Make your WordPress website load faster with simple, free ways. You may not even have to upgrade your web-hosting!

Download my list of free tools to speed up your website

1. Use a caching plugin

Web hosts will nearly always recommend a good caching plugin as the first step toward making your site load faster and use fewer resources. This works by essentially storing a static version of a web page so that the server doesn’t have to rebuild every element for every new visitor.

2. Remove features or plugins

You may have an embedded thing or a plugin you love, but it could be slowing down your website. Remove anything you’re not actively using, and look for features that you don’t need anymore.

3. Find better plugins

There are tens of thousands of WordPress plugins, but they’re not all coded very well. Some will even slow down your website and cause other problems. Find better-supported and more-frequently updated plugins to do what you want. I recommend a few in my free download.

4. Remove images

It may seem great to have a lot of images on your site, but these could be slowing down your website. Consider removing what you don’t really need, or consider ways to use CSS instead.

5. Optimize images

For the images you must keep, ensure that you’re not wasting space and bandwidth with large files. Specifically, consider these three things that affect image size.

  1. Format—Use PNG for images with transparency or made up of mostly solid colors. Use JPEG for images with a wide variety of colors and texture.
  2. Size—You don’t need to upload the 10 megapixel image your digital camera took. Use only the image size you need for the place you’re using the image.
  3. Compression—JPEG format can be heavily compressed, but ensure that your compression doesn’t reduce the visual quality of the image too much.

These could be handled with a plugin or desktop app. I share a few in this episode’s free resource download.

6. Display stuff only where needed

You may not need social-sharing buttons on your front page, or maybe you don’t need a contact form to display in the sidebar everywhere. Consider using tools or plugins to place reusable stuff only where you actually need them.

Try to make your homepage the fastest-loading page on your site.

7. Offload when possible

Processes like social-sharing, search indexing, related post connecting, and more can be offloaded to third-party servers for free or a small cost.

Get my recommendations for free tools to make your website load faster.

Download free tools for a faster website

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About the Author
As an award-winning podcaster, Daniel J. Lewis gives you the guts and teaches you the tools to launch and improve your own podcasts for sharing your passions and finding success. Daniel creates resources for podcasters, such as the SEO for Podcasters and Zoom H6 for Podcasters courses, the Social Subscribe & Follow Icons plugin for WordPress, the My Podcast Reviews global-review aggregator, and the Podcasters' Society membership for podcasters. As a recognized authority and influencer in the podcasting industry, Daniel speaks on podcasting and hosts his own podcast about how to podcast. Daniel's other podcasts, a clean-comedy podcast, and the #1 unofficial podcast for ABC's hit drama Once Upon a Time, have also been nominated for multiple awards. Daniel and his son live near Cincinnati.

18 comments on 7 Free Ways to Speed Up Your Website without Switching Web-Hosting – TAP202

  1. Hey Daniel, I’m torn on the whole Disqus for comments thing.

    On the one hand, they look really nice and work really nice, especially for a user to keep track of where they’ve posted and follow-up. And, they do off-load the comment aspect (probably not a huge issue unless you get a lot of comments, but still). And, WordPress’ built-in comment system is frankly, quite bad. So, I’d really like something better!

    On the other hand, you’re subjecting your readers to whatever Disqus decides to do with the data one day, and also kind of giving over some control of your site’s comments (in, say, a Feedburner vs RSS on your own site sort of way). And, people have to create an account vs just posting if they don’t already have an account.

    The other issue I have with single-sign-on systems is that from a social engineering perspective, they train users to give credentials on 3rd party sites. But at least Disqus is a separate entity made just for commenting, so you’re not potentially giving away one of your social network accounts (I despise Facebook, Twitter, etc. login to comment systems!)… but it would be bad enough to have your comment identity swiped too, I guess.

    I’d be curious to hear your thoughts. Best case, WordPress would greatly improve the built-in comment system, but until that happens, I’m on the fence.

