WordPress is one of the most popular foundations for building a successful content-driven web site — and for good reason. It’s powerful, scalable, and has a rich community of developers that provide amazing plugins and themes. While WordPress has come a long way over the years as far as built-in performance optimization, there are still a number of things that should be done on every production web site to deliver a fast user experience (while saving resources doing so, AKA $$).
5. Image Sizing and Compression
How often are you tempted to just upload that image to get it up quickly? Think twice next time. Running your images through an image optimization tool before uploading will significantly reduce download time and use less bandwidth in the process. ImageOptim is a fantastic and free tool to keep in your dock for optimizing images quickly. There are also a number of WordPress plugins that use services such as TinyPNG to automatically compress images. However, I’ve found that those can cause upload issues and sometimes comes at a cost that is rather unnecessary.
3. Use a Caching Plugin
One major goal in decreasing load times is decreasing the total number of requests against your database software (MySQL, MariaDB, etc.). WordPress is an incredibly dynamic platform and instead of storing your pages in quick-to-load html files, they are stored within tables in a database. Caching plugins will render these dynamic pages into static files that can be served to visitors quickly. Doing so also greatly reduces the utilization of server resources needed to handle requests.
Two very popular and rather easy to use caching plugins are WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache. But, our favorite and most easy to setup caching plugin is WP-Rocket. Use this link to get a discount on your license.
2. Use CloudFlare Or A Similar Content Delivery Network (CDN)
CloudFlare is our top pick of available CDNs and offers a completely free plan. As a CloudFlare Certified Partner, we provide one-click setup of CloudFlare for all of our customers through your control panel.
1. Pick a host that knows how to host.
Your web host should be your biggest partner in providing optimization advice. Deploying and managing servers is rather easy — but running servers that are efficient, stable and effective is an art of engineering. If you’re not satisfied with your current web host, start searching for one that can deliver.