5 Ways to Optimize Your WordPress Website for Speed

WordPress is a powerful and flexible content management system (CMS) that runs 25 percent of the world’s websites.

While the platform can easily scale from a simple blog to a large e-commerce presence, it can become slow if it is not properly optimized. The following tips will help administrators and designers build fast and beautiful websites.

1. Choose a Host that Optimizes for WordPress Hosting

A WordPress website will only work as well as the server it is hosted on. Many users start out with shared hosting because it is affordable and often comes with promises of unlimited disk space and bandwidth. However growing WordPress websites often hit CPU and memory caps, causing them to be throttled and slow down. Choosing a WordPress Hosting provider that utilizes SSD (Solid State Drives) and LiteSpeed Web Server will not only provide a boost in loading time, it will also remove the headaches of updates and security for the administrator, leaving more time for writing posts or running a business.

2. Use the Right WordPress Theme

Themes can be a bottleneck for WordPress when they contain too many bells and whistles. Simplicity is the key to a fast site, and using a lightweight theme or framework will help the CMS run more efficiently regardless of the amount of content. While there are many well-coded premium themes available, a free theme can easily be customized for most needs. The Genesis Framework by StudioPress is speedy and extremely versatile.

3. Use a Caching Plugin

A caching plugin works by storing posts and elements as static content that can be served very quickly. WordPress has built-in caching, but large and busy sites will need to utilize a plugin to completely optimize the process. The best WordPress caching solution is LiteSpeed Cache for WordPress. Make sure first your web host provider uses LiteSpeed Cache, then download the plugin at: https://wordpress.org/plugins/litespeed-cache

4. Use a Content Delivery Network

A content delivery network (CDN) can be used in addition to caching for even more site speed. A CDN works by pushing a site’s content from a server closest to where it is being requested. This results in very fast loading whether the visitor is in Los Angeles, Berlin or Sydney. CloudFlare’s CDN solution is a great option if you want to use CDN.

5. Optimize Images and Databases

Compressing images, using post excerpts and limiting post revisions will reduce the platform’s workload as will turning off trackbacks and pingbacks. Allowing only three to five posts per page will reduce load time by at least one second. Removing unneeded widgets and plugins will also improve overall site speed while improving security. The WP-DB Manager plugin will clean up the database on a regular schedule, removing unnecessary tables and queries.

Investing a little time and using the tips above will result in a fast WordPress website that ranks well in the search engines and provides visitors with a positive experience.