Recent updates in WordPress have been towards adding features to make WordPress websites dynamic and stable. However, that has made WordPress cumbersome as well as insecure. Therefore, the need of the hour is to optimize your WordPress site and cripple the unwanted services that slowdowns you site. Not tuning up your site now means you have decided to stay with a WordPress website, which hosts valuable content but might still be demoted in Google search results due to higher load time.
How to make WordPress Website fast? I am going to suggest stable, lightweight Plugins to disable excess bloat and to add lazy load for images. By having, the Plugins installed and running on your WordPress website would reduce the regular load time by at least three to four seconds. Moreover, server response time would also improve. Small security holes because of the dynamic features would be plugged, too. Read also The Best Two Factor Authentication for WordPress Websites.
WP Disable to Reduce HTTP Requests on WordPress Website
WP-Disable is a fantastic plugin to disable all undesired features on WordPress websites. It is easy to set up. Though the alternatives come with more features Still, I suggest WP-Disable since it is light in weight and a stable plugin.
A powerful alternative of the WP disables plugin is “Clearfy” which comes with more features. However, the size of Clearfy plugin is 534 KB whereas that of WP-disable is only 96.9 KB. Therefore, the WP disable is the better choice and has it all the required options. It is fit to make your website lighting fast. Activate this great plugin on your website and follow this article to set up rightly.
You have to be very cautious while setting up a plugin, which alters WordPress functions. If you do not know which service is necessary for WordPress to run smoothly and which are bloat, you will end up breaking your website. Therefore, follow this article to tune up your site and get outcomes as reduced load time, improved security thereby enhanced visitors' experience.
# Remove Query strings: YES : → Making the version of CSS and JS files of your website public is a kind of security threat. It has been a debatable issue in the developer community, although. In my opinion, it represents a threat. If you are making public the version of a critical JS file, hackers will use the vulnerability associated with the file to attack your website. Therefore, the right notion is to protect the version details of CSS and JS files from the public. Does it help in improving website performance? I am yet to find substantial evidence toward that.
# Disable Embeds: Choice is yours : → Embedding YouTube videos, images, or any file makes your content more interactive and exciting. However, that comes at the cost of a severe security threat to your website. Read here the Embed vulnerability in WordPress 4.7. The embed feature had opened a gate for XSS injection into the database. The vulnerability does not exist anymore. I, therefore, leave it for you to decide whether to activate or keep it inactive.
Besides, every webpage of your website loads the embed JS file hence increases the page load time. I prefer to disable it. What have you decided? Let us know in the comment box below.
# Disable Google Map: YES : → This option comes with the function to disable Google Map on all the publically accessible WebPages of a website. However, users can exclude some pages contain Google Map links.
# Remove jQuery Migrate: NO : → Some Plugins can have external JS file. There is nothing wrong with it. If you activate the option, some of the Plugins might stop working. Therefore, I suggest not animating this option.
# Disable Referral Spam: NO : → I am still trying to figure out what good this option brings. I know what referral spam is. How this plugin would prevent them is a question, I am yet to get a definite answer.
# DNS Prefetch: Never : → This option certainly reduces website load time by lowering Prefetch for several linked domains to a WordPress site. Still, I suggest not activating it. Some of the domain Prefetch is required for your website to function smoothly.
I have no idea — which domain Prefetch is necessary and which should be stopped. In the absence of credible information, I strongly advise not to arouse it. You can read this post to understand what this option might do to your website.
# Minimize request and load Google Fonts Asynchronous: YES : → When a user’s browser call a webpage, according to Google, in no time at least deliver the static version of the content, the fancy things can come later. If you animate this selection, then the Google font, which should not load first, would be moved out from the content path.
# Minimize Requests and load Font Awesome Asynchronous: YES
# Disable WordPress Password Strength Meter JS on non-related pages: YES : → I think WordPress core developers should think about it. Why should the Password JS file load on all the WebPages? It does not make any sense.
# Disable Dashicons when User disables admin toolbar when viewing site: NO : → Even the plugin developer says this option is optional. It has no role in improving website load and security. So better leave it as it is.
Setting of the Options on the Tag Tab of the WP Disable Plugin
# Remove RSD Tag: YES : → If you manage your WordPress website, then activate it. RSD tag is for allowing third-party applications to communicate with your site and make changes in the content.
# Remove Shortlink tag: YES : → For every post, you can create a short link for easy sharing. However, why should you?
# Remove WordPress API from header: YES : → According to the developer, active this option, as most of the website does not use the core functions of WordPress — to let it communicate with other web properties. Even on WPbeginner hosts a tutorial on “How to Disable JSON REST API in WordPress.” In addition, how you use your website the data related WordPress collects through JSON API and makes good use of that for further development of the WordPress. Read Sucuri report on WordPress API vulnerability.
# Remove Windows Live Write Tag: YES
# Remove WordPress Generator Tag: YES : → This option will remove WordPress version details from the website header. If you keep your WordPress version to the latest, then there is no issue. However, if you have not updated WordPress for long and yet making public WordPress version of your website means you are giving an open invitation to hackers. Protect your site today, upgrade WordPress, and activate the option.
