12 Ways to Improve WordPress Page Load Time

This is a guest post by Chen Kok Siong. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

Page load time is one of important factors that determine the popularity of our blog. When people wish to visit our blog, the first impression will be the page load time. What will you feel if you try to open a web page but it takes long time to load? Usually, we will just close the windows and search for another website. Therefore, it is important for us to improve our WordPress page load time in order to drive more traffic as well as search engine optimization.

Because of this, I have done a lot of research and found that there are 12 ways that you must apply to improve your WordPress page load time. I will recommend you to test the page load time before you make any move so that you can see the significant result after you apply these 12 optimization ways in your blog. You may run the free test in YSlow, Website Speed Test, and Web Page Analyzer.

Improve WordPress Page Load Time with Plugin

1) Minimize The Use Of Plugin
First of all, we must minimize the use of plugin. As we all know, the WordPress page load time is highly influenced by the number of plugin used in our blog. Too many plugins will only burden our blog because most of them use extra css or javascript. Thus, we have to choose wisely which plugins to be used in our blog. Personally, I will choose the plugins like All in One SEO Pack, Google XML Sitemap and Top Commentators Widget to use in my blog.

2) Deactivate And Delete Unused Plugin
Sometimes, there are some unused plugins present in our blog. These plugins can affect our blog load time too. Remember to deactivate and delete all the unused plugins. Believe it or not, by doing this simple step, we can save lots of page load time.

3) Upgrade The Newest Version Of Plugin
Remember to upgrade our plugin used when there is new version available. Oftenly, the new version of plugin will fix up some bugs. Definitely, this can improve our WordPress page load time.

4) Use Tweetmeme Button Wisely
I believe most of the bloggers nowadays love to use Tweetmeme button in their blogs. However, this button can slow down our blog significantly. If you are using it, the best advice for you is to remove it from your blog to improve the page load time. If you insist to use it, I will suggest you to install this button manually instead of using the plugin. If you are a Thesis Theme user, you can simply add the code below in custom_functions.php to install Tweetmeme button for post and homepage:


/* ADD THIS CODE IN CUSTOM_FUNCTIONS.PHP FILE */ 
add_action('thesis_hook_before_post', 'tweet_button_right');
add_action('thesis_hook_before_teaser', 'tweet_button_right');
function tweet_button_right() { 
if (!is_page()){ ?>
    

5) Use W3 Total Cache Plugin
In my opinion, W3 Total Cache is the fastest and most complete caching plugin to be used in WordPress blog. This plugin enables us to deal with the page caching, database caching, minifying, Content Delivery Network (CDN) configuring and so on. I have done a lot of trials on this plugin and it really help to improve the page load time greatly if configuring correctly.

6) Optimize MySQL Database
We have to optimize MySQL database to improve the page load time. We can simply do this by using one of the features of the WP-DBManager plugin. Or we can do this by using phpMyAdmin. Firstly, check all the tables in your MySQL database. Then, apply the ďOptimize TableĒ to optimize the database.

Improve WordPress Page Load Time by Simplifying Our Blog

7) Reduce The Number Of Image In Our Blog
If we wish to improve our page load time, we must reduce the number of image used in our blog. The more images we used in our blog, the more time we need to download the images when opening the page. Try not to design the blog by using too many images.

8 ) Reduce The Image Size
If we are using image in our blog, we can still optimize the image size in order to make it load faster. The image size is related to the image format. If we wish to put a large image with a lot of colour in our blog, we can use the JPEG format. If we wish to put a smaller image with few colour in our blog, we can use the PNG format.

9) Use The Image From Our Server Instead Of Third Party Server
If we wish to use an image in our blog, try to upload it to our server. We are advised to use the image from our own server instead of third party server. The image download time from our server is less than from third party server.

Choose the Right Tools

10) Choose The Right Web Hosting
The web hosting of a WordPress blog is one of the factors to determine the page load time. Therefore, we must choose the right webhost in order to improve the page load time. Personally, Iím quite satisfied with the service of Hostgator. It really provides a fast and effective service. I never experience the server down since I signed up this webhost. Another good webhost to be chosen is GoDaddy.

11) Choose The Right Theme
One of the main factors to determine page load time is the theme we used. A complex CSS coding of a theme will certainly increase the page load time. The CSS coding should be as simple as it could. Iím using Thesis Theme for my blog. It is one of the good themes with simple CSS coding. Furthermore, it is SEO friendly too.

