At times, Websites running WordPress can slow down for any number of reasons. It could be anything from bloated code, a rogue plugin or poor hosting performance. Figuring out what’s slowing you down is hard enough. Harder still is that some methods for increasing speed (caching plugins, for instance) are full of cryptic settings.
It can all add up to something of a nightmare in diagnosing and fixing what would seem to be a simple problem.
Tips for Increasing Speed
WordPress, by itself, is not a slow platform. But adding components like themes and plugins can weigh it down. Combined with database clutter and potential hosting issues, a site can really slow to a crawl.
Here are a few things to take into account when you’re looking to increase speed:
Avoid Heavy Themes
Just because a theme calls itself “minimal” doesn’t mean that it’s lightweight. A theme may sport a minimalist look but still load a ton of scripts that will slow you down.
If you’re using a third-party theme, check the documentation to see how to disable scripts you don’t plan to use. Otherwise, use a lightweight starter theme and build for what you need.
Use only Needed Plugins?
Each plugin you install and activate can add scripts, styles and database entries. Before you install a plugin, do some research to see if it’s known to cause any issues with load times. Ask yourself if it’s really a necessity for the success and security of your site
. If not, you may want to move on for the time being.
Use A CDN
CDNs or Content Delivery Networks help deliver static files of your website faster to your visitors from a server location much closer to them than your site’s servers. This makes a website that normally fast seems even faster. A CDN ensures that your visitor hits the cache rather than reach your servers. And accessing the cache as opposed to requesting site data from servers is much faster.
Almost all high traffic websites now use a CDN for their static content. CDNs like MaxCDN have solid state drives strategically located all over the globe to provide the ideal global content delivery service to websites with a wide demographic reach, as you can see from the image below.
Watch for Missing Content
Whether local or remote, look out for any scripts or stylesheets that fail to load. A missing file can cause your site to react incredibly slowly, along with possible display and functionality consequences. Use a tool like Pingdom or GTmetrix to analyze your site. Both tools offer a “waterfall” view that shows how long it takes for each file to load along with your page. If one of these files generates a 404 error, you’ve found the culprit.
Take Note of Hosting Limitations
Not all web hosts are created equal. Some just flat-out provide a better product. But you should also be aware of some hosting-related issues that can cause a slowdown. Being on an overcrowded server, running a non-supported (old) version of PHP or having too much traffic on a shared hosting account can all cause problems. And most importantly avoid all these mom and pops hosting promising to offer you best service. Try check out their reviews to see if they’re worth your money.
Using Very high size images can cause your website to run very slow, image have about 1MB Pictures of about 5 to 10 on a single page, of course the website has to load all of them and hence may do this very slow especially if you have a low bandwidth and there are many people accessing your website at the same time. Optimizing Images becomes very essential.
You can use a Software like Photoshop to resize your images or you can also use sites like postimg.ccto upload your image and then link it to your site, this can aid to increase the speed of your Website.
You can also use EWWW Image Optimizer to Optimize your images with lossless compression; you can reduce image sizes without much loss of quality.
Alternatively, you can use Compress JPEG & PNG Images plugin for the same. They promise a compression in size by about 40% – 60% for JPEG images and 50% – 80% for PNG images, without a visible and obvious loss in quality.
Hotlinking is a means by which people use the content that is a host on your site’s servers for their own websites. So basically they use your servers with your content on their site. And as a result, your server gets loaded with no benefit to you whatsoever.
How do you stop someone from stealing your server resources?
To prevent people from hotlinking stuff from your site’s content. Some tinkering with your site’s code is required. You can use this tool from htaccesstools.com
to generate the necessary code which you can add to your server. Normally, your host will also be willing to help you with this.
And once you prevent hotlinking, you can be certain that your server resources are not spent hosting content for a website other than your own. Hotlinking tactics generally target images and other multimedia which are data heavy, so if you run a site with minimal imagery, disabling hotlinking will not have any effect on your site’s performance.
Disable Pingbacks and Trackbacks
Trackbacks and pingbacks are used to let you know that someone else has put a link of your post on another blog or site. Trackbacks are manual and pingbacks are automatic, they both end up in your comment moderation. 99% of all trackbacks and pingbacks are spam. And if you start getting too much of it, your site speed can potentially be affected.
Go to Settings > Discussions, under Default Article settings disable the pingbacks and trackbacks.
Or we can use a plugin that can deal with spam, like WP SpamShield Anti-Spam. And that’ll be the end of spam in any form.
Getting Your Website Up to Speed
Speed is vitally important, after all. It affects things like SEO and your bounce rate. So it’s worth the little bit of effort to squeeze as much performance out of your website as you can.
Below is a list of WordPress Optimization Plugins that you can use to optimize and speed up your website
Setting up a WordPress cache plugin can be an incredibly frustrating experience. There are often so many settings with not-so-obvious names that you really have to do a lot of testing to find out what something does.
WP Rocket is a premium plugin, but it may just be worth the price. It features an ultra-minimal setup and really does speed up your site
. The package includes page caching, preloading, database optimization and lazy loading of images.
Lazy loading content can be a big help in cutting down on server requests. BJ Lazy Load works by only loading images, text widgets and iframe content (like YouTube videos, for example) when they are within the user’s viewport.
That way, heavy content only gets loaded in when needed. This is especially nice for long-scrolling pages that feature lots of multimedia. Just turn it on and see the difference.
With just a few clicks, Autoptimize will concatenate styles and scripts, minify HTML, CSS and JS files, add expiry headers and cache them. The plugin can also move styles to your site’s header and scripts to your site’s footer, if desired.
While the developer recommends using Autoptimize in conjunction with a caching plugin, it’s still a simple way to speed up your site by itself.
Your site’s database can become incredibly cluttered over time. That can lead to sluggish performance. Optimize Database after Deleting Revisions aims to be a “one click” solution by deleting post revisions (you can keep a specified amount of revisions per post, if desired), spam comments, unused tags, pingbacks/trackbacks and orphan postmeta items.
It also optimizes database tables to help keep your DB lean and clean. Optimizations can be set to run hourly, once daily, twice daily or weekly. It’s compatible with WordPress multisite.
I believe I have covered almost everything needed to speed up your website, trying what’s listed above can help you speed up your site. For me I just make sure I desist from using large images; Using Minified CSS and JS and Most importantly using a CDN.
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