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5 Steps To Dramatically Speed Up WordPress

Ways To Speed Up WordPressIf you’re like me, then you run a WordPress website or blog. WordPress is a fantastic platform for building blogs and sites, but after a while it can get very slow. So slow that people will just close the page leaving your bounce rate sky high. And we don’t want that do we?

That’s the first reason why you should speed up WordPress, because people will just leave before they get a chance to read your stuff. The second reason is that the speed of your site directly affects how you rank in the search engines. Believe it or not, it is in fact part of Google’s algorithm. Site speed! Not a huge factor or anything, but it plays a small role as Google doesn’t want to send its users to pages that are going to take 10 minutes to load.

Are we all happy with why we need to speed up WordPress?

Ok good, here are 5 steps you can take to dramatically speed up your WordPress blog or website.

1. Cut Some Plugins Loose

I don’t know if you know but, plugins influence the speed of your site. The more plugins you have, the slower WordPress will be. It’s a well known fact that plugins take up a lot of memory and slow down WordPress, so cut a few of them lose. I honestly have way too many plugins.

Whenever an appealing plugin launches that claims it can boost my traffic or better index my site, I’ll buy it and use it. Recently I stopped buying plugins after I realised they really don’t make that much of a difference to my blog. So, it’s time to cut some loose.

2. Caching

Caching allows WordPress to cache database queries instead of starting new server requests every time you receive a visitor. It essentially reduces the number of queries which results in an increase in your site’s loading time and a decrease in your site’s server usage. This should probably be number one on the list… it’s that important. You honestly don’t need to understand how caching works, I didn’t up until I wrote this post.

As there are plugins you can install to handle the caching for you. Very easy to do, there are countless plugins and I personally use WP Super Cache. WP Super Cache works well and I’ve used it for well over a year.

3. Defeat Spammers

Spammers  slow down your site and take up a crap load of bandwidth. All those spammy comments you get, those take up bandwidth. So you need to stop spammers swamping your server with thousands of requests. There’s heaps of ways to “defeat” spammers, first of all you should get rid of comment spam.

Comment spam sucks and I’ve had hosting accounts shut down in the past because my servers were overloaded with them. These 3 plugins below have helped me immensely! Search and download them. (Conflicting with #1? LOL)

  1. SI Captcha Anti-Spam:
  2. Bad Behavior:
  3. WP-reCAPTCH

Besides fighting off commenter’s with plugins, you can use your .htaccess file to create a blacklist of spammers. In your .htaccess file you’ll find something like this:

<Limit GET POST PUT> order allow,deny allow from all deny from 123.456.789 </LIMIT>

In there, you can insert a list of IP’s for it to block. If you perform a couple of Google searches, you’ll easily find lists of tens of thousands of IP’s that are known for referring spammers. What this will do is block them from coming to your site PERIOD. The end result is less resource usage and a happier web host.

4. Choose The Right Theme

Little do most people know, your theme has a direct impact on the speed of your site speed. All you need to know is that the simpler the theme, the faster it will load. Generally speaking… You should also know that the more images in your theme, the longer it will take to load. You really need to cut down on images, they take up so much loading time its unreal.

5. Front Page

Your front page doesn’t need to be jam packed with posts and pages. If you want to speed up your site you need to  keep things minimal. Most of the time, minimal is far more effective at enticing readers, generating leads and getting blog subscribers. So you don’t have to show 40 of your latest posts on your front page. I’d say no more than 10, why not try 3? You can always use something like Analytics to test conversions, I’m sure reducing the amount of content from 10+ down to 5 wouldn’t make a difference. Also keep images, videos and anything animated to the bare minimum!

In Prosperity,

David Wood

P.S. If you’d like to learn more WordPress tips, tricks and secrets for growing traffic exponentially, put your name and email in the form below.

P.P.S. Leave me your thoughts, comments and questions in the box below. I’ll be sure to get back to them!

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4 comments
Pj Zafra
Pj Zafra

Thanks man! Your WP Super Cache worked unbelievably well. My site is way faster than before! Speed was a head ache before and would definitely affect my bounce rate. Thanks David! Quick question tho, what is the best paid theme that you recommend? Yours for example what do you use? Right now, I use a free theme and looking to upgrade to a paid one soon. Looking forward to your response. Thanks man! :D

davidmwood
davidmwood

Well, there isn't exactly a "best" theme. Our blogs and sites are all completely different. It's about personal preference and facts. Personal preference, we all have ours. While I love my theme and blog layout, others might not. Then there's the facts which you need to pay attention to. Less is generally more in themes. The less crap you have in your sidebar, the less distractions etc... the more readers you'll obtain. The more clutter... the less readers. But that's not always a bad thing as visitors may click through to one of your opt in pages and subscribe. So it depends on you and your blog. I would definitely recommend spending money on your theme. Not just buying a paid theme, but spending money on having it manually customized to your exact liking. (My blog is using a custom theme built from me from a paid theme) Tip: Every 6 months pay a large sum to have your blog theme tweaked. It's an investment. If you're getting 5% of visitors to subscribe, a $1000 theme tweak could double conversions.

Pj Zafra
Pj Zafra

Wow David! Thanks so much your reply. I've been wondering how themes work actually and your idea is just awesome and you listed tons of great insights when it comes to a blog. Never thought of it that way before. lol Thanks so much man! Just so you know, I love your stuff and your blog. Keep rocking it man! :D

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