    1. Actually, all comments are synchronized back to your WordPress database. Thus, if you ever leave Disqus, you still own your comments.

      You can configure Disqus to allow guest commenting. This means a Disqus or social account isn’t required. That’s how I have my sites setup.

      1. Steve Wilkinson says:

        Just me, Steve, testing. 🙂

      2. Oh wow, great information Daniel! Thanks so much.

        I had heard there was a way to move back and fourth without losing data, but I didn’t know the data was actually stored in both (I figured it was an import/export process). Good to know!

        On the second point, wow, that isn’t super-obvious, but it works. I had no idea that was possible. My test comment only exists in the WP database then and doesn’t get synced to Disqus? (if you know)

        You may have won me over. 🙂 If someone wanted to comment and didn’t want their data going to Disqus, they’d have that option (I guess). Or, at least that would be the only concern if it does still send that data.

        1. No, your comment still goes to Disqus, but also into my database. You just don’t have to have a Disqus account or use a social login because I enabled guest commenting.

          1. Thanks again Daniel. I guess the only potential issue left (IMO), then, is Chris Lema’s concern about our reader’s comments and data going to Disqus (possibly without them realizing). He believes that’s not something he is willing to trade for the convenience (and questions the ethics of it). (I’m happy to post a link to that discussion if you like. I had a pretty negative initial reaction to Disqus, but have done a lot of thinking since. I really appreciate your approach to these things. 🙂 )

            I’m not sure I’m as concerned about that as Chris anymore. People are almost certainly being subjected to that kind of tracking anyway if they use the Internet at all (unless they take crazy precautions to prevent it, like VPN and clean systems or special browsers, etc.). But, I’d love to hear your take on that if you wish to share.

            Maybe I’d feel better if I put some kind of disclaimer on my site by the comment section. I already put a link to my comment policy, so that would just be a bit more info to my readers.

            I sure wish WordPress’ comment system were more robust. There have been better comment systems out there since before the public Internet, so I’m not sure how WP (as initially a blogging platform) didn’t place more emphasis on that aspect. Now I know what to report on next years WordPress survey!

          2. Disqus does embed a link to their privacy policy along with the commenting system.

  2. Daniel. Great episode. I went to BlueHost and found they recommend W3 Total Cache. They also have step by step instructions. I also installed Smush it and let it do it’s thing. Both of my sites went from around 7.5 seconds to under 4. Not bad for shared hosting. I’ve heard that I can deal with spam in Disqus, eliminating the need for a spam plug-in. I wonder if anyone is doing it this way,
    Thanks again, Buck

    1. Excellent!

      Yes, Disqus can help a lot. It can even integrate with Akismet, which is also great at blocking spam comments and trackbacks.

  3. Mark Deal says:

    What is the tool you mentioned during the show to review your plugin loading? I did not see it above.

    1. It’s in the downloadable PDF list of tools.

  4. Mark Steiner says:

    What kind of tools do you guys use to test website speed? I have pingdom.com and http://www.giftofspeed.com so far, anyone got another good one? Thanks!

    1. I list my favorites in the PDF resource with this episode.

      1. Mark Steiner says:

        Cool thanks, I’ll check it out.

  5. Al Zarqali says:

    Thank You So Much for this Great Tutorial, i love to read this tutorial i was searching for more tutorials regards Speeding up Site and i found this one https://www.rankblogging.com/seo-tools/how-to-speed-up-website/ its also awesome and great. you will love it. (y)

  6. Hi
    I think there are more ways to speed up a web site. You can add your site to any cloud site. If a web site hosted in a cloud server, the site automatically speed up. I think you can add this in this article. It will help your visitor to speed their website.
    Also thanks for writing this informative article with us.

  7. Muthukumar says:

    Hi Daniel, Thanks for this great article. This is what I am looking solution for my website. My website loading time has more than 8 seconds. I tried many ways to improve speed of the website. I will try this method and tell you the feedback.

    1. Great! I hope it works for you.

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