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Jenni McKinnon
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How to Speed up WordPress by 300% or More for Free

There are a lot of tips out there on benchmarking website speed and how to do a Google site speed test to figure out how to do WordPress optimization and speed up WordPress. But, it’s easier said than done.

Some WordPress optimization strategies work well on some websites but not others.

On top of that, completing a Google site speed test is simple, but to do one with accurate results is another matter.

It’s essential to speed up WordPress because Google recommends that your website loads at least 90% of its visual content in a measly 100ms. Otherwise, your page won’t rank well and your traffic will drop.

So, here’s a practical step-by-step guide to speeding up WordPress through performing an accurate Google site speed test, then doing some WordPress optimization that will speed up your website threefold if not more.

If you would like to jump ahead to sections that are relevant to you, feel free to do so:

  1. Benchmarking Website Speed with a Google Site Speed Test
  2. Basic Strategies to Speed up WordPress
  3. WordPress Optimization to Speed up WordPress
  4. How to Speed Up WordPress by Three Times or More
  5. Did the WordPress Optimization Speed up WordPress by 300%?

Step 1: Benchmarking Website Speed with a Google Site Speed Test


Before you can Speed up WordPress through WordPress optimization strategies, you have to benchmark your website. This means figuring out how fast your site currently loads. That way, you can compare your site before and after applying WordPress optimization strategies.

You can do this with a Google site speed test and other tools to create a site speed test.

Benchmarking Website Test with an Example Site

For the purposes of demonstrating the process of benchmarking website speed for your WordPress website, below are the details of an example site’s specifications. You can follow along with your own site or create a site with the same credentials to test this process.

Keep in mind that if you choose to recreate this test website and you’re able to speed up WordPress with the strategies later on for WordPress optimization, it doesn’t necessarily mean there’s anything inherently wrong with any of the plugins, themes, and images that were used.

The reason for this is simply that the more you add to a site, the more resources you use on your server. This isn’t a bad thing, but it can also be improved with WordPress optimization to speed up WordPress.

At the end of the day, if you have the opportunity to speed up WordPress such as with the steps below, why not go ahead with it?

The Example Website’s Specifications

The example site has:

The test site has all the listed plugins activated, but not fully set up.

A blog post was also created for this example website for the Google site speed test as well as the site speed test with the other tools.

The article contains the following:

  • This photo by Ilya Pavlov on Unsplash in a blog post, large size
  • A photo by WebFactory Ltd on Unsplash as the featured image
  • A 3000-word excerpt of the Lorem Ipsum text
  • The aforementioned Duplicate Page plugin was used to copy the blog post 50 times

Additionally, a page was created and also was duplicated 25 times with the following:

Basic Housekeeping

Once your site is ready to be benchmarked, be sure to back up your entire site. This will ensure that if something goes wrong during the WordPress optimization process, you don’t lose your site.

Later on, concatenation and deferring JavaScript are covered as WordPress optimization strategies to speed up WordPress. Sometimes, these can cause your site to break.

When you have a backup, you can restore your site and try to speed up WordPress again.

Just be sure to test your backup beforehand as well to ensure you have a working backup that’s error-free.

If you don’t want to use the Duplicator plugin that was used on the example test site, be sure to use an alternate backup plugin.

For details, check out How to Backup & Restore WordPress.

How to Create a Google Site Speed Test

You can run a Google site speed test using the free Google Pagespeed Insights tool for benchmarking website speed.

First, copy your website’s URL from the address bar after visiting your site. Click on the URL to highlight it. Then, right-click on it and select Copy from the drop-down list that appears.

Example test site for benchmarking website speed
Copy your site’s address so you can run a Google site speed test.

Go to the Google Pagespeed Insights tool and in the URL field, paste your site address. Then, click the Analyze button to start benchmarking website speed.

Google site speed test for benchmarking website speed
Enter your site’s URL to run a Google site speed test.

Wait a few moments for the data to be processed and view your results.

The initial score you see is for the mobile version of your site. It’s out of hundred. The higher it is, the better your site’s speed.

When you click on the Desktop tab, you’ll see your score for the desktop version of your site.

There are also informative details below the score as well such as the time it takes for content to load.

Example Google site speed test for benchmarking site speed
The mobile Google site speed test score on the left and the desktop score on the right.

The test site scored a 74/100 for mobile and a 95/100 for desktops. Those aren’t the worst scores, but they can certainly be improved.

