How to Speed up Your WordPress Site Performance 2023

Is a critical factor?. Is it possible to speed up my WordPress site with all these images, videos and embeds?

How to Speed up Your WordPress Site Performance 2023

Let’s start with 2 simple yet critical questions. Why website speed is a critical factor?. Is it possible to speed up my WordPress site with all these images, videos and embeds?

The reason I started caring about page speed was when google indicated it as one of the signals used by its algorithm to rank pages.

Site speed also affects user experience, fewer crawl by search engine bots, high bounce rate and negative affect on conversion.

According to Google page load time under 3 seconds is ideal.

Yes, it possible to speed up your wordpress site.

To know how keep reading.

By the end you will have a clear idea about what to do and what not to do.

You will be presented with tools, tricks and plugins to achieve a super fast website.

How to find what slows our desktop and mobile site?

Test the current load time of website pages.

Testing page speed is important because speed changes from page to page depending on the page size, requests it generates, page cache, and content type.

Website Hosting, cruft Plugin and template, External Scripts and poor WordPress configuration can affect the site speed as a whole.

Test WordPress Page Speed using tools like :

  3. Google PageSpeed Insights
  4. Wp speed fix
  5. TTFB checker (Time to first-byte checker)
  6. GTMetrix
  8. Test My Site  (Mobile Site Performance)

And find what makes the site loading speed.

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Steps to speed up your WordPress site speed.

Step 1:

Choose a Good WordPress hosting provider.

If the website suffers Unexpected Downtime, Slow Performance after optimization, unable to handle traffic spikes, low security and no support for the latest version of PHP (PHP 7) its is a good time to change the hosting.

Customer Support is another important aspect to consider while choosing a hosting service.

Choose the server location closest to your idle audience. If your primary audience is in the USA choose a server located there.

Also, Check if the Website and the Database are in the Same Data Center because of this improves performance.

Choose between shared hosting, VPS hosting or Dedicated server depending on your website need.

Shared hosting is good for small companies but certain resources like CPU, disk space, and RAM with other sites hosted on the same server.

On VPS hosting you have your dedicated portion of the server’s resources but it also shares the server with other sites.

With a dedicated server, resources are available just for your site.

It is suitable for eCommerce websites.

kinsta is a Premium managed WordPress hosting provider for a small or large website.

Step 2

Install a functional caching plugin.

A technique in which part or most of the recently used Web pages and data are temporarily stored in a Web browser once you visit the site is called Browser caching.

This increase a user’s browsing speed by reducing HTTP request to the server.

You can try plugins like W3 Total CacheWP RocketWP Fastest Cache,  WP Super CacheBreeze etc.

Step 3:

Use a CDN (Content Delivery Network)

By definition, CDN is a globally distributed network of web servers or Points of Presence (PoP) whose purpose is to provide faster content delivery.

It means the contents of our webpage like images, Html, CSS, js files

etc are duplicated and stored throughout CDN servers.

When a visitor requests a website page, resources are provided b the server geographically located close to the Visitor improving page load speed.

Amazon CloudFront, Google Cloud CDN, Microsoft Asure, StackPath, Cloudflare are few of the main players.

I use the free service provided by Cloudflare.

Step 4:

Images Optimization

Images are essential for any website. Good use of images can reduce bounce rate and increase conversion.

Images can result in increasing the page size.

Image compression

Use plugins like WP SmushEWWW Image OptimizerTinyPng for image optimization and compression.

One plugin that I found useful is WebP Express plugin.

WebP is an image file format created by the web performance team at Google, developed as a replacement for JPEG, PNG, and GIF, while supporting good compression, transparency, and animations.

WebP Plugins serves autogenerated webp images to browsers that support it, while still serving jpeg and png files to browsers that do not support webp.

WP Rocket recommends it.

Image CDN

Can also use image CDNs to serve images like Cloudflare, Jetpack Site Accelerator (Formerly Photon), Optimole.

Lazy Load Images.

WordPress announced that WordPress 5.4 may feature image lazy-loading by default. This feature will enable the “loading” HTML attribute on all IMG elements. WordPress publishers will no longer need to use JavaScript or third party plugins for lazy-loading their images.

The WordPress team has officially released a WordPress lazy-loading plugin designed for testing purposes. WP Documentation about Lazy Loading.

Step 5:

Deactivate and uninstall unused plugins.

Faulty plugins can result in slow loading speed and security issues of the website. Remove these plugins and find an alternative.

Use Plugins like Query Monitor to find performance problems with your website.

Keeps Plugins updated and disable unused Plugin settings.

Also, make sure to use only the minimum required plugins with good rating and customer support.

Instead of using plugins use 3rd party services when possible.

For example, use IFFF service for sharing a post on social media.

Step 6:

Use Fast WordPress Theme.

Use modern and optimized for speed WordPress templates like AstraHello Theme (if using Elementor Page Builder), Ocean Wp and studiopress.

I use Astra and Hello Theme mostly.

Keeps Themes updated.

Note: Delete unused themes and plugins else it will bloat the backup process and result in wasting bandwidth and server resources.

Step 7:

Enable GZIP compression

Gzip Compression allows your webserver to provide smaller file sizes which load faster for your website users.

Use an online checker  Base64 Guru’s GZIP Test or Gzip compression tool to check whether gzip is enabled or not.

Plugins like Page Speed Ninja, W3 Total Cache, Wp Rocket when used enable gzip compression.

Please check these articles to find the most common ways to enable gzip compression including .htaccess, Apache, Nginx, and Litespeed web servers without using plugins.

