How To Speed Up WordPress Websites


We often get enquiries from website owners asking how they can improve the speed of their WordPress website. Before we can speed up the site, we audit the performance of the site to determine what exactly is slowing it down. There are three main bottlenecks we focus on:

  • Files in the site are not optimised.
  • The site is built from a theme containing redundant code.
  • The server hosting the site is slow.

Let's explore some of these in a little more detail.

Files in the site are not optimised

  • Files using the png image format can be substituted with smaller jpeg files.
  • Image files are not sufficiently compressed.
  • JavaScript files are not combined.
  • Css files may contain large amounts of redundant css.
  • Css files are not combined.

The site is built from a theme containing redundant code

Sites built from themes, such as those found at ThemeForest, can contain large amount of code - css, javascript, php to cover a variety of possible website designs. However, it is likely your website only uses a fraction of this functionality. Some of these themes have the ability to turn off features and that should be exercised. If you can't turn off features, you may have to resort to a WordPress caching plugin to speed up the site by producing static HTML files of each page rather than processing it each time.

Excess use of WordPress plugins will eventually slow down your website. Unfortunately, it may not be possible to remove these plugins if they are required for your functionality. There is always the alternative of re-coding the plugins from scratch more efficiently, but this may come at a high cost of rebuilding website components.

The server hosting the site is slow

Shared hosting often results in slow sites. This can be established:

  • In the Network tab of web developer tools in Chrome by looking at the time taken before data is received from a server.
  • More reliably, move the site to a server of known performance and see if there is a speed improvement.
  • Additionally, run the site through a content delivery network to provide global caching.

If you need help speeding up your WordPress website please feel free to contact us.

You can download our website speed audit as well to help you catalogue bottlenecks.