Increasing WordPress Website Speed Without Plugins: 8 Essential Tips


When it comes to boosting your WordPress website’s performance, plugins are the first tool that comes to mind. However, if this is your first WordPress site, you should also be careful with which plugins are helpful and which ones are certainly not. In any case, there are other ways to help you speed up your site without having to figure out how to use the right plugins.

You can increase WordPress website speed without plugins by picking the right host and a server close to your audience. Optimizing images, videos, and pages and reducing the amount of external script (ads, etc.) can also help. Lastly, choose the right theme and keep your WordPress updated.

With over 1.1 billion websites out there, the competition for your blog or business site has never been fiercer. Providing your visitors with the best user experience is essential – learn how to speed up your WordPress website without plugins below.

Check Your Site’s Speed


Firstly, it’s essential to check your website speed regularly. You might assume that your site is fast enough just because it loads fairly fast on your computer. However, this isn’t a good standard of measure!

If you’re working on your site, chances are, you’re visiting that page often. And, modern search engines such as Chrome store the cache of websites that you visit frequently. So, as soon as you start typing the name or URL, it will come up and load within seconds.

Nonetheless, this might not be the same website speed that your first-time or even returning users will see. Depending on their geographical location and frequency of use, they might have a totally different experience!

To get an idea of how responsive and fast your website actually, consider using a free tool for checking website speed. For reference, the ideal WP site speed is under two seconds.

Pick the Right Host


The first step to a faster WordPress website is picking the right host. A WordPress hosting service is where all the data from your website will be stored and processed. Therefore, all of your pages, images, messages, and structures are held by your hosting service.

You can easily see how your host plays an essential role in your WP’s performance and speed! There are different web hosting services, and some might be more suitable than others for your skill level.

For example, if you are a WP beginner, you might consider a shared hosting provider. These are easier to use and cheaper than Dedicated & Virtual Private Servers (VPS). Hosts such as Bluehost and HostGator offer shared web hosting along with VPS and dedicated options.

(*Note the Bluehost link is an affiliate link. Pricing is the same. I receive compensation if you use the link)

These services can be as inexpensive as $3 a month, and they meet the needs of everyday WP site owners. You won’t even need to have programming or developer skills to create a beautiful and fast website in most cases.

Additionally, shared hosting providers already come with all the features you need to ensure that your website will be fast enough. They provide backups, updates, security features, and essential certificates (such as SSL).

Switch to a Server That Is Close to Your Visitors


The geographical location of your users does matter, and, depending on where they’re accessing your site from, they’ll have a different experience. Granted most major website hosts will do this for you by default this is more for those of you who are using smaller hosting services or renting your own server space. If your website is a business site you’re using for local visibility and SEO purposes, you’ll need to pick the closest server.

However, if you’ve created an international blog that aims to reach people worldwide, you genuinely need to understand who your audience is.

The geographical location can influence the two main factors to measure a site’s speed:

  • Network latency: This is the delay when data transmits over a network, typically measured in milliseconds.
  • TTFB: This is the time until the first byte. It refers to how long it takes for the browser to receive the first byte of data from the server.

In both cases, you should aim for these measures to be as close to zero as possible. Generally, a speed of under 200ms is considered good.

Select the Right Theme


When starting a website, one of the first decisions you’ll have to make is what theme to use. Most website owners tend to pick a theme that matches their personal preferences. However, not all website themes work or perform in the same way.

Indeed, some themes that look exceptionally visually appealing might be coded poorly and offer limited functionalities. Once you start to upload data and media to it, they can decrease the site’s overall speed.

Ideally, you should opt for a clean-looking theme that doesn’t have unnecessary media and animations, which take longer to upload. The best and top selling theme I have used and still use is Avada.

Additionally, keep in mind that over 50% of all traffic comes from mobile phones. Therefore, your theme must be mobile-friendly and light enough to upload quickly on any device, whether it’s a laptop, Android, or fast desktop computer.

Optimize Your Media and Pages


Another factor that might influence your site’s speed is the videos, text, and images you have uploaded. It’s not a secret that videos and pictures can do wonders when increasing engagement and improving your reach; they’ve become an essential aspect of any successful blog or site.

At the same time, these are the slowest elements to upload, and they can significantly influence your site’s speed. There are a few best practices that you can follow to ensure that your media does not decrease your user experience.

  • Use web-optimized images. Instead of uploading a photo directly from your camera or phone, use photo editing software that allows you to optimize them. These include FREE online tools like JPEG-Optimizer, Kraken, or programs like Irfanview(Free) & Photoshop (Paid)
  • Use the right image size and format. With the right software, you can reduce image file sizes by up to five times. In terms of format, you should stick to JPEG and PNG images.
  • Use videos from a medium. Instead of uploading a video directly to your WP site, upload it on YouTube or Vimeo.  From these platforms, you can then use a code to embed the video in your content.

Minimize External Scripts


External scripts refer to ads, banners, and front loaders, though they often boast images, animations, links, and other media.

Naturally, these are an essential aspect of a profitable blog or site, and they can significantly help you turn your passion for blogging into an additional income stream. However, adding too many external scripts will increase your site’s time to load and significantly impact your user experience.

Start by checking what your WP theme and plugins already offer to identify any unnecessary settings. You might need to consider disabling these settings, uninstalling some plugins, or change your theme.

Ideally, you should consider researching which ads or other external scripts are essential for your website and suitable for your audience. This strategy will help you better target your users while preventing unnecessary ads from impacting your site’s speed.

Keep Your Site Updated


If you’ve been using WordPress, you know that updates are many and frequent. However, ignoring these updates can cause your site to become slow and malfunction.

Indeed, one of the keys to high-performing sites is maintenance and regular updates. Some of the updates to look for include:

  • Theme updates
  • WordPress updates
  • Plugin updates

Generally, the latest versions of these elements don’t only make your website go faster; they’re also essential to ensure that you’re up to date with the newest security features. In turn, this can help you keep your audience, data, and content safe.

Opt for Lazy Loading


Lazy loading is an option to consider as several types of media such as videos, images, and photo galleries are essential for your website. Lazy loading will prevent all of these images and videos from uploading at once, increasing TTFB and uploading times.

Instead, it will only download the media visible on the screen as the user scrolls through your site.



A fast and high-performing WordPress website is essential for visibility, reputation, and user experience. Undeniably, some plugins can help you improve this performance. However, others can significantly decrease it. Luckily, there are other options to consider to speed up your site, including optimizing content, picking a suitable theme, and regularly updating your site.