17 Easy Ways to Speed Up WordPress Blog and Increase Conversions

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When you visit a site and it takes a few seconds longer to load, what do you do? Leave the site or wait patiently for it to load completely? Of course, you will leave the site and it’s not just you.

Most of the web users expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less and if it takes more seconds, they tend to leave the site. And a 1-second delay in page response time will result in a 7% reduction in conversion rate.

And the most irritating thing is that the page load time can also affect your Google rankings, which means less visitors. So if you are running a WordPress blog, and you want to increase your conversion rates and increase your visitors at the same time, you should focus on improving the speed of your WordPress blog.

There are many ways that you can implement to speed up WordPress blog, but we are not going to get into much advanced levels, as I myself don’t understand most of it. So here are certain things that I do to speed up my sites.

speed up wordpress blog
Image courtesy of a454 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net!

Using these 17 easy ways, you will be able to improve your blog loading time drastically and with decrease in page load time, your traffic will increase and so will your conversion rate.

How to Speed up WordPress Blog?

1. Choose a Good Web Host

The first step to improving your website speed is to see if you are hosting your site on a good web host.

Nowadays almost all the web hosting companies provide you unlimited storage space and unlimited bandwidth, which is not completely true, because nothing in unlimited. If you are on shared hosting, then storage space and bandwidth, though limited, will be enough to run a low-traffic site.

But as your traffic increases, the servers will experience more load and shared hosting won’t be able to handle all the traffic. At such a moment, switching over to VPS or Dedicated Hosting might be the best idea.

However, if your site is not getting very high traffic and still it’s slow as a tortoise, then it’s time to switch your hosting provider. The most popular ones might be Bluehost (aff.) and HostGator, but I would recommend you to go with ASmallOrange (aff.).

I switched over from Bluehost to ASmallOrange a few months back and I haven’t witnessed a single downtime since. And the best part is the customer support because when I submitted a support ticket, it was solved in less than an hour!

Head over to the ASmallOrange’s homepage to check out their plans, and you will never regret your decision.

2. Use CDN (Content Delivery Network)

A Content Delivery Network basically takes all the static files on your site and allows the visitors to download them by serving those files on servers that are closest to them.

The best CDN service currently available is MaxCDN. The service is recommended by top WordPress professionals like Syed Balkhi and is being used by sites like TheNextWeb as well.

You can check out the pricing for the plan that suits your monthly needs by heading over to the MaxCDN’s homepage.

There is another free alternative that you can use on any number of sites, CloudFlare.

Currently I am not using any CDN network on my blog because I am still working on improving my blog’s traffic and the day my blog is not able to load properly due to high traffic, will be the happiest day in my life!

3. Choose a Proper WordPress Theme

Just like choosing a proper web host is important to ensure a low page load time, a good WordPress theme also plays a very important role in the overall page load of your blog.

I am using Genesis Framework on most of my sites because it is fast, it comes with built-in SEO features and the customization options are also present. Plus, you get to choose from the best child themes for Genesis that can decrease your blog’s load time.

Currently, I am using a theme from Famethemes here on TinyBlogger because it looks good and I have made some tweaks to decrease the loading time as well.

4. Use Caching Plugin

If you search for some caching plugins in the WordPress.org directory, you are going to find a dozen of them, out of which only W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache are the best.

I have always used W3 Total Cache on all my sites because it has all the features that you will need to improve the page load time and speed up WordPress blog. You can easily cache your pages with the plugin and also minify CSS and JavaScript as well.

Simply install the plugin, activate it and do some simple settings and see your blog load faster.

5. Optimize WordPress Database

By optimizing the MySQL databases, you can make a huge difference in the page load time and you can do it either manually using phpMyAdmin or do it using a simple plugin.

Since I am not a very technical guy, I always use WP-Optimize plugin to automatically optimize the database.

Plus, using this plugin, I can easily remove the useless post revisions, spam comments, pingbacks and trackbacks as well.

6. Clean Up Your Homepage

The homepage is the most important part of your blog and if it’s loading slowly, it will leave a bad impression on your visitors.

So you need to make sure that your homepage loads quickly. To do that, you just have to do these little things:

  • Keep less posts on the homepage, anywhere between 5-8 are good.
  • Show excerpts of your posts on homepage and not complete posts.
  • Use less number of widgets on the homepage.
  • Don’t show social share buttons.

7. Optimize Images and Add Lazy Load

Images are a very important part of an article and you just can’t stop using it altogether just to improve the page load time. But you can surely optimize it!

There’s a small plugin called WP-Smush.It that will optimize all the images on your blog automatically and reduce it to the lowest possible size with compromising on its quality. And whenever you upload a new image, it will automatically get processed by the plugin.

Other important thing you can do is simply add Lazy Load feature to the images on your blog!

Whenever a visitor lands on a post on your blog, all the images on that page will be loaded at the same time and thus increasing the server response time. So by adding a plugin called jQuery Image Lazy Load, you can prevent all the images from loading at the same time.

Instead, it will load as the visitor scrolls down and the image appears on the screen thus decrease the response time and improving the speed of your blog.

8. Replace PHP with Static HTML (When Necessary)

By default, the themes you use on your blog uses a lot of PHP commands and they are executed whenever a page loads.. So whenever necessary, you can just replace it with plain HTML which are almost 20x faster.

