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How to Optimize WordPress for Better Performance Tutorial

How to Optimize WordPress for Better Performance Tutorial

This tutorial will give you some tips on how to improve the speed of your WordPress website. Having a fast site is essential if you want to provide your visitors with great user experience and rank well in search engines like Google and Bing which take the loading speed of your pages into consideration.

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Enable Dynamic Caching

Adding Dynamic caching to your WordPress site will have a great effect on its speed. Аt SiteGround we have created a tool called the SuperCacher. With it, all you need to do is install a small plugin and enable the Dynamic caching with a single click. For more information on how to use it, check out our SuperCacher Tutorial.

Enable Memcached

The Memcached service, which is part of SuperCacher, uses our own implementation of the popular Memcached system. It speeds up database calls, API calls, and page rendering by storing data and objects in the server’s RAM to reduce the number of times a database is queried.

You can use the SG Optimizer plugin to enable Memcached for your WordPress website.

Important! Always test your website after enabling Memcached. Websites with larger databases may notice a degrade in performance and responsiveness when using this functionality.

Configure your website to work via HTTPS

Configuring your website to open via HTTPS not only makes it more secure, but it makes it benefit from the innovative and faster HTTP2 protocol that’s available on all our servers.

First issue an SSL certificate for your website. Once the SSL is issued and installed you can enable HTTPS for your website with a single click in the SG Optimizer plugin.

Use the latest available PHP version

Newer PHP versions usually provide many performance improvements and so it is recommended to always use the most recent PHP version for your website.

The plugin will allow you to check the current PHP version. In case you get reports that certain plugins/themes are not working with the selected PHP version, you should contact the plugin/theme developers to get more info about when their product will be ready for this PHP version

Use gZIP compression

gZIP decreases the size of the data that is being transferred between your server and your visitors by compressing images, CSS and JavaScript files. When your visitors’ browser receives the compressed elements it decompresses them before rendering. This significantly lowers the size of information that is being transferred lowering the loading times of your website’s pages.

gZIP is enabled by default for all websites on our servers.

Leverage browser caching

Leveraging the browser caching means that you can specify for how long your visitors’ browsers should cache your images, CSS, JS and flash files. However, if any of those resources are cached, your server will notify the visitor’s browser and the cached content will be replaced with the new one.

This functionality is enabled by default for all websites on our servers.

Minify HTML, JS, CSS

Minifying your CSS and JavaScript files means that all the unnecessary data from them like double spaces, empty new lines, comments, etc. will be removed from the files lowering their size. This makes the amount of data that needs to be transferred to the visitors’ browsers less and thus making the website load faster.

You can use our SG Optimizer plugin to achieve this. The plugin will also combine all Google Fonts requests used on your website into one.

Combine CSS and JS files

Combining CSS and JS files will reduce the requests made towards your website and thus improve its loading speed. You can use the SG Optimizer to combine these assets. The plugin will keep the scripts and styles in their original location after the combination for the best compatibility with other plugins.

Optimize your Images

Images are an essential part of every website. It is important to have them optimized. There are a few things regarding the images that you should have in mind when developing your WordPress site:

  • Use images with the proper size. Do not upload big images and then scale them with HTML. Make sure that your photos and other images are not bigger than the size you’re actually displaying them in.
  • Use the SG Optimizer image optimization functionality. We have selected optimization techniques that provide optimal results without diminishing the quality of the images.
  • Enable Lazy Load. This makes your images load only when they are about to become visible to your visitors and not in the initial loading process for your page.

Keep WordPress, plugins and themes updated

Each new update features not only new functionalities but also improvements that make your website compatible with the latest PHP versions and has the latest optimizations. Updates also regularly include fixes for security issues and bugs.

Having your WordPress website, theme, and plugins updated to the latest available versions ensures that your website is not only more secure, but more optimized as well.

You can use our WordPress Autoupdate Tool to always keep your website safe and and up-to-date.

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