Here’s a sobering fact: 25% of users will leave a page if it doesn’t load in 4 seconds. Everyone’s concerned with WordPress performance optimization because we’ve become an impatient bunch! Your page may perfectly answer your visitor’s questions and generate loads of organic traffic. But if your visitors wait 4 seconds – they won’t see any of your content. Because they’ve moved on to your competitor. This makes us take WordPress speed optimization seriously at Plesk.
Google considers your page-load time just as much a part of your optimization efforts as metadata and keywords. So expect your page ranking to be demoted if it loads slowly. As WordPress is the number one content management system in the world, claiming 25% of all websites, chances are your current or future website runs on WordPress. So let’s get a handle on the main contributors to WordPress performance so that you too can cover all your bases.
- Lightweight WordPress themes
- Optimized widgets and plugins
- Caching with Memcached, Redis and Varnish
- WordPress database optimization
- Efficient hosting
- Geo location of the hosting
- WordPress CDN
Lightweight themes for lightweight load times
WordPress themes are easy to mold into the shape you want. You can choose from over 10,000 official offerings and an ever-growing supply of third-party creations too. And we all love dynamic content. You can also get all sorts of interesting widgets to enable carousels and animations. But remember – although they’re flashy and fun, anything that demands extra server-horsepower is going to take longer to load. So always keep this in mind when choosing a theme – sometimes simple does it.
Fine-tune your widgets and plugins
Plugins and widgets are another one of the great features that makes WordPress so appealing. These bolt-on accessories for your WordPress website give it additional features. But – they come at a cost. The weight of the extra files they bring can lengthen page-load times. So manage them by deactivating and uninstalling what you don’t use or need.
Interestingly, there are some plugins that can help with your WordPress speed optimization. WP Super Cache is one plugin example among many that use caching to call up content quicker for users. And WP Clean Up strips out the “expired” data from your WordPress database. Check them out.
No More Cache 22!
Better features attract more users but slow your site down, thus hurting your rankings. What a Catch 22! Luckily, the likes of Memcached, Redis, and Varnish are here to help with WordPress speed optimization.
These are caching solutions that work by storing data on a user’s computer. So pages can be accessed locally instead of being pulled from the host server every time. They all work slightly differently in their efforts to boost WordPress performance. But they’re easy to set up and are great for keeping page-load times down.
WordPress database optimization
After WordPress usage for the certain period of time its database will have a lot of redundant information. In variety of cases it slows down the performance and creates extra load of the system. The solution here can be optimization of the WordPress database and WP-Sweep plugin can help here with eliminating revisions, unused tags and trashed posts.
Another severe issue is multiple database calls because of poorly coded WordPress themes. Usually it happens because some developers ignore WordPress coding practices and end up with implementation of multiple unnecessary requests to a database. One of the solutions here is to create a child theme in order to reduce a number of database calls and replace them with static output where possible.
No need to forget about unoptimized direct SQL queries. Some common practices to follow here – inner join usage instead of outer join, indexing all the predicates in JOIN, WHERE, ORDER BY and GROUP BY clauses, avoiding unnecessary columns in SELECT clauses, avoiding using wildcard at the beginning of a predicate etc.
Who’s Your Host?
No hosting solution is created equal. Smaller sites that don’t attract much traffic can sit perfectly happily on a shared hosting solution. But they’ll struggle if they become popular and the demand for their page service increases. The safer alternative is to go for Cloud hosting.
It offers a host of benefits including increased performance, scalability, and dynamic resources. With a decent cloud hosting company, you’re not sharing any facilities with other customers. CPUs, RAM and SSD storage are all allocated automatically according to the load. So they can grow with your popularity.
See Plesk Hosting Solutions Check out Plesk and the Cloud
Where in the World?
Distance matters in the seemingly instantaneous online world. The further your server is from your customers, the longer the page will take to load. So, for WordPress performance optimization, it makes sense for your data to be in the same country as its audience. Making your page load in a flash means happy customers and happy Google!
You can also boost page load times by using a Content Delivery Network ( CDN ). These systems check where users are in relation to servers. So if an Egyptian user tries to access a website hosted in Poland, a locally hosted version in the content delivery network will be selected instead. It’s just one more type of WordPress speed optimization that can significantly improve your page load speeds.
WordPress Performance: Plesk Onyx to the Rescue
Do you better understand what you need to do to bump up your WordPress performance? All these tips require special skills and time to implement right. And our obligation is to mention a quicker way of making your WordPress site faster and more reliable. By choosing Plesk Onyx as a hosting platform for your virtual or dedicated server, you can use the WP Toolkit extension. This will help simplify life as a WordPress user – whether it’s configuration, routine management or overall performance of all your WordPress projects.
Nowadays the performance of your WordPress website is one of the most important factors to reach a commercial success. It is not only about making your visitors happy and converting them into customers later. Website performance is a strong ranking signal at Google. Therefore, a fast and well-optimized WordPress website has higher chances to rank better in search results. Thus increasing the volume of organic traffic in the long-term.
Can you address the difference between opcache and memcache? If I’m using opcache already, is there any advantage to using memcache?
Both are different ways of caching. But this Memcached article here: https://www.plesk.com/blog/product-technology/reduce-server-load-with-memcached/ should sum it up for you.
I have learnt a great deal from this “Super Charge WordPress” article. I am currently liaising with one of my website developers, so that we call roll a CDN as swiftly as possible. The benefits are clearly well worth ensuring we have on installed.
I am also looking into the WP Cache plugin, to see if this will work with our other plugins.
Thanks for creating this news piece, very very helpful and insightful.
Glad to hear this article has helped you Zoe! 🙂
Fantastic advice, thank you for sharing this WP performance help sheet. I had no idea my site needed checking, and am I glad I did. I used the Google Page Speed review, and found that my WordPress football blog only scored 38 out of 100. I have since applied a Cache and some other Java Optimizing tools and I have now taken the score upto 88% in the speed test.
Thanks for helping me speed up my Football blog 🙂
Great to hear! I’m sure your visitors appreciate the speed too – especially in football season!;)
Best article on how to speed-up WP!
I run a WooCommerce site and through this article I managed reduce the site loading time by over 50%!
So good to hear Samueal!
Great guide to improve site performance, i will be using this information to improve my new animation studio website.
“Luckily, the likes of Memcached, Redis, and Varnish are here to help with WordPress speed optimization.” – Unfortunately, none of them is supported by Plesk
Hey Tomasz, not officially supported but they do work 🙂
nice points for WordPress Tuning!
Interesting guide. Thanks for sharing! 🙂 With this making faster WP site will be easier.
From my perspective, golden key is choosing good theme. Without that optimising could cause headache..
Definitely Page load time is very point. Actually, I was facing this problem on my personal website. I tried many things to improve this and it took me a huge amount of time. Because I didn’t know much about it. I read many blogs and this blog is one of them. Really nice article.