One of the most important aspects of your site is your site’s speed. It is also one of the most common requests we will receive here at WP Helpout.
Here is a quick guide on how to increase your WordPress site speed.
The first thing to keep in mind is where your site is hosted. If you are on a shared hosting server it means that you are sharing the resources of that server with other sites.
Which means that if one of the sites on that server has a high surge of traffic in a particular instant, it will consume the server’s resources and your site will slow down with it as well.
Generally speaking a load time between 4 and 6 seconds is acceptable on a shared hosting environment.
If you are on a dedicated server or something in that genre you can expect much faster response times.
Therefore the quickest way to improve your site’s speed is to upgrade your hosting plan.
How To Test Site Speed
There are two major tools to test your site’s speed with.
The first and probably the oldest is called Pingdom Website Speed Test.
The second test is from Google called PageSpeed Insights.
You can use both of those tools in combination to get a general idea of how your site responds.
Verify your server response time and check which elements take the longest to load on your site.
If your server response time is 4 seconds and your site elements such as scripts and images load in 2, then you can safely assume that you need a better server.
If not, you may want to keep reading.
How to Increase WordPress Speed from the Dashboard
There are a few things you can do within your WordPress dashboard that can increase the site’s speed.
The first is to ensure that you are not running any plugins that fetch too many database queries or that connect to external sites.
Also keep your plugin count to a very minimum, don’t install more than 15 plugins as a general rule.
The size of your site matters as well. Within your WordPress dashboard you can check your image file sizes and ensure that your images are web optimized. Having an image on your site that is 3 or 4MB in size will drastically slow down your site’s load time. You can verify which images take the longest using the above test tools.
From your dashboard you can also determine which scripts are important and which are not.
For example your Facebook like buttons take a lot of time to load as well as other social media share buttons. You may want to keep only Facebook as a share/like option on your site.
Also within your dashboard you want to clean up your site’s themes, too many themes can clog up your site as well as old files such as PDFs and Videos.
Whatever takes unnecessary queries to your server think of hosting those files to an external site such as YouTube for videos or links to DropBox for PDFs.