WordPress, as a platform, is extremely well coded. However, some people mess their WordPress installations up by installing tons of low-quality plugins, choosing an awful web host.
Here are a few ways you can improve the performance of your WordPress sites.
1. Choose a good web host
These days, Serverlaunch.com is probably my most favorite web host, because of speed, uptime and support. Serverlaunch.com is blazing fast and has a tech support team that goes above and beyond the scope of their service itself to help its customers.
I also received lots of WordPress-specific support from Serverlaunch.com over the years, whereas they could’ve simply refused to offer me ‘script-specific support’ as it’s “beyond the scope of their service”, like most hosts do.
2. Use A Fast Theme/Framework
You need to start with a fast and well-coded WordPress theme or framework. If you choose a theme packed with lots of additional features that you don’t need, it’ll negatively impact your site performance.
3. Install A caching Plugin
The third most effective way to improve your site’s load times is to install a caching plugin. As soon as you install a plugin, you’ll be able to tell that your site loads faster.
In simple words, when a caching plugin is active on your site, it servers users cached copies of your pages. It greatly reduces MySQL database access, no. of PHP requests, server access for static resources, and even HTTP requests (in case of combining multiple files into one).
4. Enable Gzip Compression
You should serve compressed versions of your site to your visitors, as they’ll be less in size and will generally load a lot faster.
5. Install Well-coded Plugins
There are literally tons of plugins available for WordPress. That doesn’t mean all of them are well-coded. You should always install plugins that are well optimized for the latest version of WordPress which don’t slow your site down.
You should perform some research before installing a below 3-star rated plugin. Often the plugin will turn out to be poorly developed, using inappropriate hooks. It will not only slow down your site, but in a certain cases might also mess up with the functionalities of other plugins and WordPress itself.
6. Replace PHP with HTML wherever possible in your code
Unless you know what you’re doing, don’t try this on a serious site.
Plain and simple HTML is a lot faster to process for web servers than PHP. If you have a preliminary knowledge about both PHP and HTML, you can replace a few instances of PHP in your site’s code (in themes or plugins) with plain HTML.
I recommend choosing something (to replace) that doesn’t usually gets changed, such as the URL to your favicon, or your site’s name, or your theme’s stylesheet URL.
7. Delete Old Post Revision
Do you really need 10s of revisions of your old posts that have already been published a long time ago? You probably don’t.
8. Reduce Spam – Speed up WordPress
Spam comments take up significant space in your database. You should setup the pre-installed Akismet plugin properly to catch those comments and prevent them from going live on your site, and additionally to discourage spammers from posting them in your site in the first place.
9. Optimize Your Widgets