5 simple ways to speed up WordPress site

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Need for speed in WordPress (re-visited)

There are quite a few ways to speed up your WordPress site.

Some are simple, others are not so simple for beginners viz. install Redis / Varnish for server side caching.

I will refer to both alternatives, one for those who are comfortable using command line and those who want to quickly gain speed on existing site using plugins.

I have already written about importance of speed earlier when I wrote about caching choices so lets go directly to the steps

I. Choose a good host

This often goes unnoticed however is very critical not only for speed but also for security in general.

There are WordPress specific hosting services which provide WP optimised default installations e.g. Pantheon provides Varnish enabled default WordPress site.You can easily add  Redis for object caching.

II. Optimise images for speed

You can do that manually using something like jpegoptim or optipng and optimise to acceptable level.

Simple command with target size like following will go a long way in reducing the size of image

jpegoptim large.jpg

You can also specify the size like following

jpegoptim –size=100k large.jpeg

However if command line is not for you, you can simply install smushit plugin.

wp-smush-it

III. Use caching plugin

Some of the most popular plugins are W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache as discussed in WordPress caching  article.

IV. Optimise other assets JS and CSS

For command line, these assets can be combined and zipped together using a tool like Grunt for developer workflow or you can use a caching plugin which has this facility.

If you have installed one of the popular caching plugins, most of them already have and option to minify JS and CSS.

V. Choose a good theme

Many a times, un-optimised and bloated themes hog most of the loading time of the site. If are a developer or designer, you can start with a starter theme like _S and style it as you want.

However for non-developers/designers there are two choices. You can either hiring a designer/ programmer OR if budget is a constraint go for ready made ones which are specific to your required category.

Bonus:

VI. Page builders come with a heavy price

Page builders simplify building / updating process for non-technical users, however they are resource heavy. Use them with care, if possible avoid them in production.

This is not all, just a start, to quickly get you up to speed (pun intended) with your WordPress site.

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