Why You Need to Benchmark with Multiple Site Speed Test Tools

Instead of only running a Google site speed test with Pagespeed Insights, you can diversify your site speed test. Doing this yields more accurate results because it gives you a wider look into how your site speed is actually doing.

The biggest reasons for this is if you see any of these messages after getting the results of your Google site speed test:

  • Field Data – The Chrome User Experience Report does not have sufficient real-world speed data for this page.”
  • Origin Summary – The Chrome User Experience Report does not have sufficient real-world speed data for this origin.”

The “field data” message relates to the fact that a Google site speed test only scores your site based on how modest devices would access your site. This means some users may experience your site speed as worse or better than what your score shows.

The “origin summary” message refers to the fact that the Google site speed test will attempt to check your website’s site speed against real-world users and data. But sometimes, it comes up empty and can’t compile a report with these details.

Whether or not you see these messages, it’s a good idea to test your site speed with multiple site speed test tools. But, it’s especially important if you see either of these messages in the results of your Google site speed test.

Run a Site Speed Test Multiple Times

One of the points of site speed tests that are often overlooked other than using multiple tools is that you need to analyze your website multiple times, then average the results.

This is true whether you decide to run a Google site speed test or if you run a site speed test with other tools.

Running a test once isn’t enough because your site’s performance can vary minute-to-minute and second-to-second.

For example, if you suddenly get an influx of traffic, your site speed test results will vary greatly.

That’s why it’s essential to not only use multiple or robust site speed test tools, but it’s also crucial to test a website at least 10 times, if not more. Then, average the results for a more accurate picture of your site’s site speed performance.

If a site speed test tool you’re using also has the ability to test your site speed from multiple server locations, repeat the tests multiple times from each available server.

This helps you see how your website is performing around the world and not just where your server is located. Your site speed is almost always going to be faster when you’re testing closer to your server. That’s why it’s essential to also test from multiple locations if you can.

So, take the time now to run several more Google site speed tests and average them out before continuing on.

The example test site has an average site speed score of 78.21 for mobile and 96.17 for desktops.

Benchmarking Website Speed with Multiple Site Speed Test Tools

There are many premium tools available for creating an in-depth site speed test. But, you can also use the Pingdom and GTmetrix free site speed test tools.

Both free tools have their limitations, but that’s why using both of these site speed test tools alongside a Google site speed test can be extremely helpful.

If you have access to a premium, robust site speed test tool, then go ahead and use that instead. Otherwise, you can continue using these free options.

Benchmarking Website Speed with Pingdom

Copy your WordPress site’s URL as described earlier and go to the Pingdom site speed test tool.

To start benchmarking website speed, paste your site’s address into the URL field, select a server location to start testing from, and click Start Test.

Pingdom site speed test tool for benchmarking website speed before applying WordPress optimization strategies
Enter your URL and start the site speed test.

Wait a short while for the results to load. Make a note of the score, then run another test. Once you have tested your site from different server locations at least 10 times each, average the speeds from each location.

In the site speed test results, you’ll see an overall score out of 100% along with a corresponding letter grade.

It’s followed by the total page size that was loaded, the loading time, and the number of requests that were made.

There are also more specific details listed below the summary of your benchmarking website speed test results.

Example site speed test results for benchmarking site speed
Average your Pingdom site speed test results for benchmarking website speed.

The example test site’s speed before WordPress optimization ranged from 1.5 s from a local server location up to 3.3 s for servers on the other side of the globe.

Benchmarking Website Speed with GTmetrix

Now that you have averaged the Pingdom site speed test results, you can move on to benchmarking website speed with GTmetrix. It’s another free option.

Go to the GTmetrix site speed test page and enter your URL in the corresponding field. Then, click the Test your site button.

GTmetrix website for benchmarking website speed before WordPress optimization strategies are applied
Paste your site’s address into the URL field and start the site speed test.

After a few moments, the results for benchmarking website speed will be displayed. You’ll see two letter grades paired with percentages, the time it took to fully load the page, the total page size, and the number of requests that were called.

When you scroll down, these details are broken down further. You can use this data to further troubleshoot specific areas of focus to speed up WordPress with WordPress optimization tactics.

GTmetrix site speed test tool example result before WordPress optimization
Once your site speed test results appear, you can see further details.

Don’t forget to run this site speed test multiple times and then average out the speed scores for a more accurate result.

The example site averaged a page speed of 2.6s for its fully loaded time.

Step 2: Basic Strategies to Speed up WordPress


Now that you have benchmarked your site speed, you can follow the steps outlined below to speed up WordPress with WordPress optimization strategies.

