How to open any website faster – 8 Quick Ways

This post was last updated on March 17th, 2021

Two Boys Running - How to open any website faster - 8 quick ways

How to open any website faster? Given that page loading speed is so critical for SEO, this is a really common question for most website owners.

You’ll want fast hosting and a lean theme.  Also, you’ll want to be minimising plugins or anything else that calls down extra web resources during page load.  Server-side speed improvements such as using a CDN and server caching are important.  Reduce the size of images and optimize them for speed. Only call out resources from the web for embedded video when a reader presses “play”.

A more specific question might be: How can I make a slow website faster on a budget?

In this article I’ll share with you the most cost-effective and quickest ways to get your website pages loading and opening quickly.

1. How to Open any Website Faster? – Get Fast Web Hosting

Your choice of web hosting provider is your best way to improve your site speed.  

Managed cloud-based hosting is the ultimate in hosting as its super-quick and infinitely scalable.  This is hosting where your website is stored on distributed cloud servers that aren’t dependent on one location.  

Cloud Computing - Kinsta

The main advantage of cloud over shared server hosting is that it can easily cope with traffic spikes and it isn’t dependent on outdated fixed hard drives. 

Kinsta is our preferred Google cloud hosting platform with plans starting from only $30 per month. Google cloud is all they do.  Check out our full review of Kinsta here.

If you’re looking for a less expensive but still super-quick hosting, it’s best to go for shared hosting with a provider using Solid State Drives (SSDs).   Additionally, if you pair SSD technology with a Content Delivery Network (discussed below), you should be able to obtain speeds almost as fast as the cloud based providers.  

The only issue with any form of shared hosting is how it will deal with spikes in traffic as your site grows. Therefore, you may need to move to cloud hosting later as your site grows.

2. A Lean & Fast WordPress Theme is Critical 

Even with the best hosting your site will be slow if you have a slow WordPress theme.

So many themes are bloated with features that you will never use and extraneous code that throttles their speed right down. 

What you need with a WordPress theme is light clean code and for it to be optimised for SEO.  Accordingly, there are many great WordPress themes which are built for speed and agility..

Our two favourite lightning fast WordPress themes are Generatepress and Schema.

GeneratePress Best WordPress Theme

They are both responsive themes featuring super- lean code and maximum flexibility plus adaptability. 

3. Minimise Plugins that run Scripts 

Many WordPress plugins can require high levels of processing.  They can really slow down your site.

Not all plugins are the same however. So what you’re trying to avoid are those that add additional code to your web pages.  

These scripts might be analytics code or similar.  You’re trying to avoid adding extra JavaScript or HTML to your pages that call down other services when your web page loads. This is because each of these data drawdowns incrementally slows your page load time.

Therefore, what we recommend is to start your site with no plugins. Each time you add a new plugin check this page load speed before and after you’ve added it.  GTMetrix is an excellent free tool to check page load speeds.  

GT Metrix - Hot to open website more quickly

Google Page Speed Insights is also excellent and provides detailed analytics of what’s slowing down your web pages.  This is based on a theoretical page load time analysis rather than an actual test.

Anything that can be run outside of WordPress should be run outside of WordPress. For example Google analytics can easily be used from their home site. A separate plugin isn’t needed for analytics.

Check if there are any plugins that have features which can be turned off. For example if you’re using an affiliate plugin you might want to turn off the analytics section of the plugin.

When trialling any new plugin we always recommend split testing page speed before and after the plugin is installed.  That way you can easily identify the specific plugins that are slowing your page loading. 

4. Use a CDN – A great way How to open any website faster

By using a content delivery network (CDN) Your website content is distributed around the world and held in different services.

How Cloudflare Works

How this works is that when someone clicks on your website in the search engines, your webpage will be delivered to the user from the nearest geographical server.  So your website will be delivered to your reader at a consistently high speed regardless of their world location.

A popular CDN is Cloudflare and this is provided free of charge with most hosting plans including Kinsta and Siteground.

Cloudflare has recently introduced a new product called Cloudflare APO.  This has the potential to change the hosting industry by caching absolutely all files.  With APO, there is absolutely no processing at the host server.   

All content is delivered from Cloudflare’s Edge network.  This may absolutely be the number one way how to open a slow website faster.

5. Turn on Server Caching or Supercaching – How to open a slow website faster

Most hosting providers provide free server-based caching.  Accordingly, make sure to turn this option on.  It allows a copy of your web page to be downloaded to the user much more quickly based on a stored copy held on the server.

