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Wordpress is most popular CMS for bloggers and almost every blog uses Wordpress as their platform
17 Ways to Optimize and Speed Up Wordpress Sites
Wordpress is most popular CMS for bloggers and almost every blog uses Wordpress as their platform. It is because of its functionality features and well-coded structure. Wordpress is powered by many plugins and themes which make it perfect for bloggers, but adding so many useless plugins can make a blog damn slow.
In this era, a blog is judged by the speed of websites even Google search engine considers it as the important thing for ranking of the blog. No one wants a heavy site which takes too much time to load as it can reduce numbers of visitors drastically. So it is much important to optimize your website speed and optimize it for perfect loading.
There are so many tweaks you can do with your blog which can make your blog amazingly fast. We have prepared a list of these techniques which you can apply to your Wordpress blog for speed optimization.
1. Select A Good Web Host
It is important to research and finds out a perfect web hosting company for your Wordpress blog because many times web hosts are the main reason for the slowdown of your blog loading speed. So if your blog is loading on a slower side you need to find out, is this because of the host we are using?
Like if you have selected GoDaddy as web host then probably you know what I'm talking about. Their servers are damn slow as compared to other servers. So it's better to make sure that the web host you are buying is worth it and have good server speed.
If you want to hear from me then I will always recommend Bluehost or Hostgator. They are the most versatile and reliable hosting companies and provide betterhosting services than others. Their services are at better cost packages and they provide better features along with brilliant customer support.
If you are unable to manage your Wordpress blog yourself then there are managed web hosting services that can help you. If you want to go with managed Wordpress hosting then Bluehost, WPEngine, and Inmotion hosting can be a perfect host for you.
2. Use A Cache Plugin
This is an important step toward speed optimization. Installing a good cache plugin like WP Super Cache or W3 Total Cache can help your blog load with amazing fast speed. These two cache plugins are too much popular and used by millions of people on their blog.
The concept behind adding a cache plugin to your blog is to make your server little free because servers use cached copies of your web page when anyone visits on that page, hence they will help to speed up the website and make them work very fast. There are add-on features of the cache plugins that also helps in speed optimization like they can reduce MySQL database access, Number of PHP and HTTP requests and server access to static resources.
If you are from technical background then you must go for W3 Total Cache because there are tons of features with the plugin.
Fore detailed review about the plugin read WordPress Caching: W3 Total Cache setup guide
Any novice person cannot handle that many options. So for them, it's better to use WP Super Cache.
Fore detailed review about plugin read WPexplorer.com: Install & Setup WordPress Caching with WP Super Cache
3. Use a CDN to speed up your blog
A content delivery network (CDN) is basically a server that reduces a load off from your host by putting all static resources to deliver from its own server. A CDN is a global service whichdelivers the content to a visitor from the nearest server so that they can get that web page load at a faster rate.
Decreasing the load on your host will improve your blog loading speed. CDN is provided by many companies in the form of free and premium version. Like Cloud flare offers free CDN along with premium upgrade features. But if you are searching for the best then Max CDN is the best choice.
4. Optimize Uploaded Images
Images can be a heavier thing for your blog to load. The best thing is to optimize your images while uploading by doing some tweaks.
The image resolution should be uploaded as per demand. Like if you need to upload 500px and your images are of 1200px then you must resize it before uploading. Otherwise, the images must be scaled down using your CSS as they cause slow loading of your blog.
Another thing which is to consider about is 'Size'. People uses Images of various sizes for their blog which can be further reduced to save storage as well as speeding up the site. You can do it manually or use plugins for it. The best plugin for this purpose is WP Smush It. This is the plugin by yahoo and you would be able to optimize your site very well.
5. Use Better Theme/Framework
A Wordpress theme must be selected according to the well-coded framework. There are various themes available in the market with a lot of additional features that usually we don't need. Using any of these themes can make your site amazingly fast and well optimized.
A well-coded theme helps you setting up your blog with ease. It comes with a lot of inbuilt features with it and is SEO optimized. You don't need to be a developer to use the themes and it can easily be setup without any coding skills. By using a well-coded theme you will find your blog optimized and with great speed.
6. Enable Gzip Compression
When you look up into your site you will find out different types of versions of your site and those will no doubt slow down your blog.
