14 OCT 2019

How to speed up a WordPress blog?

Do you know that it takes 8 seconds to engage or repel the blog audience? (Why 8 seconds matter?) Have you ever truncated your blog session because it took time to load? All the above questions have one thing in common- how to speed up your WordPress blog!.

The loading speed of a site/blog is considered to be one of the important factors for evaluating its overall performance. You write blogs to sell your opinion.

Time is the precious asset people afford to spend on your webspace whether it is a blog or eCommerce or portal. This is the secret of the great blogs and star bloggers who have a celebrated digital space. They know how to speed up their WordPress blogs.

One such webspace is the blog. A blog is defined as a space maintained by a user to update his content in a particular field. It is an abbreviated form of a weblog- which literally used to be chronicling of the events, experience, and updates by a specified entity- Individual or Group or Business. This article is all about providing the free hacks for the speed-optimization of the Wordpress Blog instantly!

Why Is Speeding Up Your Wordpress Blog Necessary?

Speed Affects Ranking

Google does take website load speed into account when ranking websites (announced in 2010)- (Google Report.) This statement highlights the importance to improve the ranking of the page of the blog, speed is one of the important parameters.

  • Speed Affects User Experience

    People always like faster loading blogs nowadays. It is an important factor to make a good impression and provide them with an engaging User Experience.

  • Speed Affects Conversions

    “Amazon did tests that showed they would lose $1.6 BILLION every year if they slowed down by just one second.”- (bitcatcha.com) This data shows the need for speed even for the biggest sites on the web. Blogs have to be speeded up effectively to be monetized.

  • Speed Affects Engagement

    Sites that loaded in less than five seconds on mobile saw 70% longer sessions and 25% higher viewability than those that loaded at the current common average of 19 seconds. (storage.googleapis.com- The Need for Speed Mobile). - This fact shows that the loading speed of the blog will affect the engagement of the audience.

List of Hacks To Speed Up Your Blog

#1. Using A Lightweight WordPress Theme/ Framework:

The first hack suggested for speeding your blog is to use a lightweight Wordpress. The basic reason for choosing this parameter is to lower down the request count by less than 50 by reducing the page size. A blog should not be more than 500 KB in size if it wants to be SERP-ed by Google. (Duda.co)

The WP themes occupy less space giving more scope to add content. Hence, your blog has to be theme-optimized to speed up your blog. There are many tools to test the loading speed of your blog using particular themes. One such popular tool to test the speed is - GTMetrix.

#2. Reduce Image Sizes of WordPress Blog

Large Images increase page weight. Hence attention must be paid to reduce the image size without compromising the quality. It is a fact that if you speed up your blog to load within 10 seconds, you are faster than 77% of the websites hosted on the world wide web. (Duda.co)

Using large images may be attractive to increase the aesthetic sense of your WordPress blog, but it will slow down your blog because it will increase the backup size in the server. Some popular tools to reduce image sizes are Optimole, WP Smush and EWWW Image Optimizer.

#3. Minify JS And CSS Files in the WordPress Platform

As per the Google PageSpeed Insights, the CSS and JS files slows down your blog. As page time goes from 1s-5s probability of bounce increases by 90% (thinkwithgoogle.com)

Minifying these files reduces the crawl rate hence improving the page ranking organically. Keeping an eye on the crawl report will help in handling these queries.

Checking the page speed CSS and JS using tools like Autoptimize is one of the ways suggested to speed up your Wordpress blog. Hence the crawling-requests can be optimized.

#4. Using Advanced Caching Mechanisms With a WordPress Caching Plugin

A proper configuration of cached mechanisms has to be used to serve the cached files to avoid loading and crashing problems. 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. (duda.com).

Cached files clog the memory over time. .htaccess is a popular library to configure cache in WordPress.

#5. Cleanup WordPress Blog Database

47% of people expect your site to load in less than 2 seconds.- The unwanted content from the database has to be removed to improve the overall performance of the website.

If the content is immaterial, the bounce rate will be higher because the search engines will index it accordingly considering the relevancy. Unnecessary information occupies the server space which can make them redundant and unresponsive with the passage of time.

#6. Use Faster Plugins To Speed Up Your Blog

For the purpose of reducing load time and avoid bloating, use faster plugins. Plugins load from other websites which always sends requests to the parent websites. These external scripts increase the loading time. (wpbeginner.com)

Using faster plugins will reduce the taxing of servers’ processing time. It makes blog load faster. Faster plugins ultimately contribute to a good user experience.

