How to speed up a WordPress website?!

A challenge for every WordPress website owner: making (and keeping!) the website fast. WordPress in itself isn’t slow. Mostly the theme, plugins and the content like images will cause performance issues.

Why faster?

A fast loading website, will be ranked higher. Your visitors don’t want to wait ten seconds to load a page. They go away, to never return again. Also search engines appreciate speed. A fast website will rank higher in the search results!


There is much that requires attention when it comes to speed.

  • Webhosting
  • Images
  • The database
  • The theme
  • The (amount of) plugins

When a page is loaded, all sorts of things happen on the background right up to the moment the page appears on your screen. A lot of what happens in the background can be influenced. From the queries that gather the wanted information, up to the files that are sent along to the browser to show the page with the wanted design and functionality.

website-speedIf you look in de page source you can see how a web page is built up. You can see all of the CSS and JavaScript files and images that are loaded. These files are mainly responsible for the page load time. The more and bigger these files get, the slower the page load time!

To measure is to know

There are many online tools available to measure the performance of your website. The tool I always use is GTmetrix. GTmetrix creates a clear view of the performance of your website and gives clues on how to fix things. Many items are shown separately, along with the scores and in-depth information.

It’s important to know that it not only about high scores with PageSpeed and Yslow. These are mainly about the technical things that happen on the page. The page load time, the page size and the number of requests are important for the user experience and ranking.

Let’s get started!

After examining the first test results, you will know exactly what you have to do to speed up your website. Most of the actions needed will be explained on this website. Because I also want to have a fast website. And I know it’s possible, even on shared hosting!

On the picture below you can see the latest scores of this website on GTmetrix. I know, I still have to optimize a few things. Nobody’s perfect…!

gtmetrix report

Ronald Heijnes
Ronald Heijnes

Since 2008 I keep myself busy with the functionality, management, maintenance and performance of self hosted WordPress. I like to share this knowledge. All in my spare time!

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