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Speed up your WordPress Blog with these small tweaks

Speeding up your blog really effects your SEO, it makes your ranking better and enhances user experience. Following these steps will surely boost your speed score and speed up your wordpress site. It will give you a green (good) speed score in pagespeed insights and gtmetrics.

  1. Ensure your URL is not redirected

    If you are constantly getting slow server response in pagespeed insights, ensure that there isn’t some kind of redirection. Ensure that your url directly points to your wordpress index page. Don’t put your blog in folders and subfolders. It increases the server response time, reducing the server response time is extremely difficult to troubleshoot. Go to settings>general and type in www or non-www url, whichever is used more frequently.

  2. Choose a good theme

    If you choose a theme which is well coded, you already won half the battle, getting a poorly built WP theme to speed up is actually a lot of work. If you do not want to spend hours optimizing your website, just choose a theme that has a good score. There are 2 tools which you must use to see your site speed gtmetics and pagespeed insights. Choosing the most popular themes is a way to reduce your efforts as most top themes are already well optimized.

  3. Cache – Browser, Page only

    Cache, check out WP Total Cache Plugin for this, if it is broken and just doesn’t work, you can go for other plugins. Now see that the following options are correctly configured

    Check the Browser cache and page cache in general settings. You can also use object or data, but in my experience it slows down your server and rather increase your page loading time. Browser cache configuration should be as belowbrowser cache settingsleave the page cache to default.

  4. Minify – The correct way to do this is different for each theme

    This part will really boost your speed if done correctly. You can use the built in minify with Wp Total Cache, but at times it doesn’t work that well. Every now and then it is either broken or will give you a 500 internal server error, to really speed up your wordpess site you need Autoptimize or a similar plugin.

    Check the Html, Java and CSS options. Click Show advanced settings, to display advanced options and check the options similar to the ones below

    css minify settings

    CSS MINIFY Settings


    java minify settings

    Java Minify Settings

    Leave HTML to default.

  5. Use a CDN

    If possible, use a good CDN network. This is only required if you have a large website. Use Total cache plugin to cache files to CDN to improve speed.

  6. Optimize images manually if required

    If your theme does not automatically sets the correct size for thumbnails in your widgets and sidebars or sliders and homepage widgets, you can manually optimize them. Usually you would have to edit the code. After editing the code, do not forget to use a plugin to regenerate your thumbnails.

    Here is how to do it

    Find function add_image_size. It is usually found somewhere in theme functions, functions.php or some file starting with functions/ , use apperance>editor to edit these files.

    1.Use google chrome or Firefox and select inspect element by right clicking on the image.

    2.Now change the image size in code  add_image_size( ‘size-name’, width, height, true ). This code might be a little difficult to find, to do it you will have to manually check all theme files in the editor, usually it is inside functions/* or file functions.php. Just replace the original width and height with the required dimensions.


    Using inspect element in google chrome, natural size 720X340 and displayed size is 649X306, meaning image is resized to 649×306 to fit your screen dimensions.


    add_image in wp

    Edit size here, just replace the displayed (width,height) with the sizes that match natural (width,height)

    Note: do it on the largest screen size, i.e a PC 720p or better or a device with similar screen size.

  7. Make pages as small as possible

    To really speed up your wordpress site, you need to remove any bloatware, unnecessary files, images and widgets.

    1. Remove any unnecessary plugins from homepage, facebook like, twitter buttons can really slow down sites as they all download js and css separately, if really important, use a single plugin for social buttons.
    2. Do not display too many images and lazy load them.
    3. Do not display too many ads. It increases network roundtrips.
    4. Use text instead of images whenever you can, it increases speed and search engines are text friendly
    5. If not using avatars, disable them in settings>dicussion
    6. Check page size in gtmetrix, homepage must be as small as possible.
  8. Prioritize Visible content

    Little hard for new users, but you can use different available tools to recognize visible css and java requirements and inline them. Don’t worry if you are unable to do it, it might not be possible to do it in many themes.

  9. Ensure that ads are not slowing slowing your page

    Sometimes advertisement publishing can require excessive amount of data or several redirects, these might considerably slow down your page, try different advertising providers for optimum performance and speed up your wordpress site. The ads can take upto 7 – 8 seconds in some cases, this will really hurt your page rank.


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2 Responses

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