Speeding up your WordPress site

Speed optimization methods improve the load time of your website, which leads to better SEO scores and increased user satisfaction.

Basics

The WordPress is written in PHP language. PHP is a script language and has to generate a page each time a user visits it. This is always a costly operation, forcing your web server to waste its resources (mainly CPU and memory). You are probably aware of the fact that it is not necessary to do that. All visitors can (and should) see the same page version (for some defined period of time or at least until next modification). You should always cache your site and eliminate all additional components (e.g. plugins) that can slow down your site.

For our theme we recommend these speed optimizations:

  • WP Super Cache plugin - one of the best caching plugin for WordPress. Learn more
  • Autoptimize plugin - aggregate, minify and cache scripts and styles. Learn more
  • PHP Gzip compression - PHP method of compressing files (making them smaller) for faster network transfers. Learn more
  • PHP OpCode cache - PHP extension that caches the results of the compilation phase. Learn more
  • Images compression - increase your page speeds by way of image optimization. Learn more

WP Super Cache

There are a few good plugins for caching. We recommend the WP Super Cache plugin because it's very good (trusted by 1+ million of users) for most cases and relatively simple to configure.

Setup

The best part of this plugin is its straightforward setup. The default configuration is suitable for most cases, at least at the early stages of your site's lifecycle. All you need to do is to enable caching in WP admin panel › Settings › WP Super Cache › Easy tab.

If you want to learn more about the plugin configuration options, please check the How to Install and Setup WP Super Cache for Beginners tutorial.

Autoptimize

The Autoptimize plugin can aggregate, minify and cache scripts and styles, injects CSS in the page head by default but can also inline critical CSS and defer the aggregated full CSS, moves and defers scripts to the footer and minifies HTML. As such it can improve your site’s performance a lot.

Setup

Below the recommended setup for the Autoptimize plugin.

PHP Gzip compression

All modern browsers support and automatically negotiate gzip compression for all HTTP requests. Enabling gzip compression can reduce the size of the transferred response by up to 90%, which can significantly reduce the amount of time to download the resource, reduce data usage for the client, and improve the time to the first render of your page. See How to Optimize Your Site with GZIP Compression to learn more.

PHP OpCode cache

OPcache improves PHP performance by storing precompiled script bytecode in shared memory. The need for PHP to load and parse scripts on each request is not needed if the bytecode has been cached. OPcache is bundled with PHP 5.5.0 and later. Inside of WordPress, you do not need to do any special configuration to make OPcache run for WordPress.

Enable OPcache in PHP

If you use PHP version 7.1 or later, you should have the OpCode cache enabled by default. If not, please ask your hosting admin to enable it for you.

To check if the OpCode is enabled on your site, you can use the WP OPcache plugin. This plugin allows also to easily flush the OpCache cache on demand.

Images compression

Images are larger in size than plain text which means they take longer to load and can slow down your website. There are several WordPress image compression plugins that allow you to easily optimize images in WordPress for better speed and performance. These plugins optimize your images by automatically compressing them and using the smaller sized version on your website.

Below the list of most popular compression plugins:

Other suggestions

Uninstall unused plugins

Another good practice to provide best site performance is to use only the necessary plugins. Less plugins means less resources to process and faster site. Make sure that all your active plugins are really needed and if not please deactivate (or remove) them. Our theme is delivered with a lot of built in components so before you decide to use a 3rd party extension, please check if the theme doesn't provide it already.