How To Speed Up A Site in WordPress

How To Speed Up A Site in WordPress
7 min read
24 October 2022

Modern sites should be not only stylish, concise and understandable, but also fast. If your web resource lags behind at least one of these criteria, this will affect the loyalty of visitors and, ultimately, revenue. The first step to increase traffic is to improve your WordPress site speed. In this article, we will tell you how to speed up a site created on WordPress.

What is website loading speed

When we open a site in a browser, it takes some time before the content on the page is fully loaded. This can happen very quickly: 1-2 seconds, and then it seems to us that everything opens up instantly. Or maybe longer - from 5 seconds. Then we understand that something is wrong with the site and, most likely, we will close it so as not to waste our time.

From a technical point of view, loading a site consists of several stages. The less each of them takes, the higher the final speed.

TTFB (Time To First Bite) - time to the first byte. When a user lands on a page, their browser sends an HTTP request to the server. The server, in turn, gives the first byte of the page. This interval between the request and the return of the first byte should be minimal.

Page rendering time - the first thing the server does is load the page's HTML file. This is a "naked" structure with a minimum of content. At this stage, the user sees the general outlines: where are the headings, images, and so on.

Content load time is the final stage where the entire page is loaded along with all other CSS and JS files, images and buttons.

Speeding up the loading of the site is to work out each of these stages: optimize the code and server parameters.

Why do you need to speed up websites?

Load speed affects not only UX (user experience), but also search engine rankings. Let's consider in more detail.

If the site loads longer than 3 seconds:

  • Rejections are on the rise. Nobody likes to wait, especially customers. If instead of a list and description of services, they see a white page or an incompletely loaded structure, most of them will simply go to another site in the first 15 seconds. This is called "refusal".

  • Decreased conversion. Conversion is the ratio of the number of visitors who completed the target action (buy, subscribe, register, etc.) to the total number of users who viewed the page. So, if 400 people visited your blog in a week, and 15 subscribed to your email newsletter, the conversion will be 3.75% (15/400). The more people who leave the page due to low speed, the lower the efficiency will be.

  • The position in the issuance is deteriorating. Among many factors, search engines evaluate the loading speed of a site. Preference is given to fast sites. It is much more difficult for slow ones to get into the top 10 first links on the search page.

How to improve website speed

If the site does not open quickly enough, we recommend auditing the following parameters:

  • Site structure;

  • HTTP requests;

  • CSS and JS size;

  • Images;

  • php version;

  • caching;

  • hosting.

Let's take a look at how they work and how we can improve them.

How To Speed Up A Site in WordPress

1. Site structure → optimize

As mentioned above, the server first gives the browser an HTML page (structure) and only then loads external files (images, styles, scripts). If other files are included at the beginning of the HTML code, they block its loading. The server, having met them, cannot return to them later, after it has loaded the structure. It starts processing other requests - and as a result, the download speed decreases.

2. HTTP requests → reduce the number

Each file that makes up the page code is loaded using a separate HTTP request. The more of them, the slower the site works.

3. CSS and JS → minify

The more unnecessary minor elements (spaces, line breaks) in the code, the slower it loads. To remove them, you can use online services to optimize CSS. Just upload the file, and the tools will automatically clean up the code from unnecessary characters and thus optimize them.

4. Images → optimize

Optimizing site loading speed largely depends on how much images weigh, because this is the heaviest type of content.

Image optimization is always a compromise between speed and image quality. Therefore, before optimizing, be sure to evaluate the weight of the site and the share of images. Optimize if images are 50% or more in weight.

Alt field. Specify a description for the file. If it doesn't load, the user will see the description from Alt. The title and alt fields can match in description. It is better to fill them in the same way than to leave them empty. Be sure to include keywords in your meta tags, but avoid overspam. Keep descriptions natural and informative.

5. PHP version → update

If the version of php installed for your site is out of date, this can also slow down the speed of script processing. The 8th version is now widely used. You can find out and change the php version on your hosting.

How To Speed Up A Site in WordPress

6. Caching → enable

Caching - allows you to save time processing requests. So, if it is enabled, the server simply gives users browsers files from the cache, and does not generate them every time again.

7. Hosting → increase tariff

Sometimes a slow-loading site signals that you have exhausted the possibilities of your tariff. If the site is popular and has thousands of users visiting it, and you're on a low CPU plan, the server just can't keep up with the requests. Learn some strategies to understand types of web hosting, compare them to each other, then decide when you need to upgrade. Find a web hosting provider with customer support, which will make it easier for you to determine.


In this article, we looked at speeding up a WordPress site. This is a rather complex technical topic with a lot of nuances. Therefore, for optimization issues, it is better to contact the site developers or SEO agencies that offer technical audits of loading speed.

Alex 10589
Joined: 4 years ago
In case you have found a mistake in the text, please send a message to the author by selecting the mistake and pressing Ctrl-Enter.
Comments (0)

    No comments yet

You must be logged in to comment.

Sign In / Sign Up