How to create a speed demon WordPress site

Performance is a vital aspect to the success of any website or blog. Today’s internet users won’t wait more than a few seconds before giving up and looking elsewhere. The speed at which you site loads is crucial and at Fasthosts we’re committed to providing customers with high spec and reliable severs.

The speed of your website is not just determined by the server, it is also heavily dependent upon what code, images and videos the browser needs to read and load.

We’ve compiled these tips to help you improve the speed of your WordPress site.

*Please remember to make a backup of your WordPress site before making any changes.

Upgrade Your WordPress Version
  • One of the most important tips is to keep up to date with the WordPress version. Many upgrades contain lots of performance improvements and if you’re not running the latest version then you site is speed could be impaired.
Caching
  • On WordPress everything is dynamic so every time you load a web page it needs to execute several queries to grab the data to load. This can make things very slow. By installing WP Super Cache and DB Cache then your website load time will greatly improve. These plugins cache posts and stores them as files on the server so fewer resources are needed to load the page.
Compress Images
  • As you’re probably aware, large images can take an unnecessarily long time to load. Compressing your images will really help increase the speed that the page loads. There are several plugins and websites that will reduce image size for you such as WP Smush.it or Shrink Pictures.
Compress and Clean Your Code
  • Compressing your code will shave those all-important kilobytes off your files sizes and help reduce page load times. Javascript Compressor and Google Javascript optimiser are good tools to compress your javascript code.
  • W3C Validator and Firebug are tools to use to validate your code and fix any errors.
  • Strip unnecessary whitespace from your CSS files to improve page load times with WP CSS.
Optimise Your Database
  • You can either do this manually via PHPMyAdmin or use a plugin called Optimize DB to do it automatically. If you do wish to do it manually you need to open PHPMyAdmin and choose your database. Towards the bottom you will find the option to “Check All”, select this and then choose Optimize Table from the drop down menu which is to the right of the Check All option.
Divide Up Longer Posts
  • Have you ever visited a top 100+ list page that takes forever to load? If you have a long post then it is a good idea to split the page into several pages.
Remove Unused Plugins
  • Plugins can take up a huge amount of space thanks to the amount of code and script within them. Delete any plugins that you don’t use and for any plugins you do have remember to keep them updated to the latest version.

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