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How To Optimize A WordPress Site For Maximum Benefits

How to optimize a WordPress site for maximum benefitsHave you ever found yourself struggling to increase the speed of your website?

Website speed is an extremely important aspect that determines your success. After all, your website visitors won't be willing to wait for a long time for your website to load.

Website performance also has a direct impact on the search engine rankings. The search engine bots crawl a website in order to index it and while doing this, the website speed is also taken into consideration. If you have a website that loads quickly, the search engines will be happy with your website.

Here are 6 quick tips for you to help you to optimize your WordPress website and make it load faster.

Before you move ahead for implementing these techniques to your website, it is important to first check the speed of your website with any of the free online website performance checking tools like GTMetrix, YSlow or through Google PageSpeed Insights. These services will let you know your page loading time and the overall file size of the page and tips to improve the page load time.

Choose The Right Web Hosting Package

how to optimize a WordPress siteThe first step in optimizing your WordPress website is choosing the right web hosting package. You would be fighting a losing battle if your server takes a very long time to process the HTTP requests and MySQL commands.

Your web hosting company might not always be the reason for your slow website. Your WordPress website may be hosted with a great web hosting company but you might notice poor response time because your chosen hosting package does not consist of enough resources. Website owners using a shared hosting package are more likely to witness slow loading times of the website because there are many other websites hosted on the shared server.

Any web hosting package can fall short when it comes to RAM and CPU. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to the resources that your website needs for functioning smoothly. Select a web hosting package that can manage the traffic spikes of your website efficiently.

Use A Fast WordPress Theme

A theme thow to optimize a WordPress sitehat is not coded properly, or if it uses too many images throughout the design, will result in adding unnecessary weight to your website. Some WordPress themes might be heavy in size and this might add a few more seconds to your page load time, which is deadly.

Select a WordPress theme that has been optimized for tablets, desktops and mobile devices. Search engines favor responsive website designs because they want to make sure that all web pages have the same URL and that the mobile and tablet users have a great browsing experience.

Unfortunately, many theme developers optimize the theme demo website through caching and content delivery networks. As a result of this, it becomes difficult to know whether the WordPress website theme is fast or not.

MY PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION FOR YOU  Can You Really Make Money Blogging?

Here are some fast and simple WordPress themes that can be downloaded from WordPress themes:

* Suits Theme
* Reddle
* Singl
* Blissful Blog
* Hemingway Rewritten
* Splendio

Monitor Your WordPress Plugins

how to optimize a WordPress siteBefore installing any plugin, ask yourself – is it really necessary?

Plugins are one of the biggest reasons why WordPress websites are slow. If you keep installing plugins without any research, you will face performance issues.

There are some plugins that are known for slowing down a website. Some may bottleneck your CPU as a result of persistent processes. In such a case, there is the chance of the whole server going down.

Empty Your Trash

how to optimize a WordPress siteWordPress 2.9 version introduced the WordPress trash system. Whenever any type of content is deleted, whether it is a post, page, comment, media etc., it is sent to the trash folder. You can either restore this content or delete it permanently. This is an effective system that helps you to recover the files that were deleted permanently.

But trash can take up a lot of unnecessary space in your website’s database. The time required to retrieve the information from the database depends on its size. WP-Optimize is a plug-in that helps you remove trash from your database. (By default, WordPress has a feature to automatically delete files after thirty days.)

Plus, keep your WordPress website malware free (and keep the hackers away).

Reduce Post Revisions, Spam, Pingbacks and Trackbacks

how to optimize a WordPress siteIt just isn't the trash folder that can take up the database space. All the post types also populate the table rows with data. Therefore, it is important to delete the spam comments on a regular basis along with the unwanted pingbacks and trackbacks.

You should also be aware of the number of drafts and post revisions that your website has stored. The WordPress revision system enables you to go back to the older versions of articles view them and restore them.

For spam, you can install and use plugins like Combating Comment Spam, Akismet, or Growmap Anti Spambot.

Conclusion

Optimizing your website is no longer an option. As the search engines give so much importance to the web page loading speed, it is important to have a fast website in order to determine website success.

Many people have the misconception that you need to be an expert to optimize a WordPress website. However, 99% of website optimization is done by following good practices and by taking advantage of caching and content delivery networks.