To avoid this kind of problem you should enable Gzip compress from cpanel of your web host. There are so many other ways you can enable Gzip compression and another best method is using a cache plugin like W3 Total cache. This plugin comes with inbuilt options to optimize sites and doing gzip compression.
You can do it also by tweaking your .htaccess file. To do this you must add some type of code in the .htaccess file that will enable server level Gzip compression for your site.
7. Use Antispam Plugin to optimize your site
If there are so many spams like comment and other things that exist on your site, then your site will bound to become slow. To avoid such kinds of irrelevant things you must install the Akismet plugin that will make your blog spam free by preventing spam comments.
Setting up this plugin is a simple task. To avail this service you must open an account on the Akismet site and opt for a free API from the site. And by Appling the API code on the plugin you can active the Anti-Spam Protection on your site.
9. Use CSS Sprites
There is another way to optimize the site by combining the waste CSS files in smaller sizes. CSS of blog page can be combined into various small images of different variations of the main images. These small CSS files can make your site slow.
CSS Sprites is a tool that can recombine the useless images of your web page and make it as little as possible. This can help you to optimize and speed up your blog.
10. Install Well Coded Plugins
As you are already aware, there are a ton of plugins available in the market for Wordpress sites. But all of them are not well coded and using such themes can leave you in trouble. You should try to install a well optimized and well-coded plugin for your blog otherwise those plugins can slow down your site.
Checking the ratings and reviews always works for these problems, but you should do some research for installing plugins with the rating less than 3 stars. There is a tool 'Plugin Performance Profiler' that can help you find out the best plugin on your blog and which plugin is slowing down your site.
11. Optimize Database file
The optimizing database is a must thing to do for the speed optimization of your Wordpress blog. One should optimize MYSQL database to stop loading spams and many other irrelevant factors.
There are many methods by which you can optimize your database like by PHPmyAdmin or by using plugins like WP-optimize or WP-DBManager. These can stop spam comments, trashed post, old post revisions and other things which reduce thespeed of blog.
12. Use Responsive Design
A responsive blog is much faster in operations. For responsiveness of a blog, you must use a responsive theme. This will enable your blog to use few resources as possible and enable resolution wise image serving like when a user opens your site from the mobile device, it will show up low-resolution images and when from a desktop site it will show high-resolution images.
13. Replace PHP with HTML
To optimize the speed of any site you must use HTML in the place of PHP as much as possible. But before doing this you must be aware of these languages and have technical knowledge of Wordpress.
The reason behind doing all this is that a Plain HTML can be 20 times faster than PHP. So it must be used in as many places as it can. The best method to do this is by the normal browser. Just visit your own blog in any browser and click on view page source and from there move on to the HTML tab and copy all HTML from there and replace all PHP of your theme with that HTML. This will surely increase the loading speed of your site.
14. Turn OFF Trackbacks and Pingbacks
Trackbacks and Pingbacks can be a major problem when you look through for your blog. These things are not suitable things for loading speed of any site. A trackback is a reverse server link automatically created when someone links to your blog. These trackbacks use your server and database resources.
So you should turn off the options of trackbacks and Pingbacks of your site from navigating to Wordpress's Discussion Setting.
15. Delete Old Post Revisions
When you are about to publish your blog post and check it various times for before publishing ,it saves all your revisions so that you can restore any of those versions anytime. But if you have a post which has already been published then there is no need for revision. These revisions take up space on the web host and can decrease loading site time. So it is better to use Revision Control plugin that will automatically remove old post revisions from your database and make them smaller and will make it slightly faster.
16. Optimize Widgets
17. Plugin Maintenance
Plugin maintenance is a basic need of any Wordpress site. Leaving those plugins installed without care can leave you in deep trouble asbecause if plugins are not updated on a regular basis then they would become vulnerable and extremely dangerous. These will open a backdoor for hackers to hack your site.
A new version or updated version of any plugin can have better performance options and better CSS and scripts that can help your site load faster and well-optimized.
A slow site is the worst nightmare for any blogger. Any blog makes its first impression with the loading speed and optimized site. A blog speed is measured with many online tools like GTMetrix or Pingdom Speed tool and they also show suggestions to speed up your site.
By applying above tactics you will surely feel amazing fast speed of your blog. And you can verify that on the above-described tools. You can find out other important information about speed optimization on Google Pagespeed Insight.