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Top Tips To Improve Your WordPress Website’s Speed

A sluggish website can spell disaster for businesses in today’s fast-paced digital age. Imagine a potential client trying to explore your services, only to be greeted by a loading screen that just won’t budge. Such minor glitches can often lead to lost opportunities and dwindling customer trust.

Optimising website speed can seem daunting for small businesses without the luxury of an in-house developer. But you’ll be happy to know that his post unveils simple yet effective techniques to give your WordPress website the boost it needs. Let’s dive in and discover how to make slow loading times a thing of the past.

How To Increase Speed of a Website in WordPress

Boosting your WordPress website’s speed is not as complex as it might seem. You can significantly improve your site’s loading times by making minor tweaks, such as compressing images, reducing plugins, and leveraging caching. Even without technical know-how, user-friendly plugins and tools are available to help SMEs give their websites a speedier edge.

Importance of Speed for Your WordPress Website

In the digital era, speed is paramount. A brisk-loading website not only impresses your visitors but also has tangible benefits for your business.

Slow sites often deter potential customers, causing them to look elsewhere, likely towards your competitors. Moreover, website speed plays a crucial role in search engine rankings.

Google rewards quick sites with higher positions, driving more organic traffic your way. From enhancing user experience to improving your online visibility, a fast website is a crucial player in the success of your digital presence.

How To Check Your WordPress Website’s Speed?

Before diving into optimisations, knowing where you currently stand is essential. Various online tools can help gauge your website’s speed without technical hassle.

Some popular options include GTmetrix, PageSpeed Insights by Google, and Pingdom. Enter your website’s URL, and these tools will provide insights into loading times and potential areas of improvement. This step is crucial for SMEs as it offers a clear starting point and allows for tracking progress over time.

Factors That Slow Down a WordPress Website

Several elements can hinder your WordPress site’s performance, including:

  • Bulky images are one of the main culprits; they consume bandwidth and slow loading times.
  • Excessive plugins, especially those not well-optimised, can also be detrimental.
  • A sub-par hosting provider can limit your website’s potential speed.
  • External scripts, like ads or trackers, can further hamper performance.


It’s essential to be aware of these factors to address them effectively and keep your site running smoothly.

Ways To Improve Your WordPress Website’s Speed

Increasing your WordPress website’s speed can significantly enhance user experience and SEO rankings. Let’s look at some of the best methods to improve website speed.

Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

A CDN is a network of servers that store copies of your website’s files in multiple locations. When someone visits your site, they’re served content from the nearest server. This can drastically reduce loading times, especially for global audiences.

For instance, if your business is based in London but has visitors from New York, a CDN server in the US would deliver your site’s content faster than a UK server.

Read more: Content marketing for dentists

Optimise Images

Images often constitute the most significant portion of a page’s size. By compressing images without compromising quality, you can save bandwidth.

Tools like Imagify are brilliant for this, and with our SEO service for WordPress websites, Imagify is included for free.

Use a Caching Plugin

Caching is a nifty technique that can significantly boost your WordPress website’s speed, particularly for repeat visitors. It’s a method of temporarily storing frequently accessed data.

Instead of fetching the same data again from the server each time it’s required, it’s speedily served up from this temporary store, known as a cache. This means when visitors revisit a page they’ve seen before, the content is swiftly loaded from the cache rather than requesting it anew from various databases.

Now, managing caching might sound technical, but don’t fret! Caching plugins are here to simplify the process. One standout option is WP-Rocket. It’s robust and designed for simplicity, making it an excellent choice for those who might not be tech-savvy.

Install High-Quality Plugins

Always choose plugins with good reviews and regular updates. For instance, a well-coded contact form plugin can operate seamlessly without slowing down your site, whereas a poorly developed one can be a significant drag.

Read more: Best WordPress SEO plugins

Limit and Optimise Plugins

Plugins can enrich your WordPress website with added functionalities, but it’s vital to keep their number in check and ensure each one serves a distinct purpose. Overloading your site with too many plugins or duplicate functionalities can hamper its performance.

For instance, consider you have two similar SEO plugins activated simultaneously. Not only do they possibly perform overlapping tasks, but they might also compete for the same resources or even conflict with each other. This redundancy can lead to slower page loads and unexpected website behaviour.

To ensure optimal performance:

  1. Regularly review your installed plugins.
  2. Avoid installing plugins you don’t genuinely need.
  3. Deactivate and delete any that aren’t necessary or are redundant.


Remember, each plugin adds a bit of weight to your site, and having too many can be like trying to run a marathon with a heavy backpack.

Minimise CSS and JavaScript

Reducing the size and number of CSS and JavaScript files is vital in achieving a swift website. While JavaScript breathes life into websites, allowing animations and enhancing user interactivity, over-reliance on it can dampen the speed of your site.

Consider this: every animation or pop-up you encounter on a website likely owes its existence to JavaScript. Tools like Google Analytics and Hotjar, or functions like A/B testing, also utilise it. However, excessive JavaScript or external scripts, such as multiple ads, can cause slower page loads, as browsers need to fetch these scripts.

A surplus of JavaScript can also strain your website’s ‘crawl budget’. Google expends resources to process these files, affecting how frequently they review your other site pages.

To improve speed, pinpoint which scripts are running. Evaluate their necessity and consider alternatives. For example, rather than relying on a script for an animation, CSS might offer a more efficient solution.

Reduce File Sizes

Beyond images, other files like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript can be compressed. Compressing these reduces load time, much like compressing a bulky folder on your computer to make it easier to share. Plugins like Autoptimize are great options for businesses that don’t have a developer on hand.

Reduce HTTP Requests

Each element on your site, from images to scripts, requires an HTTP request. By reducing these elements (like combining multiple CSS files into one), you reduce these requests, streamlining the loading process.

Optimise Databases

Your website’s database holds crucial information. Plugins like WP-Optimize can clean up unnecessary data, ensuring efficient database operations. Think of it as decluttering your office desk for better productivity.

Choose a Lightweight Theme

Not all themes are created equal. Opt for ones that offer essential features without unnecessary bloat. A minimalistic theme can look stylish while ensuring quicker loading times. We suggest the hello elementor theme, as it’s lightweight and incredibly fast right out the box.

Read more: Defining your target market and branding

Use a Responsive Design

In a multi-device world, a design that adapts to various screen sizes ensures all users get optimal viewing, whether on a desktop, tablet, or mobile.

You can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool to test your website’s mobile-friendliness. Regularly checking ensures you’re providing the best user experience. Remember, simple adjustments like larger buttons and easily readable fonts can significantly affect smaller screens.

Hosting Provider Selection

Your hosting provider is foundational to your site’s speed. Consider options that offer solid uptime, fast response times, and excellent customer support. It’s akin to choosing a good landlord for your shop; a reliable one makes all the difference. In South Africa, Xneelo, it always a good option for smaller businesses.

Try Lazy Loading

Lazy loading delays the loading of images or videos until they’re in view. Instead of loading all images on a page, only those visible to the user are loaded, saving bandwidth and improving speed. WordPress plugins like Imagify and Smush provide lazy loading options to aid your website’s speed.

Avoid Overloading Homepage

Your homepage is your digital storefront. Keep it sleek and load only essential elements to aid the speed of your website. For example, show excerpts instead of entire blog posts or top pages or limit the number of displayed products.

Minify and Combine Files

Think of your website’s code as a packed bookshelf. Over time, with additions and edits, you might end up with many small books (files) that could be combined into larger volumes.

‘Minifying’ is the process of removing unnecessary spaces, lines, and comments from code files, making them more compact. It’s akin to removing redundant pages from a book, ensuring only the essentials remain.

Now, imagine every time you wanted a piece of information, you had to pull out several books. It’d be more efficient if related information were in one book, right? That’s where ‘combining’ comes in. By merging related files, especially CSS and JavaScript ones, you reduce the number of files a browser has to load, streamlining the process.

For WordPress sites, plugins like Autoptimize and W3 Total Cache can help automate this task. These tools simplify the process, ensuring your site runs faster without requiring you to delve deep into code.

Avoid redirects

Each redirect is like an additional stop on a journey. Reducing them ensures a more direct and faster route for your visitors to access the desired content. When setting up a redirect, always review and modify the inlinks of the targeted page for a smoother transition.


Optimising your WordPress website’s speed isn’t just about the technicalities — it’s about providing a seamless experience for your users. A swift-loading website can make a vast difference in keeping visitors engaged and, most crucially, converting them into loyal customers.

For small businesses, navigating the maze of website optimisation might seem daunting, but significant improvements are within reach with the proper knowledge and tools.

If the intricacies feel overwhelming or you need help figuring out where to begin, we’re here to assist. At Trail Digital, we understand the nuances of WordPress performance and can guide you every step of the way. Don’t let slow site speeds hamper your business potential; contact us today, and let’s get your website running at its peak!



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