What can a mortal do to speed up a WordPress website? A lot can be done but if you are stuck on a slow server you should definitely consider paying few extra bucks for a better hosting service.
To speed up a WordPress based website without digging deeper in to the back-end you should try some or all of these.
I suggest you to try and use free services like my favorite tinypng (tinyjpg) for compressing jpg and png images. It’s amazing how much can be trimmed off without quality loss. Try their free plugin too for automating the process of image size optimization.
You could do it on your own, which can be overkill, but there are some cool plugins that I recommend.
But you can feel free and try some other as well.
Now this is very important. It adds extra edge to your page speed and gives you extra points on web testing services like pingdom.
Best options in my opinion are:
You can go with any of these since all of them offer great options even in free versions.
Now this can be tricky. Based on technology utilized by your website host you can enable this on your own or you need to contact support to do it for you. You can check here weather you have GZIP enabled on your website or not.
If you cannot access GZIP option via your cPanel or your website’s back-end then reach for support. Alternatively you could edit your .htaccess file but that is a totally different story.
You could measure the score on some page speed testing websites like pingdom and see the changes of before and after for yourself.