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19 Above And Beyond Tips To Speed Up WordPress

Best Practices for WordPress Performance Optimisation

Amazingly, you can make your website load faster by using the following best practices.

These tips are simple to implement, no coding is needed. Using them will help make your website fast by preventing common slowdown issues.

1. Update Your WordPress Site Regularly

WordPress is an open source project that is well maintained and updated frequently. Every update offers new features and also fixes bugs and security issues. You may also need to regularly update your WordPress plugins and themes.

It is your responsibility to always keep your WordPress website, plugins, and themes updated to the latest versions. Miss this and your site can become unreliable and slow, as well as making you prone to security threats.

2. Use Excerpts on Archives and Homepage

Adding a WordPress navigation menu to your site is an easy task but really important. Normally, your WordPress menu settings handle where and how navigation menus are displayed.

By default WordPress displays the entire content of every article on your archives and home page. This means your tags, categories, archive pages, and homepage will all load slowly.

A disadvantage of displaying full articles is that users may forego the need of visiting the actual article. The result is reduced page views, and time users spend on your page.

The best part is you can speed up your archive pages’ loading times by setting your site to show excerpts instead of the whole content.

It’s simple! Just navigate to Settings >> Reading and select “Summary” rather than “Full Text” on the “For each article in a feed, show” option.

3. Split Your Comments into Pages

Well done! You’ve received many comments with your blog posts. This is a really good indicator of having an engaged audience.

However, the disadvantage is, your page speed is hurt through loading all those comments.

Luckily, WordPress has a built-in solution for the issue. Simply go to Settings >> Discussions and select the option, “Break comments into pages”.

4. Use a CDN (Content Delivery Network)

Previously, we mentioned that users in different geographical locations might experience completely different loading times on your website.

Usually, your web hosting server’s location can have an impact on the speed of your site. For instance, let’s assume your web hosting firm has its servers in London. A visitor who is also in London will generally load your site faster compared to a visitor located in New York.

Using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) can help to accelerate loading times for your visitors.

What is a CDN?

CDN, short for Content Delivery Network, is a network of servers, which are geographically dispersed to deliver website’s cached content to end users depending on the user’s geographical location, the static content’s origin, and the content delivery edge server.

A CDN is made up of servers worldwide. Each server stores “static” files or unchanging files like CSS, JavaScript, and images. These are different from your “dynamic” WordPress pages as explained above.

When using a CDN, users visiting your website are served with those static files from any server that is close to them. Therefore, your web hosting server loads faster since the CDN has done most of the work.

You can use MaxCDN on all your projects. It complements your current WordPress caching plugins and also works well with websites that use WordPress, speeding up load times.

Alternatively, you can also use CloudFlare. CloudFlare can be integrated with W3 Total Cache plugin to greatly improve the page speed and also the security of your website. Surprisingly, both are absolutely FREE!

5. Uploading Videos Directly to WordPress is a No-no!

It is possible to upload videos directly to your WordPress website, and it will display them automatically in a HTML5 player.

But you should NEVER EVER do that!

Why?

Well, hosting videos is bandwidth intensive. Your web hosting company could charge you extra fees, or even completely shut down your website, even if you use one of their “unlimited” bandwidth packages.

Hosting videos vastly increases the size of your backups, making it hard for you to restore your WordPress website from a backup.

You should use alternative video hosting services like Vimeo, YouTube, and DailyMotion to perform all the hard work. Yes, they have the bandwidth for it!

WordPress comes with a fixed video embed feature, that helps you copy and paste all your video URLs directly into your page or post where they are embedded automatically.

6. Use a Speed Optimised Theme

When selecting a WordPress theme to use for your website, it is essential to focus on speed optimisation. Some impressive-looking and beautiful themes are poorly coded slowing your web page way down.

Usually, it is better to use quality plugins and select a simple theme to get all the features you require. Avoid choosing a bloated theme that has complex layouts, unnecessary features, and flashy animations.

Exceptional WordPress theme shops include Array Themes, Themify, and StudioPress, which offer well optimised and coded themes for page speed.

After selecting the ideal WordPress theme you may want to learn how to properly switch your WordPress theme for a smoother transition.

7. Use a Faster Slider Plugin

Another common element of web design that can lead to a slow website is sliders.

Even if all your images are optimised, a slider plugin that is poorly coded means your entire work is wasted.

Soliloquy is one of the fastest WordPress sliders compared to other slider plugins based on features and performance.

8. Use a Faster Gallery Plugin

Do you have a photography portfolio or website?

Then you may need to display your photos using an image gallery plugin. It is very important to choose a WordPress gallery plugin which is optimised for greater speed.

Envira Gallery is one of the best WordPress gallery plugins on the market. If you need to create stunning image galleries which are fast to load, then you should consider using this gallery plugin.

9. Disable Pingbacks and Trackbacks

Pingbacks and trackbacks help you know that another websites or blogs are linking to your post. Pingbacks are automatic while trackbacks are manual, but both end up as comments on your page.

Did you know that 99% of all pingbacks and trackbacks are spam?

If you begin getting too much of them, your page speed can possibly be affected.

To correct this, simply go to Settings >> Discussions, then disable pingbacks and trackbacks under the Default Article option.

Alternatively, you can use an Anti-Spam plugin to deal with spam.

Say goodbye to spam!

10. Optimise WordPress Database

After using WordPress for some time, your database will be filled with a lots of unnecessary information that you don’t require anymore. For improved page speed, you can consider database optimisation to get rid of the unnecessary information.

This can be easily done with the WP-Sweep plugin. It enables you to clean your database by deleting things such as unused tags, revisions and trashed posts. It also optimises the structure of your database, with just a click.

You can also use WP-Optimize or WP-DB Manager plugins. WP-DB Manager has an interesting feature which schedules dates to optimise your database.

The basic speed tips and best practices for WordPress optimisation listed above are fundamental in boosting your page speed and by using them you should notice a big improvement in your website’s loading times.

But every fraction of a second counts! That’s why you will need to make some more changes to attain the fastest speed possible.

You should consider advanced fine-tuning to speed up WordPress and you will save even more time wasted in page loading.

Amazingly, you can #speedup #WordPress by using these best practices!Click To Tweet

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About Steven Watts

Steven WattsSteven is the founder of Newt Labs. He's a WordPress specialist with an interest in building the most effective websites possible. Since 2010, he's been helping businesses with their online goals.