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How to Speed Up Wordpress

Posted on 2015-01-21
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Last Modified: 2015-01-22
Hi, My website is loading very slow is there any tools i could use to speed it up?
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Question by:inspiromedia
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Jason C. Levine earned 500 total points
ID: 40563646
The three easiest things you can do to speed up any WordPress web site are:

1) Use a good caching plugin.  Quick Cache is not good...it sacrifices speed for simplicity.  Use W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache. If using W3 Total Cache, make sure you activate both Page Caching and Database Caching for full benefits.

2) Minify and combine.  W3 Total Cache can minify your HTML, Javascript, and CSS depending on what server extensions it can see.  At worst, make it minify the HTML.  If you prefer to not use W3 Total Cache, there are many other ways to minify and combine files, including large numbers of plugins, Google Page Speed extensions, and more.

3) Optimize images.  Make sure you are using the right size image for each thing you need an image for and use add_image_size() in your theme to make new sizes when uploading.  Don't be That Guy/Gal who uploads a 1200x600 image and uses HTML or CSS to display it as 400x200.  Use PNGs over JPGs when possible.  Use an image optimizer to squeeze things down as far as possible (I like https://wordpress.org/plugins/ewww-image-optimizer/) for this purpose.

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More advanced techniques:

1) Install and enable Varnish on the web server for super-fast object caching.  

2) Use a CDN (or Amazon S3 if you are poor) to get speed boosts by having users served by a server closer to them.  Perhaps the easiest CDN to get started with is CloudFlare but their free offering is not great and there are better paid CDN's (MaxCDN, Amazon CloudFront) out there.

3) Know your plugins.  Install and use the P3 plugin (https://wordpress.org/plugins/p3-profiler/) to get a sense of which plugin is consuming which resources.  Some plugins are more resource-intensive than others and can drag down a site.

4) Know your theme.  Themes that are purchased or downloaded from third parties can be problematic on a number of levels.  There are a few known/good theme developers who are committed to producing quality stuff but a lot of the junk you can find on ThemeForest and other catch-all theme sites are really terrible.  Load your site with the browser's debugging console turned on and look for broken links, external calls, font loading, etc.  You can also run your theme through the WordPress Theme Check (https://wordpress.org/plugins/theme-check/) which can alert you to non-standard coding issues that will undoubtedly lead to other issues.

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Screw It, I Don't Have Time For All That


1) Move your site to an ISP that features dedicated WordPress hosting.  WP Engine, Page.ly, Dreamhost, and others now feature special (read: more expensive) plans on servers that are fine-tuned for WordPress operations.  Furthermore, they should handle the caching and security issues for you so you don't need to install or configure any caching/minification plugins at all.
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