How to improve your slow WordPress website (Ultimate 2021 Guide)

In this post I am going to show you how to improve your slow WordPress site or WordPress blog. Trust me, it is easy and you don’t need any coding knowledge.

If you are reading this post, you know that Google loves fast loading times and from May 2021, Google will also be paying special attention to the Core Web Vitals of your website or blog.

Now you may be wondering: what do I do first? The loading time or the Core Web Vitals?

Let me tell you that you don’t have to worry about it. If you improve the loading time of your website or blog, you will also be improving its Core Web Vitals.

It is a win-win situation.

Note: this review contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission if you end up signing up to Cloudways, GeneratePress, Schema Theme or WP Rocket, at no extra cost to you.

Do you need to know coding to know how to improve your slow WordPress site?

No, you don’t need to know coding to know how to improve your slow WordPress site.

I am not a developer so I don’t know how to code. All the work that I have done on my blog to improve the loading time was with the help of plugins and the right hosting solution.

Right now, the loading time of my blog is 0.9 seconds and all the Core Web Vitals are green.

the technology savvy loading time gt metrix

What I am going to show you is the step by step process that I did to improve the loading time of my blog.

Also, I want to tell you that I have already written the complete reviews of all the plugins that I use and in those posts you will find my complete setup and how to do it.

How to Speed Up WordPress Performance (UPDATED)

The blueprint for you to follow up is:

Choose the right hosting solution for your website or blog

The first and most important part is to choose the right hosting solution for your WordPress website or WordPress blog.

My recommendation is to choose a cloud hosting solution for your WordPress website or WordPress blog.

A cloud hosting solution gives your website or blog fast loading times  from the very beginning.

If you want to know what a cloud hosting solution is, you can read this post: Shared Hosting vs Cloud Hosting: 1 winner.

My recommendation for a cloud hosting solution is Cloudways.

Cloudways is perfect for non-developers because the installation is just a couple of clicks.

Now, with Cloudways, you have five hosting solutions to choose from.

Right now I am using Cloudways with Digital Ocean, and I am happy with that.

You can read my complete review and setup about Cloudways in this post: A Cloudways Review. 6 reasons to use the best hosting service.

The first step of improving your slow WordPress site is choosing the perfect hosting solution.

Pick the right theme for your website or blog

The theme for your website or blog must help you with the loading time and with search engine optimization.

That is why it is important for you to see all the details of the theme that you want to pick for your website or blog.

The theme that I am using for my blog is the Schema Theme by My Theme Shop.

This is how my blog looks right now:

the technology savvy schema theme my theme shop

This theme is a light theme that helps me with the loading time and with the Core Web Vitals.

You can read the full review about it and my setup of the Schema Theme here: Schema Theme Review: A Fast and SEO Friendly Theme for You.

It is important to choose a light theme because when you upload content to your website or blog, your site will weigh more.

Another theme that I can recommend is the free theme by GeneratePress. That theme will help you with both the loading time and the Core Web Vitals for your blog.

You must choose the theme for your website or blog wisely.

Well, you can tell me: why not use a WordPress website builder?

Because a WordPress website builder will hurt the loading time for your website or blog.

You have to know that the main purpose of a WordPress website builder is to give you a pretty site and be super easy for you to use it. I think every WordPress website builder is drag and drop.

For that reason, when you build a website with a WordPress website builder, your site is fully loaded with unnecessary CSS and JavaScript code.

The CSS and JavaScript code is what makes your website look pretty but it hurts the loading time.

My advice for now is to not use WordPress website builders to create a whole website or a whole blog.

For now, you can use it to create specific landing pages for your Facebook Ads campaigns or Google Ads campaigns.

Choosing the right theme for your website or blog is important to know how to improve your slow WordPress site.

You will need a content delivery network (CDN)

I want to explain very simply what a content delivery network is.

Imagine that you have your website hosting in New York. If a visitor is in Sydney, Australia, the loading time of your website could be more than 3 seconds.

What a content delivery network does is distribute your content across several servers globally.

So when your visitor from Sydney, Australia finds your site in the search engines and clicks it, the content will come to the visitor from the nearest server, so the loading time will be faster.

Right now I am using Bunny CDN. Bunny CDN is cheap and fast.

You will need WP Rocket

WP Rocket is a cache plugin.

What is a cache?

A cache is when your browser keeps the data of a web page so the next time you visit that web page the loading time will be faster, because your browser already has the important files for that web page.

So caching is reusing data from previous requests to speed up subsequent requests.

WP Rocket will be in charge of the cache for your WordPress site or blog.

Trust me, WP Rocket is a powerful plugin and will also help you with the performance of your site.

I know that you have to pay to use WP Rocket but trust me, it is worth it.

You can read my complete review of WP Rocket and my setup in this post: WP Rocket Review: The right tool to speed up your site.

Perfmatters for performance

Perfmatters is a good complement to WP Rocket and will help you with the performance of your website or blog.

Perfmatters is easy to use and has a good amount of options for you to try.

What I did with Perfmatters is test every one of the options to see which one helped the performance of my blog.

So in this complete review of Perfmatters, you will see my setup: Perfmatters review. Make your WordPress site even faster.

You can use my setup as a kick off for yours. I am telling you this because your blog is different to mine.

Choosing the right cache and performance plugin for your website or blog is important to know how to improve your slow WordPress site.

Imagify for your images

We are used to exporting the photos that we are going to use in JPEG or PNG. That is good, but Google has a new extension for the photos called WebP.

According to Google, WebP is a modern image format that provides superior lossless and lossy compression for images on the web. Using WebP, webmasters and web developers can create smaller, richer images that make the web faster.

If you are using Canva or Photoshop to edit your images, you won’t have the option to export your images in WebP.

What I do is use the Imagify plugin.

Imagify belongs to the same company as WP Rocket.

Imagify is easy to use. You only need to download the plugin and select the best settings for your blog or website.

My settings are:

the technology savvy imagify settings

And I select the option for WebP.

the technology savvy imagify settings webp

My recommendation for you is to use Imagify. Please don’t forget to optimize your images.

OMGF | Optimize My Google Fonts

All the themes use Google Fonts, and that is good.

But the not-so-good part is that the fonts are in the cloud, so every time a user clicks on your website or blog, the theme makes a call to the cloud to use the fonts.

So, the more calls there are to the cloud, the more the loading time of your website or blog increases.

What OMGF does is host the Google Fonts locally so there won’t be any call to the cloud, and that is good for the loading time of your website or blog.

The good thing about this plugin too is that you only need to install and activate the plugin.

If you see that your theme does not allow OMGF to host the fonts locally, you will need to buy the PRO version.

I am using the PRO version and it is worth it.

Conclusions for how to improve your slow WordPress site

As you can see I keep everything simple.

For me, the most important thing is that you choose the right hosting solution for your website or blog.

If you want a fast loading time your blog must be in the cloud.

Also, choose a good theme for your blog or website, don’t use a website builder; for me that is a mistake.

If you are going to hire a developer, tell the developer to keep your website light and that you can update your WordPress website with the latest version of the CMS.

If your developer tells you that you don’t have to update your website with the latest version of WordPress, that is wrong.

And above all keep everything simple. You just need a good theme and a cloud hosting solution to start blogging.

Then you can test which plugins are best suited for your needs.

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