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Optimize Your WordPress Blog: 6 Steps For Better Speed

Steven 6 responses WordPress

We’ve talked before about steps you can take to speed up your blog’s load time, but it was general information for use on any blogging platform. The following six tips are applicable for WordPress blogs exclusively. Follow them and you’ll improve your blog’s load time. When that happens, you’ll also reduce your bounce rate which helps improve your page rank. You can’t lose, so get busy.

Minimize Your Plugins

WordPress is open source so designers are constantly coming up with new plugins. Look at the plugins you’re using now and then look around to see if you can find one plugin you can use to replace several. For example, the CommentLuv Premium plugin will replace 5 or 6 plugins you’re using right now, including a plugin for controlling comment spam.

Delete The Plugins You’re Not Using

When you deactivate a plugin all that code is still hanging around in your theme. Each time your blog loads it still has to sift through that code. If you have enough deactivated plugins lying around it can significantly reduce your load time. If you’re not using it, delete it and get rid of it for good.

Minimize Post-Level Plugins

The bulk of your activity takes place on posts. So, each time a visitor clicks over to another post your blog has to reload, which means it also has to reload any plugins that are post-specific. Examples would be plugins that control sharing buttons or SEO functions. Some of these plugins you simply can’t do without, but take a look to see if you can minimize the number or delete them altogether.

Do You Really Need All-In-One-SEO?

There was a time when everybody thought they had to have the All-In-One-SEO plugin on their blog, but most bloggers only use it to customize their title tag. If that’s the only thing you’re using it for you can code this in on your php for posts then delete the plugin.

Clean Up Your Data Base Tables

Every single thing you do on your blog goes into the database, including post revisions, comments, and comment spam, and each time your blog loads it runs through all that junk in your database. Install the WP-Optimize plugin to help clean up and organize your database.

Do You Really Need YAARP?

YARPP (Yet Another Related Posts Plugin) is another popular plugin that everybody thinks they should have but it really pulls down your load time, especially once you start piling up the content. Use the Efficient Related Posts plugin instead. It updates only when a post is created, while YARPP updates every time a post is loaded.

If it takes a while for your blog to load visitors aren’t going to wait around. And “a while” is measured in mere seconds, so you don’t have any time to spare. Each times a visitor leaves your blog because it’s too slow it increases your bounce rate, too. Speed up your WordPress blog to make your visitors happy and the search engines are happy, too.

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  1. Julie Mcelroy

    Thanks for these tips, I am always looking for ways to speed up my blogs. Any other tips besides plug-ins?

    1. There are several ways to speed up your blog. This is the subject of a very long guide that I am currently working on.

  2. Shirley Wilson

    I found this to be a really helpful post with practical advice on speeding up my wordpress blog (something I have definitely struggled with). I can’t wait to try some of your suggestions. Thanks!

    1. Thanks for the nice words Shirley. Keep me posted on your improvements!

  3. William Patton

    When you mentioned post level plugins I was gonna comment specifically about YARPP. It’s a crazy query hogger lol And about the SEO plugin, if you don’t make full use of it (metas, indexation, sitemap, titles, etc) then you shouldn’t have it. 100% agree there. Personally I use Yoast’s WordPress SEO over AIO SEO but that’s just cos I like Joost not for any technical reason.

    I take it you’ve seen the surveys recently that show people expect to have a page load in 2 seconds or less? Sometimes WordPress sites have a TTFB of over 2 seconds! Page speed should be something we all have high on our lists right now, especially for the mobile market where speed is even more important. The figures in the surveys astonished me, I don’t expect pages that fast and I didn’t thing others did either.

    1. William, I don’t really like Yoast plugin because it’s just too complicated. I like to keep things simple. This is why I use AIO SEO with specific settings and I combine it with some code that I implement manually in my theme files.