If your hosting provider doesn’t provide this option, you can use a free plugin such as W3TotalCache or WPSuperCache.

WPSuperCache - How to open website faster

6.  Minimise and Optimise Images – one of the best ways how to open any Website Faster

One of the early mistakes that many web creators make is to upload images that are way too large for your website. The reality is that the web has severe limitations on resolution display of images anyway. So large images don’t provide any value.

If your site has to call out and download large images every time your page loads it’s going to slow down your page drastically.

We advise to resize your images down to suit the width supported by your wordpress theme. Then use an image optimiser program to remove empty space in the file. I use the Imageoptimiser for Mac app which is free and super easy to use.  Using this app, you can just drag your image over the program in the dock and it’s done.

Image Optim How to Speed Up Web Page Loading Time

We don’t recommend using a plugin for image optimisation as it’s always best to minimise your number of plugins.

When optimising your images, it’s a good idea not to remove the EXIF metadata from the image.  Matthew Woodward highlighted this in the video below where he tested the effect of removing the EXIF code from image files on page ranking.  His testing found that it’s better to leave the EXIF information in the files:

 

To make sure that you don’t remove the EXIF data, go to Preferences in ImageOptim and uncheck the option for “Strip JPEG Metadata”:

ImageOptim preferences - don't strip EXIF data

7. Minification of CSS, HTML and JS Code – how to open a slow website faster

If you’re using a super-lean theme such as GeneratePress, the code supporting the theme will already be very lean.  Anything you can do to compress any additional CSS or JS code will provide further speed improvements to your site.

Furthermore, if you’re using any custom CSS or JavaScript code, it’s a good idea to run the code through a minification program such as Cssminifier.  

CSS Minifier - How to open any website faster

Eg. CSS code such as this:

#header .logo-wrap {

     padding-top: 8px;

}

#header .logo-wrap {

     padding-bottom: 0px;

}

#header {

    border-bottom-color: #e6e6e6;

    border-bottom-style: solid;

    border-bottom-width: 2px;

}

Would be converted into this code using CSSMinifier.com –>

#header .logo-wrap{padding-top:8px}#header .logo-wrap{padding-bottom:0}#header{border-bottom-color:#e6e6e6;border-bottom-style:solid;border-bottom-width:2px}

JavaScript-minifier is another easy-to-use free tool which you can use to minify any Javascripts in a similar manner. 

8. Speed up Embedded YouTube Videos (How to Open a slow website faster)

One of the greatest ways that you can improve your bounce rate is to embed YouTube videos on your blog.

Videos tend to keep readers on the page for longer and this really helps out with Google metrics.

The downside is that when you embed a YouTube video on your page using the traditional method it adds a lot of heavy code to your page.  This can really slow down your site.

To correct this, I recommend using a plug-in such as WPLyte which just stores a thumbnail image in your post. Users click on the thumbnail to run the video.

WP Youtube Lyte

Summary – How to Open any Website Faster

If you’re looking to open a slow website faster, the two biggest things that you can do is to Google cloud based fast hosting or possibly go with Cloudflare APO.

Also the choice of a lean and speedy WordPress theme will make a huge difference.  The choice of theme might even be more important than hosting in some situations, as a slow theme can actually slow down fast hosting. 

 

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Frequently Asked Questions – How to Open any Website Faster

What is Cloud Hosting vs Shared Hosting?

Cloud hosting stores websites in a distributed network of cloud computers so that your site isn’t served from any one computer.  In comparison, shared hosting involves storing your website on a partitioned section of a fixed shared server.  Of the two, cloud hosting is generally much faster than shared hosting but slightly more expensive. 

What’s Server Caching vs Browser Caching?

With server caching, a dynamic copy of your website is stored on your host’s server for quick responses to read requests.  In comparison, with browser caching, the end user’s web browser stores copies of previously accessed web pages for fast future access if they need to be accessed again.

Can I use a free theme for my blog or should I buy a premium theme?

A free theme will give you the basic options and usability but you will be restricted as to how much you can customise your site.

If you’re someone that wants to have a really good looking professional site, you’ll most likely need a premium theme.

Where can I get free images that I can use on my blog? 

Pixabay offers royalty free images, vector images and illustrations.  Also, Unsplash offers beautiful royalty free images.

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