Is your WordPress website running slow? Try these 4 quick tricks to have it back up to lightning speed in no time!
If you have been webcrafting for a while, one of the things you will eventually have to face is website maintenance. As much of a chore as this might appear to be, it’s important to make sure your site is running as quickly and efficiently as possible. It is vital that your site be quick and convenient to ensure your guests routinely come back, or you will start losing users.
Maintenance doesn’t have to be a chore. In fact, it can routinely be as fast you wish your site was… and will be after you take these next steps! Lets look at how you can ensure your site is as efficient as possible!
1. Purge and Update
So here is a confession. I’m a plugin hoarder. I love to browse the plugin options and download anything that seems even remotely useful. Problem is, whether or not I actually use, or even activate, the plugin I hold onto it way longer than I should. Every month I have to remind myself to go through my plugins and get rid of anything I’m not using. Save that space for something actually useful. While doing the purge it’s also a great time to make sure everything is current and fully updated. An outdated plugin can both slow you down and put you at risk, so this step won’t just help you speed up WordPress, it will make you more secure too.
After purging your plugins, make sure your media is also cleaned up. You may have a few videos, photos, or audio files lined up in your media file that need to be ousted. To see what you currently aren’t using go into Media from your Dashboard and change All Media Files from the dropdown menu to Unattached. However, before you start deleting everything, make sure that all of these are both unattached and unused.
Last in our purge list would be any unused tags from your posts. Tags are a great way to sort your information on your site, but these can also pile up just like everything else. The good news is that they are very easy to manage. From the Dashboard go to Post and select Tags. From the list of tags, look at the far right column labeled Count and simple get rid of anything that has a count of zero. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
2. Delete the Unseen
One of the great things about WordPress is that is autosaves your work and keeps most everything in a database. This is great when you need it but WordPress also keeps anything you label as SPAM in this database. After a while all of these items will pile up or are no longer needed as drafts. To manage this database and speed up WordPress, I recommend using WP-Sweep, Better Delete Revision, or Spam Comments Cleaner. These will delete those pesky files and help keep your site running quickly.
3. Oil the Gears
After you’re done cleaning off all of the excess from your site, the next step is to make sure what you want to keep runs as smoothly as possible. For this, let’s start at the top of your site’s presentation, the theme. A good theme can speed up WordPress significantly since it is one of the first things your viewers will notice about your site. The framework of the theme you’re using is the figurative gears that keep the pages of your website turning.
Something everyone might not realize is that not all themes are created equally. If your looking for a change, or just trying to make everything as aesthetically pleasing and efficient as possible, make sure your theme is clean and built on a lightweight and well built framework. StudioPress themes, built on the Genesis framework, gets our highest recommendation for performance and clean development.
While you’re at it, you may want to clean up your Homepage. The more items on your homepage the longer it will take to load. Take a minimalist strategy to show snippets of pages while keeping everything clean.
4. Serve Your Content Smarter
Finally, two great options to speed up WordPress would be to use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) and a Caching plugin. Using a CDN can help keep your site running quickly no matter where in the world it is being accessed from. There are lots of options for using a CDN but three popular options are KeyCDN, Cloudflare, and MaxCDN.
A Caching plugin is similar to a CDN, but rather than storing versions of your site closer to your users, it makes a quick copy of your site that can be sent to your users rather than processing each new request individually. To help get you started, WP Rocket and W3 Total Cache are two great options.
So there you have it. Several quick and easy methods to make sure your WordPress site is running as quickly as possible. With these steps you can not only speed up WordPress, but the overall experience of your site more pleasing to your users. If we’ve missed anything that’s worked for you, please make sure you share with us in the comments below!