One of the questions I am asked quite regularly by newbies to WordPress is: How do Speed up a WordPress Website?
“How do I Speed up a WordPress Website?”
Obviously the quicker your website loads the better, people have a terrible attention span, if the content takes to long you may well loose that visitor.
I have been working with the internet and various content management systems for as long as I care to remember. I started out working with plain HTML and CSS, then I started using PhpNuke, changed to Joomla and then finally I found and settled on WordPress.
I recommend you install YSlow to your browser and run a test before you do any of these things and then an after one so you can compare to make sure it does make a difference.
So here is five quick fixes to speed up a WordPress website.
1) Remove any unused plugins and themes
The biggest cause in my opinion of a lack of speed from your WordPress website Is that you have too many plugins that are not doing much if anything installed. I not only deactivate every plugin that I am not using I remove them as well. This is ensures if any problems arise you know that every plugin you have installed is needed with your website.
I also remove every theme except one of the preinstalled themes and the theme I have installed and configured for my site. This again keeps the back end of the website all tidy and removes everything unnecessary.
2) Install WP Fastest Cache
I have mentioned WPFC before I swear by this caching plugin and I have tried a lot of them. I haven’t got on with any caching plugin as well as I have WPFC. Its simple to install and configure and boasts all of my pages on the YSlow checker.
3) Perform WordPress Database Maintenance
Keeping your database clean from any clutter is essential. Every plugin you install will add tables to the database, when you remove the plugin they do not always tidy up after themselves. I personally use ManageWP to manage all updates and database maintenance.
4) Optimise all images
This should probably have come first in the list. Optimising images is absolutely essential for a quick WordPress website. You know those stock images you downloaded from Getty? You just added a text layer over the top? The filesize is still 3000 x 3000 pixels. This means WordPress itself has to scale the image down. Big no no!
5) Use cloudflare.com
I have recently started to use CloudFlare for all of my websites. This involves setting your domain names nameservers to CloudFlare’s this then scans your current DNS in order to replicate what you have currently. It moves the control of your domains DNS to CloudFlare which seems to be some of the fastest DNS servers I have used.
It also not only does it offer additional protection against hackers it also caches your website so if your server is ever down for any reason it will still appear online to visitors. It also compresses and serves up a cached version of the website. I’m not sure how it works properly but it definitely makes a big difference.