Step 8:

Always use the latest WordPress version.

Updated WordPress frequently.

Like Plugins and Theme, keep WordPress updated. Each update not only adds new features to WordPress it also fixes security issues and bugs.

Step 9:

Manage background processes in WordPress

We can make WordPress process run in the background. These processes can be scheduled task or Recurring tasks.

A scheduled task example is to schedule a post for publishing on Sunday at 11am in the morning.

A recurring task can be checking for updates of plugins or themes.
WordPress cron jobs for scheduled posts and updates only have a minimal impact on website performance.

Some background processes like Search engines bots and other crawlers trying to fetch content from your site and creating a backup may slow the site.

The solution to slow backup can be to schedule backup once a week or after new content is published.

Step 10:

Handling JavaScript and CSS Files

Minifying and combining the JS and CSS

Minifying and combining the JS and CSS file reduces file size and improves server response time.

We can minify the files manually. we can use tools like CSSNano and UglifyJS.

When we use WP cache plugins we can enable minifying js and CSS file easily.

Autoptimize, WP Rocket is a good plugin for this purpose.

Asynchronously load files

Load CSS and JavaScript files asynchronously to fix ender-Blocking JavaScript and CSS issue.

The synchronous file is executed in sequence each file waits for the previous file to finish before executing. Asynchronous code doesn’t have to wait for other files.

Defer JavaScript Loading

Defer JavaScript loading to prevent JS from loading until after other elements have loaded.

Step 10:

Avoid Uploading Audio/Video Files Directly to WordPress

Hosting audio and Video files on the server is possible but not recommended.

video and audio files take up a lot of bandwidth and they increase the backup file size and time.

The solution is to use an audio/video hosting Service. Youtube, Vimeo and SoundCloud.

We can then embed these files to our WordPress site and save bandwidth.

Step 11:

Disable Hot linking and save bandwidth

Consider that a site copied the image URL from your website and used it on theirs.

When the webpage using your image loads the bandwidth taken to load the image is taken from your server.

Step 12:

Avoid using full content on the Homepage and Archives

Use Experts on your homepage, categories, tags, and other archive pages to improve loading speed.

You can change this in Settings » Reading and select “For each article in a feed, show: Summary” instead of “Full Text.”

Step 13:

Manage WordPress post revisions

Post revision is one of the most useful features of WordPress.

It allows you to undo changes and go back to an earlier version of your posts and pages saving time and frustration.

WordPress auto-saves temporary revision every 60 seconds by default.

Each time a user clicks on the save, update, or publish button WordPress saves post revisions.

These revisions are permanently stored in the WordPress database.

In the case of large sites, these post revisions add up and take a lot of space in the database.

We can Solution this by deleting, limiting or disabling WordPress revisions.

  1. Use free WP-Sweep plugin for deleting revisions.
  2. Once you clean up old revisions Limit Number of WordPress Revisions by editing wp-config.php file.
  3. Add the following code above the ‘ABSPATH’ otherwise, it won’t work.
define('WP_POST_REVISIONS', 3);

WordPress stores 3 revision in database.

We can disable WordPress Revisions by editing wp-config.php file.

  1. Add the following code above the ‘ABSPATH’ otherwise, it won’t work.
define('WP_POST_REVISIONS', false);

Note: I do not recommend Disabling WordPress revision.

Step 14:

Speed up WordPress Comments

Comments are a great way to engage your site visitors but they can impact side speed.

The solution is to split WordPress commends to multiple pages, disabling comments, lazyload comments or using third party services.

To split comments to multiple pages Settings » Discussion and check the box next to the “Break comments into pages” option.

Step 15:


The tool called will check your site for HTTP2 support.

Step 16:

Avoid using plugins for SSL

Do not use plugins like Really Simple SSL to fix Mix content warning. The plugin is great and works properly. A mixed content warning is caused when images, scripts, or stylesheets are loading using HTTP protocol in URLs.

Plugins like Really Simple SSL catch-all URLs first, then change them to HTTPS before sending URLs to user’s browsers and have a small impact on site performance. 

So Manually Fix Mixed Content Errors in WordPress. one tip is to use browser tools to find resources causing the error.

Step 17:

Reduce external HTTP Requests

Use a plugin called Wp Disable for reducing Http requests.

Step 18:

Post pagination

Long post with lots of images can increase loading speed. we can split this long pos to multiple pages.

Keep in mind that search engines love the long blog post.

Must Read Articles before considering Post pagination by WP Beginner and Word Lift.

Step 19:

Optimize the WordPress database

Remove unnecessary data like revisions, spam comments, old drafts, Transients, unwanted plugins, images and themes.

Plugins like WP-Optimize, WP Rocket can be used to optimize the database.

Note: its recommended to take a backup of your WordPress site before optimizing the database.

Step 20:

Only use necessary external scripts

Make sure you use only the minimum required external scripts.

Tracking scripts like Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel, Facebook chat or comment systems and advertisement scripts like Google Adwords and may be necessary and cannot be avoided.

These plugins make a lot of requests and it may slow down your website.

The solution is to use a plugin called Flying scripts, and after using this plugin to delay the loading of scripts.

How to Prevent White Screen of Death from Happening?

  • Test the changes in staging or test environment before editing Live site.
  • Choose your Web hosting carefully.
  • Update WordPress, plugins and themes.
  • Backup when before and after any major change made.
  • Make sure plugins and theme support later WordPress update.
  • Syntax errors are a major cause for White Screen of Death. so keep track of editing history.

White Screen of Death may look scary. But If you follow the steps You can solve with easily.