How to Make a WordPress Site Faster

How to Make a WordPress Site Faster

Does your WordPress site load a little slow? Wondering how to make faster? Here are some tips to help you get started…

Do you have the right theme?

This first tip is more of a quick confirmation. Some themes are pretty heavy and complicated. They rely on complicated coding, extensive graphics or other elements that naturally take a little time to load. If you’re using a theme like this, ask yourself if you really need to. I’m surprised by the number of people who buy themes capable of all sorts of wizardry, yet only use the most basic elements of them.

Having a great WordPress set is sometimes an exercise in minimalism… use only what your need to get the job done. Can you can find a “lighter” theme and achieve the same results? If so, do it. If not, have no fear… there are plugins that’ll come to your rescue!

Check your “Cache Flow”

WordPress websites, by default, display each of your pages and posts dynamically. That is, each page of your site is “created from scratch” whenever someone visits, irrespective of how many times that person visits your website. That’s not really a big deal unless you start to have multiple people viewing your site at the same time. Then your poor site is forced to generated “fresh” pages for each and every visitor and can start getting bogged down.

Installing a plugin that helps your site to cache some or all of your pages can help. Though they do differ in the details, caching plugins basically work the same way. They create a snapshot of your sites pages and posts and, whenever a visitor wants to view your site, they are shown the copy. Why? Because it’s faster to show an already stored “picture” than it is to create the page from scratch.

If you want to learn a little more about the plugins available, I reviewed 6 different Caching plugins on my WordPress podcast. (You’ll find the links to them there.)

Is your host the most?

Finally, it’s worth checking with your host or even switching hosts. If you’re on a shared server, as traffic spikes you’re going to run a little slower… that’s a fact of life but well worth it if it doesn’t happen very often! However there are very powerful hosting providers out there, catering EXCLUSIVELY to WordPress sites.

One that comes to mind is WPEngine. They not only cache your site for you, they handle all updates and keep your site secure… all without you having to lift a finger. They even offer a free speedtest for your site.  Compared to services like Hostgator, they can be a little more of an investment, but if you like the idea of a company that caters to your every WordPress need so you can stay focused on producing great content, it’s worth checking them out.

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