A fast website is better than a slow one.
“How do I make my Divi website load faster?” is a question that comes up in the various Divi Facebook groups on a regular basis so this post will show you the key methods required for reducing your page load times when using the Divi theme.
A slow website is bad for both your users and for your Google rankings. If a visitor to your site has to wait for pages to load then it gives a very bad first impression, it reduces the chances of sales and conversion and there is a good chance your users will simply just leave your site. Google knows this too and rewards faster websites with higher rankings in the SERPS. In order to keep your site visitors and Google happy, any speed improvements you can make will be worth the effort.
How do I know if I have a slow website?
You can test how your site is performing and record exact page load times using one of the free online speed test resources such as Pingdom Website Speed Test, GT Metrix or the Google PageSpeed Insights tools. Each of these tools will give you an overview with page load time, number of requests, page size, and a site-specific speed grade. You can also get detailed stats on what each element of your site take to load and recommendations for which specific areas of your website that need to be improved to reduce load times.
Steps to help reduce your website load times;
1. Re-size and compress your images
Large image sizes can kill your website loading times like no other element on your website but are very easy to fix.
The best way to optimize your images for Divi is to compress them using a photo editing software like Photoshop before you upload them to Divi. By optimizing your images before upload they will already be at the correct pixel size with small file sizes.
You can also optimize your images on-the-fly by adding a WordPress image optimization plugin. These plugins allow you to automatically optimize your images when you upload them to WordPress and to bulk optimize any images that have already been uploaded. Some of the most popular image optimization plugins for WordPress are;
2. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
A Content Delivery Network (CDN) such as Cloudflare will speed up your website by putting copies of your website on many servers around the world so that they are physically closer to your users when they access your website.
Many hosts (including Siteground web hosting which this site runs on) will have an easy 1-click activation in your cPanel, so it is very easy to activate your website on a CDN.
When using a CDN, remember to activate developer more when you are making edits to your website so you can actually see the changes you make. The developer mode will disable Cloudflare for 3 hours and automatically reactivate it in case you forget.
3. Enable website caching
WordPress caching plugins will speed up your website by storing static HTML files from your website to load when your users request a page from your website.
Without caching your website will be taking time to process WordPress PHP files and to access your database in order to generate the HTML pages for your users.
There are a few different options for caching plugins that will work with Divi but some of the most popular are;
- W3 Total Cache
- WP Super Cache
- WP Rocket (premium)
- Siteground SuperCacher (free with Siteground Hosting)
4. Upgrade your hosting
Having good quality hosting is crucial for your Divi website to load quickly. The hosting company and type of hosting plan you choose will depend on your website and the amount of traffic it is generating.
There is a vast number of hosts available but one that is always at, or near the top, of any quality comparisons is Siteground. Siteground is one of the 3 hosts recommended for Divi by both Elegant Themes and WordPress.
This site is hosted with Siteground and I have always been happy with both the quality of servers and the live support system whenever there are any questions or issues.
5. Use recommended hosting settings
The Divi System Status area is available within the Divi Support Center in your WordPress dashboard under Divi > Support Center and shows you the recommended settings for your server and the actual settings your hosts’ servers are using.
By having the server settings that are recommended by Elegant Themes you can ensure your site will run as fast as possible and avoid any of the common issues that can occur with Divi and the Visual Builder.
The Divi System report will show the recommended settings and the settings you currently are using for;
- Writable wp-content Directory (recommendation of True)
- PHP Version (recommendation of 7.2 or higher)
- memory_limit (recommendation of 128M)
- post_max_size (recommendation of 64M)
- max_execution_time (recommendation of 180)
- upload_max_filesize (recommendation of 64M)
- max_input_time (recommendation of 180)
- max_input_vars (recommendation of 1000
Every little helps when it comes to site load times
The 5 recommendations above are going to give you the biggest easy wins and help speed up your website the most, but there is any number of additional things that can help bring load times down even further. Below are some of the things that have helped me with getting some extra speed for my Divi websites in the past;
Use the latest version of Divi – As you can see from the Divi changelog, the theme is updated very regularly and some of those updates are targeted specifically at speed. Stay up-to-date and get speed improvements as they are added to the theme.
Remove query strings from static resources > Remove query strings from static resources > This plugin does exactly what it says on the tin. Resources with a “?” or “&” in the URL are not cached by some proxy caching servers, so moving the query string and encode the parameters into the URL will increase your WordPress site performance significant.
Delete WP post and page revisions – Unless you delete the old page and post revisions they can build up over time and slow down your database, The WP-Optimize plugin allows you to quickly delete them (and other entries cluttering up your database) and free up your database for faster processing times.
Divi Nitro plugin – Divi Nitro is a premium Divi plugin designed specifically for reducing load times and offers a range of speed optimization options that can help speed up your Divi site. The key features are for asset deferral and code minification & combination.
What are your most effective speed optimization tips for Divi?
Do you have any other optimization tips for making a Divi website lightning fast? Let us know in the comments below.
*This post was 1st published on Divi Theme Examples on 20th Nov 20, 2015