Your website’s page load speed is very important factor for the success of your website.If it doesn’t load quickly then people won’t stick around leading to staggering rate of visitors.Its been proven already that site that loads quickly brings more business and your site could even get “red flagged” in google if its slow.
But no need to worry as WordPress provides almost perfect balance between functionality and speed.You surely need to know the tools and how to use those tools.So, in this tutorial I’m going to explain what are the right tools and how to use them to get the best results.I’m going to take you through various free plugins and hosting solutions to increase your WordPress website speed step by step.
Lets start with Caching
Its easy to get confused while exploring the world of caching.In simple words caching is clever way of reusing and optimizing the previously requested data to minimize the refetching of same data repeatedly.
Caching is perfect for static images like logos as they don’t change frequently so, they are stored locally on the user’s computer via caching and don’t need to be downloaded with every page load.
Is Caching really helpful?
And the answer to the question is: Yes and it means that caching indeed is important! but there are other big factors that affect the site’s load speed like: themes,plugins and images.
It’s also possible to get snappy website without caching, Although caching is needed in WordPress infrastructure to assure that the page is as fast as possible to load.So without any delay let’s discuss the ways to improve WordPress site’s load speed with caching!
1. Get a WordPress Caching Plugin
Most of the time I install WordPress with caching plugin as basic part of my WordPress installation.The 3 options that are listed below are the best ones in my opinion.However I suggest you to check all of them and others as well and make a decision according to your preference.
W3 Total Cache
It’s among one of the best WordPress caching plugin and available for free.It also has a premium version and offers a discount when adding MaxCDN .General setting include Page, Database, Object, and Browser Cache, CloudFlare compatibility and options for specialized Varnish servers.
ZenCache, just like W3 Total Cache, has a premium version as well. Although there are numerous options, basic installation is very easy. The Pro version presently supports MaxCDN and Amazon CloudFront but also compatible with many other popular CDNs.
WP Rocket utilizes both client-side browser cache (images, JS, and CSS files) and server-side cache building for static pages to minimize PHP code processing. You can also use web-crawling software offered by the developer to locates and cache files . The plugin is CDN-enabled and can be used with CloudFlare.
2. Get a Better Hosting Solution
Its not necessary to have the best hosting services for optimal functioning of WordPress websites but if you can afford better hosting services then it would be lot easier for you to run your website smoothly.
Properly managed services require more financial input but in return they do provide great services as well, like administration, backup, and security. Less pressure on mind as well.So we have listed a few popular WordPress managed hosting platforms.
I suggest you to compare WordPress-optimized hosting platforms in terms of features, price, and possible technical limitations or restrictions. WPEngine, Pressidium, and Pressable are, for example, CDN-ready. Flywheel, however, offers MaxCDN services in comparison to Pagely, which uses PressCDN. They both offer other features like page caching and administrative services like uptime reliability, backup, scalability, and security.
SiteGround, a cheaper hosting platform, uses the SuperCacher WordPress plugin. Hosting companies like GoDaddy and Bluehost also offer managed add-on services like CloudFlare. I recommend you to research your options carefully as some sites enforce technical limitations on specialized web services like CDN.
DreamPress, similar to WPEngine and GoDaddy, uses Varnish caching via Varnish HTTP Purge plugin. Cloudways, is another service,that runs a proprietary VMAN platform, uses the WordPress W3 Total Cache plugin, and supports Varnish, Memecached, NGinx, and Apache servers.
3. Get a Content Distributed Network(CDN)
A Content Distributed Network (CDN) improves page loading speed by using a network of geographically separate physical servers sharing cached static pages of your website content.Random requests for content will be processed and fetched from the closest accessible server.
A CDN is like a ultimate remedy, available with numerous WordPress plugins like W3 Total Cache, It distributes your website content to the users as static file. Hosting plans also offer this delivery option. Amazon CloudFront, the CDN front-end of Amazon Web Services (AWS), is an example of this type of web service. Some of the plugins mentioned above are CDN-enabled. MaxCDN and CloudFlare are managed hosting platforms and offers CDN as well.
CDN isn’t necessarily required, but it can make a huge difference to page load speed. It does add up the additional cost, so it’s up to you to judge its value. If you choose to adopt a CDN then you could blindly go for any option mentioned above that comprises a CDN solution. It’s always better to unify solutions if possible!
Caching can be a bit overwhelming, but the 3 steps above are in their correct order for maximum output.I think you should deal with each in turn as per your requirement.
It’s not must but I recommend you to utilize caching for optimum results. Going with a specialized hosting provider can make things hell lot easier for you – although at a price. Finally, utilizing a CDN also not necessary, but a logical step in boosting a page loading speed.
Even after that you might not find your website ‘fast enough’ however, you can always make efficiency enhancements But what you should do is make tangible efforts to ensure that your website is as fast as possible considering the available resources, and even free solutions like: W3 total cache, can actually give you the boost towards your goal.