Speed Up Your WordPress Website In 7 Steps
This guide to speed up your WordPress Website is so easy that it can be done in less than 10 minutes and it can improve your website’s speed instantly.
I’ve been reading a lot of guides online about this topic and half of them are being written in a very foreign language for a normal blogger, and the other half are rubbish.
Speed Up Your WordPress Website in 7 Steps
Let’s start in Speed, shall we
In order to speed up your WordPress website, the most crucial techniques must improve your YSlow Score and Google Page Speed. My Target is to be the most efficient guide in a very small amount of time, as you are interested to save time. But sometimes, in order to get some haste, you don’t need to rush.
Speed Up Your WordPress Website in 7 Steps
1 – What You Need and What You Don’t
Go to your Plugin section and make a change.
Think about what plugins you need and what plugins you don’t.To be honest I am using no more than 12 plugins at the moment and I am very keen when it comes to install one. So, uninstall everything you don’t need and you will gain some speed.
2 – The Tools that we Need
W3 Total Cache is what are you going to use as a caching plugin.
Install it if you haven’t got it, but do not activate it yet. If you already have it, deactivate it.
The reason why W3 Total Cache is my favorite is that it’s the most efficient. Even if I am a bit rude, there is no other way to improve your Website’s speed that fast using something else.
WP-DB manager is a plugin that manages (repairs, optimize, and back up) your database.
If you have a database plugin, you should be aware that this one is the best one, so I would choose it if I was you. You can activate it, but do not run any process yet.
3 – Check your Website
Once you have done the tests, try to keep them saved on your browser, so you can check them later results, and compare them.
Install Google Chrome Browser, if you haven’t got it yet and install an Add-on called YSlow by doing a simple Google Search.
Run a test speed using this add on and try to save your stats for later. You probably haven’t got the best results if you are still reading my post.
Don’t worry, I’ll sort you out! I promise!
4 – W3 Total Cache
Now, go on your WordPress Dashboard and switch W3 Total Cache on. A sidebar called “Performance” will show up. This is your biggest tool to speed up your WordPress Website.
Go to General Settings and enable the following boxes:
Page Cache – Disk: Enhanced – in order to reduce your website’s response time.
Object Cache – Select Disk – this will increase the speed for highly dynamic websites.
Browser Cache – Enable HTTP Compression – this will reduce the server load and obviously increase your website’s speed.
Leave the other settings as they are and do not modify anything for the moment.
Now, go to WordPress sidebar in Performance > Dashboard and on the top empty all the caches.
Go to you Minify sidebar on the left and click it. Select these three boxes.
If you need more information about the steps you are making, you can click on the Help button on the top of the page.
When you have saved your settings, you will see the JS Minify Settings and the CSS Minify Settings right below. Now, you have to enable them both and add the list of scripts manually.
There is a lot of ways of doing it, but I will focus the most only on two of them (because it’s enough):
Go to your homepage, right-click, and select page source within your browser. Ctrl+F and find all the CSS and JS files that your website uses to load up. Add them one by one on the lists – Sorry, but there is no other way.
Go to Pingdom, make a speed test and you will see there all the scripts you have on the website.
BE CAREFUL though, you have to keep the same order as they load up to get the most out of it. This is why I recommend Pingdom the most, especially for newbies.
The good thing is that this method is not destructive at all. The worse that can happen is to lose a bit of speed, which can be fixed in no time by doing the process again.
Minifying is the most important process to be made in order to speed up your WordPress website, so once that you have finished putting all the scripts in the forms, save the settings and go to Performace > Dashboard and empty all the caches.
Now go to your Browser Cache and make sure that the following are enabled:
Set Last-Modified header
Set expires header
Set W3 Total Cache header
Enable HTTP (gzip) compression
Leave everything unchanged apart from Expires header lifetime box within HTML & XML to 691200 seconds and CSS & JS to 31536000.
Again the same process has to be done, empty all the caches and perhaps you should check the improvements.
If you are happy about your speed, which is improving, go forward because you have still plenty to do.
5 – Optimize Your Database
Go to your Database Plugin that you have installed at the beginning of reading this article and activate it.
The rest of the process is very easy, and it takes no more than 1 minute. So, go to the left sidebar, click on the Database button and do the following steps:
backup the database
repair the database
Optimize the database
In order to avoid doing this process every time over and over again, do automatic scheduling and set it to repair, backup, and optimize every few days.
6 – Compress Your Images
I am compressing my images using Corel PaintShop before I update them on my blog. But the license of this program costs, so I have an alternative for you.
You can do this online, by visiting this Free Image Optimizer Tool.
I cannot insist more around this subject because it’s pretty simple. Before uploading an image, compress it. You get more speed.
7 – Fancy a CDN (Content Delivery Network)
Once you have done everything in order to speed up your WordPress website, there are still some missing bits.
As you already know that a CDN is vital for your speed, this is why I am not trying to convince you to get one. A paid version and good at the same time is MaxCDN.
The free CDN, which is also good for small businesses is provided by Google, named Google App Engine.
Once you get that CDN, all you have to do is fill in the forms within the W3 Total Cache and everything is ready to rock.
A lot of bloggers recommend CDN and they say that is essential. To be honest, it is, but in order to get the CDN you have to afford it and you have to use it properly. I suggest you do some more researches in depth before.