It is always important to optimize website speed for smooth and inspiring user experience. And search engines also love faster page speed WordPress sites.

WordPress website Speed optimization

As we all love faster websites and wants a speed WordPress website. All the websites owner and especially beginners should know the tricks through which they can boost their websites. I will focus on some important tricks which I experienced and got a much faster website.

So I will recommend you to take some important steps before you go further. Especially if you are a beginner, then you must have to read the Prerequisites section to avoid making problems and or crash your WordPress website.

Prerequisites

  1. Create a backup of the .htaccess file. (you can reload it if the changes break your website)
  2. Purge all cache and disable the cashing Plugin.
  3. Check your website by refreshing it just to ensure it’s still working.
  4. If you found that your website is not loading or not working. Find a possible solution for that error.

How to increase WordPress website Speed using the .htaccess file

First of all, we will take a brief overview of a list of .htaccess file tricks to enhance and increase speed. This list covers the major and recommended changes by most of the developers to increase website speed.

  • Compression (Gzip and Deflect)
  • Disable Image Hotlinking
  • Activate mod_pagespeed option
  • Enable light speed server cache

Lets Start

Enable GZIP compression

Compressing files on your local computer can save a lot of disk space. Similarly, for the web, we can use GZIP compression. This maneuver will dramatically reduce the bandwidth usage and the time it takes to gain access to your website. GZIP compresses various files so that whenever a visitor tries to access your website; their browser will first have to unzip the website. This process brings down the bandwidth usage to a considerable extent.

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You can use either a plugin like the PageSpeed Ninja, which enables GZIP compression or add the following codes in your .htaccess file.

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

Disable Image Hotlinking

This trick is to restrict other sources to use your website images. There are huge chances that spammers can use your image link to their own website. So every time if someone will visit on their page, the linked images will be loaded from your website/server. This is called image Hotlinking.

So you just copy and paste below code into your .httaccess file to prevent image Hotlinking.

# DISABLE IMAGE HOTLINKING START 

RewriteEngine on 
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$ 
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www\.)?sample.com [NC] 
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www\.)?google.com [NC] 
RewriteRule \.(jpg|jpeg|png|gif)$ – [NC,F,L] # 

#DISABLE IMAGE HOTLINKING END

Active mod_pagespeed

This trick is to enhance and optimize your website especially relevant and works with Apache Server. Mod_pagespeed module is developed by Google and now few major hosting providers like DreamHost, SiteGround, and Godaddy to increase page speed of the website. However, this module could be installed using SSh on your Cpanel.

Simply copy and paste below code to the .htaccess file to enable this module.

# ENABLE MOD PAGESPEED START # COMBINE CSS, COMPRESS IMAGES, REMOVE 
#HTML WHITE SPACE AND COMMENTS 

<IfModule pagespeed_module> 
ModPagespeed on 
ModPagespeedEnableFilters rewrite_css,combine_css 
ModPagespeedEnableFilters recompress_images 
ModPagespeedEnableFilters convert_png_to_jpeg,convert_jpeg_to_webp 
ModPagespeedEnableFilters collapse_whitespace,remove_comments 
</IfModule>

#End

LightSpeed Cache

If you are using lightspeed Server to run your website. You should use the below code to enable LightSpeed Cache Option.

# ENABLE LITESPEED CACHE START 

<IfModule LiteSpeed> 
CacheEnable public 
RewriteEngine On 
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_METHOD} ^GET|HEAD$ 
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^sample.com|sample.net|sample.org [NC] 
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !login|admin|register|post|cron 
RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} !nocache 
RewriteRule .* - [E=Cache-Control:max-age=300] 
</IfModule> 

#ENABLE LITESPEED CACHE ENDerver level caching.

Important Note: – you should add/edit mentioned module codes one by one in your website .htaccess file. Check your website every time you add/edit a module, so it will help you to know which module is not fit for your website.

Bonus tips and tricks

Reduce image sizes

Image are the major contributors to size increment of a given webpage. The trick is to reduce the size of the images without compromising on the quality.

If you manually optimize the images using Chrome PageSpeed Insights extension or Photoshop or any other tools, the process will take a long time. Fortunately, there are plugins available for just about everything you can think of, including image optimization. The ones worth mentioning are:

Using any of the above-mentioned plugins on your WordPress site will drastically reduce image sizes, thus improving the speed of your website

Use advanced caching mechanisms with a caching plugin

WordPress caching plugins (e.g. W3 Total Cache) has been there for a long time, making the complex tasks of adding caching rules to your website elements easier. Combining such plug-ins with advanced caching mechanisms like Varnish could help you better the loading speed of your website and ultimately speed up WordPress considerably.

Use a CDN

The people who visit your website belong to various locations in the world, and needless to say, the site-loading speed will differ if the visitors are located far away from where your site is hosted. There are many CDN (Content Delivery Networks) that help in keeping the site-loading speed to a minimum for visitors from various countries. A CDN keeps a copy of your website in various data centers located in different places. The primary function of a CDN is to serve the webpage to a visitor from the nearest possible location. Cloudflare and MaxCDN are among the most popular CDN services.

Cleanup WordPress database

Deleting unwanted data from your database will keep its size to a minimum and also helps in reducing the size of your backups. It is also necessary to delete spam comments, fake users, old drafts of your content and maybe even unwanted plugins as well as themes. All of this will reduce the size of your databases and web files, and thus speed up WordPress – your WordPress.

Keep external scripts to a minimum

The usage of external scripts on your web pages adds a big chunk of data to your total loading time. Thus, it is best to use a low number of scripts, including only the essentials such as tracking tools (like Google Analytics) or commenting systems (like Disqus).

Thanks for your precious time I hope this will help you a lot.