When it comes to running a successful website, speed matters – a lot! If your WordPress site is sluggish in its performance, then you will frustrate new visitors before they have even had a chance to see what you’re about. With so many options available to web users, a site that takes any more than a few seconds to load will simply be left in favor of the next link in the search engine listings. With Google using page loading as a ranking factor, sites that load fast will be ranked higher and receive more traffic as a result. Therefore, it is essential to keep your site up to speed.
Before taking steps to improve the speed of your WordPress website, you should use a tool that provides performance statistics and allows you to see where your site is lagging. Pingdom is a good tool for doing this, as are BinaryCanary and Panopta.
Delete Spam Comments
Every WordPress site will receive its fair share of spam comments. While a few will not make any difference to the speed of your website, let them build up and they will start causing problems. It is good practice to delete spam comments every day. To do this log in to your WordPress dashboard, go to “Comments” and select “Spam” from the menu. Once this is done, simply select “Empty Spam” and WordPress will permanently delete all spam comments.
WordPress Plugins are one of the great things about WordPress; however, they can also affect website performance. It is best to only install plugins that you need and use, any plugins that are not being used should be deactivated or deleted.
To manage plugins go to Plugins > Installed Plugins.
Remove Post Revisions
If you post content regularly, you may find yourself constantly revising posts in order to perfect them. With each revised post, WordPress saves a copy of the old version and these can bog down your website. The best way to do this is with a plugin called “Better Delete Revision”; this lets you remove old revisions and permanently delete related Meta content.
To install the plugin go to Plugins > Add New and enter “Better Delete Revision” in the search box. Click on “Install Now” and WordPress will install the plugin. Once, installed go to Settings > Better Delete Revision and “Check Revision Posts” then delete unwanted posts.
Install a Caching Plugin
Caching is a process that basically takes a picture of your website and displays it to visitors without having to access the database each time your site is visited. There is a number of great cache plugins that can help improve the speed of your webpages. WP Super Cache is probably the most popular; however, W3 Total Cache, Hyper Cache and DB Reloaded Fix are also very good.
To install any of these plugins, go to Plugins > Add New and search for the one you prefer.
Keeping your website up to speed is simply a case of keeping on top of things. If it helps, think of these tips as daily chores that must be done to keep your home clean!