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.
Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 5 comments
orion - August 9, 2011

wp-super cache and w3 total cache is compatible with DAP?

Joe - October 7, 2011

“Using a cacheย plugin for speeding up your site is like putting band-aid on a gaping wound. Its only a temporary fix, and not a real long-term solution.”

Tell that to sites like Apple.com, Mashable.com (who uses W3TC and developed it), Google.com and wikipedia.org.

A bad server is a bad server, but not working with optimization plugins like W3TC that provide options like content delivery, html/js minification and caching is like fighting a rabid dog with a banana.

Ravi Jayagopal - October 8, 2011


You’re comparing apples and oranges.

1) Big sites like Google and Apple do not use a “one-size-fits-all” type plugin for caching their content.
2) They only cache *parts* of their site – not their *entire* site. They only cache parts of their site that are repeatedly served, are mostly static in nature, do not change very often, and are “cache-worthy”. I think that’s the biggest key word here: “Cache-Worthy” (just made it up, by the way ๐Ÿ™‚

Now, what caching really means is… “Store the contents temporarily in a buffer area and repeatedly serve it to everyone that requests it, instead of repeatedly going the to database to get it over and over again and putting more stress on the database, the server and the network in general”. Well, that’s the general idea behind a cache plugin or software.

To give you a crude example, imagine if Google decided to cache ALL parts of Gmail. Which means, doesn’t matter who logs in, they will all see the same set of emails. That doesn’t make any sense, right? That’s the same deal here.

If you have a big enough blog that gets a lot of traffic, then you should keep the public-facing blog separate from your members’ blog. And then, you will be able to use all sorts of fancy plugins on your main site, including the Cache plugin, all kinds of Social plugins, traffic-getting plugins, SEO plugins, etc.

And then, because you have kept your member-blog separate, there is no conflict between the two, and everybody’s happy ๐Ÿ™‚

Or if you must mix the two together, try setting up your cache plugin to NOT cache for logged-in members.

Hope this makes sense.

Paul Kaiser - April 12, 2012

Greetings. I am using W3TC to cache my DAP site. Here is a DAP forum link telling how I do it, and explaining limitations.


Also, for pages you cannot cache, you can help speed them up by using WordPress transients to temporarily cache just certain parts of the page. For example, I use a WordPress transient to cache my site-wide global menu. That way, WordPress doesn’t have to do any queries to build the menu, even on a non-W3TC-cached page. Well, okay, it sometimes does 1 query, to get the transient from the database, but that is much less processing than actually building the menu each time.

Good luck, let me know if you need help, I might find the time. DAP rules.


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