Being a server admin, I have been receiving a lot of requests to speed up their sites and optimise WordPress installations so that they load very fast. I am citing a few examples on how to optimize WordPress in a clever way.
1. Choose a light weight theme.
The theme is the soul of a WordPress site. If you choose a poorly designed theme, it will take a lot of time to load and that will slow up your site. Your theme should be intelligent and fast. It will not be a liability if you spend a few bucks to buy a premium theme and use it on your site then go with a free theme which could have a lot of other vulnerabilities.
Look at the available themes here
2. Optimise images
While I always try to suggest to minimise the number of images, it may not be possible always, on many websites. So you have to make sure that the images are correctly scaled and cropped down so that the page size will be minimum. Ideally, the size of a page should not go beyond 1.5Mb for faster page loads.
3. Use a static URL to serve images.
Taking off the images from the main site is one big task which could make the site load a lot faster. You have to configure a new domain or a subdomain to serve the static content and you can even push that to CloudFlare so that it automatically CDN-ises it. So your site/server will only serve the dynamic content and the CDN will serve the static content.
4. Use very minimal plugins.
Most of use use a LOT of plugins on our site, and most of which we wont use at all. If you haven’t used a plugin for more than 10 days in your blog, you do not really need it. Uninstall and remove it.
5. Reduce the number of third-party content.
If your site loads a lot of content from third-party sites (ads mostly), then there is high chance that your site can be slow. These advertisement servers could be very slow ad it causes our site too to be slow.
6. Use a Caching plugin
Caching is the last step that you have to do while you’re optimising your site. There are different types of caching plugins available which you can choose as per your site. My personal suggestion is lscache, if you are on a litespeed server, or w3tc or wproket etc.
7. Disable heartbeat.
There is a plugin called Heartbeat Control
This plugin will disable the heartbeat of wordpress which otherwise would cause a lot of resource usage.
8. Disable WP-CRON
Follow this article to disable WPcron , and speed up your site.
These are the basic ways to optimize WordPress as a webmaster. As a server admin, you have more room to optimize WordPress. I will be discussing it in my next posts.