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How to speed up your WordPress website

Everyone wants a fast website. Users appreciate a quick load time, and search engines love it even more. So if you want a decent ranking, then you’d better have a fast site.

There are lots of things to consider when improving your site speed, here are a list of some of things to help you on your way to a faster site.

1. Hosting

Yep, it’s important. You know the old saying “You pay peanuts, you get monkeys”? Well, it rings true with hosting. Don’t get me wrong, a 123-Reg or HeartInternet account is fine for a personal site, or even a very small business site. But depending on the size of your website, and the volume of traffic you’re expecting, having a good host is essential. I recommend NimbusHosting (https://www.nimbushosting.co.uk), they are my hosting company of choice (and no, I don’t get paid to say that). I host all of my sites with them and have recommended them to countless clients over the years. Yes, they’re more expensive than a £30 per year host, but you get what you pay for, and if you’re serious about your business, then it’s a wise investment.

2. Try not to use an off the shelf theme

WordPress themes are everywhere. You can pick them up for free if you really want, but we go back to the previous comment of ‘you get what you pay for’. There are some amazing themes out there, don’t get me wrong. The problem is, most of them are bloated with features you’ll never need or use, so it’s like using a sledgehammer to crack a walnut. If you want a quicker site, then you should aim for a bespoke theme that is created specifically for your requirements.

3. Identify any plugins that are slowing you down

Like the above, some plugins have tons of features you don’t need – or even if you need them, you may not need them on every page of your site. For instance, a lot of people opt for an image slider on their homepage, but the scripts are loaded on all pages via the plugin. Once you know what plugins are slowing you down, you can make an informed decision on wether to keep them or not.

4. Compress your website

This may be one for your developer, but you should always compress your site. Install GZIP by opening your htaccess file and adding the following code:

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/plain
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/css
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xhtml+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/rss+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/javascript
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-javascript

It’s that simple, and there is no down-side. A smaller site means a faster site.

5. Minify CSS and JavaScript

This goes hand in hand with comments about themes and plugins. You’ll find that if you’ve used more than a couple of plugins, you’ll quickly end up with lots of scripts and styles being loaded in. Just grab the Better WordPress Minify (https://wordpress.org/plugins/bwp-minify/) plugin and it’ll do the hard work for you.

6. Turn off Pingback and Trackbacks

While they can be good for certain sites, chances are as a business, you don’t need these features. All they do is alert other blogs if you link to them, and it can really kill your page speed. Turn them off under the “Discussion” tab in “Settings.”

7. CSS at the top, JavaScript at the bottom

You should always put your CSS in the head (obviously), but move any JavaScript to the bottom where possible, it prevents the browser from doing any heavy lifting until the page has loaded, meaning quicker load times.

8. Enable ‘Keep Alive’

This is a lesser known one, but HTTP Keep Alive basically allows the client’s machine to download multiple files without asking permission every time, this saves on bandwidth and you’ll notice a speed increase. To do this, open your htaccess file again, and add this line of code:

Header set Connection keep-alive

If you follow those simple steps, you should notice a significant increase in your site speed in no time.

Rob Fenech - Freelance Web Designer 5.0
Matthew Weatherill

Thank you so much for all your hard work. You made it easy to take my business online and I love the way my site looks! Everyone who has seen it says its great. I’ve been telling everyone about you!

Neil Payne

The first time I met Robert was when I first started my business. He was able to give me some great advice on how to get things started and he was very helpful throughout the process. When it came time to build our website, I knew right away who I was going to go with.

Sebastien Thatcher

Robert is a true professional who puts 110% into his work. He did a great job for me and I will use him again in the future

Christopher Verdant

The service was top class. Robert went out of his way to make sure that I was 100% happy with the end result. He went above and beyond what was expected and for that I can’t thank him enough.

Rafferty Bamburgh

The site is absolutely brilliant and I am more than happy with the outcome. The process was smooth and seamless and Robert became more than just a web designer, but a good friend and business associate. Rob has managed to create a stunning website for my company in record time, which is exactly what I was looking for. Everything about the website is perfect, the way it looks, the professional feel it gives off and most importantly, it works! The site has not only given my business credibility but has also gained me lots of new clients.

Jordan Fordly

I have known Robert for over 5 years and working with Robert has been a pleasure. He is very professional, his work is of the highest quality and he always delivers on time. I have no hesitation in recommending Robert to anyone looking for excellent web design services.

Charlie King

We wanted a website that we could manage ourselves and still look professional and we got exactly what we wanted. Robert was friendly and helpful and I would recommend him to anyone looking for a website.

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I am very happy with the website. I am thrilled with the service I got from you and the result.

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I was impressed with the work done by Robert. Very quick and efficient service and great value for money.

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I could not be happier with the service Robert provided; he was quick, efficient and communicated very well throughout the process.

Diamond Detailing

Robert was a pleasure to work with and he delivered an amazing result. It has been a breath of fresh air finding someone who is so enthusiastic about what they do and also delivers on time and on budget.

