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New WordPress Backend Tricks to Reduce Load Time of your Website

WordPress is undoubtedly one of the user-friendly and complete content management systems. If you are using WordPress, then you simply cannot go wrong.

However, there is a twist.

If you do not optimize your WordPress site, you are bound to lose traffic and eventually fall out of SEO rankings.

That’s why, in this article, we will explore methods on how to reduce the loading time of WordPress with backend tricks.

As a blogger, you would have come along multiple blogging tips. But, most of them ignore the need for a faster site. Also, the fact that most of the users now use VPN options such as Surfshark to access time, it further makes the site loading time a lot more than usual.

Let’s get started.

Get rid of unnecessary plugins

One of the easiest and best ways to reduce loading time is to remove plugins that you do not use. Plugins that are not required or are stayed deactivated in the backend can lead your hosting to slow down.

Each plugin has its own impact on the loading speed of your site. To ensure that you do not have to go through the same problem, try to evaluate the plugin based on the below points.

  • Do you need the plugin?
  • Is there any alternative to the plugin that is further optimized?

These questions will help you select the most important plugins and change the ones for better ones. This is required as not all plugins are well-developer.

Reduce HTTP Requests

When you enter a site address in the browser, the server sends a lot of HTTP requests to make the site load. This is more apparent when you first load a site. However, the loading time is improved as your browser locally stores the site’s static files.

To improve the WordPress site’s loading time, you need to reduce HTTP requests. It can be done by combining files whenever possible. You can also minify JavaScript, CSS, and other code-related files for better file size. The fewer files that the browser needs to load the site, the faster it will load.

Gzip Compression

Gzip compression can also help you reduce loading time. It is a server-side feature where all the files that are served by the server are compressed before they are served to the web visitor. Once the browser downloads it, it simply decompresses the files and then loads it. Apparently, decompressing the site on your browser is way faster than downloading the actual files.

To enable Gzip compression, you need to open up your site according to the URL and then change the gzip compression option from 0 to 1.

Note: Change “yourwebsite.com” to your site’s URL.

Caching

Caching can enable you to load your site faster from the second time onwards. By enabling caching on your WordPress site, you will be able to store static files such as scripts, images, etc. on the user’s computer.

The static files can be stored for a given time. 

To enable caching on your site, you need to copy the following code and paste it in your site’s .htaccess file.

## Enabling Cache on 
<IfModule mod_expires.c>
ExpiresActive On
ExpiresByType image/jpg "access 1 year"
ExpiresByType image/jpeg "access 1 year"
ExpiresByType image/gif "access 1 year"
ExpiresByType image/png "access 1 year"
ExpiresByType text/css "access 1 month"
ExpiresByType text/html "access 1 month"
ExpiresByType application/pdf "access 1 month"
ExpiresByType text/x-javascript "access 1 month"
ExpiresByType application/x-shockwave-flash "access 1 month"
ExpiresByType image/x-icon "access 1 year"
ExpiresDefault "access 1 month"
</IfModule>

Minify

You can reduce your site’s size by the help of minification. Minification is a process by which the white space in the code is removed. In simple words, it removes the unnecessary characters as machines do not need those to understand code.

Also, there are many tools that let you unminify the code if you want to do so. This means that you do not lose code readability later on when you want to make changes.

To minify the code, you can use plugins. We suggest Autoptimize as it automatically minifies the code when possible.

Reduce Database Calls

Another way to improve the site’s speed is to reduce database calls. This is a little technical and you need to play with WordPress template files.

Most of the themes are not optimized and don’t use standard database calls, ending in making too many requests to the database.

You can hire a developer and ask him to take a look at the theme. He can find out if the theme is properly optimized or not. You can ask him to optimize the theme. If it is too costly, then you can then try to choose a optimized theme that has fewer database calls as possible.

Limit Post Revisions

You can also limit post revisions to improve your site loading speed. As you keep updating or editing the post, WordPress keeps the copy of previous revisions. If there are too many revisions, then your site will slow down as it increases the database.

To limit the WordPress revisions for each article, all you need to do is add the following line of code to wp-config.php file.

define (‘WP_POST_Revisions’, 4);

Disabling HotLinking

It is very common for internet users to hotlink good content on the web. That’s why you will find that sooner or later, you will see your content stolen by other users. To protect this from happening, you need to disable hotlinking. This will stop others to serve your site’s content on the web including images.

To do so, all you need to do is add the following code in the .htaccess file.

#disable hotlinking of images with forbidden or custom image option
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www\.)?yoursite.com [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www\.)?google.com [NC]
RewriteRule \.(jpg|jpeg|png|gif)$ – [NC,F,L]

Note: Change yoursite.com to your actual website URL

Conclusion

This leads us to the end of our how to reduce loading time of WordPress sites with backend tricks. So, which tricks are you going to employ to achieve lightning fast loading time? Comment below and let us know.

About Author

Experienced WordPress developer with over 10 years of full time developing WordPress themes and plugins.

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