12) Upgrade Newest Version Of WordPress
Similar to the plugin, the newest version of WordPress will fix up some bugs from previous version. I believe that WordPress Team always doing their best to develop this blogging platform well enough to give the best performance to the users.

Wrap Up

Last but not least, if you have applied all the 12 ways to improve WordPress page load time above, you must try to run the page load test again to see the difference. Iím so sure that you will be surprised to see the improvement. Wish you all the best!

THIS GUEST POST IS PART OF MYBLOG2DAY CONTEST, READ THE GUIDELINES IF YOU WANT TO WIN $800 WORTH OF CASH PRIZE AND PREMIUM THEME!

About Author :
Kok Siong Chen is the owner of TreatGuides and he writes about Blogging Guide and Cytogenetics Cancer Research in his blogs.

About Lee Ka Hoong

Lee is a part time blogger and he writes about blogging tips, make money online, search engine optimisation, affiliate marketing, traffic building and etc. He shares his adventure and experience on how to make money blogging with a blog.

Comments

  1. This seems to be quite a useful posts in assisting bloggers to one of the fundamental issues of WordPress or perhaps blogging instead.
    Honestly, I am not so much of a technical person therefore when you mentioned about MySQL , w3 Cache plugin and sort, i really have no idea what it does. =P
    At current, i don’t really have a paid wordpress blog to manage therefore i suppose this won’t be such a problem for me.
    Nonetheless, this would proof to be very helpful in future to come where I would own my own blog/ website someday.

    Indeed, its true that page load time is important in maintaining a healthy impression for visitors and readers alike. I definitely am the type that would shut off any websites that loads slowly. However, at times it’s very hard for me to blame the ‘website’. I blame the unstable internet connection. =P

    But nevertheless, I will be sure to make a copy, take note about such issues in the future when i finally have a personal blog domain of my own.

    keep it up.
    cheers

    • Hi Febap Liew! Yes, you are right! We will simply shut off the page if it loads slowly no matter it is because of the unstable internet connection or page load time. However, we cannot do anything to improve user’s connection speed. What we can do is to improve our page load time.

      In my opinion, i think you should have your own blog domain. Wish you all the best! :)

      • you reckon too… i did thought of getting my own blog domain instead of using the free ones.. however, i have this slight little problem with wordpress..
        apparently, if I were to host my own blog domain preferably at Hostgator, i am unsure how i could redirect my old free wordpress domain to my personal one.. because i do not want to jeopardize and lose my backlinks which i may have accumulated back using my free blog..
        i have done some research myself and there is something called the redirect 301… however, it seems that wordpress do not support that at the moment..

        is there any possible way for me to redirect my free blog later on to my personal one.. hopefully hosted my hostgator?

        do share~
        thank you

        • Hi Febap Liew! i will suggest you to have your personal blog with self-hosted domain as soon as possible if you really wish to make money online.

          I’m so sorry to tell you that i do not have any experience on transferring WordPress.com to WordPress.org. However, i have tried to do the online research for you just now. I have founded an article mentioned about this. I think it might useful for you. The link is http://www.labnol.org/internet/migrate-wordpress-blog-to-own-domain/12776/.

          Hope this can help you a bit. Wish you all the best! :)

          • “The Domain Mapping Upgrade does not enable the permission to use advertising, any kind of prohibited code, or upload additional themes and plugins. With the upgrade, your blog will still be hosted here at WordPress.com, which means that you will not have FTP access to your files and must still abide by our Terms of Service accordingly.”

            Quoted from WordPress

            Gosh! No no this won’t do! it would jeopardize one of the major purposes of having a blog O_O .. i think i would most probably get a new web hosting account from hostgator and work my way there on hosting my own blog with wordpress.. i am sure there is a way for that ..
            what about you, Kok Siong?
            which web hosting service did you opted in ?

        • @Febap,
          As for the backlinks on your free blog, it doesn’t transfer to your new blog, that’s why you must have your own web hosting and domain if you’re serious in blogging. You can only redirect the page to the new blog, but not for backlinks. So you may need to build it from scratch again. I would recommend Hostgator at this moment, you may contact me if you want to get the best deal with Hostgator. ;)

  2. Great Tips.

    Over at Dev’s blog Technshare, it got suspended because of the related post plugin:

    “Hello Everyone, 21 June,10 was a very sad day for me, a very sad one indeed. Why? because my my blog suspended for hours. Yesterday i saw my hostgator account got suspended because of high server load and the same time my net stopped working (what a.. bad luck).

    Hostgator Ė One of the most Reliable Hosting I have ever seen, they are very reliable.

    What now happened?

