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Website Optimization: Make WordPress Faster

Fast and functional pages are not only a plus in terms of usability and user experience - the speed of course also has an influence on the search engine ranking. There are practical WordPress plugins and simple tricks to optimize WordPress performance.

How fast is my website?

Before you take optimization measures, you should first measure your own WordPress performance. There are various tools that help to find out how fast your own website is and where there is room for improvement.

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Google PageSpeed ​​Insights

The Google tool PageSpeed ​​Insights does not show any absolute loading times, as the user benefits above all from the suggestions for improvement. Both the desktop version and mobile version analyzed on the relevant page. The analysis is carried out in two categories: On the one hand, the user experience is checked. For mobile websites it is e.g. It is important, for example, that navigation modules are displayed large enough. On the other hand, the technical conditions of the site are checked, which have an impact on the loading time. The report is made in three assessment categories: "passed", "correction recommended" or "correction required".

GT Metrix

At GT Metrix you get a detailed performance analysis at a glance. The results are sorted by priority. When optimizing WordPress, website operators can easily work through the list, the most urgent ones Speed ​​brakes are listed first. For each criterion, the tool gives a brief explanation and a direct recommendation for action. In addition to the absolute value of your own homepage, the tool also gives an average value. It is also possible to compare different pages directly.

P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler)

The P3 Plugin Performance Profiler takes primarily the Plug-ins and analyzes their influence on the performance of the entire WordPress site. The plug-in can be downloaded free of charge from the WordPress download area. It shows the total loading time for all installed plug-ins as well as the runtime of individual installations. The tool exposes plug-ins that slow down performance.

IONOS website checker

IONOS also provides a free tool with which you can check the performance of your own website. In addition to the loading speed, the IONOS Website Checker also checks the general presentation of the page, SEO aspects and security. The user is given direct recommendations for optimization. Similar to the Google tool, the individual aspects are also divided into 3 categories: "Correction required", "Correction recommended" and "No complaint". You can try out the IONOS website checker here:

5 tips to make WordPress faster

1. Optimize image size

A common cause of long loading times are images that are too large. The simple solution: Compress the images and thus optimize WordPress performance. Reducing the image size has a direct impact on the loading time of the page. Ideally, you have the images with programs such as Photoshop (Option "Save for web") or Online tools edited like TinyPNG. But various plug-ins for WordPress also enable the automatic optimization of image files, for example WP Smush. If the plug-in is activated, it optimizes and compresses the images within the WordPress database.

Image optimization plug-ins:

2. Minimize CSS code & Java script

Next on the list is optimizing the CSS code and reducing and optimizing JavaScript. It often helps to reduce spaces and remove instructions that are no longer required in order to improve WordPress performance. You can also combine multiple files to create the Number of HTTP requests to reduce. There are programs for this, such as the CSS Minifier.

Code optimization tools:

3. Shorten the loading time through caching

WordPress retrieves content from the database every time a page is viewed and assembles the page - which increases the loading time. Caching plug-ins generate a static version of the pages and thus significantly improve performance. For example, Cachify enables certain parameters such as the cache storage location (database, hard disk) or the validity to be defined. Other tools like WP Supercache or W3 Total Cache offer even more caching methods. Individual caching settings can be defined for each individual element.

Caching plug-ins for WordPress:

4. Clean up the database

The size of the database is of course directly related to the speed of the database queries. The fact that the database keeps getting bigger over time is due to many of WordPress automatically created backups. So z. For example, all drafts and revisions of an article are saved - this significantly weakens WordPress performance. Saved spam comments and articles that have already been deleted can still be found in the database. These should be deleted manually on a regular basis or plug-ins should be used to clean up the database.

Plug-ins for cleaning up the database:

5. Reduce plug-ins

A big plus of the open source software WordPress is the huge selection of (free) plug-ins. However, these can also have a negative impact on performance under certain circumstances. As a website operator, you should therefore check which plug-ins are rather unimportant or often remain unused. There may also be slimmer alternatives for some extensions. The one mentioned above Performance Profiler plugin helps find the plug-ins that make the website cumbersome.

Optimize WordPress performance

Even simple measures have a major impact on the performance of a website. Optimizing loading times is not only important for satisfied customers and low bounce rates, but also for a good Google ranking - WordPress tuning is definitely worthwhile. The WordPress performance plug-ins presented here, which determine the current speed of your website and at the same time give recommendations for action, can also be used as a WordPress novice without any problems. With the above measures you will already achieve a noticeable improvement.

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