It’s important to note that depending on your host, your benchmarking website tests may look different than the site speed test results shown above.

Speaking of hosting, there are many basic factors that affect your WordPress site’s loading times. Below are other basic factors for site speed.

1) Reliable Hosting

Hosting is where your website exists. Your house’s furniture is like your website and your house is like your hosting plan. If your house isn’t built on a solid foundation with reliable materials, your furniture could fall right through the floor. The same idea applies to hosting.

Getting reliable hosting is one of the basic factors that can determine your site speed.

No two hosts are alike. Some are better than others when it comes to performance.

2) Available Hosting Resources

When you do find a reliable hosting provider, be sure you also pick a sufficient plan that includes enough resources for your site.

If your site is too large for your plan, your site will have intermittent outages. It can also lead to a dramatic decrease in your site speed.

As a general rule of thumb, if your site is consistently using about 90% of your server’s resources at any given time, it’s time to upgrade your hosting plan.

Or, do some troubleshooting or find a more reliable host if your site isn’t large enough to warrant such slow speeds. The reason being that this is an indicator of poor server performance.

3) The Number of Used Plugins

The more plugins you have installed on your WordPress site, the more it leads to your site being bloated. This is because more of your hosting plan’s resources are used to run your site when you overload your site with plugins.

Less is more, though, a reliable hosting provider can significantly improve performance to the point that you could comfortably have more than 10 plugins installed.

At the same time, if you’re using shared hosting, then 10 plugins are definitely too many plugins. On the other hand, if you have reliable cloud, VPS, or dedicated hosting, then 10 plugins aren’t nearly as damaging.

If you have more than ten plugins, try to eliminate some. If you have plugins or themes installed that aren’t activated and you don’t plan on using, uninstall them.

Or, find alternatives that can take care of an extra task where you were originally using another plugin. Just be sure those plugins are cleanly coded.

4) Uninstall Bloated Themes and Plugins

Speaking of clean code, it’s essential that the plugins and themes you use are cleanly coded. If they’re not, then it will lead to a bloated site and a decrease in your site speed.

If you’re not familiar with code and you wouldn’t know how to tell if a plugin or theme is cleanly coded, try to take a look at reviews and feedback. They can sometimes be helpful.

You could also search for recommendations from trusted blogs that educate on WordPress topics.

If you find you’re using a theme or plugins that are bloated, uninstall them.

5) Database Optimization

In the same spirit, you should also clean up your database from old post revisions and spam comments that you no longer need. Did you ever even need spam?

Great free options for optimizing your database include: Optimize Database, WP-Optimize, and Advanced Database Cleaner.

6) Remove Poor and Inefficient Code or Scripts

Along the same lines, if you installed some scripts or added code that’s inefficient or bloated, remove them. If you need them, search for better alternatives.

To check if the code is clean, the first step is validating it. You can validate your code for free using the free W3C Markup Validation Service.

7) Number of API Calls

If you use a lot of plugins that make third-party API calls, they could be weighing down your site and using too many resources. This leads to a decrease in site speed.

These kinds of plugins look like ones that display your social media feeds, for example.

You can uninstall any plugins and scripts that make a lot of API calls. Alternatively, you can use the WordPress Transients API to cache APIs if you’re not afraid of touching code. In most cases, this kind of caching can be done safely.

8) Optimize Images and Caching

When you upload images to your WordPress site, be sure you’re using the correct size that your theme uses to display them. If your images are larger than the required dimensions, the image needs to be resized when the page loads.

This uses more of your server’s resources and slows down your site speed. Adding page caching and a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to your site will significantly reduce the damage. But, using the correct image sizes you need is even better.

While you’re at it, be sure your images are properly compressed. You can use an image optimization plugin. But, if you save your image files correctly, you can impact your site speed all the more.

As a general rule of thumb, save your images in the .JPG format for photos and .PNG format for illustrations and screenshots of websites. You’ll see a reduction in file size. This means it’s less for your site to have to load or cache which can help with your site speed.

The goal is to reduce the image’s file size. So, if saving a screenshot as a .JPG yields better results, for example, then do that instead.

For details, check out How to Speed up WordPress.

9) Update and Secure WordPress

DSoS and brute force attacks both send unwanted traffic to your site from hackers. They use up your hosting plan’s bandwidth. In turn, this negatively impacts your site speed and can even knock your site and server offline.

Keeping your plugins, themes, scripts, and the WordPress core regularly updated helps combat these and other security threats that undermine your site speed. Not to mention, the overall security of your site.

