Speed up your wordpress website

Here at Starke Marketing, we have built our fair share of WordPress sites and know the importance speed has on SEO. So we’re going to cut through the nonsense, and give you what you need to speed up your WordPress website.

Check your website’s speed

First, let’s figure out how fast your site is currently. This will also give you a starting point to see how you website improves as we make various tweaks. 

Go to pingdom.com and test your site’s speed. Make sure to choose the server that is closest to you. 

Install a caching plugin

Quick Note: If you’re using a managed WordPress hosting provider, you do not need a caching plugin

WordPress pages are dynamic. This means that your webpages are being built every time someone visits a post or page. In order to build these pages, WordPress must go through a process to find the necessary information, put it together, and then display it to for your customer. Needless to say, that’s a lot of steps which leads to a slower website especially when multiple people are visiting your site at once.

This why we highly recommend WordPress site owners to use a caching plugin. Caching can easily double or triple your WordPress site’s speed.

Here’s how a caching plugin works:

Instead of going through the page generation process every time a user accesses your site, the caching plugin makes a copy of the page after the first load, and then delivers that cached version to every following user.

Caching Plugin Recommendations:

  • WP Rocket (premium)
  • WP Super Cache (free)
  • W3 Super Cache (free) – This is what we use

Optimize your images

Boring! Yes, we know, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is a necessity. Why do you think every article your read on speeding up your WordPress site says the same thing?So let’s take the bullet point approach to make this as quick and as easy as possible:
  • Use only jpeg or png images
  • Use a jpeg if the image is complicated (lot’s of detail or colors)
  • Use a png if the image is simple or transparent
  • Make sure to use a program such as photoshop to reduce the size of your images
  • Do not just upload images from your phone or internet to your site – the file sizes can be huge!

Update your plugins

Updating your WordPress plugins is a quick way to make sure everything is running smoothly. All site owners should login to their site once a week to see if there are any updates available. Not taking this step will make your site slower and unreliable, and make you vulnerable to security threats.

Remove Query Strings from Static Resources

Once making the tweaks mentioned above, you’ll want to test your site again. You’ll notice that your scores have increased. The next step, if using W3 Super Cache to speed up your WordPress website is to check a little box that will remove query strings from static resources.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Go to the W3 Total Cache plugin settings
  • Click on “Browser Cache” located in the left column
  •  Scroll down till you see this line, “

Minify your CSS

Once again, let’s utilize your W3 Super Cache plugin to minify your css by combining the files into one CSS file. 

  • Go to the W3 Total Cache plugin settings
  • Click on “General Settings” located in the left column
  •  Scroll down till you see “Minify” and check “Enable”

For the second phase, you want to go and edit the minify settings

  • Click on “Minify” in the left column and copy the following settings as it’s show in the below images
  • Once this is done, click on “Save settings”
  • It’ll refresh the page and this sentence will appear “To rebuild the minify cache use the empty cache operation. Get minify hints using the help wizard…”
  • Click on the “Help” button
  •  Scroll all the way to the bottom and click on “Check/Check All” – This will select all your CSS files (Do NOT do this for the JS files)
  • Then click “Apply & Close”
  •  Finally, click “Save Settings & Purge Caches”
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