6 Tips To Speed Up Your WordPress Blog Instantly

If you have a website, chances are you are using WordPress as a CMS as its the most popular CMS these days. Because of its popularity, there are thousands of WordPress themes and WordPress plugins available these days, and you may have tried too many of them till now, making your WordPress site very slow. Don’t worry, its never too late to speed up your WordPress blog. You can try the 6 tips below to speed up WordPress instantly.

1. You can reduce the number of posts that are displayed on homepage and archive pages of your WordPress site to improve its performance considerably. Its purely a common sense WordPress optimization trick since there is less data to show, it takes less time to show it.

To decrease the number of posts displayed on your WordPress homepage and archive pages, go to Settings > Reading, and decrease the value of ‘Blog pages show at most’ option.

2. Deactivate any useless WordPress plugins you might have and remove any unnecessary widgets from you sidebar.

3. Install a caching plugin. A WordPress caching plugin stores the posts and pages as static HTML as they are served by your web host, and the next time a user visits a ‘cached’ page or post, it serves the static copy of it, thus saving time from php and mysql calls.

There are many WordPress caching plugins available, like W3 Total Cache, Hyper Cache, WP Super Cache, WP Cache etc. The only issue with using a caching plugin is that you have to test all the available plugins to see which one works best on your web host.

There are hundreds of WordPress web hosting companies and each have different configurations. Some plugins work best in certain configurations, while some other not so much. The only way to find out is by testing each one of them for few days. I suggest you to try at least W3 Total Cache, WP Super Cache and Hyper Cache.

To save you some time, if you are on Dreamhost, use Hyper Cache. If you are on Hostgator, use WP Super Cache and if your are on Servint VPS, use W3 Total Cache.

4. Use Google page speed to find out what’s slowing down your WordPress site and then fix the issues to speed up the site. The Google page speed test will give you great and clear suggestions regarding what you need to do exactly to speed up your WordPress website. For example, if it says that you need to Leverage browser caching, then you just have to fix this and you will see an instant improvement in the speed of your WordPress site.

5. Remove unnecessary JavaScript files and code hosted on external website. In simple words, remove useless social sharing buttons and badges from your website since they load and execute JavaScript from their own site, thus slowing down your WordPress website drastically. Actually, you should just use maximum three sharing options, Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

Another thing to note here is that when you add the social sharing code and badges from any website, they will ask you to place the JavaScript code in the header of your website. You should never do that. Rather put the code in footer of your website just before the closing body tag. This is applicable for Google analytics code also.

6. Clean up your WordPress Theme for unnecessary code. Remove things that might slow down your website. Think if you really need related posts or random post below each post? If not, then just remove it. Also remove unnecessary php code execution and database queries. For example, you can find this code in your header.php file,

<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" <?php language_attributes(); ?>>
<head profile="http://gmpg.org/xfn/11">
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="<?php bloginfo(‘html_type’); ?>; charset=<?php bloginfo(‘charset’); ?>" />

and replace it with code with no php code or database queries, like this,

<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" dir="ltr">
<head profile="http://gmpg.org/xfn/11">
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" />

You can replace the stylesheet url, favicon url etc. in your header.php file with static urls. Note that you will need some programming experience to optimize your WordPress theme. If you are not comfortable editing your WordPress theme, then I suggest hiring a WordPress developer to do this for you.

All these small changes go a long way in making your WordPress blog load fast. This post will be updated regularly with new tips to optimize your WordPress blog, so subscribe to TechyLabs if you are interested in learning more about how to speed up your WordPress blog.

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