Running slow? Time for a WordPress tuneup

Catch some wind

Editor’s note: If you are running GoDaddy Managed WordPress, we handle a number of these activities for you, as noted below.

Want to speed up your WordPress® site? Here are eight tips you can dive into to get things tuned up:

1. Make images smaller.

This is an extremely important thing you can do if you have large images on your site. Everyone loves to have crisp, high-quality images on their website. Images can make sites pop — but they also can slow sites down. Many WordPress users aren’t aware they can have high resolution images at reduced image sizes. Use the plugin WP Smush.it to make your images smaller without reducing a lot of quality. (Valid for both Managed WordPress and self-hosted WordPress)

2. Optimize your MySQL database tables.

Optimizing your MySQL database can decrease your load time. You can do this a couple of ways. First, we have an article that walks you through the process here. You can also use a plugin like WP-Optimize. (Valid for both Managed WordPress and self-hosted WordPress)

3. Remove inactive plugins.

Keeping inactive plugins around raises the probability of performance hits and security issues. Remove them.  (Valid for both Managed WordPress and self-hosted WordPress)

4. Reduce scripts and external websites.

Accessing external scripts can slow down WordPress sites. Use compressors to compress these scripts and speed up your site. Some plugins might experience load time issues depending upon the external connection and the traffic on your site. Keeping these resources on-site helps dial in improved performance. (Valid for both Managed WordPress and self-hosted WordPress)

5. Use WP-Super Cache.

WordPress loads and executes several queries every time a visitor comes to your page; this can cause latency. Using WP-Super Cache can help prevent this by generating cached pages instead of having to call up the site again and again. This plugin will work on both small and large sites to increase speed. (Valid for self-hosted WordPress; we handle caching for you via Varnish if you use Managed WordPress)

6. Minify your CSS.

To reduce the size of your code; there are plugins that optimize the stylistic side of your site contained in your CSS files. These plugins compress your CSS files, enabling them to load faster. (Valid for both Managed WordPress and self-hosted WordPress)

7. Deactivate hotlinking to prevent leeching.

Deactivating hotlinks can play a role in speeding up your site. If you allow hotlinking, it enables others to use your site and bandwidth to serve images on their own websites. Disabling hotlinks prevents spammers from coming to your sight for the purpose of copying your images, and sometimes even your articles. Here’s a great tutorial on WPMatter that shows how to disable hotlinking using .htaccess and other methods. (Valid for both Managed WordPress and self-hosted WordPress)

8. Use the latest WordPress version.

This might seem obvious, but it’s really important to keep up with the times. The latest version of WordPress will have the most up-to-date functionality and security patches. It will also be the most optimized. (Valid for self-hosted WordPress; we handle this for you if you use Managed WordPress)

Want more performance tuning tips? Check out our own Dave Koopman’s site.

Image by: Andrew Morrell Photography via Compfight cc

Christopher Carfi
A veteran of both startups and the enterprise, Chris has a deep track record in developing customer community and evangelist programs for brands such as Adobe, H&R Block and Aruba Networks while holding executive positions at Ant’s Eye View and Edelman Digital, and he was co-founder and CEO at Cerado. He currently lives in the Bay Area with his family.