How can I make my website faster

Make WordPress faster: Here's how it works

WordPress too slow? Shed ballast!

9 seconds would be a world record - but only in the 100-meter run. Visitors to a website often bounce off when they have to wait a long time for a page to load. How fast a website loads is a decisive factor in whether a user stays and thus influences the ranking in Google search results. Any user who jumps off after a few seconds is a minus point. The search engine also recognizes when the page is loading very slowly and gives it a corresponding negative rating. Google itself recommends 2 seconds as the maximum time for page loading. Here you can read how you can make WordPress faster and improve the performance of your website. To do this, you should:

  • choose a theme that loads quickly
  • Free databases from ballast
  • adjust the size of images and graphics
  • Enable caching
  • compress the programming code
  • Remove unnecessary and oversized plug-ins

Speed ​​beats impatience

The loading time is even more important on smartphones and tablets, because poor mobile internet connections delay the page loading anyway. It is all the more important that you use your Optimize the website as much as possible. It is best to pay attention to certain standards when creating your WordPress website, because some changes are difficult to undo later.

First: measure your speed

First check the current loading times Your WordPress website with a suitable program. With concrete values, you can later compare what has changed and which measure has how. Here are two popular tools you can use to measure the speed of your website:

  • Google PageSpeed ​​Insights will rate it from 0 to 100 and check it out Charging process on mobile devices. You will receive tips on which areas you should optimize to increase the loading speed of your website.
  • The Pingdom Website Speed ​​Test gives an evaluation as well as the loading time in seconds. The plug-in provides you with a extensive evaluation available and lets you understand exactly which components of your web presence have a negative impact on loading times. This allows you to take specific measures.

As soon as you know where to start, the following tips will helpTo make WordPress faster. Not all measures are necessary in every case. With tips 2 and 3 in particular, you can ensure that your WordPress website has a good page speed over the long term.

1. Choose an efficient theme

Many choose the theme - that is, the Design template for your web presence - purely based on aesthetic criteria. That can prove to be a brake shoe. Some themes (also called "templates") have many functions that you may not even need for your website, or they may be programmed unfavorably and thus slow down the entire website. Before committing to a theme, you should study its advantages and disadvantages. A subsequent change takes some time, but may be necessary if the load values ​​are poor. The test versions of the themes can also be checked for speed with the tools mentioned above.

2. Spring cleaning of the database

WordPress saves multiple versions of each created post as well as a lot of other data that you actually don't need (anymore). Over time, a lot of ballast accumulates in the database and takes up storage space. With plug-ins such as WP-Optimize, you can create space again and, if you wish, specify that superfluous data is regularly deleted so that there is permanent order.

You can add the following command to the file so that your WordPress no longer creates unnecessarily many backup copies ("revisions"), which increase loading times wp-config.php insert: define ('WP_POST_REVISIONS', 3);. The number determines the number of revisions and can be changed as required.

3. Optimize the size of the images

Images and graphics enrich every website. But graphics files also take up most of the storage space - often much more than necessary. There is potential to shorten loading times and make WordPress faster. On computer and smartphone screens, images and graphics usually do not need a high resolution in order to be displayed sufficiently sharp and large.

  • With image editing programs reduce the size of images and graphics before uploading to the necessary size. Some of these programs ask for the desired image quality when saving. For presentations on the web, 60 to 80 percent are usually sufficient.
  • It's even easier with the WP Smush plug-in, for example. It compresses the image files when they are uploaded and can also subsequently reduce the size of the image.
  • Even if you run a photo blog and want to display very large and high-resolution images, you can speed up the first access to your website: The Crazy Lazy plug-in ensures that the images are only gradually loaded as you scroll down the page.

4. Take advantage of caching

With so-called caching, some of the content of your website is stored in the user's browser and can be used on the next visit quickly retrieved become. This means that the entire homepage does not have to be loaded every time; this usually has a noticeable effect on the speed. There are various plug-ins for this, for example these two:

  • Cache Enabler is easy to use and requires only a few settings.
  • W3 Total Cache offers a lot of options and can make websites much faster - but it is more suitable for experienced users.

5. Optimize the program code

The program code of your website can become very extensive over time and is not always optimized. Even unnecessary spaces drag it out. Don't worry: you don't have to study computer science to create order, because there are practical plug-ins for this too. Autoptimize, for example, automatically summarizes HTML, CSS and JavaScript codes and compresses wherever possible in order to make WordPress faster.