Margin Autos

I recently set up a new business and Robert was the man for the job to get it done. Not only is he an expert in his field, he is also extremely easy to work with, very responsive and incredibly reasonably priced. I was very happy with his work and would certainly recommend him to anyone looking for a top quality job.

Donna Whitehead

I was very impressed by the quality of work, professionalism and dedication to this project shown by Robert. I would highly recommend Robert’s services to anyone who wants their website to look professional and modern.

Louis Micallef

I would like to thank Robert for his work on my website, he was very easy to deal with and is extremely talented. I will be using his services in the future and I would highly recommend him to anyone looking for a website at a very affordable price.

Alice Beauchamp

I can not recommend Robert more. He did a fantastic job for our website and did it in a very timely manner at a great price! I will be using him again in the future and I would suggest others do too.

Ivy Slade

From the outset Robert was extremely helpful and accommodating. He provided excellent advice and made sure that I was happy with the design of my website at every stage.

Steven Woodcock

Excellent work. Robert was helpful, approachable and most importantly he did what he said he would do when he said he would do it. I’m very happy with my website.

Emma Mason

Rob was first on the list when I searched for a freelance web designer in London, and his skill immediately shone through. He completed a very unique website project for me with minimal fuss. He was patient and happy to explain things to me multiple times if I didn’t understand something. He is a fantastic web designer, and I cannot recommend him highly enough.

Vicki Anstey

Rob designed and built a superb website for our business. Slick, simple, eye-catching and very easy to navigate. He was a joy to work with, from start to finish, leading the process and understanding the brand inside out. We were able to input at every stage and the CMS system is easy to update to suit all our changing needs. Rob has continued to offer support and is very responsive to ad-hoc requests. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Rob Fenech to anyone looking to re-design their website.

Optrix Media

Rob did a fantastic job re-designing and building the Optrix website. He was very patient and I’d highly recommend.

McLellands London

Rob was very professional and put together a beautiful site for me with a very tight deadline. I was extremely impressed by his quick turnaround and I also now have a site I am very proud of.

Anthony Pearce

Rob produced an excellent design and build for our new website. I’m very happy with the result and would definitely recommend him for professional and cost effective website design.

Jeremy Wyatt

I worked with Rob on my new website, and the process was quick, easy and painless. I would highly recommend Rob, he’s honest and transparent and delivers a great end result within budget.

Kevin Walker

I would highly recommend Rob for quality web design. He offers highly creative solutions and technical knowhow along with intelligent marketing. He is seriously dedicated to his craft but fun to work with at the same time.

Karen Stocker

Rob has supported us superbly well over the last six/seven years. He is a fantastic freelance web designer and I cannot recommend him highly enough.

Thomas Lyons

Rob is brilliant – highly professional, detailed, responsive and patient. Was great to work with – would highly recommend!

Dan Hyde

Rob is really easy to work with and does the job well. I regularly rely on his expertise.

Amy Bowers

To date, I have worked with Rob on three projects and have been highly impressed. He is experienced, efficient and responds to queries within a matter of hours.

I would highly recommend Rob and will look to work with him on future projects.

Rob Pratt

Rob is a fantastic developer. He has created countless websites for me over the years, from small quick turn around projects through to full scale sites for the likes of Lenovo, LG and Intel (to name a few).

I can’t recommend him and his team highly enough.

Gordon Eichhorst

Rob and his team are quintessential professionals. They quickly understood what we needed and were also able to suggest improvements which we would not have been aware of or considered. Rob is also an easy guy to speak with and quickly diffuses occasional frustration which to be honest usually comes from the customer not explaining things well! Would highly recommend!

Laura Pagan

Rob first designed and developed our website in 2013, and apart from a few tweaks/upgrades, it has stood the test of time! We are really proud of the website and receive lots of compliments about how easy it is to use and how great it looks from our customers. Rob has been great to deal with over the years, and goes above and beyond for his clients. We would highly recommend Rob to anyone looking for a new website or wanting to improve what they have already.

Laura Oakley

I needed to find a web developer to help rebuild a small charity website. Rob was great to work with and did a superb job. As a small charity, we had a tricky list of needs and limitations but Rob helped us build something that ticked every box. He kept the work in scope, worked with us collaboratively and was very responsive. What’s more, he was always willing to talk us through anything we didn’t quite understand and was never patronising. With regards to the end product, it was exactly what we needed. We’ve had so much positive feedback about the site from our members and it’s helping us deliver what we need to with our limited resources. Thanks so much for all your help Rob!

Jane Fulcher

I’ve worked with Rob on many varied projects over the years. He’s always our first choice for development projects due to his willingness to really collaborate and go the extra mile. And because of the fantastic results that keep our clients happy! Rob has been a great partner for the agency I work for, Show, and is someone we always know we can turn to for professional and wise advice. Highly recommended.