How to speed up your slow WordPress website for free
How to speed up a slow WordPress website for free.
WordPress is a very powerful CMS, but it’s also bulky and can become slow as you add more content and plugins. I’m going to show you how to speed up a slow WordPress website, add security, and get an SSL certificate, all for free.
A slow WordPress website not only costs time, it costs money. If your website is loading too slow, visitors will leave after a couple seconds and go to your competition.
Search engines, like Google, take your website load time into consideration when determining your websites’ ranking in the search results. A fast WordPress site helps you maintain a good ranking in the SERPs (search engine results pages).
I’ll attempt to walk you through some steps to clean up and optimize your WordPress site. If you know anything at all about installing and managing WordPress plugins, this shouldn’t be an issue for you. If you need assistance with this process, contact the service department at [email protected]
Here is a list of what you’ll be working with.
W3 Total Cache – Plugin
CloudFlare – CDN & Free SSL Certificate – Website
CloudFlare Flexible SSL – Plugin
SSL Insecure Content Fixer – Plugin
ImageCompressor.com – Website
PurifyCSS.online – Website
The easiest way to install plugins is through your WordPress installation admin panel. Go to the “Add New Plugin” section and search for each plugin by name. If you prefer to download the plugins and install them manually, there is a link to each plugins download page.
Website Performance Test at GTMetrix.com – Visit Website
What is GTMetrix?
GTMetrix is a free website performance grader that lists issues with your website and provides suggestions on how to solve them.
You’ll use the score card on GTMetrix to refer to while making changes on your website.
GTmetrix’s Report Page neatly summarizes your page performance based off key indicators of page load speed.
- Analyze your page with Google PageSpeed and Yahoo! YSlow rulesets
- Get your page’s Page Load Time, Total Page Size and Total # of Requests
- See your page’s performance relative to the average of all sites analyzed on GTmetrix
Install CloudFlare & W3 Total Cache – Setup Instructions
Beyond choosing quality web hosting, here are two of the biggest improvements you can make to speed up a slow WordPress website.
- A good caching plugin
- A content delivery network (CDN)
What is W3 Total Cache?
W3 Total Cache takes care of the your websites cache. Caching speeds up your site by serving static files instead of dynamically rendered content (which WordPress is full of). What that means is your web server has to do less work and can serve your websites’ content faster.
What is CloudFlare?
CloudFlare boosts your site speed using another method: content delivery optimization. Without a CDN (content delivery network), every visitor to your site has to download all of your files from one location – your websites’ hosting server.
Whether they’re located in Paris, Texas or Paris, France, they get your websites’ data from the same place. CDNs change that by placing your data on multiple servers around the world.
With your website connected to a CDN, visitors can download static files like images and videos from the data center closest to them, rather than your single web server. This reduces download times and speeds up your website.
Install CloudFlare Flexible SSL – Download
What is Flexible SSL?
This plugin forms an integral part to enabling Flexible SSL on WordPress and prevents infinite redirect loops when loading WordPress sites under CloudFlare’s Flexible SSL system.
Install SSL Insecure Content Fixer – Download
What is SSL Insecure Content Fixer?
Clean up your WordPress website’s HTTPS insecure content and mixed content warnings. Installing the SSL Insecure Content Fixer plugin will solve most insecure content warnings with little or no effort. The remainder can be diagnosed with a few simple tools.
When you install SSL Insecure Content Fixer, the default settings are activated and it will automatically perform some basic fixes on your website using the Simple fix level. You can select more comprehensive fix levels as needed by your website.
Compress Images at ImageCompressor.com – Visit Site
What is ImageCompressor.com?
Simpy put, ImageCompressor.com is a website that allows you to upload up to 20 images at a time and the website will compress those images for you.
There are WordPress plugins that compress the images, but there is no point in adding unnecessary plugins when you’re trying to optimize your WordPress site.
Why should you compress the images on your website?
Images can be large in file size. Large images take longer to download and cause your website to load slow. Compressing your websites images also free up storage space on your web hosting server.
Install BJ Lazy Load – Download
What is BJ Lazy Load?
Lazy loading makes your site load faster and saves bandwidth.
This plugin replaces all your post images, post thumbnails, gravatar images and content iframes with a placeholder and loads the content as it gets close to enter the browser window when the visitor scrolls the page. Also works with text widgets.
Reduce CSS code file size at PurifyCSS.online – Visit Site
What is PurifyCSS.online?
This tool uses PurifyCSS, which is a JS library that scans your source code (HTML and JS) for used selectors and removes the unused code from your CSS files.
PurifyCSS is meant to be installed via npm and built into your build process using tools like Grunt, Gulp or Webpack. However if you’re using a different development stack or building your sites with a CMS like WordPress, you can use this online tool to clean up your stylesheet. Especially if you are using CSS frameworks like Bootstrap or a multi-purpose WordPress theme, chances are you are actually using less then 20% of the defined CSS rules.
January 2, 2019