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WordPress: Speeding up the web

How WordPress Is Enhancing Website Speed

Date: 18 April 2024
Author: Rob

Today, WordPress is utilized by over 40% of websites on the internet, representing a vast reach and a significant responsibility. With such widespread usage, it’s crucial for the WordPress community to consistently seek ways to enhance the user experience, particularly in terms of website performance.

The speed at which web pages load, the responsiveness of actions like button clicks, and the smoothness of scrolling all greatly influence how users perceive a site. Improved performance can result in increased engagement from readers and higher conversion rates. Fortunately, in recent years, the WordPress project has made substantial improvements to performance across its core platform, plugins, and themes.

Many of these enhancements are readily available without the need for configuration, benefiting both the frontend of websites that visitors see and the administrative experience, such as the editor.

Highlighted below are some performance upgrades from the past year:

  • WordPress 6.3 introduced enhancements to image loading, resulting in up to a 21% improvement in loading times for pages featuring hero images.
  • WordPress 6.5 debuted a more efficient translation engine, which boosted WordPress response times by 23% for all localized WordPress sites, benefiting over 55% of WordPress sites worldwide.
  • WordPress 6.5 also included performance optimizations for the Block Editor, leading to significantly faster typing and loading times when creating or editing content.

Apart from these core enhancements, the WordPress project continues to focus on efforts that indirectly improve performance across the ecosystem. For example, automated tooling is utilized to monitor performance continuously, enabling contributors to detect and address potential issues early in the development process.

Furthermore, the introduction of the WordPress plugin checker allows developers to assess plugins for performance best practices, fostering greater awareness and ultimately leading to faster plugins.

WordPress 6.5 introduced the Interactivity API, simplifying the implementation of interactive website features and enhancing overall performance.

These performance updates are the result of collaborative efforts from the WordPress community, particularly the Performance Team established in 2021. Thanks to these efforts, more WordPress sites now deliver good load time performance compared to a year ago, outpacing the overall web’s improvement in load times.

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