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10 Ways to Optimize WordPress Performance: A Developer’s Perspective

Updated on August 21, 2018

6 Min Read
optimize wordpress performance
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Everyone hates slow websites and if you’ve got one, it will literally kill your revenue (if it hasn’t started to happen already). Google, as we all know, is also obsessed with load time speed, and had made it an integral part of its ranking system. An optimized website improves user experience (UX) and also transitions between various SEO strategies. The end game being, massive popularity, and profitability for your domain.

The question is how you can make your WordPress website run faster? WordPress, one of the leading content management system (CMS), powers more than 30% of the world’s website today. If not tweaked accordingly, the speed of a WordPress website is prone to run down over time, as you upload more and more data.

So, what can you do when your site has reached this point in the life cycle? Well, it’s actually not that hard to bring back the luster. Here’s a comprehensive list of tips and tricks and some useful plugins to help you achieve just that.

So let’s get started.

Table of Contents

How to Test Website Load Time?

test website speed

The Yahoo YSlow! is a great add-on that you can add to Firefox extension, Firebug, which then evaluates each page of your website for speed and core issue. The great thing is it also ranks your website regarding its performance in accordance with the website performance parameters set by Yahoo. Once you get to know the stats prevalent on your website you can then easily look up the issues and solve them.

In addition to YSlow, GTmetrix provides a great performance analysis of your website. It also offers you great recommendations with which you can tweak the performance related issues of your website.

On the other hand, you can also install the Google PageSpeed Insights add-on for your respective browsers. This advance tool not only helps you identify the performance issues of your website but you can also automate their rectification processes with it.

Tip #1: Invest in an Optimized Hosting

invest in an optimized hosting

Many times, the reason for your WordPress running slow can be less or slow resource provisioning or simply because the hosting server is not adequate enough to hold your website. WordPress is a big system too, it tends to increase its size just as your traffic and popularity increase. Any mediocre hosting solution such as shared hosting is ideal for startups but once your domain grows, it’s essential to look for an as proficient and smart hosting. Fastest WordPress hosting can be one reliable option for a website to garner an effective functionality and uptime from their website. It provides everything that’s in the best of your interest.

Tip #2: Optimize Visual Content

optimize visual content

Another cardinal sin novice WordPress users do is to upload large and high definition images to their website without even compressing them. An image contains many tons of data bytes that can drastically slow the speed of your page rendering by making it heavy. It’s mandatory for users to compress their WordPress images and then upload it to their domain. For non-technical users, now free applications such as image optimizer and Creative Kit in Google+ can be your help in doing just that.

Get WP Smushit is another great tool to compress the images that you upload on your website. All you need to do is to install, activate and this smart tool will allow you to compress multiple images at one time.

Tip #3: Use A Content Delivery Network (CDN)

use content delivery network

Content Delivery Network or CDN is like a team of servers distributed all across the globe that you can utilize to serve a website to far off visitors. CDNs basically replicate the static assets of your website in its servers that allow your website to load fast upon each HTTP request.

We suggest you consider CloudwaysCDN, a renowned CDN service from Cloudways.

Tip #4: Minimize Number of HTTP Requests

minimize number of http requests

Once a visitor comes to your website, it’s a number of files such as CSS, JavaScript, and images that their browser downloads in order to display a page. These sets of files are known as HTTP requests, which are all dependent upon the number of modules and the size of your website. If you have a huge lot of plugins installed on your WordPress, ensure the impact they are having on your code.

Here, it’s also essential for users to minimize the number of add-ons they are having on their website. If there are some add-ons that they don’t use, the key takeaway is to delete them, however, if there are plugins that you extensively use, the extra load time that your site observes just because of them, may not be worth it.

Tip #5: Compress PHP Files

compress php files

As you would know that your WordPress website is made up of CSS and JavaScript files. It’s these files that are sent to a web visitor once they come to your website. If these files are compressed, they are transferred fast and make your website to load quickly. For this purpose, we suggest you use Breeze, a free WordPress cache that minifies CSS and JavaScript files and removes any unnecessary whitespaces. Although, it sounds complicated but you can easily integrate it into your WordPress and get to work right out of the box.

Tip #6: Integrate Caching Plugin

integrate caching plugin

The basic caching system of your WordPress works by storing your website’s dynamic posts and images as static files. These pre-stored static files are then served to web visitors easily, reducing the load time of your website.

However, you can also make quite a use of a secondary caching system, i.e., Breeze — free WordPress cache plugin, which can be the best option for you. This caching plugin is so reputed for granting high-speed website loading that you can easily knock out two or three of the tips as mentioned in this list.

Tip #7: Use CSS Sprites

use css sprites

It is known that web visitors consider staying on websites that first display their design and graphic elements while loading. Here, you can use SpriteMe, a utility that uses CSS Sprites to coordinate with your website’s design to load it far more quickly. There have been quite many articles written on the fantastic functionality of CSS Sprites, here is the documentation on how CSS Sprites work to give you a fast responsive website.

Tip #8: Use a Proficient Database Console

use proficient database console

If you are concerned about optimizing your WordPress database and making it load free, we recommend you to install a single most proficient database console for your website. Try considering “WP-DBmanager” and see that you have none other installed. Once installed, you can then easily leverage the add-ons and other elements of your website that may otherwise cause you to have a heavy database.

Tip #9: Limit “Post Revision” Functions

limit post revision functions

If you have no reason to save post revisions, don’t do it then. They tend to pile up and make your database bulky. However, you can easily disable them by adding this code to your wp-config.php file:

definedefine'WP_POST_REVISIONS', FALSE);

If you also want to remove old post revisions from your database, you can do this easily by running this simple query.

DELETE a,b,c FROM wp_posts a WHERE a.post_type = ‘revision’ LEFT JOIN wp_term_relationships b ON (a.ID = b.object_id) LEFT JOIN wp_postmeta c ON (a.ID = c.post_id);

Tip #10: Clean WordPress Database

install good plugins

Clean Database with WP-Optimize: This here is another great tool that lets you easily clean your database by deleting post revisions and its Meta. You can achieve all of this without the need for any technical knowledge with the help of this plug-in.

Remember the rule of the thumb: Always backup your files first before you do attempt to install any plugin on change anything else at the back end.

If you know any other useful and effective ways that can further optimize WordPress performance, feel free to mention them in the comments section below.

Share your opinion in the comment section. COMMENT NOW

Mansoor Ahmed Khan

Passionate about technology, entrepreneurship, and marketing, Mansoor Ahmed Khan is in computing since he knows how to type on a keyboard. His daily life is rocked by his family, projects, and his screen. Probably in this order, he likes to be convinced at least.

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