How to Reduce DNS Lookups to Speed Up Your WordPress Site

September 20, 2019 3:47 pm

The speed and performance of your WordPress site can have a huge impact on how successful you are. Slow loading times reduce conversions and if your site takes even a few seconds too long to load, some people may ignore it entirely. A fast-loading and snappy site has a much higher chance of becoming profitable or popular.

Server room

Many things can slow down your WordPress site, from too much traffic, too many videos or photos, or simply a subpar hosting provider. However, another thing that has the potential to slow down your site speed is DNS lookups.

A DNS lookup is what happens when someone enters your website domain name on the internet. This sends a request to the DNS (domain name system) and the server then sends them back the right IP address. This is done to make it simpler to browse, as most of us wouldn’t remember the long IP addresses of the sites we frequent.

While this process is normally done incredibly fast and seamless, this isn’t always the case. Moreover, when you connect to a VPN and it does not assign a new DNS for the VPN session then you will continue to use the DNS server(s) configured in your main Internet IP Stack. This can present a problem if the external DNS cannot resolve internal addresses. Too many or slow-moving DNS lookups can slow your site down enough to where you are losing business or visitors. Without any further ado, let’s take a closer look at a few tips to reduce DNS lookups to increase the speed of your WordPress site.

Utilize a CDN

CDN Content Delivery Network

One of the biggest reasons for slow DNS lookups is the very average DNS providers most people use. Companies like Godaddy and other domain name registrars will include a free DNS server with their domain names. Unfortunately, those are low quality and are doing nothing to help the speed of your site in most cases.

Instead of living with these subpar and sometimes slow DNS lookups, why not consider using a CDN? A CDN (which stands for content delivery network) is sort of like a barrier between your site and someone using a browser to access it. It takes the load off of your server and spreads it out across a distributed network, which can help your site speed as well as reduce the need for as many DNS lookups.

Increase the TTL of your DNS Cache

Because of the existence of DNS caching, a DNS lookup isn’t needed every time a browser requests your IP. As long as these caches are alive and haven’t expired, another DNS lookup is not required. In order to keep these DNS caches active for longer periods, you need to increase their TTL.

TTL stands for time-to-live, and the TTL will dictate how long as DNS cache lives. The longer a cache lives, the less frequently a new DNS lookup will take place. You are free to select any length for your DNS cache. Some sites are minutes, while some are hours. Look up what is the standard in your space if you would like.

Use Less Hostnames

This one is quite simple and is something everyone should consider. Simply using fewer hostnames when loading and generating your site can reduce the amount of DNS lookups that need to take place. A hostname is essentially a label of any device connected to a network, which helps to identify the said device.

Sometimes, many sites make outside requests for things like libraries, social media buttons, or even some kinds of the font. Most of these different hostnames require their own DNS lookup. If you can eliminate some of these hostnames and external resources, it should benefit the speed of your website. 

In conclusion, we hope that this article has been able to help you reduce your DNS lookups and speed up your WordPress site. Of course, reducing your DNS lookups is only one way to speed up your site. Making the DNS lookups you require much faster is also a good idea if you cannot or don’t want to reduce them.