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Posted on: May 16, 2022

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Are you having trouble getting your website's speed to be within Google's passed requirements? Trying to figure out why your website is slow can be frustrating, disappointing, and stressful, especially if you're not an IT pro. We get it, which is why we are sharing our top 7 ways to optimise your WordPress website for speed.

Getting our WordPress websites to load quickly has been one of the biggest challenges Sharyn and I have faced with running our online businesses.

Having fast website speed is an essential factor of ranking in Google and should not be ignored or overlooked. We know this can be a tough thing to do, but we'd like to help you optimise you WordPress website speed the easy way.

We know these 7 tips will get you off to a great start, so grab a cup of tea and let’s jump into it:

  1. Why you should optimise your WordPress website speed
  2. How to check your WordPress website speed
  3. Install the WP Rocket plugin
  4. Check the size of your image files
  5. Use a plug-in to optimise your images
  6. Delete bulky plugins
  7. Choose a theme that is optimised for website speed on desktop and mobile
  8. Don't add lots of code to make your website 'look better'
  9. Use web safe fonts

Why You Should Optimise Your WordPress Website Speed

  • You're increasing the user experience of your website by not making users wait for pages to load.
  • For better ranking opportunities in Google.
  • If you are an online store a faster website could increase conversion rates.
  • All your hard work has more opportunity to be found by readers or shoppers.

How To Check Your WordPress Website Speed

Before we get started, head over to Google Pagespeed Insights, paste your URL into the bar, and click "analyse". This will scan your live website on both mobile and desktop and feedback the website speed and diagnostic results.

After your results come in, you'll probably see a bunch of errors to fix. I know you’re probably thinking this is a different language and I have no idea what a DOM is…don’t worry we felt the same.

My advice is to look past the 'techy' speak and first get stuck into our top 7 ways to optimise your WordPress website speed.

7 Ways To Optimise Your WordPress Website Speed

1. Install The WP Rocket Plugin

Install the WP Rocket plugin

Installing WP Rocket is the first thing I recommend if you have problems with website speed. Even though it costs money, it's highly affordable for an annual license, and it'll hopefully speed up your website a lot!

Most people see an increase in website speed. Depending on your theme and builder, you might need to tweak a few settings to get the best results. Thankfully there are lots of helpful tutorials to follow depending on your web host, theme, or builder. For example, Thrive Themes provides step-by-step instructions on how to setup WP Rocket.

WP Rocket is a cache plugin that helps eliminate a lot of errors you see in Google Page Speed Insights, like Reduce Unused CSS or Reduce the number of HTTP requests. You can learn more about its features here.

2. Check The Size Of Your Image Files

Check the size of your image files

For a lot of people, image optimisation can be confusing, I found it hard to understand at first. Images are a common cause of slow website loading times. If the file sizes are too large your website will take a long time to load, which will cause users to leave quickly.

Go into your WordPress media files and look at some of the images you've already uploaded. It’s best to try and keep your image file sizes under 500KB in size. Anything larger will really slow down the loading of your website.

Learn more about resizing your images for web use using a free or premium Canva account.

3. Use A Plug-In To Optimise Your Images

Use a plug-in to optimise your photos

You can also use plugins that will optimise your images even further once they're on your website. To make sure you get the smallest files possible, these plug-ins will try to strip any extra data.

A plug-in like Smush will optimise your images without losing the quality.

You can also convert your images to WebP format, which is a modern image format that's perfect for web images and provides better lossless and lossy compression.

4. Delete Bulky Plugins

Delete bulky plugins

A huge mistake we can make is using a tonne of plugins on our website. Having lots of customisation options can seem good at first, but it can do damage to your websites speed.

Plugins are often clunky and weigh down the load time of your website. If you can, try to keep it to a bare minimum by choosing a theme that's optimised for both desktop and mobile and doesn't require a ton of plugins.

If you have stock image plugins or the google analytics dashboard delete them now. There's no need to put them on your website and slow it down.

Before installing any plugin onto your website, ensure it is reputable and has good reviews online. Old or poorly built plugins will slow down your website.

5. Choose A Theme That Is Optimised For Website Speed On Desktop And Mobile

Choose a theme that is optimised for site speed on desktop and mobile

It’s very important to choose the right theme for your website. Make sure it's made by a reputable source or builder so your website will be mobile friendly and fast. There are some great affordable theme options by Restored 316 or you could use a theme builder like Thrive Themes.

Keep in mind that most people are viewing websites from their phones not computers these days, so it’s crucial to have a mobile friendly website.

6. Don’t Add Lots Of Code To Make Your Website ‘Look Better’

Don’t add lots of code to make your site ‘look better’

Maybe you don’t want to spend money on a theme or web developer to help you get the look you’re going for on your website. It can be tempting to google ways to add code to your files to make things look better but it can do worse than good if you aren’t an IT specialist.

It’s better to go without these custom codes as they can be slow to load and delay your website from loading as quickly as possible. Your users won’t see these cool features if the page wont load for them and they click away. Always think about user experience first.

7. Use Web Safe Fonts

Use web safe fonts to help optimise WordPress website speed

Did you know that there are certain fonts that are classed as web safe?

Those fonts are web-safe because they adapt to any browser on any device. These types of fonts make sure the intended font is displayed correctly on a web page, even if the font isn't installed on the user's computer.

Here are a few web safe fonts:

  • Times New Roman (serif)
  • Verdana (sans-serif)
  • Arial (sans-serif)
  • Arial Black (sans-serif)
  • Trebuchet MS (sans-serif)
  • Tahoma (sans-serif)
  • Impact (sans-serif)

WordPress website speed can be a real headache to deal with, but I hope these 7 tips to optimise your WordPress website speed has given you a good starting point to begin boosting your sites speed.

If you use a quality host like Big Scoots or Site Ground, you can speak with them about your website's speed, and they may be able to give you more pointers on how to fix it.

Let me know in the comments below if you found any of these tips helpful to optimise your website speed.

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About the Author

Online business owner and online shop creator. Passionate about achieving work/life balance and living your best life.

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