3 Ways to Improve Page Speed Scores for Wordpress

Page speed is an important factor for search engine ranking algorithms. Larger websites powered by WordPress have a tendency to run slow as a result of a range of factors.

Here are a 3 quick ways to help speed up WordPress and improve page speed scores.

Enable Compression in .htaccess

An easy way to do this is to edit the .htaccess file and add the statements for compression. This requires mod_deflate on Apache.

Compression is something the Page speed check tool evaluates so you will see your score increase by adding this to the .htaccess file:

# Compress HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Text, XML and fonts
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/javascript
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/rss+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/vnd.ms-fontobject
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font-opentype
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font-otf
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font-truetype
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font-ttf
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-javascript
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xhtml+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE font/opentype
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE font/otf
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE font/ttf
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE image/svg+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE image/x-icon
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/css
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/javascript
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/plain
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/xml

# Remove browser bugs (only needed for really old browsers)
BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4 gzip-only-text/html
BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4\.0[678] no-gzip
BrowserMatch \bMSIE !no-gzip !gzip-only-text/html
Header append Vary User-Agent

Client-Side Caching

Another easy addition in the .htaccess file is to add cache headers. These “expire” headers will tell the browser how to cache files for quicker page loads. These directives are part of the Page speed evaluation and having them set will improve page load times.

Add this code to .htaccess as well:

# ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
# | Expires headers |
# ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

# Serve resources with far-future expires headers.

# IMPORTANT: If you don’t control versioning with filename-based cache
# busting, consider lowering the cache times to something like one week.

 

ExpiresActive on
ExpiresDefault “access plus 1 month”

# CSS
ExpiresByType text/css “access plus 1 year”

# Data interchange
ExpiresByType application/json “access plus 0 seconds”
ExpiresByType application/ld+json “access plus 0 seconds”
ExpiresByType application/vnd.geo+json “access plus 0 seconds”
ExpiresByType application/xml “access plus 0 seconds”
ExpiresByType text/xml “access plus 0 seconds”

# Favicon (cannot be renamed!) and cursor images
ExpiresByType image/x-icon “access plus 1 week”

# HTML components (HTCs)
ExpiresByType text/x-component “access plus 1 month”

# HTML
ExpiresByType text/html “access plus 0 seconds”

# JavaScript
ExpiresByType application/javascript “access plus 1 year”

# Manifest files
ExpiresByType application/manifest+json “access plus 1 year”
ExpiresByType application/x-web-app-manifest+json “access plus 0 seconds”
ExpiresByType text/cache-manifest “access plus 0 seconds”

# Media
ExpiresByType audio/ogg “access plus 1 month”
ExpiresByType image/gif “access plus 1 month”
ExpiresByType image/jpeg “access plus 1 month”
ExpiresByType image/png “access plus 1 month”
ExpiresByType video/mp4 “access plus 1 month”
ExpiresByType video/ogg “access plus 1 month”
ExpiresByType video/webm “access plus 1 month”

# Web feeds
ExpiresByType application/atom+xml “access plus 1 hour”
ExpiresByType application/rss+xml “access plus 1 hour”

# Web fonts
ExpiresByType application/font-woff “access plus 1 month”
ExpiresByType application/font-woff2 “access plus 1 month”
ExpiresByType application/vnd.ms-fontobject “access plus 1 month”
ExpiresByType application/x-font-ttf “access plus 1 month”
ExpiresByType font/opentype “access plus 1 month”
ExpiresByType image/svg+xml “access plus 1 month”

 

Credit to: HTML5 Boilerplate

WordPress Database Optimization

Software over time has a tendency to become bloated. WordPress is no exception. The database collects information and increases in size. This slows down database queries used on most if not all the template files called by WordPress.

Since WordPress relies so much on it’s database, it’s best to optimize it on a regular schedule.

Install WP Optimize and run¬†some of the basic cleanup steps that come set by default. It’s safe, quick and easy. I’ve often seen 30-40MB databases cut in half or more by running the stock options.

Be safe and run a database backup before running this plugin.

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