5 Ways to Speed Up a WordPress Blog

counter-796417_960_720How long does it take the average visitor to load your WordPress blog? Studies have shown that Internet users have become increasingly impatient, with the majority of users clicking the back button in their browser if a website fails to load in just four seconds.

The good news is that you can speed up your WordPress blog or website by following some simple steps.

Speed Up Your Website:

Enable Caching

What is caching and why should you have it enabled? Caching refers to the process of storing bits of data within a web browser. Instead of forcing visitors to download entire webpages each and every time they visit your site, you can “instruct” them to save parts of the webpage in their web browser; thus, reducing load times for returning visits.

Check out the Total Cache or Super Cache plugins to enable caching in WordPress blogs.

Enable GZIP Compression

Another helpful technique to reduce WordPress load times is to enable GZIP compression. Basically, this involves compressing some of your blog’s files so they require less bandwidth to send. GZIP compression has been shown to reduce webpage file sizes by as much as 70%, which is a substantial amount to say the least.

To enable GZIP compression, add the following lines of code to your blog’s .htaccess file:

# compress text, html, javascript, css, xml:
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/plain
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/css
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xhtml+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/rss+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/javascript
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-javascript
AddType x-font/otf .otf
AddType x-font/ttf .ttf
AddType x-font/eot .eot
AddType x-font/woff .woff
AddType image/x-icon .ico
AddType image/png .png

Choose the Right Web Hosting Service

Of course, your blog’s web hosting service will also play a key role in its load times. Some bloggers may try to cut corners by using a free web hosting service, assuming that “all web hosts are the same.” While it may initially save you some money, however, these free web hosts will almost always come back to haunt you. They are riddled with an excessive number of clients, resulting in bottlenecks, as well as downtime. Instead of using a free web host, it’s recommended that you spend the extra money on a reliable, paid web host.

Minify CSS and JavaScript

Much like GZIP compression is designed to shrink the size of your blog’s files, so is “minifying.” Head over to the WordPress plugin directory and download the Better WordPress Minify plugin. Once installed and activated, it will automatically compress your blog’s CSS and JavaScript files so they are faster for visitors to load. There are other WordPress plugins which are intended to perform similar functions, such as YUI Compressor. But if you’re looking for an automatic, hands-off approach to minifying your CSS and JavaScript files, stick with Better WordPress Minify.

Have any other WordPress speed optimization tips that you would like to share with our readers? Let us know in the comments section below!

Article Name
5 Ways to Speed Up a WordPress Blog
With so many users having high speed Internet access, they have become even more impatient if websites take too long to load. Don't let your site be one they leave because of slow load times.

3 thoughts on “5 Ways to Speed Up a WordPress Blog

  1. Bre Marie says:

    Great recommendations. My site is currently sluggish and I’ve been at a loss trying to figure out how to speed it up.

  2. W. McLaughlin says:

    I advise watching which plugins you use from the beginning. Some of them will slow down your site.

  3. BB says:

    Thanks so much for the GZIP instructions. I’m excited to try this.

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