6. Don't use too many plug-ins

Plugins have a lot of handy features, but too many or too big plugins make your WordPress website slow and sluggish. Less is more! If you have extensions with many functions, of which you only need a few, you better look for an alternative that is limited to the desired function.

Deactivated plug-ins also take up storage space and may consume additional system resources. Some plug-ins establish a connection to the outside world even when they are asleep and slow down the performance of your website. Check the list of installed plug-ins and delete any that you no longer need. This also applies to the analysis and acceleration tools described here.

To do this, call up the plug-in overview via "Plugins" and "Installed plugins" and check the extensions that you want to remove. The "Delete" function is located in the "Select action" drop-down menu. With a click on the "Apply" button, you can remove the plug-ins without leaving any residue.

For a better overviewHow big which extension is and how it affects the loading times of your WordPress website, the plug-in was suitable in the past P3 ("Plugin Performance Profiler") particularly good. Unfortunately, this plug-in is incompatible with PHP 7 and should therefore no longer be used. The following PHP 7-compatible plug-ins are good alternatives, but they differ greatly in terms of functionality.

7. Expand functions without plug-ins

It doesn't always have to be a plug-in! Thanks to practical workarounds, many plug-ins are superfluous: Code snippets and WordPress on-board tools do many tasks just as well. Below are some examples.

Create an individual WordPress login

Do you use WordPress for a company website? Then you should adapt the login and admin area to the corporate design of your company - for example by replacing the WordPress logo with your company logo. Plug-ins such as login do this job for you, but you can also do without them - with just a few lines of code. But be careful! Many advisors do not explicitly state this, because programmers usually take it for granted - we therefore expressly point out:

Use better never WordPress' own CSS editor (in the admin area under design and editor to find the sensitive file functions.phpedit directly, because this is the heart of your theme, i.e. the design template of your WordPress website. Make an incorrect change to the functions.php before, in the worst case, the entire file “goes on strike” and your website is no longer accessible. A missing semicolon is enough for you as Admin locked out and no longer get back to the backend via the browser.

The way to Restoration then leads over a FTP programwhich you can use to connect to the web hosting memory, as well as a Reinstall the theme. In order to avoid such consequences, it is better to use an FTP program right from the start (we recommend the free “Filezilla”) and first create a Backup your websitethat you save locally and / or in your web space. In this way, if the functions.php restore the previous state in next to no time. In the FTP program you can do this with a click of the mouse also undo individual work steps.

Change the login logo by copying the following code into the functions.php of your theme:

Replace “/ wp-content / ...” with the path to the desired image file so that your own logo appears on the WordPress login page from now on. You can just as easily adapt additional design elements with just a few lines of code, for example the logo in your WordPress dashboard. The WordPress community also provides many detailed instructions for this on the Internet.

Find broken links even without a plug-in

Plugins that are constantly running in the background and performing scans can make WordPress slow. One example is the Broken Link Checker - a very useful tool that monitors all internal links on your website and checks whether they lead to nowhere. However, permanent monitoring drains resources.

The solution here is also quite simple: Do without the plug-in and use the Google Search Console instead - as a webmaster you should have an account there anyway. The Search Console provides you with a detailed crawl error report about website and URL errors - and thus about broken links that the crawler could not follow (crawlers are programs used by search engines to index websites, among other things). Depending on the type, you should edit broken links and then mark the corrected errors as "corrected".

Create image galleries without plug-ins

Pictures add value to every post. The popular NextGEN Gallery plug-in lets you create elaborate galleries, but the extension is also known as a resource killer. If you can do without an opulent picture presentation, just make do with the Possibilities that WordPress has on board:

In the edit view of the page on which you want to insert the gallery, click on "Add files" and select the images that you want to display - either via the "Library" tab or via "Upload files". Now click on "Create gallery" and then on "Create new gallery". Then determine the order of the images, the number of columns or the size of the images. With a click on the "Insert gallery" button, you can integrate the element on your page - without any plug-in.

Our examples show: Often it works without plug-ins. You can find many other solutions on the web, with which you extend the functions of WordPress without installing plug-ins.

Your Roadmap to Making WordPress Faster:

  • use an efficient theme
  • Clean up databases
  • Choose images only as large as necessary
  • Enable caching
  • clean up the code
  • Choose plug-ins carefully
  • add simple functions without plug-ins