Relevant plugins speed up your blog. This is called plugin optimization. Your blog will have a cutting edge in terms of experience and performance.

#7. Uninstall Unwanted Plugins In The Blog

According to Google, “speed equals revenue.” (thinkwithgoogle.com)- Unwanted plug-ins increase background processes making it hard for the Google Spider to crawl the engines. Hence, they have to be uninstalled or deactivated.

It is like throwing garbage out of your house to keep it clean. Any plugin that does not contribute to the ease of use or improve the experience or takes a toll on the performance of the blog should be removed without fail.

Plugin garbage collector is one such tool you can use to measure your plugin’s relevancy.

#8. To Speed Up Split Long Posts Into Pages

Users spend 70% more time, and have 60% more page views, on websites that load quickly. (Duda.co) Another hack of speeding up your blog is to split long posts into pages. It will also show the engagement clearly in the analytics section.

They can also be split to decrease the downtime. This small hack the pages to a great extent distribution of the downtime and provide a good loading speed to the blog.

#9. Reduce External HTTP Requests in WordPress

Many WordPress plugins and themes load all kinds of files from other websites. These files can include scripts, stylesheets, and images from external resources like Google, Facebook, analytics services, and so on.- (wpbeginner.com)

This type of HTTP requests can slow down the blog significantly. It can be reduced by disabling them and merging them under one file. This is called Script-optimization.

#10. Limit Post Revisions In The Blog

0% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. (duda.co)

Post revisions take a lot of memory in the database of the blog. Hence, the content posted in the blog has to be proofread with precision and accuracy attracting no revision.

This includes cleaning trash, removing unnecessary tags freeing up extra space for the upcoming content. This, in turn, frees the cache memory which again speeds up the WordPress blog.

#11. Splitting Comments Into Separate Pages In WordPress Section

Another way of optimizing your Wordpress blog is to keep the comment section on a separate page. This is particularly helpful when there is a lot of engagement in your blog.

It helps in enhancing the engagement factor of the blog. WordPress comes with a built-in solution for that. Simply go to Settings » Discussion and check the box next to the “Break comments into pages” option. - (wpbeginner.com)

#12. Keep Your Wordpress Blog Updated

Why should you keep your Wordpress blog updated? Because - the Wordpress Blog platform keeps on updating at regular intervals.

This is done to troubleshoot the errors and bugs and improve the blogging experience. The blog has to be updated regularly on these terms to be on track with the current technology. It helps in getting rid of unnecessary information stored in the blog.

#13. Use Lazy Loading Plugin To Speed Up Loading

When the audience comes to visit your website, they look for important information. That is where Lazy Loading comes into play. This plugin is recommended if you are using lots of image files and multimedia.

Lazy Loading identifies the important part of the page that needs to be made visible giving it a priority. This creates engagement while at that time, the rest of the page gets loaded. This hack is instrumental when you are maintaining a photo/image/multimedia oriented blog!

#14. Optimizing Long Blog Posts And Archives Into Excerpts

Excerpts not only create curiosity and engagement in the minds of people but also serves as a speed optimizer of your blog. When the main blog loads, there is important information condensed in a small form occupying a small chunk of data.

You can do this by simply going to the Settings section of the Wordpress Blog and changing the settings to display excerpts in places of the posts and archives posted as a whole.

#15. Using DNS Level Of Firewall Plugin For Your Blog

This small hack improves not only the security of your blog from factors like Brute Force Attacks, Malware attacks, and hacking attempts; but also improves the performance of the blogs’ speed. People nowadays prefer the security frameworks of the website/blog before engaging with your content.

This determines the bounce rate of the website. The higher the security, the lower the bounce rate. Sucuri or Cloudflare are some of the Firewall security services available in case you want to update your security with the latest technology. It is also helpful in preventing hotlinking or leaching of your original content.

Conclusion To Speed Up Loading Time

We like fast sites, so does Google. It takes into account all these parameters into its complex algorithms for a higher ranking of the blog in the search engine. The higher the blog is ranked, the higher the chances are for it to drive traffic and make conversions.

Even nanoseconds of speeding up your blog rank you higher in comparison with the 75% of sites(Source: Unbounce).

If you wish to make blogging your source of income these hacks can be applied at the beginning itself will be creating optimization for the blog. It also paves way creating the kind of audience you want to draw to your blog.

These are some basic tips to power up your Wordpress blog. In case you want to monetize your blog, these hacks are recommended. You are free to apply the above techniques and if you notice any improvement in the performance, I would like to hear from you!

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