Beyond that, make sure you have a solid security plugin installed to further help reduce the load on your site as well as secure it.

Check out How to Secure WordPress (2020) for details.

10) Don’t Use the WordPress Search Feature

A common aspect of site speed that often goes unnoticed is the built-in WordPress search feature. It’s not efficient and can seriously weigh down your site.

If a search is an essential part of your site, you can significantly speed up WordPress by using a dedicated search index. ElasticSearch or Solr Search for WordPress are both excellent options.

Other Important Recommendations

There are countless other basic strategies to speed up WordPress and for WordPress optimization.

A few of these include upgrading to HTTP/2, enabling Gzip compression, and disabling hotlinking.

Step 3: WordPress Optimization to Speed up WordPress


It’s also worth mentioning that depending on the size of your site, some strategies may not help as much as others.

For example, if your site doesn’t have a lot of images or content, page caching and image optimization may not impact your site all that much. That’s not to say it won’t do anything, just not nearly as much as it would for a content-heavy site.

Similarly, if you don’t receive a lot of traffic and your site is pretty basic, a CDN isn’t going to make too big of an impact on your site’s speed.

So, try the WordPress optimization strategies that you think will help speed up WordPress the most for your specific situation.

Installing and Configuring W3 Total Cache

Some of the best methods of WordPress optimization to speed up WordPress include minifying and combining files as well as deferring the loading of JavaScript, and CSS files, and applying several types of caching.

There are many plugins available that can accomplish these tasks if you don’t want to touch code. One of the best options is using the free W3 Total Cache plugin.

Installing W3 Total Cache for WordPress Optimization

To install it, log into your self-hosted WordPress site. Then, go to Plugins > Add New in the menu on the left.

In the search bar toward the top, right-hand corner, enter “W3 Total Cache.” Wait a moment for the plugin to appear in the results.

Next, click the Install button next to the plugin name.

Plugins page
Install the W3 Total Cache plugin.

After it installs, the button will change to display Activate or Network Activate if you have Multisite enabled. Click on it.

Plugins page
Activate the plugin to start the WordPress optimization process.

Basic Configuration for W3 Total Cache

Once W3 Total Cache has been installed and activated, it’s time to start configuring it so it’s ready to apply the WordPress optimization strategies below to speed up WordPress.

In the menu in your admin dashboard, go to Performance > General Settings.

Click the terms of use and privacy policy link in the admin message and read through it. If you’re okay with everything, click the Accept button.

Then, click the Enable button next to Preview mode under the General section. It’s a temporary measure to safely test out the settings. Though, you should test these on a staging environment before your live site.

Settings page before WordPress optimization has started
Accept the terms and enable preview mode.

Once that’s done, select the Enable box next to Page Cache. Then, click the Save all settings button.

Preview and Test Your Changes

Now, you need to check that your site still works as expected. To do this, click on the Preview button in the General section.

If all looks well, you can continue. Otherwise, disable the option by unchecking the Enable box, then saving all the changes again.

General settings page
Preview your changes before continuing.

Step 4: How to Speed Up WordPress by Three Times or More


Here are suggestions that are the cream of the crop when it comes to WordPress optimization to speed up WordPress using W3 Total Cache.

Not to say you shouldn’t apply the above advice, but these are quick wins that will likely make the most impact on a diverse range of website sizes and types.

These strategies alone can increase your site speed threefold, if not more.

Please note: If your hosting provider already applies some of these WordPress optimization strategies to speed up WordPress, then skip the corresponding steps below.

It may also be important to note that you can alter these settings as needed for your particular situation. Just be sure to thoroughly test them before deploying them on a live site.

1) Minify and Concatenate Your Files

Minifying and concatenating (combining) files can help speed up WordPress page load times.

This means removing unnecessary spaces and characters from a file to minify it. Because you’re removing structures that are beneficial for organizing code so it’s easier for someone to read, computers don’t need it to understand and process it.

So, removing these characters and spaces means it’s less that needs to load when the page is visited.

Concatenation means combining compatible files that are called on a page. This reduces the number so only one or a few files have to load instead of the greater amount of files that were originally called.

Applying both of these WordPress optimization strategies uses fewer resources to load a page. This means you’re able to speed up WordPress.

To do this, go to Performance > General Settings in your admin dashboard.

General settings page
Enable minification in general settings.

A message will appear that asks you if you agree to enable minification because you’re aware that it may break your site. Since you have preview mode enabled, your files can be tested before you apply any changes. Go ahead and click I Understand the Risks.

