How to Optimize Site Performance

Why optimize?

There are two primary factors that affect the time it takes a site to load: the visitor’s connection speed and the website itself. Since you can only control one of those factors, it makes sense to do everything you can to make sure your site is as fast and as light as you can make it.

Figure out where the problems are

Before spending time fixing issues, it’s a good idea to run a performance test to see where potential problems might be. Google’s PageSpeed Insights is a quick and easy tool that will determine your site’s overall performance and offer up suggestions on how to optimize load times. Kinsta has put together an excellent article on how to score 100/100 in Google PageSpeed. If you want to go into a little more detail, you should download ySlow, a module for FireFox and Chrome that will run a test and give you a simple letter grade in several key areas.

Install a caching plugin

One of the greatest improvements you can make is to install a plugin that handles caching for your website. The most popular are W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache, but there are many more out there.

These caching plugins take your dynamic WordPress PHP scripts and use them to generate significantly quicker static HTML files. You should see an improvement in performance almost immediately after you properly configure them.

You can delve into more detail at

Optimize your images

If you don’t have Photoshop, tools like Picasa or GIMP will allow you optimize your images so that they take up less time to load while still looking great, and the built-in WordPress media manager will allow you to crop and resize images without leaving your dashboard. Properly optimized images should be around 120kb, so you may need to play around with your settings to get your images the right size. Many of our Getting Be sure to read through our Getting Started guides first, as many of them provide specific image sizes to complement the theme. If it is important to provide a high-quality image, consider using an optimized image that links to a higher resolution version.

It is also important to choose the right file type. In general, you will want to use JPEG for regular images and photographs. If it’s important to maintain transparency or a large amount of colors, use PNG, and if it’s an animated image, use GIF.

Choose a good server

It is equally important to choose a good server. In general, you want a server that has sufficient bandwidth to handle the amount of traffic it is experiencing from all the sites that use it. If you’ve tried the above fixes and your site still seems to be loading slowly, it might be time to consider upgrading your service or switching your hosting company.