Noupe Editorial Team March 23rd, 2009

13 Great WordPress Speed Tips & Tricks for MAX Performance

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Performance is a key factor for any successful website. And since WordPress is becoming more popular than ever, it will only be at its best when raised in the proper conditions. Here are a few things to try if you find that your WordPress site is not performing as well as it could be due to high traffic or hidden issues you don’t know about.

Some Basic & Simple Steps

1. Upgrade to latest WordPress release

WordPress 2.7 have manny performance improvements over previous versions. So you better upgrade to latest release to make use of this.

2. Remove unnecessary Plugins & upgrade current ones

Remove any plugins that you aren’t using. Deactivate them and physically delete them from your web server. Deactivated plugins will affect the speed of a site because the WordPress checks to see if they are activated or not. Also you must stay up to date with the latest versions of the plugins you are currently using. Developers release new versions because they’ve modified the code in some way to make the plugin work better.

3. Minimize PHP and database queries

I read about this great tip on Wpcandy’s simple ways to speed up WordPress post. It makes a lot of sense, cutting down on PHP and database queries. Each time a page on your site loads, if your browser has to execute any PHP queries, it adds to the load time. If you replace the PHP queries with static HTML, every time a page loads, your browser just reads the HTML.

4. Optimize and Repair your Database from myPhpAdmin

Every week or so you should login to your myPhpAdmin and optimize your db. Locate your WordPress DatabaseTables, check all the tables in the Check Boxes, select the Optimise Tables Option and repair. You would be surprised how well this trick might work, it saved more than 10% of my current database size.

Take a good care of your Images

5. Use Reliable image hosting service

Try moving the common web images, CSS, JavaScript and other static files to Amazon S3 Storage service and you will notice the average CPU load / memory requirement of the web server will be reduced a lot. Read this step by step guide.

You can also try this WordPress plugin, WP-Offload will boost the performance of your blog by seamlessly offloading static content like images, documents and movies. This will greatly reduce bandwidth consumption and the number of HTTP requests issued to your web server. Additional features such as remote image manipulation and thumbnail generation are provided.

6. Optimize your images with this great tool

Shrink O’Matic is an AIR application to easily (batch) resize (shrink) images. It handles JPGs, GIFs and PNGs. Simply drag and drop images and they’ll be resized as you wish! Options allow you to choose the output sizes, names and formats.

Great Advices for better performance

7.Install WP Super Cache Plugin

I guess many of you know why we always insist on using this plugin. This plugin generates static html files from your dynamic WordPress blog. After an html file is generated your webserver will serve that file instead of processing the comparatively heavier and more expensive WordPress PHP scripts and will not actually load any content from the database at all therefore the post will load faster with less stress on your server.

8.PHP Speedy WP

PHP Speedy WP can quickly and easily speed up your WordPress site and improve your blog’s response time without too much effort on your side by allowing us to automatically combine all JS and CSS files into only two files – which in turn helps greatly with page loading times. CSS Background Images are automatically converted to data URIs. This is useful in reducing the amount of HTTP requests even further. And, importantly, it’s compatible with Internet Explorer, even though it doesn’t support data URIs. Unfortunately, PHP speedy comes with few flaws out of box that need fixing: Combined JavaScript is placed at the top of the page instead at the bottom, it does not work with WP Super Cache. In order to get this two working like we want them, you have to check this great article by Prelovac to make few adjustments to both plugins.

9.WP CSS

This plugin GZIP and strip whitespace from your CSS files. It allows you to confidently use @import inside a CSS file and not worry about what happens on the user’s end. It will look through your style.css file and put any @import files into it. A cache expiry time can also be set. You can also add CSS files to a specific page or post and putting all of them into one file.

10.DB Cache

This plugin caches every database query with given lifetime. It is very fast and uses small disk space for caching.

I didn’t try this plugin yet but I’ve read many reviews recommending it. Let me know what do you guys think about it so we can update this post with correct information about its performance.

11.Speed up access to your favorite frameworks via the AJAX Libraries API

The AJAX Libraries API is an attempt to make Web applications faster for developers in simple ways by becoming a content distribution network and loading architecture for popular javascript libraries including:

You can either link to the source code directly:

<script type="text/javascript" 
    src="http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/prototype/1.6.0.2/prototype.js"></script>

Or you can use Google’s API:

<script type="text/javascript" src="http://www.google.com/jsapi"></script>
<script type="text/javascript">google.load("prototype", "1.6.0.2");</script>

By using the google.load() method, your application has high speed, globally available access to a growing list of the most popular, open source and up to date JavaScript libraries.

12.Display page loading time + number of queries

Here is a simple code to insert on your template to know how long it took for your page to load, or how many sql queries were executed. This tip is very good for knowing how well is your WordPress blog is optimized.

<?php echo get_num_queries(); ?> queries in <?php timer_stop(1); ?>  seconds.

13.Optimize DB

MySQL is a great database, but it doesn’t clean itself up the way it should sometimes. This plugin runs an optimize table command on your WordPress tables, effectively defragmenting it. This is very useful for tables that are frequently updated. The interface is very simple at the moment: just one button: Optimize Now, and some info on how much space will be saved. It looks like this:

Must Read Resources & References

That should do it for now. Hopefully, a few of these will help to make your WordPress perform in a much faster way. What are some of your favorite tips? Leave a comment below and let us know!

Noupe Editorial Team

The jungle is alive: Be it a collaboration between two or more authors or an article by an author not contributing regularly. In these cases you find the Noupe Editorial Team as the ones who made it. Guest authors get their own little bio boxes below the article, so watch out for these.

115 comments

  1. Thanks for a nice article. I had no clue about #4. I’ll definitely give it a try. I’ve been looking into #7 lately but I’ve read about a few issues with it so I’ve kind off kept it on the shelve at the moment. Will be playing around with it locally before implementing it on my live blog. #10 seems interesting too.

    Thanks!

  2. Very nice tips. BUT… About library includes: wordpress have his own way to include external libraries (enqueue_script() or smth like that) so you have to change stuff in wordpress files (not only themes).
    And unless you know how to do this, this step is kinda… useless :)

  3. You can also use a php opcacher such as xcache to cache compiled php scripts which will dramatically decrease the load time of any php app

  4. Wow! Great post. I don’t need to use all of them yet at my blog isn’t that big, but I’ve noticed a huge change after deleting my inactive plug-ins!

    Thank you!

  5. I would actually argue #1. I know a LOT of people, myself included on a couple of my blogs, that have suffered from large amounts of slowdown when upgrading to 2.7.

    If you search Google for “wordpress 2.7 slow” you’ll actually see a lot of people are having that as an issue. It’s not an issue for everyone, however the latest is not always the greatest.

    1. I have heard a lot about the slowness issue but really this wasn’t the case with many of all the users. Upgrading to the latest release is a must, WordPress developers always work on enhancing many issues related to performance with every release.
      You might need to troubleshoot your theme or something and find out what is making it slow with the new version.

      1. