Speed up WordPress Site: Fix your slow WordPress website for 90+ GTMetrix and Google Page Speed Insight scores by implementing these 35 techniques (2021)

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Updated On: November 18th, 2020 0 Comments

Have a slow WordPress site?

Don’t worry about it!

I mean it.

It’s easy to speed up your WordPress site.

All you have to do is implement the techniques mentioned in this guide and you’ll increase your WordPress site’s performance in less than a day.

I implemented these techniques and look at my scores on GTMetrix:

WordPress powers a ton of blogs and business websites. A lot of online businesses depend on it.

And when Google announced that page load time is one of the ranking factors, WordPress Optimization suddenly received the spotlight that it deserves.

Improving the page load speed of your website not just improves the SEO rankings, it also improves the user experience.

And when user experience is improved and better, it drives more conversions.

Anyway, I am not going to waste your time. Let’s get started with the most important question.

Why is WordPress so slow?

I get this question a lot from people all over the web.

Let me tell you something.

WordPress core software is not the culprit here.

It’s fast and efficient.

For example, try deactivating all the plugins and switch to a default theme.

You’ll notice a huge difference in your site load speed.

The actual culprits for slow WordPress site are:

  • Shared hosting service from companies like Hostgator, Bluehost, and Siteground (these days)
  • A huge number of active plugins.
  • Slow Plugins. See the list of slow WordPress plugins here.
  • Bloated WordPress theme. Do not go with multi-purpose WordPress themes.
  • Images with big file sizes. For example, 200kb to 2MB.

So, in order to speed up your WordPress website, all you have to do is:

  • Switch to a Faster WordPress hosting service. I recommend Cloudways or Kinsta based on your budget.
  • Reduce the number of active plugins. For example, this website has less than 12 plugins currently active.
  • Make sure the active plugins are lightweight and performant. I will show you how to measure the performance of plugins.
  • Make sure the active theme is lightweight. If it is not, get it custom coded or rebuild your website using a theme like Astra, GeneratePress, Genesis Framework, etc.
  • Make sure to upload images only after optimizing them by using tools like Tinypng and Adobe Photoshop.

Now, I will also show you countless other techniques but the above mentioned are the most important ones.

And the WordPress Optimization theory ends here!

This is a 100% practical guide packed with unbiased and blunt advice.

Are you ready to speed up your slow WordPress site?

First, let’s talk about how to measure your WordPress Performance!

1.How to measure your WordPress site performance using GTMetrix and NewRelic APM

There are many tools to test how your site is performing.

Here are some of them non-techies and techies alike:

Remember, Getting 100% scores on all the above-mentioned tools is not realistic.

For example, with the new update, getting an 85% score on GTMetrix and Google Page speed insights is more than enough for most of the websites in the world.

Update: GTMetrix is now using Lighthouse from Google instead of aged YSlow and PageSpeed scores.

2.Use faster WordPress Hosting

Your choice of web hosting service plan shows good impact on the speed of your website.

For example, if your website is hosted on a shared hosting plan, your website will be obviously slow because your website is sharing web hosting resources like RAM, Disk Space, etc. with at least 10 other websites.

And if one of them is receiving more traffic than your website, it will be using most of the web server resources.

So, let me set your expectations straight.

If you have hosted your website on one of the shared hosting plans of any web hosting company and if you care about your website performance, you should move on from it. Period.

I know shared hosting plans are cheap at 60$-100$ per year fee.

But if you want your website to load quickly, you have to spend at least 10$ – 15$ / month.

Sure, it’s a bit expensive. But it will be much cheaper and saves you a lot of headaches in the long run.

So, where should you move your website?

According to my experience, You should either go with Managed WordPress hosting services like Nexcess, Kinsta, WPX Hosting.

Or a Cloud hosting service like Cloudways.

I recommend Cloudways Hosting. It is a Cloud based hosting service and it is extremely fast.

Cloudways helps you host your WordPress website on:

  • Google Cloud Platform

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