What is WordPress Optimization?
WordPress optimization is the process of enhancing, tweaking, and customizing the WordPress set up in order to improve performance, make it faster, and more easily discoverable. It consists of many things, including, having the right specifications, updating WordPress, optimizing databases, managing plugins, etc.
Several factors can affect the performance of your WordPress blog or website.
- Shared Hosting
- Virtual Hosting & Dedicated Servers
- Number of Servers
- Hardware Performance
- Geographical Distance
- Server Load
Software Version & Performance
Making sure you are using the latest software is also important, as software upgrades often fix bugs and enhance performance.
- WordPress Configuration
- Size of Graphics
Performance Testing Tools
- Webpagetest is a tool for testing real-life website performance from different locations, browsers, and connection speeds.
- Google PageSpeed Insights is a way to measure your WordPress site’s performance and receive clear, specific feedback on how to make improvements.
Improving Performance in WordPress
- Minimizing Plugins
Deactivate and delete any unnecessary plugins. Try selectively disabling plugins to measure server performance.
- Optimizing Content
Replace images with text. Make sure all images you use are optimized and choose the correct format and compression for your files.
- Upgrade Hardware
Paying more for higher service levels at your hosting provider can be very effective. Increasing memory (RAM) or switching to a host with Solid State Drives (SSD) e.g. Digital Ocean can make a big difference. Try to separate services with different functions.
This can improve performance several hundred times over for fairly static pages. When combined with a system-level page cache such as Varnish, this can be quite powerful.
- Server-side Caching
Web server caching is more complex but is used in very high traffic sites. A wide range of options is available.
- Browser Caching
Help to reduce the server load by reducing the number of requests per page.