How to speed up web page loading time 12 Ways

This post was last updated on April 9th, 2021

Speedometer - How to speed up Web page loading time 12 ways

How to speed up web page loading time? –  you’ve got many options.  As most people know, there are many reasons why website speed is important including SEO and avoiding a poor user experience.  Slow loading times for your site can cause major headaches for your Google ranking and poor customer retention.

To speed up webpage loading time, switch to faster hosting. Also choose a super lean, SEO optimised theme.  Make the most of a CDN and server caching. Images should be reduced in size and optimised, but don’t strip out the hidden EXIF data.  Plugins need to be minimised. If you embed video in your web pages, it’s critical to make a clickable thumbnail image of the video.

So let’s dive into the detail of what actually works if you’re bootstrapping your site and don’t have a ton of cash.

In this article I’ll run through the easiest and least costly ways to speed up your web page loading time.

1 – Switch to Faster Hosting to speed up Web Page Loading Time 

Your choice of web hosting provider is your best way to improve to improve 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The main advantage over shared server hosting is that it can easily cope with traffic spikes and it isn’t dependent on outdated fixed hard drives.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.

 

Kinsta Home Page - What is Host ?

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) such as Siteground.  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.  

 

Siteground Main Screen

The only issue with any form of shared hosting is how it will deal with spikes in traffic as your site grows. You many need to move to cloud hosting as your site grows.

2 – Choosing a Fast WordPress Theme is a great Way How to Speed Up Web Page Loading Time

Your choice of WordPress theme makes so much difference to your page loading time.  Accordingly, I’d recommend that you choose an SEO-enabled and responsive theme that’s been optimised for speed.

SEO-Optimised themes can appear quite basic out of the box, but they’re highly customisable and have minimal code for maximum speed.

My favourite theme which ticks all of these boxes is GeneratePress.  It has both free and premium versions available. On many tests, it’s been found to be one of the fastest and leanest themes around.  It’s super clean code means that it requires only 30kb of server space for installation.

 

GeneratePress Best WordPress Theme

3 – Enable CDN

Most hosting providers provide free CDN (Content Delivery Network) functionality which can be turned on in CPanel settings.  

By enabling your CDN, you’ll  drastically increase page load times around the world, regardless of location.  It does this by copying your website to geographically diverse servers so that when a visitor comes to your site from a far-flung location, that web page will be delivered to them from the server nearest to their country.

How Cloudflare Works

Cloudflare is one of the largest providers of CDNs.  Check out your plan to see if this option is included with your provider and be sure to turn it on.

4 – Enable Caching or Super-caching – an effective way how to speed up web page loading time

Caching of your static pages is a no-brainer when it comes to site speed.  

By enabling your pages to be loaded into the server RAM, it allows much faster retrieval of your site content for users.

Luckily, most hosts now provide free server-based caching to their customers.  Siteground has a free supercacher which can be turned on in Cpanel. It does require their SG Optimiser plugin to be installed but all additional caching plugins can be removed.

If your host doesn’t provide caching, you can easily achieve the same effect through a free WordPress plugin such as WP Super Cache or W3 Total Cache.

5 – Minimise Process-Intensive Plugins

There’s no doubt that plugins consume processing power, but some are much more draining than others.   Accordingly, it’s best to avoid plugins that add additional code (particularly Javascript) to your web page.  

You can check if a plugin is adding code by going into the classic editor in WordPress for a page, click on the “text” tab to see the code.  If you see a lot of JS code, you may have plugins causing this.

When you’re first starting your site and trying to get traffic, it’s best to only install a few basic plugins.

I would generally avoid any plugins with analytics, email opt-ins, popup creators etc while you’re trying to build organic traffic to your site.

6 – Turn Off Unnecessary Features in Plugins

Some of the larger plugins have modules that can be turned off if you don’t need them. 

For example, with the Thirsty Affiliates plugin, if you just want the link cloaking functionality, you can turn off the module that relates to marketing analytics.  As a lot of this information can be obtained from Google Analytics, it doesn’t seem worth the extra drag on processing time for the analytics code. 

7 – Test and Retest page speed 

If you’re not sure whether a plug-in is slowing down your site, try deactivating it then test the speed of one of your pages on GTMetrix or Google Pagespeed Insights

GTMetrix Speed Testing Screen

Then re-install the plugin and test your speed again.  If there’s a change in performance, and nothing else on your site has been altered, you know that it’s due to the plugin tweaking that you just did.

I usually run this test whenever I’m making changes with plugins or widgets on my websites.

Analyse the results from your page speed testing and see if there’s anything that needs correcting.  This will probably require some investigation but is well worth it.

8 – Optimising and Resizing Images is a Great Way how to Speed up Web Page Loading Time 

Large images will invariably slow down your page loading time.  This is one of the easiest things to fix without any noticeable reduction in quality.

If you’re obtaining images from stock sites such as Shutterstock or Unsplash, the pictures which you download will often be of a really large size.  Accordingly, I recommend that you resize the images down so that they will be perfect for your theme. If you’re using the Elementor page builder, you can easily see the sizes that are supported under image sizing.

Once you’ve resized the images, reduce them further using a file compression utility.  The one I particularly like is ImageOptim, a free utility for the Mac. I have this app sitting in the dock of my Mac so it’s as easy as just dragging the file over the app to get it reduced.  It couldn’t be easier to use. It usually gets a further 8% to 10% size reduction.

 

Image Optim How to Speed Up Web Page Loading Time

9 – Use Fonts that are native to your Theme

It’s always best to use fonts that are native to your theme to avoid extra downloading time each time your page is loaded.

I prefer Google fonts which work on all browsers.  They come pre-installed with the Generatepress theme.

10 – Run a site audit to find other ways to Speed Up Web Page Loading Time

There are many amazing SEO tools that will audit your site.  Semrush and AHRefs both do a fantastic job for advanced SEO.

There’s a free tool at Woorank which will allow you to try one site audit for free.  It’s well worth doing. If you don’t find any speed optimisations, you’ll likely find SEO improvements that you can make to improve your site.

11. Minification of CSS, HTML and JS Code 

If you’re using a superlean 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.

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

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:

#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. 

12. Speed up Embedded YouTube Videos 

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 your 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.  It’s effectively a lazy-load feature for videos.

 

WP Youtube Lyte

Summary – How to Speed up a Web Page Loading Time 

There’s so many ways to speed up your web page loading time for little cost.  What it all comes down to is using the fastest hosting that you can obtain. Pair this with a clean SEO-Optimised theme and minimal use of plugins and you should obtain optimal speeds.

Check for any additional optimisations such as CDN and Caching with your hosting provider.

For further low cost methods of bootstrapping your site, check out our article: AHRefs – Alternative Low Cost Tools.

 

Frequently Asked Questions – How to speed up web page loading time

What type of web hosting is best for a new blog? 

Shared hosting is generally a better option for a new blog because it’s lower In cost.  Some shared hosting plans also have decent page load speeds.

What is cloud hosting vs shared hosting?

Cloud hosting stores websites in a distributed network of cloud computers so that your page isn’t served from any one computer.  Shared hosting involves storing your website on a partitioned section of a fixed shared server. Cloud hosting is generally much faster than shared hosting.

What’s server caching vs browser caching?

With server caching, a dynamic copy of your website is stored on your host’s server for a quick response to read-requests.  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.

Which image type is best to use in web pages?

JPG is preferable to PNG due to its smaller inherent file size. The very small reduction in image quality of JPG isn’t noticeable on web pages.

Do I still need a separate caching plugin for WordPress?

No, you don’t need a separate caching plugin If you have caching or super-caching turned on with your hosting provider.

Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

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