The Perfect settings for the Options on the Admin Tap
# Post revisions number: Zero : → Every time you modify a published post, WordPress creates a new copy of this in the database. If you have changed a content piece 20 times, there is 20 copy of the content in your website database. In fact, it is an ideal way to waste database resource and increases database size resulting in downgraded db performance.
However, Post revisions feature could be useful in some individual cases. Recently I was reading the support question for “Regenerate thumbnails” plugin. One user had complained that how the plugin had wrongly changes images in all post. And, how he restored all the posts by using the revisions in the database. How he did that I do not know. Nevertheless, I learned the revision feature has value. Still, I request to set it to zero if you do not run a plugin that alters the content of your website.
# Disable Autosave: YES : → While you are working on a post, then WordPress would keep saving it in your system browser and communicating that to the server. It looks an excellent feature but affects server performance. Therefore, activate the option.
# Disable admin Notices: NO : → Nothing wrong with the feature as it disables annoying notices (please rate us or buy the pro version) by a plugin or a theme. However, I do not recommend disabling it. For the security point of view, you should see all the admin alerts. It is imperative for the website security. Alternatively, you can obliterate such Plugins. Incapacitating such notification is not as per a standard security protocol.
# Disable Author Page: NO : → This option is related to the best SEO practices. You must be using Yoast SEO plugin. If you have set the Yoast plugin appropriately, then you must also have disabled author archive option. Then why do the same here? If not disabled in Yoast settings then why do it here. In Yoast YES to author archive page and in WP-Disable NO to author archive page meaning you are permitting conflicts between two Plugins. Not a good idea for a secure and stable site.
# Disable all comments: NO
# Heartbeat Frequency: 60 Seconds : → Among the primary culprits affect your WordPress website performance, the emoji JS file is at number two, and Admin Ajax is at number one.
The Ajax file acts as a link between user's browser and the server. It communicates every activity of users instantly to the server. But why? Besides, Plugins use Admin-Ajax to call data from the server that unquestionably hammers the performance of your website.
#Heatbeat Locations: WordPress default
What are the best settings for SEO Tab Options on WP Disable Plugin?
# Remove Yoast SEO comment from head section: NO : → Why should you modify the function of a plugin from another plugin? If you wish to make such changes, then do it by updating Yoast SEO plugin settings. It does not make sense to control function of Yoast Plugin from WP-Disable.
# Remove duplicate names in breadcrumbs WP SEO by Yoast: NO
# Disable Pingbacks and trackbacks: YES
# Disable Feeds: NO : → Your website feed is also one of the ways Google collects data and the latest update on your website. For better indexing of your site in Google search, keep website feed active, it is vital.
# Disable XML-RPC: YES
# Disable Gravatars: YES
# Enable Spam comments cleaner: NO : → I am sure to fight spam comment; your website has the Akismet Anti-Spam plugin. If yes then why should you activate this feature? For one job two plugin…never.
Speed Up – Lazy Load Plugin to Defer loading Images together
To understand how lazy loading could help your website load fast, you need to comprehend how a site operates from the server to visitor's browser.
When a user calls a webpage through a system browser, the web server locates files associated with the webpage through the database, forms a bundle, and sends to the user’s system browser.
Suppose on your website has a content piece with some 20 images attached. A user makes a call to the webpage. Your website server first would collect all the linked files from the different parts of the server, create a bundle, and send back to the user. Even if each image has the size of 50 KB meaning close to 1MB is only images in the packet. Including other files, the weight of the webpage will become close to four to 5MB. Next, the package has to travel up to user's browser. From making the call to a webpage to its delivery to user's browser takes time, called website's load time. Ideally, a webpage should not have load time longer than 10 seconds.
So what happens next? Once the webpage has been fully loaded, the user would either go through it or move to the next page. The same process is repeated in response to user's request for a webpage.
On the one hand, bandwidth and resources are being wasted, and on the other hand, Google demotes your website since it appears very slow. How to solve this issue? The answer is installing a lazy load plugin to defer image download at the start.
How Lazy load of images makes WordPress website load faster?
A lazy load plugin for images makes changes in how images load on your website’s page for users. Instead of downloading all the images, now the web server would send only the picture that must be shown to the user. Because of lazy load, not all images at once instead, one by one as the reader progresses through the post. Isn't it great? If a reader scrolls to only half of the webpage, and in that suppose just four images should be shown, then only the four would be downloaded from the server, not all twenty.
However, the important question is – which is the best plugin for adding lazy load for images in WordPress websites. At the inception of this article, I made a point that I prefer a lightweight plugin.
The developer of the WP-disable plugin has launched a popular image compressor plugin that can add lazy load for images. However, that plugin is bulky in size whereas I need a light in weight plugin.
For adding lazy load for images on a WordPress website, I recommend “Speed up – Lazy Load” by Simone Nigro. What is fascinating about the plugin is that its size is just 5KB. Could you believe it? You cannot get a WordPress plugin lighter than this. It comes with no setting option. Install and activate it, and your work is done — no further action required. Your website has been speeding up, and now it loads fast. Read also How to Secure Administrator Account in WordPress Website.