Then click the Save all settings. Click the Preview button as mentioned above to test the changes.

If something goes wrong, uncheck the enable box and save the settings. If everything works, go to Performance > Minify.

Minify settings page
Check the box to enable HTML minification.

Go to the HTML & XML section and check the Enable box, then on the Save all settings button.

Preview the changes to ensure everything worked. Disable this option if there’s an issue. Otherwise, continue by clicking the Enable box for the CSS minify settings option.

Minify page
Enable the CSS minification option.

Save, then preview your changes to make sure everything still works.

2) Defer Loading of JavaScript

When you ran the Google site speed test or the site speed test with the other tools, you may have seen a common suggestion after the initial results.

Suggestions like:

  • Remove render-blocking JavaScript
  • Defer parsing of JavaScript
  • Eliminate render-blocking resources

What these have to do with is the need to defer the parsing (or loading) of JavaScript.

Parsing is taking human-readable code and translating it into a language that the server can read and understand. In this case, we’re talking about parsing JavaScript.

Most commonly, JavaScript files are set to load toward the beginning of the process when a user visits the page. Some files are crucial to load first because they contain or direct critical elements of the page.

Other JavaScript files aren’t that important and can be loaded later without taking away from the main content and functionality of the page.

These less important files try to load toward the beginning of the process and end up creating a log jam that slows down site speed. But, if you set them to load later on, you can speed up WordPress.

In a nutshell, this is what it means to defer the loading or parsing of JavaScript.

To do this, go to Performance > Minify in your admin dashboard.

Under the JS section, check the Enable box next to JS minify settings. This will minify JavaScript files.

To defer them, click on the before </head> drop-down box. Select the Non-blocking using “async” option.

This will load the files asynchronously. Both the JavaScript files will load and execute at the same time as the rest of the page.

Then, select Non-blocking using “defer” in the drop-down box for the After <body> option.

Minify page
You can defer JavaScript files as you minify them.

Save, preview, and test your changes before continuing.

3) Adding Extra Types of Caching

There are also other types of caching you can apply to your site with W3 Total Cache: object, and database caching. These aren’t enabled by default.

Object Caching

Object caching occurs when database queries are called and the results are loaded on a page when it’s visited. The results are stored in a memory cache.

Because WordPress tends to have a lot of dynamic content that relies on a lot of database queries to load, getting a lot of traffic can quickly use up a lot of server resources. Caching them can significantly help to speed up WordPress for high-traffic situations.

To enable object caching with W3 Total Cache, go to Performance > General Settings and scroll down to the Object Caching section.

Check the Enable box for Object Cache, then save your changes, followed by previewing and testing them.

General settings page
W3 Total Cache includes options for object caching.

It may also be important to note that you can also install Memcached on your server and configure it in W3 Total Cache.

Memcached is a type of object caching and you can select it in the Object Cache Method drop-down box once installed. Although, this is beyond the scope of this article.

Database Caching

You can also turn on database caching. This is a great option if object caching isn’t going to work for your specific situation. It’s also suitable if your site is larger as it can dramatically help you reach that goal of speeding up WordPress threefold or more.

Database caching is storing database results to memory (a cache) so the next time a page is loaded and those results are needed, they can be served from the cache. Doing this is a lot more efficient and can save you a lot of server resources.

As a result, it can speed up WordPress significantly.

To enable it, go to Performance > General Settings in your admin dashboard.

Under Database Cache, check the Enable box for the Database Cache option.

General settings
Enabling database caching in W3 Total Cache general settings.

Be sure to save your changes, then preview and test them.

4) Disabling Preview Mode and Deploying Changes

When you have added all the WordPress optimization strategies you want to help you speed up WordPress, you can disable preview mode and officially apply the changes you made.

Go to Performance > General Settings and under General, click the Disable button.

General settings page
Disable the preview mode.

Then, click the Save all changes button.

Once that’s done, you’ll need to re-enter the same settings again. Then, click the Save Settings & Purge Caches button on the other side of the Save all changes button.

Did the WordPress Optimization Speed up WordPress by 300%?

After applying these WordPress optimization strategies to help speed up WordPress, run another Google site speed test, and also a site speed test with the other tools mentioned.

Run the tests several times and average them out.

The final average score for the test website was promising with a 98% average for mobile and 99.5% for desktop sites with the Google site speed test.

New Google site speed test after WordPress optimization strategies were applied
One of the results of the Google site speed test after WordPress optimization.

