10 Ways to Optimize and Speed up WordPress Site

Speed up WordPress Site — Optimize for Google Core Web Vitals
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WordPress is a very popular web publishing platform that has been in use for years. In fact, the software has been used to build about 40% of the web so far. As interesting as the stats are, there is a major challenge that users face while utilizing the platform—slow speed. Of course, a slow-loading site can be a very annoying experience for anybody.

Thankfully, this guide has proffered some solutions to the problem with speedup methods, as well as tips on optimizing your site for Google web vitals.

Take these 10 simple steps to optimize your WordPress site and stand out in Google core web vitals metrics. Click To Tweet

What are Google Core Web Vitals?

Google Core Web Vitals are performance metrics that are used to ascertain the UX (user experience) quality that visitors get from a site. You can see that the word “Core” is in the term. This shows that there are other less important Web Vitals that experts look out for. The ‘Core’ Web Vitals are the major ones that you should give priority to them in speeding up your site or trying to boost performance. Their major focus is on 3 areas of user experience which are listed below.

  1. Loading
  2. Interactivity
  3. Visual Stability

Each of the above-listed areas are measured by a particular metric (Core Web Vital). They have been discussed below.

  1. Loading: Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
  2. Interactivity: First Input Delay (FID)
  3. Visual Stability: Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

Loading: Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

This metric is used to ascertain the time it will take for the major content of a website to appear. In other words, an LCP test is used to measure load time. Normally, the LCP test should take place in not more than 2.5 seconds from when the page starts to load.

Interactivity: First Input Delay (FID)

Using First Input Delay to measure interactivity involves arriving at an FID score. A page with top-quality UX should have an FID score that is not past the 100 millisecond-mark (ms).

Visual Stability: Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

Cumulative Layout Shift measures how smooth users’ experience will be in terms of sudden changes in layout (while using the website). The CLS issue is as important as the other two Core Vitals. The best scores you can have when it comes to the CLS issue should not be anything past the 0.1 marks.

Google has made the above Core Vitals the essential pointers of the overall user experience quality of a website. This means that you have to place enough importance on your site’s FID, CLS, and LCP test scores. Ensure that you are getting standard outcomes.

Why are Core Web Vitals Important?

Gaining useful traffic is important, especially for business websites. You could lose visitors if they don’t find the interface or layout to be pleasant for browsing. For example, eCommerce sites may experience an increase in the number of abandoned shopping carts and bounce rates. These are obvious reasons why Core Web Vitals are important. Let’s look at other reasons in bullet points.

  • Google uses Core Web Vitals to measure your site’s performance and UX when considering it for higher rankings on search results pages.
  • Just as they are important to Google, they are also essential to you as the site owner. The tests will let you know the areas that need improvements. For example: Knowing whether to super optimize WordPress site or engage in speeding up practices.

How to Improve Your Core Web Vitals on WordPress?

Start trying to speed up WordPress site aspects, so that you can be able to retain visitors. You don’t want to waste the resources you put into getting traffic. Below are 10 ways to optimize WordPress site—including speedup practices:

  1. Use the least number of plugins
  2. Use the best themes
  3. Use cloud-based hosting
  4. Optimize Images
  5. Optimize SEO data with Yoast
  6. Optimize the whole website
  7. Optimize servers
  8. Monitor your performance
  9. Optimize your advertisements
  10. Use CDN

1. Use the Least Number of Plugins

To speed up WordPress site, owners should ensure that they set up the fewest number of plugins that are OK for the best performance. However, ensure that you have the most relevant ones like WordFence.

2. Use the Best Themes

Your site’s themes will determine how well its visitors will enjoy navigation. With the fastest loading WordPress themes in mind, you should go for the best ones that will ensure compatibility in order to optimize WordPress site. You can get the fastest loading WordPress theme for your website from Generate Press. You can also try the Divi theme. It is also one of the fastest loading WordPress themes.

3. Use Cloud-Based Hosting

It is advisable to adopt cloud-based hosting in order to optimize WordPress site. This method will speed up things on the site and improve UX quality. CloudWays is a good idea for this purpose.

4. Optimize Images

In speeding image load times up to optimize WordPress site, owners should employ the right software for setting the best image dimensions and quality. ShortPixel is an ideal tool to use in ensuring that speeding images load times up is not an issue.

5. Optimize SEO Data with Yoast

Now, let’s understand what Yoast is all about in brief… Yoast is a service that helps site owners with their SEO optimization setup. This plugin is one of the very important ones just like WordFence. If you want the best result then do your SEM analysis using SEMrush and then use Yoast to execute your plan.

6. Optimize the whole Website

In learning how to reduce server response time for WordPress, you should know how to optimize WordPress site as a whole. To do this, look no further than NitroPack for a massive website speed boost.

NitroPack is packed with lots of features like caching, image optimization etc. Even before installing the plug-in, you can check the estimated optimization level expected from using NitroPack.

7. Optimize Servers

Server optimization… This is how to reduce server response time for WordPress in a significant way. You can do so with the aid of the Redis Object Cache plugin. Using the Redis Object Cache plugin is easy. First, install the plugin on your site. It will be running discreetly in the background.

Perform thorough tests regularly, and ensure that all critical processes on the site are reviewed after each test. Do so with multiple profiles to be sure that cached objects are not being wrongly reutilized. If you discover that cached objects are being utilized wrongly, you can try to leave out certain groups of objects from being cached. You should also remember to clear the cache regularly.

