WordPress optimization

WordPress is used by 54.4% of all the websites whose content management system we know. This is 16.8% of all websites. There are many plugins and themes available for wordpress. Most of which will be known to you.

Have you ever felt that your wordpress site is under-performing? Do you think that the site needs some optimization?

Here are some tips that would help you to optimize your worpress sites, in terms of security and performance!!!

Upgrade wordpress.

Update the worpress on the site to the latest version. You can find the steps here.

The latest versions are released with more advantageous features to overcome the drawbacks of the previous versions. So, when you get a notification in the admin panel that “An updated version of wordpress is available”, proceed with the upgrade.

Update all Plugins to the latest version available.

Plugins can be the root cause of WordPress issues. You can install the necessary plugins which will help to improve the performance of the website, by reducing loading time. Also, make sure to examine and choose plugins carefully. You can also disable plugins one by one in order to monitor the server performance. Check whether any plugin is hampering the website performance, if so, delete or deactivate the culprit plugin. Optimize the plugins. Check whether the plugins are coded effectively.

Again, after you deactivate “unnecessary” ones, try again. This time though, try to look for a feature in a plug-in that is already incorporated on your WordPress version. This is harder to find and require you to do some research, but sometimes a newer version of WordPress has already covered what a plug-in is doing.

Only activate plug-ins when you need them. For example, you don’t need to activate a Theme previewing plug-in if you are not planning to change a theme. You don’t need to activate a WordPress database backup plug-in if you are not auto scheduling a backup, and so on.

Update the theme used.

Update your theme files too, especially if you are buying premium themes, sometimes the author has made an update to your theme. Sometimes themes may cause extra load to the server. Some of the queries may be unoptimized. Examine your themes and replace dynamic code with static code.

You can use WP Offload plugin for this. WP-Offload will improve the performance of your site by offloading static content like images, documents and movies. This will reduce the number of HTTP requests to your web server, also bandwidth consumption. It also provides some additional features like remote image manipulation and thumbnail generation.

Only activate plug-ins when you need them. For example, you don’t need to activate a Theme previewing plug-in if you are not planning to change a theme. You don’t need to activate a WordPress database backup plug-in if you are not auto scheduling a backup, and so on.

Reduce PHP/Database calls as much as you can and optimize database.

Most CPU usage is caused by the number PHP and database calls. Using WP-SuperCache helps this tremendously but sometimes it can’t be helped that your blog still has to do some PHP/Database calls. If you can reduce it though, do it. For example if a plug-in allows you to set an option whether to write a log or not (like number of spam comments caught, etc), then disable it. This will reduce the number of database insertion/update calls.

Optimize databases. WP database Optimizer is an excellent plugin to optimize the databases. It optimizes databases in an automated scheduled manner. The user can specify the time limit for optimizations. This plugin runs an optimize table command on WordPress tables for defragmenting it.

Enable Caching, if you haven’t!

Caching will increase the website performance and reduce server load. We can use plugins for caching web pages. Caching will reduce the page loading time and improve the speed of the website.

W3 Total Cache is an excellent WordPress plugin which improves server performance and loading time. It will caching every aspect of the site, thus reducing the download times.

Wp Super Cache generates static html files for heavy php scripts that are used in the website and reducing loading time.

DB Cache plugin caches database queries with a given lifetime. It uses only a small disk space for caching.

Reduce the number of Widgets and other components as much as possible.

Although putting a weather widget or other widgets are cool, do you really need them? Besides cluttering your blog and turning visitors off, it can also put a strain on the server. Turn them off!

Reduce the image size wherever possible.

Reducing image size will help to reduce the download time and bandwidth. Optimizing the images will increase your website performance. Delete unnecessary image files and try to replace some images with text. Do ensure that all the image files are optimized. Always compress the image files appropriately and choose correct format type for the image. WP Smush.it plugin can also be used for reducing image file size.

Reduce the number of files.

Try to reduce the number of files needed to display the website. Combine multiple CSS files into a single, optimized file (One 50kb file will load faster than five 10kb files). Load JavaScript in the footer.

Minify CSS, JavaScript and HTML files so that it will reduce the file size. This will reduce download time and save bandwidth. WP Minify is a good plugin for this purpose. This plugin integrates the Minify engine into the WordPress site. It will detect all the CSS and JavaScript files, to combine and then minify them. It will also minify html files. WP-Minify provides a cache mechanism for the files.

The JS & CSS Optimizer plugin combine several JavaScripts and CSS scripts into a single file and hence minimize http requests.

Scripts Gzip plugin merge and compress the CSS and JavaScript links on the page. If necessary, the plugin rewrites url addresses in the CSS files.

HeaderJS Loader can load the JavaScript files via Head JS. It strips out all old JavaScript declarations and puts them into head.js calls in order to load them in parallel headerjs.

Feel the difference after trying the above methods. The performance will be improved by 30%-40%. Your site will load with a high speed and you will get more satisfied customers and visitors!!

You can refer the following links for optimizing the sites further.

http://codex.wordpress.org/WordPress_Optimization/Caching

http://codex.wordpress.org/WordPress_Optimization/WordPress_Performance

http://websiteoptimization.com/services/analyze/