The other site speed test tools averaged at a total page load time of 900ms.

New GTmetrix site speed test tool example result after WordPress optimization strategies were applied
One of the results from GTmetrix after applying strategies to speed up WordPress.

Overall, the test site did have an average of three times the site speed and sometimes greater.

Conclusion

So, there you have it. You can speed up your site by at least three times with these tried and true tips. This is especially essential since site speed is a factor in ranking in search engine results.

It all starts with benchmarking website speed property before applying page speed strategies.

Did benchmarking website speed work out well for you? Were you successfully able to speed up your site? By how much? Are you left with any questions? Let us know in the comment section below.


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18 comments

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  1. Avatar

    Thanks for this comprehensive guide.

    My sites got attacked concurrently that ended up putting huge stress on my server. I installed All-in-One WordPress Security plugin and disabled hotlinking and this helps significantly.

    I also took advantage of File Minification and CDN and now my site is loading unbelievably fast (as compared to before).

    Thank you.

    Jeremiah

  2. Avatar

    Thank you for this great explicit article.

    I’m still trying to improve the speed of my website, however, I’m having difficulty to do so, there are multiple free caching plugins that i tried but none of them gave me the result i wanted.

    I have read in article of a website that seemed fast to me that they recommend and use “WP-rocket”

    From what i found out, WP rocket isn’t free, so before purchasing it, i’m trying to seek your professional advice if it’s worth buying or not?

    If i may ask what caching plugins are you using?

    Thank you

    1. Avatar

      Hey Yanis, from everything I hear about WP Rocket, it is worth it’s money. Check out their return policy if you are on the fence. Aside from that, if you are having problems with speeding up your site, I recommend you run it through a speed testing tool like Gtmetrix or Pingdom. This can show you where the problem lies.

  3. Avatar

    I tend to use a lot of images on my website and my website took ages to load. Even after changing hosts and optimizing images my website couldn’t load under 4s most of the time. I then learned how to configure a customized Nginx server on a cloud VPS. I also used a plugin called Webp Express for serving images in the webp format. By making only these two changes my website now loads under 2s and is handling over 200k visits per month.
    Also, in the Image Optimization section, you could recommend users to serve images in webp format as almost all the browsers except Safari have now started to support the webp image format.

    1. Avatar

      Thanks for the tips, Rahul! Happy to hear you figured things out for yourself. I have only recently started looking into Webp, so this might make a valuable addition. I will not it down for a future post update. Thanks again!

  4. Avatar

    Good article. But it misses one vital point if the focus is website speed; when you should not use WordPress.

    All real developers know (whether they like to admit it or not) that the biggest cause of speed loss is WordPress. It’s not enough to say the CMS makes up for it. That’s only true is the need is there to regularly change content.

    The real reason WordPress is so popular and used in lots of situations where it should not be (therefore slowing down 100,000s of sites that don’t change content more than once a month) is because lots of developers make use of WordPress over-loaded with plugins because they no extertise in web development.

    The best way to speed up WordPress is not to use it. If frequent content management and content changes is more important than site speed, then WordPress is a good choice.

    1. Avatar
      Nick Schäferhoff

      Hey Mike, thanks for the detailed comment and your input. It is true that WordPress is carrying a lot of weight around with it and that the system itself can contribute to slow page loading speed. However, the reason why the CMS is so successful is because it enables everyday users and non-technical people to create their own web presences.

      Sure, if you are a seasoned developer, you can easily put something together that performs better than WordPress. However, this kind of thing if beyond the capabilities of the majority of people, which is why they opt for a system like WordPress. Since that is the reality, in my opinion, it makes more sense to give them the tools to improve their system of choice rather than expecting them to rise up to the technical level of building something better.

  5. Avatar

    Thanks for the detailed post. I learned about a couple of light themes, few plugins to replace gulp and few lines of code to replace plugins by editing .htaccess.

  6. Avatar

    Awesome!! I agree image optimization does work, I learned this from Wpblog, and optimized all images on my site and it worked flawlessly.

    1. Avatar
      Nick Schäferhoff

      Hey Bram, thanks for the comment! Yes, few people realize the impact of images of page size and page loading speed. I once had a client post a 4,000px image on their site that they had shrunk down to 200px in the editor. It took ages to load. Good that you took steps in the opposite direction!

  7. Avatar

    What an excellent article. Great advice, clear simple language, practical and doable tips and all without links designed to make referral fees.

    Thank you so much WebsiteSetup Editorial!