As the number of posts in your site and numbers of audience grow, quite naturally every WordPress will slow down. The best solution is to upgrade hosting. But you can still speed up WordPress site without spending too much $s on hosting. In this tutorial, I have described 10 tricks, tools and some tips that will increase your WordPress websites speed.
1. Integrate A CDN network with your WordPress website
This is something I do for each and every website that I do. By integrating your site with a CDN network, most of the heavy files will be delivered by them (cdn servers). So it will reduce the load of your server, increase performance and save bandwidth. Some CDN servers can show website to visitors even if your server is down. I have written a detailed tutorial on adding CDN to a WordPress site. How to Speed Up Website by Integrating CDN
2. Optimize Images using Photoshop ‘Save for Web’
Photoshop comes with a handy tool called Save for Web. It allows you to save images in low file size without changing the actual resolution of the image. You can choose the quality from 0-100%. JPEG images can only be compressed in this way.
3. WordPress Caching Plugins
Caching is a technique of saving some data somewhere else that is easily accessible. Caching is of different types like database cache, page cache, browser cache etc. The best WordPress plugin for caching is W3 Total Cache. W3 Total Cache comes with a lot of features like minifying CSS, JS files, CDN integration, moving CSS/JS files to footer etc.
- Enable browser cache – Tells browser to save files to browsers cache (may be imaged, CSS, JS files)
- Minify CSS and JS files – Reduces the size by a good percentage.
- Above the fold – Move CSS/JS files to footer so that those resources will be downloaded at the end.
4. Upload Photos and Videos to other Servers
This is almost similar to CDN. But in the case of photos and videos, uploading to other servers notably improves the speed of the website. You can upload images to Flickr or any other free hosting sites. WordPress Jetpack plugin also have this feature called Photon. When a user visits your site, images/videos will be downloaded from their powerful servers that can handle the heavy load.
5. Revision Control
Put a limit to the number of revisions. You may have noticed that WordPress by default saves the posts separately every time you do some modifications. If you make changes to a post 5 times, then its equal to 5 posts in your database. What if there are 50 posts with an average of 5 revisions. 5×50 = 250 posts! Well, that increases rows in the database table and hence slow down your site.
You can limit the number of revisions using WP Revisions Control plugin. I have set it to a maximum of 2 revisions. Also, don’t forget to delete existing revisions for posts using Better Delete Revision
6. Use external Commenting System
7. Choose a Good Hosting Provider
Though is the most powerful one, I have not put it first. Because it is not easy as implementing the above points. Choosing a VPS/dedicated server is the best way to speed up a WordPress site. A new type of Managed WordPress hosting is also available.
8. Remove Unnecessary Plugins
Install plugins that you think is necessary. Installing a lot of plugins will reduce the speed.
9. Choose a Premium Theme
Choose a good theme from popular theme developing companies. You can get them from Themeforest. A well coded WordPress site will not slow down you site
10. Disable Hot Linking
What if you upload some images to your sites and other sites use that same image? Every time someone opens that website, the image is served from your server that will increase the server load and bandwidth. You can use Hotlink Protection plugin. The above mentioned CDN networks like CloudFlare also have the feature hotlink protection.