There are many PHP commands in the header like the title tag, CSS stylesheet URL that executes a PHP command, but you can simply replace it with the HTML tag like the following:


<title><?php bloginfo('name'); ?> <?php bloginfo('description');?></title>




<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" media="screen" href="<?php bloginfo('stylesheet_url'); ?>"/>


<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" media="screen" href="https://www.tinyblogger.net/wp-content/themes/techone/style.css"/>

You can refer to this perfect article to learn how to easily change the PHP commands to Static HTML to speed up your WordPress blog.

9. Enable Gzip compression

There are many plugins that will add Gzip to your blog easily, but that would mean adding yet another plugin that is completely useless because adding Gzip manually to your website is very simple.

You can add the following code to your .htaccess file (found in the root directory of your server):

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/plain
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/css
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xhtml+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/rss+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/javascript
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-javascript

Once you have added it and saved the file, you can test the compression by running your website in the Check Gzip Compression tool.

gzip compression
(Large Preview)

As you can see in the above screenshot, my site went from 67 KB to 11 KB when Gzip installed and 83.7% bandwidth is saved.

10. Leverage Browser Caching (Add Expires Header)

The reason you should use browser caching is that whenever you visit a website, all the media files will be loaded and stored in a local folder and the next time you visit the same site, all these files will be loaded from the local folder instead of making HTTP requests.

You just have to add the following code to your site’s .htaccess file:

ExpiresActive On
ExpiresByType image/jpg "access plus 1 year"
ExpiresByType image/jpeg "access plus 1 year"
ExpiresByType image/gif "access plus 1 year"
ExpiresByType image/png "access plus 1 year"
ExpiresByType text/css "access plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType application/pdf "access plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType text/x-javascript "access plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType application/x-shockwave-flash "access plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType image/x-icon "access plus 1 year"
ExpiresDefault "access plus 2 days"

The above code will tell a browser to cache the media files for a certain span of time. (Source – WPSquare)

11. Check Which Plugins are Slowing Down Your site

When you are using a lot of plugins on your site, it is possible that some of it might be responsible for the slow page load of your blog.

To identify the impact of the plugins on your page load time, you can use a WordPress plugin called P3 Profiler.

This plugin scans your pages and shows you which plugins causes the maximum impact on the speed of your WordPress blog. But one thing you have to note here that, after a scan, it will show you a message about certain plugins that show artificially high results. So don’t start removing the plugins if they are very important.

plugin impact on page load
(Large Preview)

12. Minify CSS and Javascript

When you use a lot of plugins on your website, there will be a number of JavaScript and CSS files that will load individually on every page load. So it is a better idea to put all the JavaScript files in to one JavaScript file and all the CSS files in to one file.

You can do that by using the Minify section in the W3 Total Cache plugin and you can also place them in the footer section to reduce the HTTP requests.

But if you want to use another plugin, then the best options are WP-Minify and Better WP Minify, that will combine all your JavaScripts and CSS files into one,reducing the number of requests and improving the speed of your blog.

13. Remove Post Revisions

Whenever you start working on a new posts, you will save your posts as drafts a number of times. WordPress also saves the posts automatically so that if your PC shuts down for some reason, you won’t have to worry about your posts.

But when you finally publish your post, there will still be some copies of your posts saved as revisions or drafts which you don’t need at all, since the post is already published.

So you just have to remove this revisions to improve the loading time. You can do it easily by using a plugin called Revision Control. But if you have WP-Optimize plugin already installed, then it will remove these revisions and auto-drafts from your blog.

14. Disable Trackbacks and Pingbacks

When some other site links to your content, you will receive a notification and it will then update your posts with the trackbacks putting a load on your site.

So you just have to go to the settings area and disable the trackbacks and pingbacks. This will not remove your backlinks on the other sites, but it will just prevent WordPress from updating your post.

15. Disable Hotlinking and Leeching of your images

“Hotlinking” is a kind of a bandwidth theft that occurs when some other sites link to the images on your blog directly from their articles. This will increase the load on your server drastically.

The load will keep on increasing as more people scrape your content and if you use custom images on your site then disabling hotlinking and leeching of your images is a must.

To do that, you just have to add the following code to .htaccess file on your server:

#disable hotlinking of images with forbidden or custom image option
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www\.)?tinyblogger.net [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www\.)?google.com [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www\.)?http://feeds2.feedburner.com/TinyBlogger [NC]
RewriteRule \.(jpg|jpeg|png|gif)$ – [NC,F,L]

When adding these code, replace my domain with your domain name and also add your feeds URL so that the feed readers are able to see the images.

You can even make a custom image saying “Stealing is Bad” which will replace all your images when someone scrapes your content. (Source – Josiah Cole)

16. Break Comments into Pages

If your blog posts attract a lot of comments then you must break it down into multiple pages to reduce the page load time.

When you show all your comments on the same page, it will take a long time to load each and every comment on the page. So you just have to go to your blog’s setting area and break down the comments into pages.

17. Split Long Posts in Several Pages

When you are going to write a post about 100+ resources, then the post will also contain 100+ images on the post. So if you just keep the images on the same page, it will put a lot of pressure on the server and increase the page load time.

But you can easily speed up WordPress blog by splitting your post into multiple pages. You can make 25, 50 or even 100 pages from a single post showing only a few resources per page. This will not only make it easy for the visitor to go through every resource, but the page load time will also improve.

You can do so by just adding the following code to your post whenever you want to split pages:


Check out all such codes that you can use in your posts.

Wrapping Up:

I have tried to share all the methods that I use to improve the loading speed of my sites and if you also use some methods to speed up WordPress blog that I missed, you can share them using the comments section below.

Thanks for reading and if you enjoyed the article, then don’t forget to share it!

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