    The problem was of high server load. Today i come to know Yet another related posts plugin causing the high server load. I just removed the yet another related posts plugin. Now iím using wp related posts plugin. Iím also using W3 Total cache and clean options plugin to reduce the server load.”

    As you can see, the related post plugin caused the high server load.

    And his blog is down again today!!

    Nabeel

    • Hi Nabeel! I have read his post too. Sometimes, there are some plugins will cause us problem especially to the page load time. We should always test its functionality. Thanks for your sharing! :)

  3. Ajith Edassery from Make Money Online says:

    Man,
    That tweetmeme stuff was causing more than performance problem for me before I removed it couple of weeks ago. It was causing my homepage to have invalid XHTML as per the w3c validator. Another super tip for you (which I was intending to post about). Improve your web server speed by deleting your error_log files on root every month or so. When I deleted it last time it was a 2GB file :)

    • Thanks for your sharing Ajith Edassery! The tweetmeme button is an useful button for every blogger even though it will slow down the page load time. However, we can reduce the side effect if we apply the step above to manually install the button.

  4. Great tips Lee. Even though most people have fast internet connections, you still need to keep load time at a minimal. You need to resist the temptation to fill your blog full of large, beautiful graphics and excessive amounts of plugins. Even Google search results take into consideration load time. So keep things optimized for both users and the search engines.

  5. One thing I can add is use iframes conservatively. Since a lot of our blog entries are geared towards local traffic, we like to embed Google Maps, Flickr slideshows, etc. We were finding these slowed our blog down.

  6. Page load time I think is a lot more important than what Google lets on. From some basic testing that I have done, it seems that the pages that are the first five slots on average load within 03 seconds or less.

    • Hi Carrie! The page load time is important in SEO as well as the impression to the visitors.

      • Yep, page load time is now more important than ever. People expect everything right away. So if your pages load too slowly, they’ll just move onto another site. It only makes sense for Google to consider page load time in their results. If they are sending people to slow sites, it reflects poorly on google’s reputation.

  7. Nice tips to speed up blog. About Tweetmeme, I would advise use of a Topsy Button instead. It loads faster than Tweetmeme.

    Also there is a very good plug-in for image size (file size) optimization for WordPress. It is called Smush it. If you do not mind installing another Plug-in then it is a must. It is fully automated. Just install and forget. File size of Image is reduced on go.

    • Thanks for your good suggestions to us Deepak! I have heard Smush It before. Since the W3 Total Cache is doing a good job, i do not put any other page load improve plugins in this article. :)

  8. This is exactly what I’m looking for. I’ve been tweaking around and have noticed that every once in awhile my Tweetmeme tends to slowly load. On top of that, I’ve had to uninstall some plugins because I had too much. I use Bluehost too so the page load tends to be slow, now I’m hearing Hostgator is good. Will it matter on what part of the world you’re in. Because don’t they have servers near you if you’re in certain areas?

    But other than that, will be going over these methods and implement them into my blog soon. Thanks so much for these tips Chen!

    • Hi Thu Nguyen! What i know is, the server loading time should not be affected by the area you are in. Maybe you should ask your webhost supprt team about this problem.
      I hope that this article can help you a lot in your page load time! :)

  9. hola,
    I have finally decided to create a new personal blog domain for myself using hostgator.. spent the whole day yesterday trying to piece things out together.. i am such a newb at it but i do try my best =)

    hey kok siong,
    i tried and went on to refer as much as i can from your post to apply it onto my new wordpress blog. .. reduce size , no high resolution
    I hope i have the appropriate necessary implementation for my wordpress blog.

    cheers , thanks alot bro =)
    have a nice day

    • Congratulation to you Febap Liew! If you have any problem with your new WordPress blog, i am willing to share my experience with you. Iím looking forward to see your new blog appears to the world! :)

      • Febap Liew from BlogXic says:

        thank you very much.
        Now I am trying to apply google analytics to it… gotta keep track =)

        thanks for your help bro.
        I will see you at the top of the climb,ye!
        =D
        cheers

  10. Those are really great points! I believe to improve page loading time, you should always remember the 3 R’s:

    Reduce, reduce, and reduce

    :-)

    • Hi Gloson! Nice to meet you here! Inspiring from your 3 R’s, i think we can use 3 D’s to improve the page loading time too. The 3 D’s are Delete, Depress, and Deduct

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  1. [...] week, one of my guest posts has been posted in myblog2day.com which is 12 Ways to Improve WordPress Page Load Time. To write this article, I have spent almost 10 hours to do research on that. I think it might [...]

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