Kavita Menon writes articles on topics related to technology, search engine optimization, web hosting, WordPress hosting  and social media. Her aim is to create informative articles that provide value to the people. Visit MilesWeb Blog to get a range of information on various topics like CMS, web hosting, social media, SEO etc.

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51 comments on “How To Optimize A WordPress Site For Maximum Benefits”

  1. Hi Sue Ann and Kavita,

    These are some great tips I learned here today and I thank you Kavita for sharing it with us.

    I do empty my trash all the time... Just don't like things piling up like real trash lol. I have Akismet, and that works so well on my blog. Between that and CommentLuv my spam is doing OK.

    In the past, I realized my blog was too slow and my theme was old. I had no idea of why this was going on because I am just not technical. So I hired someone to do a complete overhaul and now it is working fine.

    Thanks so much for the information,

    -Donna

    1. Hi, Donna,

      I'm a neatnik also. I use Akismet and CommentLuv too.

      We sometimes don't realize how important speed truly is for a website. I agree about the overhauls every two years or so.

      Thanks for stopping by to comment!
      Sue

  2. [ Smiles ] I have learned the hard way that too many widgets can slow down the loading time of one's page.

    Also, the best theme to use are the simple-looking ones.

    Thanks again for another informative article.

      1. [ Giggles ] I guess that is something that most bloggers have to figure out for themselves.

        May you have a splendid week ahead!

  3. Hi Sue!

    Awesome stuffs. Always remember to update the plugins as these could leave tons of vulnerability!

    One of my sites got compromised because of that. Haha!

    Anyway, good stuffs as usual and just shared this.

    Take care and coming back for more!

  4. Hi Sue and Kavita,

    Thank you for reminding about some great points today.

    In my experience, a spam filter is a real godsend. I use Akismet and it really works for me.

    I do need to have a look at my plugins though. Time to review the ones I do and don't use I think.

    Jo

    1. I have an older site, Jo, and had 63 plug-ins! I'm down to 22 after trial and error to see if I REALLY needed each plug-in.

      The good news is now my website speed is 2 seconds instead of 8 seconds. I also added MaxCDN for $9/month. CloudFlare has a free account. Having a CDN like MaxCDN or CloudFlare really helps website speed.

      Thanks so much for commenting!
      Sue

  5. Great article. Thanks for sharing the valuable information.

    I would like to put my two pence forward as well. Although the number of plugins does affect the speed but this only happens when we do not care about the quality of the plugins. A set of quality and well coded plugins (no matter how many) will not slow you down. I have done a bit of research on this topic and have written about it as well.

    Agree that with more functionality and more plugins, you are naturally taking longer but a good quality plugin will not slow you down for any other reason. Some of the fastest sites are running in access of 50 plugins at a time. The key take away is to invest in quality plugins only....

    1. Thanks SO much for this info, Ahmad! I didn't know the difference and I really appreciate it.

      I have 23 plug-ins and have a load speed of 2 seconds. And that is still a lot of plug-ins.

      I appreciate the techie info we get from Successful Blogging Team members like you 🙂
      Sue

  6. Hi Sue Ann,

    great post,I never miss a tip or trick that somehow helps me to speed up my blog.

    i have a question though,What would you recommend?W3 total cache or wp Rocket cache.

    1. Thanks, Abdul!

      It's personal choice. WP Rocket looks great and I used to use W3 Total Cache and it was very good. My hosting company takes care of the caching now so I don't use a cache plug-in anymore.

      You cannot go wrong with either of them.

      Thanks for your question!
      Sue

  7. Your new site is blazing fast, Ryan! I'm also on MaxCDN - love it and it's so reasonably priced at $9/month.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment on Kavita's post.
    Sue

  8. Thanks Sue & Kavita,

    Blog loading time and speed is a lot more important than it use to be with regard to the search engines and these are useful tips.

    Plugins use to be a huge problem for me because I would love to try them all, but like you mentioned, they can bog your blog down. I've learned to do without but I've also learned that you don't need all those extra plug-ins if you use a really good, quality theme. A quality theme isn't free but the time you save in headaches, frustration and clean loading is definitely worth it.

    Thanks Sue and Kavita 🙂

    Liz

    1. Excellent point about a quality theme, Liz! I was the queen of plug-ins when I was on Thesis, but when I switched to Genesis, I got rid of 60% of the plug-ins I had.

