WordPress is the most popular content management system by far. It’s used on nearly 75 million websites. It’s not just used on small websites either. 48% of Technorati’s top 100 blogs run on WordPress. There’s no question on why it’s so popular. It’s a fantastic CMS. It’s easy to install and user-friendly even for those who aren’t tech savvy. That user-friendliness and wide user base comes with somewhat of a cost though.
Since it’s not designed for one specific application and since it’s designed to be so user friendly, it is somewhat bulky. It’s not as streamlined as it can be since it has to cater to so many different users and different applications. There is good news here though. The platform is open source and easy to tinker with. If you know what you’re doing, you can improve the performance of your site. In some cases, this performance improvement is significant.
Here are 3 tips to improve the performance of your WordPress install.
Use a “Real” Web Host
Shared hosting is fine for a brand new site, but growing traffic will quickly outpace the resource limits of a shared hosting account. If you’ve notice your site beginning to slow as your traffic levels increase, it’s time to move to a better server. A VPS or a dedicated server will make a world of difference in your performance. These provide additional resources that are reserved specifically for your site. High traffic on another site on the same server won’t impact the performance of your site.
Furthermore, as your traffic grows you can split your site into layers, having separate servers on different platforms. As the Arvixe web hosting service points out, Linux compatibility is one of the most common types of hosting people are looking for online.
Clean Up Your Database
As a WordPress site ages, you database will accumulate information from old themes, plugins, spam comments and more. Those extra tables and rows increase the size of your database and increase your query times. When a user is waiting, that extra second that your site takes to load may cause them to leave. Cleaning that unneeded junk from your database is a great way to speed up your site.
Before you begin, backup your WordPress database. Now, if you’re knowledgeable about SQL and WordPress’ table structure you can manually clean your database; however, there are a number of highly rated plugins that will do the hard work for you. They work great and are much easier to use.
Use a CDN
CDNs are very easy to set up for WordPress and are highly recommended for any media-rich site. Even if you don’t have a lot of images or large static files on your site, a CDN is recommended as your traffic levels grow. Even small files add up after being served thousands of times.
Make it a part of your regular maintenance process to test the speed of your site and look for ways to improve it. Visitors expect your site to load in 2 seconds or less. Even the smallest improvements will help you retain more visitors and build your user base.