How to speed up your WordPress website

There will come a time when you may start to notice the speed of your WordPress website is no longer as fast as it once was.

WordPress was originally built for blogging and although this was the intention of the creators, other developers have created third-party plugins that can extend the capabilities of WordPress allowing you to run e-commerce websites, directory websites and social media networks.

As time goes on you will have installed and uninstalled numerous themes and plugins and this, unknown to many, will start increasing the size of the database, specifically the WordPress options and the post_meta tables.

An alarming statistic is that around 80% of WordPress themes and plugins leave unwanted data in your database when they are uninstalled.  Some plugins and themes do come with the option to remove all data from the database when you uninstall them, and if you come accross this then you know you are working with a product that is well developed. This option is very rare as developers just see it as more work plus if the plugin is free why would the bother.

Web hosting also plays a very big part in how well your WordPress website performs. We recommend that you host your website with a reputable company. Do a little research, read the reviews, don’t just go for the cheapest option.

So what should you do?

Try to avoid using too many plugins as this will take its toll on shared servers that have very little or restricted resources.

Use lightweight WordPress themes, run some speed tests before purchasing themes that promise the moon. Check that the themes are well written and do a little research on the developer, the last thing you want is to purchase a theme that will never be maintained and supported.

Optimise your database from time to time, there are some great database optimization plugins out there, such as WP-Optimize and Sweep. Remove unwanted trashed/unapproved/spam comments and stale data. You should also consider removing unwanted database tables. This is a little more advanced as it will require some knowledge of working with MySQL.

Use a cache plugin, this will reduce the load on your hosting account and will serve pages much faster. Check free cache plugins like Fastest Cache or maybe something a little more advanced like WP Super Cache. There is also WP-Rocket, which is a commercial plugin but it really does what it says on the tin.

Use Cloudflare – CloudFlare is a free service that accelerates and secures your website by acting as a proxy between your visitors and your website. With CloudFlare, you can protect your website against malicious visitors, save bandwidth and reduce average page load times. This is ideal for websites who target a worldwide audience.

Leave a Comment