      Thanks so much for your comment!
      Sue

      1. I was a plugin-collector when I had my own self-hosted WordPress site. 🙂

        Used to install every other plugin I could find.

  9. Hi Kavita and Sue,

    Now, this is another interesting post I read today.

    I couldn't see Pingdom Tools mentioned. Along with the others, it's also a good tool to check website performance.

    Not just do we need the right webhosting package, but the right webhost. I jumped 5-6 webhosts to get good support as well as speed, two years ago. Some of them, had pathetic tech support.

    The one I use now, I am with since 1.5 years and satisfied with their quick support and uptime. Just got the pingdom report that there was just one downtime lasting 5 minutes. So 99.99% uptime the last month, and the last few months as well.

    My own blog page loads at less than 1 second, after I made few of the changes you too suggest. Though I didn't do that just now.

    I agree, we don't need to be a WordPress expert or a developer, to optimize the site speed. These are some great and easy tips most people can use, if they give it a little time.

    I had a client who was not ready to remove FB and Twitter sharing plugins. These were the cause of slowing down the site. So, make sure to use a simple sharing plugin. And, it shouldn't have tons of social sharing networks enabled.

    1. Hi, Raspal,

      Excellent points! I use Pingdom's free service and it's great. Also have changed hosting 3 times and am finally pleased with WP Engine (Brandao Yanofsky migrated my site over - he's great, btw).

      Social sharing plug-ins take a LOT of juice. I'm using Social Warfare now and it is very light.

      Thanks for the informative comment!
      Sue

  10. Hi Sue and Kavita,

    Some good housekeeping tips here!

    Its nice to read about tidying up what you have, rather than installing more stuff! This is something we should all take a few minutes to do each week, just to keep our place in order.

    Thanks

    - David

  11. Thanks for the great post.

    As mentioned in previous comments, social sharing plugins are often a problem for speed. Appsumo's is good for speed along with Floating Social Bar.

    Web Page Test provides some more technical data about the time to first byte, start render, DOM, etc. that are helpful.

  12. Hey Kevatia and Sue,

    This post was one of those reminder posts of what we need to do to speed up our site. I forgot about a couple of points you made like the trash bin and deleting spam comments and unwanted ping backs, although I deleted them just a couple of months ago.

    We want to try to optimize every inch of our blogs, and following these tips will help us with this, especially within the few weeks for the upcoming spring. It would be a great excuse to do some spring clearning!

    Thanks for the share!

  13. Hello Sue and Kavita, this is something I need to do ASAP on my website.

    I was checking out a few different themes, I was doing perfectly fine with Canvas from WooThemes but then I switched to one I found in ThemeForest and now my site feels sluggish when it's loading.

    I may need to re-visit some basic guidelines on improving its speed because right now it's awful.

    There are a few plugins you mentioned here that I'm not familiar with, I'll check them out and do some testings over the upcoming weekend.

    Heck, I might change hosts or go back to my old theme but I'll first do the testings and see what the numbers are then.

    Thanks for the cool reminder and very cool tips too!

    Sergio Felix

    1. Hi, Sergio,

      Thanks for your comment!

      Canva is a speedy theme and you may have to switch themes (or head back to Canva) to speed up your site. I really like Studiopress Genesis and they have over 20 great themes. I highly recommend them for their speed.
      Sue

  14. Thanks for sharing the post as it is more informative to know the basics

    for beginners. A great learning experience and Hopefully more people can

    learn from this post what I have.

  15. Hi I'm not a blogger by WordPress I blogging at blogspot.

    However I want to move wordpress from blogspot. I'm a student of learning wordpress. This post are awesome. I will learn so many thing about optimization wordpress. Thanks a lot

  16. Nice article. It is very informative and helpful for WordPress sites. Really, these points are basic things to keep in mind, but generally ignored by other. Thanks for sharing it.

  17. Nice advice regarding Page Speed but load time may depend on web hosting service.

    Such a great article, I think all theses factor when we start my own blog.

  18. Great tips for optimizing your wordpress site. It's nice to have some quality information at the palm of your hands. Nice advice regarding Page Speed but load time may depend on web hosting service. Thanks for the advice!

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