How to Increase WordPress Website Speed Without Plugin? Pro Tips

Often, we are asked how to increase WordPress website speed without plugin. Well, there are valid reasons behind this question and why most site owners want to learn WordPress site speed optimization.

When it comes to site performance, every millisecond count. It greatly influences the user experience of your site, as well as the ranking, traffic, conversion rates, and bounce rates.

However, you can fix this issue by using several plugins or adding a few codes, and making some improvements. But, when you can fix this without using plugins, we prefer applying the other ways instead of using unnecessary plugins.

Here, we’ll discuss the processes to speed up your WordPress site speed without using any plugin. So, are you ready to say goodbye to your slow-loading site? We think, yes! Then let’s get into it.

Why is Speed Important for Your WordPress Site?

After the page experience update, it becomes crucial to have a site that loads faster to ensure an optimum user-friendly and SEO-friendly site. However, there are some other reasons for which ensuring faster speed is essential for your WordPress site. So, let’s have a look at them-

  • A poor functional admin panel will hugely affect your work and time efficiency. It’ll be difficult for you to do it perfectly whenever you start to work on something due to the slow speed.
  • Visitors won’t wait for your site to load. They’ll immediately abandon your site when they figure out that your page is taking time to load or not working.
  • A study found that the first 5 seconds of page load time have the highest impact on conversion rates. The same study also stated that e conversion rates dropped by an average of 4.42% with each second of loading time.
  • 47% of visitors leave a site that takes more than 2 seconds to load.
  • In general, slower loading pages have increased bounce rates, lower traffic, lower conversion rates, and poor user experience.

Now, it may be clear to you for which you should focus on improving your WordPress site loading speed.

How to Increase WordPress Website Speed Without Plugin?

How to Increase WordPress Website Speed Without Plugin

Well, before doing anything, make sure to take a backup of your respective files that you’re going to modify. This way, you can roll them back easily if something goes wrong.

Once your backup is done, move forward to the following processes.

1. Run a Speed Test

First, you should run a speed test of your entire site to measure the performance scores. There are several free tools out there that you can use to complete this audit. Among all these tools, we’ll recommend using the following two tools-

Google PageSpeed Insights tool to check speed issues and check core web vitals

Both these tools will provide you with the issues and suggestions to optimize your site for a better score.

get reports ofsite speed issues by Google PageSpeed Insights

See how Google PageSpeed Insight Tool shares the scoring of a site’s Core Web Vitals. The below image will show you the recommendations provided by the same tool for those aspects that you should optimize.

Best Practice: Don’t forget to take note of the performance scoring before you start optimizing your site. This will help you to compare the result after the completion of the WordPress site optimization.

2.   Enable Browser Caching

We’ll conduct this process via FRP, therefore connect your server via FTP using FileZilla.

  • Open your .htaccess file, which is located on the remote site of the FileZilla.
  • From the remote site, select the public_html folder.
  • Navigate to the File Name section located below the remote site section.
  • Now, navigate to the .htaccess file.
  • Once finding the .htaccess file, click-right and select view/edit from the dropdown menu.
Enable Browser Caching to increase site speed
  • Copy the code and paste them into your local text file for further requirements.
  • Now, copy the below code and paste it into the .htaccess file at the bottom of the file. Do not make any additional white spaces or line breaks.
<IfModule mod_expires.c>
ExpiresActive On
ExpiresByType image/jpg "access 1 year"
ExpiresByType image/jpeg "access 1 year"
ExpiresByType image/gif "access 1 year"
ExpiresByType image/png "access 1 year"
ExpiresByType text/css "access 1 month"
ExpiresByType text/html "access 1 month"
ExpiresByType application/pdf "access 1 month"
ExpiresByType text/x-javascript "access 1 month"
ExpiresByType application/x-shockwave-flash "access 1 month"
ExpiresByType image/x-icon "access 1 year"
ExpiresDefault "access 1 month"
  • Finally, save changes and check to see if your website is working properly or not.
  • If you see anything wrong, like your website becomes totally blank, that means there was an error. In that case, you should replace all the current .htaccess file code with the backup codes.
  • Then try again.

