How to Boost Your SEO and Conversion Rate: Speed Up WordPress

By: | December 14, 2017 | Tags: , , , , , |

How to Speed up WordPress Website

by Shivaranjani Murugesan from Hansoftech

You might have come across a slow loading web page! How do you feel about it? Frustrated and hit the back button immediately? Right? Well, the same thing is done by your visitors when your website takes more than 3 seconds to load and you leave more money on the table. Let us move on to learn why page speed affects SEO and how to easily speed up WordPress.

If you are using a WordPress CMS (Content Management System), then this guide is especially for you. We know that WordPress is the most commonly used CMS as it comes handy with many plugins and themes, but the worst part is, this can slow down your website if you are not optimizing the website and maintaining it well.


Why does page speed matter?

Page speed matters a lot in terms of improving SEO, UX (User Experience), and conversion rate. As you may know, Google has declared page speed as one of the ranking factors in the year 2016; website load speed affects your visibility and ranking of your website.


If your website visitors are required to wait for a longer time to visit your page, they will leave and move on to your competitors. This impacts the impression of your brand and also increases your bounce rate, and if the website has low traffic and a high bounce rate, the chances of conversion is also decreased. In fact, a study by Kissmetrics showed that 40% of people abandon a website when it takes more than 3 seconds to load.


How to measure and speed up your WordPress website?

Now you may wonder, “How to know if my website is slow?” There are some tools which help to measure your website’s load time. There are a couple of free tools you can use to check your website speed optimization which include


  1. GTmetrix
  2. Google page speed insight
  3. Pingdom


Now that you understand the importance of page speed and how to measure your website load time, let us move on to how to overcome these hurdles to speed up WordPress. Some of the easy and quick fixes to speed up your WordPress website are:


Reduce server response time

Optimize images

Minify Resources (CSS, HTML, JS)

Prioritize above the fold content

Enable GZIP compression

Avoid bad requests

Enable leverage browser caching

Remove unnecessary redirects



  • Reduce server response time:

Server response time is the time period to start loading the necessary HTML i.e., to begin rendering the page from your server. The normal server response time should be under 200 milliseconds. There are some factors that slow down your server’s response time. They are the database, server software, traffic and hosting.

Content Delivery Network (CDN) helps to minimize the distance between the visitors and the website server by using cached version of its content in multiple geographic location. We are here to help you choose the best CDN services like Cloudflare to improve your website load speed.



  • Optimize images:

If your home page has incredible and breathtaking images which occupy more space, then this will increase your website’s load time. There are many plugins available to optimize images, like WP SMUSH IT, EWWW image optimizer, and TinyPNG. You can compress and save the images to improve your site load speed.


  • Minify Resources (CSS, HTML, JS):

Minification is the process of removing unnecessary data. Minifying your code removes white space characters, new line characters, comments and block delimiters. There are many plugins and tools available to minify your resources. These plugins are Better WordPress minify, WP super minify etc, and Google developer tools provide closure tools to minify your code.


  • Prioritize above the fold content:

Users love websites that show the content quickly. Google suggests two main strategies to accomplish this task

  • Structure your HTML to load the critical, above-the-fold content first
  • Reduce the amount of data used by your resources


The simplest way to prioritize your main content is to ensure that your HTML is presenting the content of your webpage first, before it is presenting other things like Javascript. For eg: Header part has to appear before sidebar. CSS can be optimized by using the single external style sheet and inline all your code that allows all your above the fold content to load immediately. Defer your JavaScript from loading until the rest of the content loads, this will make a huge difference to loading your website faster.


  • Enable GZIP compression:

Different web servers have different types of compression methods. The most common method to enable GZIP compression is by using a .htaccess file. If you are not familiar with .htaccess file, get assistance from your web developer for better results.

Compression of your code can reduce the site load time by over 50%. When you use GZIP compression, the request made by your browser, then the web server returns small compressed files; hence, it saves load time and bandwidth.


  • Avoid bad requests:

Sometimes your HTML or CSS may request a resource such as an image that does not exist. In such cases, the server makes extra round trips and returns a 404 error.  This slows down your web pages. Using a page speed tool, you can detect a bad request and fix it.


  • Enable leverage browser caching:

Every time a browser loads a page, it has to load all the files including HTML, CSS, JS & Images. Browser caching stores the website’s resource files on the local computer when a user visits a webpage. Leverage browser caching instructs the browser on how to deal with the resource files and it reduces page load time for repeat visitors. To enable browser caching, you need to edit .htaccess file and set the expiry time for particular file types.


  • Remove unnecessary redirects:

Redirects make your page load slowly. Minimizing HTTP redirects from one URL to another saves the load time of browser and wait time for users. You can speed up WordPress by using 301 and 302 redirects. 301 is a permanent redirect and 302 is a temporary redirect. The most commonly used redirect is the 301 redirect to change www version to non-www version or vice versa.



I hope now you have learned the basics about optimizing your website to improve page load time and how it affects customer conversion. If you want a higher ranking and better conversion, then go ahead and use these simple tips and tricks to optimize your website load time. If this seems Greek to you, we are ready to speed up and secure your website in a customized way along with CDN & SSL implementation.

Host Blogger’s Comments: Readers, please share so other bloggers know the secret to boosting their SEO and conversions: You need to speed up WordPress.

This was a sponsored post.


How to Set Up Accelerated Mobile Pages for WordPress

  1. RAMIT

    Thank you for sharing these immensely helpful tips for optimizing a WordPress website to improve page load time. It will help to enhance the user experience.
    Wonderful Post.
    And Great Effort!!

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Ramit,
      So glad you enjoyed and found the amplification speed tips helpful. Thanks for writing to tell us.

  2. Ryan Biddulph

    Hi Shivarangi,

    Good tips buddy. I love my CDN. My develop implored me for months to buy it, and I resisted. Per usual, he was on the money. Whenever I published a new post and emailed my list, I noted my formatting was off. Like the HTML tags did not render the page, everything was poorly or non-formatted. After asking around it seemed to be a traffic and image loading issue. Not enough juice to go around, so I bought the CDN and everything loaded smoothly and quickly since then.


    • Shivaranjani (Shivi)

      Hi Ryan,

      Thanks for acknowledging. Generally the formatting issues you mentioned occur due to the cache setting either the server or browser. Good that the issue is solved now. Regarding the CDN there are free CDN support available with basic options in Cloudflare. With these basic options, we have got the load times of our clients to less than 2 secs some even less than 1 sec in Gtmetrix. You can check Cloudflare basic plan as well

  3. John

    Just what I have been looking for. I have to save this on my Evernote, so I can check it again later.
    Thanks again, janice

    • Shivaranjani (Shivi)

      Great to know you found what you needed.!Get in touch if you need any technical assistance on speed optimisation.

  4. Sagar Chauhan

    @Hi Janice

    This article is very helpful for me, all the points you described in your article is very important to understand. Thanks for this awesome article.

    Big Fan of uh ☺️

  5. Shafi Khan

    Hey Janice,

    Website loading speed is definitely a major factor now given that it can improve user experience and reduce overall bounce rate.

    They say that if a page takes more than 3 seconds to load, you lose a visitor. And I completely agree with you.

    Using a CDN can significantly boost the load time. Thanks for the actionable tips.


    Shafi Khan

  6. Freddy G. Cabrera

    Hey Shivaranjani!

    Website loading speed is super crucial for the success of your blog site. People these days have a very short attention span. I would say that you have about 3 seconds to make sure your new visitor actually checks your content out and engage. If your page takes longer than 3 seconds to load you will lose thousands of new visitors!

    I use the WordPres Platform for my blogs. I use such plugins, WP Super Cache, Autoptimize, WP Smush, and WP-Optimize.

    These plugins have been working out well for me. You also have to keep in mind the quality of your Hossting Provider. I would not recommend a Shared Hosting like one from hostgator or bluehost, if you are looking to build your daily traffic to the thousands. You need a managed hosting plan like WP Engine. I personally use one called WPXHosting. It is a bit more pricey but it is well worth it!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Cheers! 😀

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Freddy,
      I use WPSmush of the plugins you listed. Freddy, you seem knowledgeable in this area. I use a Small Orange which is like Blue Host, I’m sure. As far as paying for a pricier plan, I’m about to start affiliate marketing. We’ll see how I do! Thanks for writing.

      • Freddy G. Cabrera

        Hey Janice!

        I have not heard of A Small Orange. I just checked it out and they seem to have very good quality hosting plans. They have similar prices to WPXHosting.

        Good luck with everything! 😀

        • Janice Wald

          Hi Freddy. Thanks for checking a Small Orange out for me. That’s being a friend. Glad they seem okay in your eyes. Take care.

          • Freddy G. Cabrera

            You are very welcome, Janice!

            Always! 🙂

            I’ll see you around!

    • Shivaranjani (Shivi)

      Hi Freddy,

      Thats indeed a deep analysis. Kudos to you. I see Janice has walked through some ideas.
      Regarding the plugins, I suggest to check with WPFC for a cache plugin. That actually zeros the server response time issue.

      Regarding the server choice, yes of course dedicated servers are great. Yet if the budget comes to play , I choose CDN over cache plugin as it saves minimum 2 secs in load time. And if the page loads lots of resources and the visitors are globally distributed , you can save a lot more in load time.

  7. Kathryn Maclean

    Hi Janice and Shivaranjani
    Yet more to learn concerning our blogs. Loading speed is of course very important. No one wants to wait for a site to load, they just get frustrated and move on. I tested my site with the Pingdom link in the article. My performance for my site was 84, load time 1.68 and faster than 76% of tested sites. Saved this article for reference. Will be keeping track of my site with Pingdom in the future. Thanks for this important info.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Kathryn,
      Thanks for coming by to comment on Shivi’s article. I am concerned my site is slowing and my search traffic is falling as a result. I use GTmetrix to check. May I ask why you chose Pingdom? Is one preferable over the other? Thanks,

  8. Pospi Otuson

    I examined my blog with Gmetrix, but when I saw guidelines like;

    Minify resources
    Optimize images
    Html bla bla bla

    I was even more confused

    Thanks for bringing it so clear to me now as always

    Thanks a lot for this Janice

  9. Abhi uriyal

    Indeed WordPress is still one of the powerful SEO tools to boost your website. Writing a blog on WordPress and give proper hyperlink and all can help you to get the backlink to your website. So that we should absolutely use WordPress tool to boost our website’s traffic.
    Anyway, i found this useful. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  10. Gaurav Kumar

    Hi Janice,

    When it comes to testing my website speed, I always use Google Pagespeed test tool, Pingdom, and GTmetrix.These devices give the proper insight where I should work to optimize my website or blog speed.

    I also check my website speed on my other website to find out how it will look and load on different devices. A fast loading blog is always more attractive than a lazy loading site.

    thanks for sharing.

  11. Vineesh Asp

    Thank you Janice, even I read many articles about this topic honestly I found something refreshed information here.
    Thank you

  12. Disaster Recovery Plan

    Amazing sharing about WordPress Optimize. It’s really helpful and informative. Thanks

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