Make WordPress Faster

In this guide you will learn some tips to make WordPress faster. WordPress is often seen as a ‘slow’ solution when it comes to web technologies but it’s not the case.

I gave a talk recently at the WordPress Johannesburg Meetup group about this very topic. This post will act a summarized version of my talk.

Here are a few steps that I take to ensure my sites are loading fast:

  1. Web Hosting: Choosing the right web hosting provider is important. You get what you pay for. Don’t be shy to invest a little more for a good hosting provider. Website hosting is around R99+ per month for a ‘decent’ host.

    Some Recommendations: Hetzner, Mshini, Flicker Leap and SiteGround (U.S hosting).
  2. Content Delivery Network (CDN): Serve your files over a CDN. This helps reduce load on your server, some security improvements/features and will help loading the site from a different region.

    CDN Provider I recommend: CloudFlare.
  3. Caching & Minifying: Caching is a great way to improve speeds. Caching is creating a static version of web pages and serving those instead of generating the pages each time. Minifying and combining of files remove unnecessary spaces and text that isn’t needed. This help reduces the actual size of files. Thanks to WordPress there are a few plugins that we can use for free!

    Loading Javascript/CSS files asynchronously also helps to load pages a lot faster. For example you can load FontAwesome library asynchronously and this will help improve page speed significantly.

    Recommended Plugins: WP Super Cache, Hummingbird (what I am using), Fast Velocity Minify.
  4. Optimize Assets: Assets are probably what take up the most of your page loads. Optimizing these are super important. Try to compress your images before uploading and compress them inside WordPress again (it won’t hurt). You can also Lazy Load Images and other assets to help improve load time.

    Recommended Plugins: Smush, Lazy Load By WP Rocket, Fast Velocity Minify
  5. WordPress Tips: WordPress isn’t too heavy but can be improved depending on what theme you’re using, what plugins you are using and also what server you’re running on. Try to only keep the necessities running – remove the rest.

    You can grab my theme for free from here!

WordPress Johannesburg Meetup Group

If you’re looking to join the WordPress community in Johannesburg South Africa, join this meetup group and meet like-minded people from across Gauteng.

Photo by Lukas Blazek on Unsplash

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