3.   Enable GZIP Compression on WordPress

The good news is, you can enable GZIP compression by adding a simple code in your WordPress site’s .htaccess file. Enabling GZIP compression via .htaccess depends on the Apache and Nginx server. So, here are the step-by-step processes.

  • As before, log in to your WordPress dashboard and open the .htaccess file.
  • Paste the following code.

For Apache Server:

<IfModule mod_gzip.c>
mod_gzip_on Yes
mod_gzip_dechunk Yes
mod_gzip_item_include file \.(html?|txt|css|js|php|pl)$
mod_gzip_item_include handler ^cgi-script$
mod_gzip_item_include mime ^text/.*
mod_gzip_item_include mime ^application/x-javascript.*
mod_gzip_item_exclude mime ^image/.*
mod_gzip_item_exclude rspheader ^Content-Encoding:.*gzip.*

For Nginx Server:

gzip on;
gzip_comp_level 2;
gzip_http_version 1.0;
gzip_proxied any;
gzip_min_length 1100;
gzip_buffers 16 8k;
gzip_types text/plain text/html text/css application/x-javascript text/xml application/xml application/xml+rss text/javascript;
gzip_disable "MSIE [1-6].(?!.*SV1)";
gzip_vary on;
  • Save your changes, and it’s done.

4.   Minify HTML, CSS, and JS Files

When you are not using plugins, that doesn’t mean you have to remove each file, space, line, code one by one. There are several free magnification tools available to help you out in this process without requiring any room for human error.

But before making any changes to these codes, make sure to create a child theme and edit everything on this theme. This way, you can revert to the parent theme if any issues occurred. So, here are the tools that you can use in this process.


For CSS:

For JavaScript:

These tools are pretty straightforward to use. Simply copy your HTML or CSS or JS codes from your WordPress dashboard and paste them into the tab and click minify or compress, or whatever the tool comes with. Once getting the minified codes, copy and paste them into your original file.

Another way is, go to your WordPress Dashboard > Appearance > Theme Directory > functions.php file. Copy this minifying code and add it to your function.php file. Click on save, and it’s done.

However, if you don’t want to use any plugin, you can read our guide on how to minify JavaScript and CSS files without plugin in WordPress.

5. Optimize Image Sizes

Unoptimized images take a huge time to load due to the amount of data each image has on your site. In that case, optimizing all the images will be the best thing to improve your website speed. Here’s how to do it-

  • Right-click the image of your website that you want to optimize and click inspect from the dropdown menu.
  • Then the inspect panel will appear on the right or bottom side of your screen.
  • Simply hover over the image URL, and a preview window will appear, including the rendered size, aspect ratio, intrinsic size and ratio, file size, and current source.
  • This way, you can identify the larger images. Remember, The ideal size of the background images is 1600×900 PX.
Image Width Wide Pixel
Full-Width 1400
Half-Width 700
⅓ Width 480
¼ Width 360
Small Icons and Logos 100
  • Now, use these tools to compress the size of your website images.
  1. TinyPNG
  4. Image Optimizer Compression
  • Then re-upload them with the updated size.

So, when you’re done with the coding and all, you can follow these useful tricks to speed up your WordPress site.

  1. Deactivating unnecessary WordPress plugins,
  2. Remove all the unnecessary and complex on-page elements.
  3. Invest in quality hosting.
  4. Keep up the WordPress site updated,
  5. Perform regular database maintenance,
  6. Decrease server requests,
  7. Use a Content Delivery Network,
  8. Use the latest PHP version

6. Measure the Speed Result Again

After you’ve done all these now, run the page speed test once again using Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool and GTMetrix tool. Now compare with your previous scoring. You’ll definitely see an increased scoring. This way, you should frequently look out for your site’s speed test and optimize your site by following the audit suggestions.

Are you Ready to Speed Up Your WordPress Site?

Website speed does matter for your site’s success as it helps to decrease the bounce rate and increase the conversions, rankings, etc. as I said before, a mere second can make a huge difference for your site’s performance.

Fortunately, with the techniques mentioned above, you can effectively speed up your site’s speed. If you’re not that tech-savvy, then consider hiring a professional to help speed up your site. To know more, or with any queries, you can Contact Us.

If you liked this guide, don’t forget to share your thoughts with me by commenting below. That’s all for this guide, go ahead and try all these techniques to make the best use of your site.

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