It will be a good idea to hire a WordPress expert to help with object cache performance manipulation. On a final note, if you want your users to have the best experience when browsing your website, you must learn how to reduce server response time for WordPress.

8. Monitor Your Performance

A plugin that you can use for this is Site Kit by Google. Monitoring your site’s performance entails conducting an in-depth analysis of visitor behavior and experience (how they discover and browse your site). It lets you understand how well your site is doing based on the Core Web Vitals.

9. Optimize Your Advertisements

You should utilize auto ads for the best performance. Each ad on your site should have its own reserved space in such a way that there will be no adverse effects on UX quality. Also, use the minimum number of ads per page. NitroPack is a good tool to adopt in order to super optimize them.

10. Use a CDN

“CDN” is an acronym for Content Delivery Network. It is referred to as a network of servers that your site is dependent on for the loading of its content. The network is usually situated at a data center near the location of your visitors. This is how to reduce server response time with a good CDN (WordPress): Using CloudWays CDN.

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FAQs

In this section; some very important FAQs (frequently asked questions) about Google web vitals, WordPress performance tuning, FID score, and CLS issue tackling will be answered. Hopefully, you will find a solution to a problem affecting your site in one of the answers given. See the questions directly below.

  1. How do I optimize Core Web Vitals?
  2. How do I find my Core Web Vitals report?
  3. When is Google making ‘Page Experience’ an official ranking signal?
  4. What’s the difference between field and lab data?
  5. Do inactive plugins slow down WordPress?
  6. How do I make images load faster on my website?
  7. How can I improve my WordPress website?
  8. How can I improve my CLS?
  9. How can I improve my FID?

1. How Do I Optimize Core Web Vitals?

Questions 8 and 9 will give more information on this (CLS and FID). We will take a look at LCP for now. There are various reasons your site might be experiencing LCP issues. For example the render-blocking of CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and JavaScript, slow servers, etc. You can take care of these problems by doing the following:

  • Removing or reducing large elements on your webpages
  • Reducing the blocking settings of CSS and JavaScript
  • Employing a content delivery network (CDN)
  • Enabling lazy loading so that the images on a webpage will only load when a user scrolls down to them

If the aforementioned tips don’t yield good results, then you would have to upgrade your web hosting for improved site performance.

2. How Do I Find My Core Web Vitals Report?

Your target location will be Google Search Console (Enhancements section), as long as you have an account with the service. If you haven’t signed up, then do so and get your site ownership status verified. Other ways you can conduct measurements and get a Web Vitals report are through WebPageTest, Web Vitals Chrome Extension, PageSpeed Insights, etc.

3. When Is Google Making ‘Page Experience’ an Official Ranking Signal?

Google has stated that it will do so in May 2021, so get your site optimized and ready for the new changes.

4. What’s the Difference between Field and Lab Data

They are both obtained from testing your site and analyzing Core Web Vitals. The difference is that field data is dependent on real browsers and users. On the other hand, lab data is gotten from simulated situations (fake users and browser conditions).

5. Do Inactive Plugins Slow Down WordPress?

The answer to the question, “Do inactive plugins slow down WordPress sites?” is No. To optimize WordPress site, endeavor that you deactivate or uninstall the plugins that are not presently in use.

6. How Do I Make Images Load Faster on My Website

In learning how to make images load faster (speeding images load times up), you should know the best plugins to adopt. It has been advised earlier that ShortPixel is a good tool to employ in speeding up image loading times.

7. How Can I Improve My WordPress Website?

As stated in this guide, there are many ways to improve your WordPress site, apart from optimizing it for web vitals. You can choose one out of the 10 ways to optimize WordPress site that have been provided earlier. There are more ways to boost performance, if you are looking to leave no stone unturned.

Watch this YouTube video to learn other methods to boost performance:

Optimize WordPress Site for Google Core Web Vitals

8. How Can I Improve My CLS?

You can do this by specifying the image dimensions (length and width) on the webpages. Your site’s CLS score will increase if you don’t do this. This principle also applies to videos, infographics, GIFs, etc. You should also make use of dynamic ads that are not intrusive to the view of site’s visitors. Don’t place ads with large sizes at the top of the page, or else UX quality will be affected.

Thirdly, ensure that there are reserved spaces with preset dimensions for iframes and embeds on your webpages. If not, they will move without restrictions and disturb the layout boundaries.

9. How Can I Improve My FID?

You can do this by optimizing your JavaScript through minimization or deference. This will enable your visitors to navigate the webpage, while the JavaScript is still loading in the background. There are plugins that can make this task easy for you.

Another way to do this is by getting rid of useless third-party scripts, thereby unclogging your network. Lastly, utilizing the cache of your browser is another approach. A browser cache can hasten JavaScript tasks by improving the way your site loads in the browsers of your visitors.

Conclusion

These are important things you should know in learning how to reduce server response time for WordPress. The relevance of Google web vitals cannot be overemphasized, and you must try to super optimize your site for them.

Now, your visitors can have an improved user experience with the WordPress performance tuning and speedup methods given in this guide.

By Kalpataru

Kalpataru is a Software Sales, and Product Marketing professional. He writes on business development, personal development, personal finance, and career development. He has more than 10 years of experience in driving revenue through data-driven Sales & Marketing.