plugin is free, but they also offer a premium version with extra features.

Features:

  • Simple setup and installation
  • Minify CSS and HTML
  • You can exclude some post and domains (for example the admin area is excluded by default)
  • CDN integration
  • You can clear cache and/ or minified CSS, etc by only one click

 Cache enabler

Cache enabler is a lightweight caching plugin, created by the KeyCDN team. It is easy to use, easy to install and set up. 

You can set the cache expiry time, minification setup, and more. It is a base plugin, which means can be combined with others to achieve customized results.

If you need a content delivery network service to go well with this one, CDN Enabler from the same team is a great option. Cache enabler is free.

Features:

  • Minimalistic
  • Simple setup
  • Optimize cache behavior
  • Minification feature
  • Set expiration times
  • Set post ID’s to exclude from cache

WP super cache

One of the most popular and widely used WordPress plugins, at the moment. It is simple and anyone caN use it but has some more advanced options for anyone who wants more. WP super cache is free.

Features:

  • Serve static HTML files
  • Support for multiple caching types (Mod_Rewrite, PHP, and Legacy)
  • Cache preload
  • CDN support

WordPress Frameworks

A WordPress Framework is a set of core codes that contain some basic features and design elements of the website.

After WordPress is in its place, you can start to develop the theme of the website.

In conclusion

Your website’s performance speed and page load, are determining factors in its success. In this article, we provided you with a list of solutions to better your site speed. Google has introduced a new ranking factor called core web vitals that is going to affect rankings since June 2021.

Although we are not certain of the extent and hows of this factor, the web development world is readying itself to keep up with it. We also discussed the best plugins for WordPress, and many of them have upgraded to include core web vitals. 

There are so many options and tools to try out there it can be even fun! Good luck!between

FAQS

How to speed up and optimize WordPress sites?

There are many things you can fidget with to speed up your website. Here is an example list:
Keep your WordPress site decluttered and minimalistic
Remember to always update your website
Optimize the background operations
Use excerpts on homepage and archives
Organize your comments into pages
Use a CDN, aka content delivery network
Do not host audio and video files directly on your website
Make sure your theme is optimized for speed
Split long posts into fidgets
Choose faster plugins
Reduce unnecessary external HTTP requests
Optimize your database so that you do not store junk
Lazy loading is a great solution, especially if you have a lot of visuals
And more!

How can I speed up my WordPress site without plugins?

A lot of WordPress website speed optimization is done off plugins. It is in the way that your website is coded, designed, and managed. The list does not differ from the one stated above.
Split your comments into pages
Keep your site tidy and minimalistic
Make sure your site is always updated
Split long posts into fidgets
Do not host audio and video files directly on your website
Make sure your theme is optimized for speed
Use a CDN
Clean up your database
minimize image sizes
minimize external links
And more!

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