Optimizing Your WordPress Blog For Speed
If you want to speed up your web site, you must address the core issue, which is — your web site is getting more traffic than your web server (web hosting account) can handle.
So here are a few ways in which you can speed up your web site:
- The easiest thing you can do is to revisit all of your plugins that you have enabled and see if you still need all of them. Remember that every single additional plugin running on your site, adds some overhead to (basically, “slows down”) your web site or blog. So use only as few plugins as you absolutely must. With so many cool plugins freely available for WordPress, it is very easy to get carried away, and install tens of plugins, most of them adding very little value, but sometimes causing the most overhead in terms of server resources. So keep only a bare minimum of other plugins (some social plugins are a real pain – making calls to third-party web sites to get their information from).
- Using a “cache” plugin for speeding up your site is like putting band-aid on a gaping wound. It’s only a temporary fix, and not a real long-term solution, but every bit helps. We recommend WP Super Cache, and be sure to whitelist all of your member pages from getting cached.
- Make sure you are always using the latest version of WordPress, or at worst, one version behind the very latest and greatest (you definitely want to be sure first that there are no conflicts with other critical plugins that you’re using on your site).
- Make sure you update all of the plugins and themes you’re using to their individual latest versions (get rid of every single plugin and theme that you’re not using).
- If you are hosting on a shared (a.k.a “cheap”) web host paying just a few dollars a month for hosting, then your web site is basically competing for server resources (like memory and bandwidth and database access) with possibly tens (or even hundreds) of other web sites on that same server (many may not belong to you, but to others with whom you are sharing the server – and hence the name “shared hosting”). Search for the keywords “digg effect” or “slashdot effect” on Google, and you’ll see how many WordPress sites crash when a link to the site appears among the top results in popular social sites like Digg.com, Reddit.com or Slashdot.com.If your traffic levels have outgrown your server, then the best thing you can do is to upgrade to a bigger server, or get a Virtual Private Server, or even get a dedicated host, depending on your budget. See our recommended web hosts list.