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Optimizing WordPress for High Speed Performance

optimizing WordPress high performance

WordPress, one of the top content management systems (CMS) available, is a wonderful platform for users of all skill levels. But it’s not without its flaws. WordPress, without proper optimization, can be quite slow. Regardless of whether you’re using it for a small movie review blog or a complex, ecommerce site, ensuring your WordPress site is operating efficiently will increase your traffic and the likelihood that visitors will return to your site. There are developers and companies who can perform in depth WordPress speed optimization service for you.

10 Ways to Rev Up a WordPress Site


Good Hosting

While shared hosting is often more affordable, and the most common, your site is sharing a server with many other sites. That means no guaranteed resources for your site and little control over server settings. Virtual hosting (VPS) and dedicated server hosting are better options because they offer guaranteed resources for your site and control over the server settings which is very important and justifies the higher cost.

Also keep in mind the host server’s hardware capability has an impact on the speed of your site and better performance will cost more.


WordPress Configuration and Themes

The number of plugins used and their individual performance can affect your website’s speed. It’s important to use only the plugins necessary for your site’s functionality. All others should be deactivated and deleted.

Selecting a lightweight, well-designed theme is also crucial to your website speed.


The Latest Software

Ensuring that all software used is kept current is critical for WordPress speed optimization. The latest versions of Linux or Windows, Apache, MySQL/MariaDB, PHP, along with the latest WordPress updates, fix bugs and raise the site’s performance levels.


Effective Caching

Without a good caching plugin, the page load time on a WordPress site can slow to a crawl because the server load isn’t being handled efficiently as new page requests come in and start piling up. There are many effective, often free, caching plugin solutions to choose from:


Content Delivery Network (CDN)

A CDN allows visitors to your website to download all its static files (CSS, Javascript, images, and more) as quickly as possible by placing them on servers as close to them as geographically possible. Mostly, a CDN is provided as a service although there are plugins available and being developed that claim to be able to provide the same service.


Optimizing the Database

Another effective way to increase your website speed is to optimize the database of your WordPress site. Doing so manually would be long and tedious work, but fortunately a plugin can be used to handle this task quickly for you. The WP-Otimize plugin allows you to easily optimize your database, reducing the overhead, which in turn helps in your goal of WordPress speed optimization.


Optimizing the Front Door Page

A few quick, easy ways you can increase your WordPress site’s speed on the landing page of your site:

Use excerpts instead of full posts.

Reduce and limit the number of posts displayed on the page.

Don’t use sharing widgets on the front door page – only on posts.

Delete unused plugins, widgets, and themes.

Limit widget use on the landing page.


Limit Post Revisions

WordPress, when not configured to do so otherwise, will save every draft of every page and post on your site which uses considerable resources. Using a plugin, like Revision Control, allows you to set a minimum number of drafts, reasonably 2-3, in case you have need of them.


Disabling Pingbacks and Trackbacks

WordPress uses pingbacks and trackbacks to communicate with other blogs. Turning this feature off has no impact on backlinks to your site but it does eliminate a lot of work because of that setting. More information on pingbacks and trackbacks can be found here.

Once you’ve optimized your site, you can use Google PageSpeed to track and measure your results. With a little time, patience, and effort, you could see a dramatic increase in your WordPress site’s speed that will help grow your audience and increase the chances that they will visit your site again.


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