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WordPress Performance Tips

Do you find performance of your WordPress blog to be lousy? And have no clue on where to start with it?

There are lots of articles on the Internet which will tell you what to do. So, instead of repeating the same, I’ll cover each aspect and links to articles which provide useful how-to’s on the same which I have come across while working on OnlyGizmos and iPhoneHelp

I’ll divide it into sections on basis of the type of hosting as it is usually the limiting factor on how much tuning you can do.

Shared Hosting

Having your blog on shared hosting means there’s not much you can change but this is what will suffice for huge number of bloggers out there.

  1. Caching Plugin: W3 total cache is the best and highly recommended plugin. With tons of features besides caching like Minification, CDN support, mobile support, Cloudflare integration it is by far the best cache plugin I have come across. For installation and configuration see this wonderful how-to from wpbeginner

  2. Theme: Use themes which have been designed with SEO in mind. These themes follow the best practices to speed up your page loading time e.g. putting stylesheets at the top and minify them. The theme framework I would recommend is Thesis. It is a paid theme but having worked with it, I can say that it’s worth the price if you are serious about your website.

  3. Scripts: Put javascript files at bottom as recommended in YSlow. This can be handled by W3 Total Cache.

Single Server

In addition to the above, if you have control over your server e.g. VPS or Dedicated server you can take following extra steps –

  1. HTTP Server: Move over from Apache to Nginx. Here’s a good guide on moving over your wordpress blog to nginx.

  2. MySQL Tuning: Run the mysqltuner script and follow the recommendations given by it to improve MySQL performance.

  3. PHP Accelerators: Install PHP Accelerator like APC or XCache. List of accelerators is available on wikipedia. I recommend APC since it’s stable and is likely to be merged into PHP 6.

  4. CDN: If you serve lot of static content and media do consider going with a CDN. And if you think you cannot afford CDN’s as they are too costly, think it over. MaxCDN offers excellent CDN at an affordable price of $39.95 for the 1st TB. Do check them out.

Multiple Servers

  1. Memcached: One of the components I am yet to personally handle but have heard a lot of good stuff about it. It can provide superior object caching. It has a good support in W3 Total Cache thus making your work of integrating with wordpress easier.

  2. Varnish: Place varnish in front of your HTTP server and see your websites fly. Here’s a good article on setting up varnish with nginx, w3tc and APC. And if it isn’t enough official website provides excellent documentation.

These are the things that I have learnt in the past one year. If you have something which I have not covered please share it with us in the comments.

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