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Seven Ways to Speed Up WordPress Blog


WordPress is in itself an efficient and fast blogging platform, but by implementing some simple tips and tricks, you can make it even faster. It will reduce the load on your Web server and also prevent downtime for your blog in case of a spike in traffic from social media websites. You need not wait for your blog traffic to grow for speeding it up. A faster blog will only improve the experience of your readers.

Implement caching

Installing a caching plug-in such as WP Super Cache or WP-Cache will speed up your blog by creating static pages and saving them on the server. Now, whenever a user requests for a page, the cached version will be shown, reducing the number of queries handled by the server. You will be amazed how fast your blog is served by implementing caching.

Prune plug-ins

WordPress plug-ins consume resources of your server which has to handle requests from them. Review the list of plug-ins installed on your WordPress. How many of them are significant for your blog? Uninstall all unnecessary ones, including the ones that are used rarely. It will reduce the load on your server, thus, improving its performance.

Stay updated

Don’t let your WordPress or plug-ins get outdated. Evolution is not limited living organisms; even WordPress and plug-ins become wiser and efficient with every new version. Sticking with an older version means losing the advantage.

Optimize images

An image can be worth more than thousand words, but they are pricier than plain text. Use image manipulation applications such as Photoshop and GIMP for optimizing images for the Web. Don’t use a large image because it’s available. Instead resize it according to your need. Also, it makes no sense to save images in 100% quality JPEGs. Keeping the quality between 85-90% will have no significant impact on quality, but reduce the size of image drastically. If a PNG image is too big in size, try saving it in JPEG.

Choose a light theme

When choosing a theme, go for a simple and stylish one. Less images means lighter webpages. A theme may be heavy on your server even if it has few images and looks minimal. If it has a lot of features and settings on pages, it might be making just too many queries for showing a page. If you can look under the hood, check if it’s making lots of PHP and HTTP requests. Avoid such themes.

Reduce HTTP and PHP calls

Use hard-coded HTML tags in your theme to reduce the number of PHP requests handled by your server for rendering a page. While creating a theme, the designer does not know the name, description, RSS feed address, Twitter id, etc., for the blog, hence, the PHP tags for getting these values from the database. Replacing such PHP codes with static HTML will reduce the load on server and speed up your WordPress blog.

All that the following code does is show the name, description and URL of the blog, but it makes use of PHP to retrieve the values from the database.

1 <a href="<?php echo home_url( '/' ); ?>" title="<?php echo esc_attr( get_bloginfo( 'name', 'display' ) ); ?>" rel="home"><?php bloginfo('name' ); ?></a>

Converting it into static HTML will do away with four PHP queries.

<a href="http://www.wpbag.com" title="Swpbag" rel="home">Swpbag</a>

Similarly, with the following code inside the header.php page:

view source

print?

1 <!DOCTYPE html>
10 </head>
2 <html <?php language_attributes(); ?>>
3 <head>
4 <meta charset="<?php bloginfo( 'charset' ); ?>" />
5 <link rel="profile" href="http://gmpg.org/xfn/11" />
6 <title>...</title>
7 <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" media="all" href="<?php bloginfo( 'stylesheet_url' ); ?>" />
8 <link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="Subscribe to <?php bloginfo('name'); ?> via RSS 2.0" href="<?php echo get_bloginfo_rss('rss2_url'); ?>" />
9 <?php wp_head(); ?>
view source

print?

1 <!DOCTYPE html>
10 </head>
2 <html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" dir="ltr">
3 <head>
4 <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" />
5 <link rel="profile" href="http://gmpg.org/xfn/11" />
6 <title>...</title>
7 <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" media="all"href="http://www.wpbag.com/link-to-theme-stylesheet.css" />
8 <link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="Subscribe to Swpbag via RSS 2.0" href="http://feeds.wpbag.com/wpbag" />
9 <?php wp_head(); ?>

Customize WordPress

Don’t overload your homepage with a large number of posts. Customize your WordPress blog in such a way that the pages load effortlessly. Making the homepage to show a large number of posts will slow it and annoy readers.

Disabling trackbacks and pingbacks may not affect your blog’s functionality, except that it won’t communicate with other blogs over the Web. Souldn’t be an issue as most significant and valuable reactions will always be in form of comments. Turn inter-blog communication for that extra speed.

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