This is a great question, and one with many answers, some simple and some complex. The first thing you should look at is your server, what your website is hosted on is the foundation for everything. Here are the top four items (in our opinion) to speed up your website:
- Increase your server’s available PHP memory, this is just like the RAM on your computer and in general, the more allocated the faster you can process tasks. You can contact your hosting provider’s support and ask them to increase the PHP “memory_limit” to the available max. For example, going from 512M to 1024M you’re more than likely going to see your page speed or TTL (time to load) decrease by at least half. If you’ve reached the limit of your current server ask about bumping up your plan to something with more resources available, or consider changing to a better hosting platform. It’s not required, but we recommend getting Cloudways it’s excellent, easily scalable if needed, very fast, the same platform our demos and IDX Hosted Website plans are on, free migration, and great customer support. You can spin up a 2GB server from them starting at $22/month, and we also have a coupon code for 20% off your first 2 months use “CONTEMPO20” on checkout.
- Implement a caching plugin or strategy, they’re a ton of plugins out there to handle caching on your site, some popular ones are NitroPack (our top recommendation), WP Super Cache, W3 Total Cache, or some hosts like Cloudways have built-in server-side caching systems with Varnish that you can leverage in tandem with your caching plugin.
- Use a CDN (Content Delivery Network), these really go hand-in-hand with pagespeed & caching plugins like NitroPack (includes CDN) and will help in offloading your images & media taking the strain off your server, and saving a ton in disk space. Using a CDN also places requested resources geographically closer to your user by serving them from a server nearest to their location.
- Optimize your database, over time your database will acquire some deadweight, this is pretty much unavoidable. Cleaning this up is not hugely difficult, but your first step is to use a plugin like WP-Optimize that will clean, compress, and also offers performance caching, & minimizing features. Here’s a great article to check out as well “10 Tips for Keeping a Squeaky Clean WordPress Database” which really covers all the bases.
For an in-depth look into the subject check out: