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Written by Editorial Team on November 22, 2020

How To Keep Your WordPress Lightweight And Fast?

From out from the installation box, WordPress is a super lightweight content management system (CMS) that works perfectly well for both personal and business websites. However, as we install more plugins and themes into WordPress for functionality, WordPress starts to load slower and becomes a mental stress for many.

This WordPress tutorial aims to guide you exactly, how to keep your WordPress website light and fast (without paying a WordPress developer to do it for you).

What are the signs of a slow WordPress website?

There are many signs that your WordPress website is slow. Here are some common ones:

  • Takes more than 1.5 second to load (frontend)
  • Takes more than 2 seconds to load (backend / wp-admin)
  • Multiple alerts from Google on speed issues
  • Emails from website readers on your slow website(and how frustrating it is)

We all have been there one too many times. No body loves a slow website.

Website loading speed
~Amazon found that every 100ms of latency cost them 1% in sales

What makes a WordPress site slow(er)?

When we consult our website clients, we tend not to give them the list of common issues that impacts the website loading speed. This is because no two websites are build in a similar way. In other words, there are just too many reasons that would impact a website loading speed.

Okay, we get it. You are still wondering what is impacting a WordPress speed, so here's the list of 'reasons' why a WordPress loading speed takes a long time to load.

IssuesSolutions
Unoptimised themeUse reliable WordPress themes that are optimized for speed such as Astra WP and GeneratePress.
Unreliable pluginsDeactivate and delete unused plugins (for security and speed)
Bloats from theme builderAvoid bloated theme builders and use clean coded ones such as Beaver Builder and Oxygen. Use Gutenberg and Gutenberg addons to avoid using theme builders.
Under performing web hostSpeed up WordPress by using faster web hosting services such as Cloudways and WP Engine.
Not using CDN servicesSign up for Cloudflare for free CDN services
Images not optimizedOptimize images with image optimizer plugins such as ShortPixel and WP Compress.
Misconfigured cache plugin (or not using one)

Problem 1: WordPress theme

WordPress is home to thousands of WordPress theme, but not all of them are well-coded for speed. For example, the official WordPress theme, TwentyTwenty takes under one second to load while most WordPress themes in the market (free and paid) takes twice or more time needed to load.

TL;DR

A well-coded WordPress theme is crucial to keep your WordPress site light and fast

Recommendations

Problem 2: WordPress plugins

On average, a WordPress site contains an average of 18 plugins. Now, make no mistake here.

The number of plugins doesn't directly contribute to a slow loading WordPress site. What matters is the way the plugin is created and how clean are the codes that will either make your WordPress site load fast or slow.

TL;DR

Use reliable WordPress plugins and keep them updated to the latest version. Plus, remove any unwanted WordPress plugins that don't serve any/much purpose.

Problem 3: WordPress theme builders

Nearly every WordPress site is powered with a WordPress visual builder — Oxygen Builder, Divi Builder, Elementor or Beaver Builder, to name a few.

While they are extremely useful, it is also important to remember that some of the WordPress visual builders contribute to a slow loading WordPress website.

TL;DR

If you are planning to use a WordPress visual builder, make sure that you install modules that you are using — and not everything under the roof. Turn on and turn off settings within the visual builder will help to make your WordPress light and fast.

Recommendations

Oxygen Builder for clean codes and fastest loading speed (read Oxygen Builder review), followed by Elementor (Elementor review) and Beaver Builder (review) for a balance between speed and performance.

Looking for a less-bloated WordPress theme builder?

Try Thrive Themes today — don't worry, you will be amazed.

Problem 4: Web hosting

Web hosting plays a vital role in your WordPress loading speed. Shared hosting for example, is often known for its slower performance as the hosting servers are shared with thousands of other sites just like yours.

TL;DR

While going for a cheap hosting is a good option for your financials, it is always recommended to go with a slightly better web hosting plan if you are affordable.

Recommendations

WP Engine and Kinsta are two of the best WordPress hosting solutions that you can't go wrong with. If they are too pricey (and you are thinking of saving some money), you should consider Cloudways which is highly affordable of BlueHost cloud hosting plans.

Problem 5: Use Content Delivery Network (CDN)

CDNs not only ensure a faster experience to your users, but they also help to prevent site crashes in the event of traffic surges – CDNs help to distribute bandwidth across multiple servers, instead of allowing one server to handle all traffic.

TL;DR

You should incorporate CDN services for your website to ensure that your WordPress site is constantly loading fast(er).

Recommendations

Sign up for a free Cloudflare CDN service and for a free service, it is very decent!

Problem 6: Not properly optimizing images

How do you upload images to your WordPress site? Most of the time, we do not optimize the image before uploading to WordPress. As a result, you are uploading a large image and this will make your WordPress slower.

Tools such as TinyPNG, Imagify, ShortPixel and WP Compress help to resize and optimize the images quickly in just a few clicks, resulting in a fast WordPress loading speed.

TL;DR

Always optimize images before uploading to WordPress. Install image optimization plugins to help you optimize images on the fly.

Recommendations

ShortPixel and WP Compress are two of the best image optimizer plugins for WordPress that are easy to use and excellent for beginners.

Problem 7: Wrongly configured cache plugin (or not using a cache plugin)

If you want to have a light WordPress site that loads fairly quickly, the best thing you can do is to use a cache plugin.

What does a cach plugin does?

A caching plugin generates static HTML pages of your website and saves it on your server. Each time a user tries to access your website, your caching plugin serves up the lighter HTML page instead of processing the comparatively heavier WordPress PHP scripts.

TL;DR

A cache plugin ensures that your files are optimized to reduce the size. The smaller the size, the lighter your WordPress site would be like and the faster the site will load.

Recommendations

At WP Maven, we recommend using WP Super Cache (for smaller WordPress sites) and WP Rocket for advanced and superior caching options.

Summary: How To Keep Your WordPress Lightweight And Fast?

There are many actions (both small and heavy) tasks that you can do to keep your WordPress lightweight and fast. The above methods are focused to ensure that your WordPress site is running at its optimum speed while keeping it lightweight at the same time.

Article written by Editorial Team

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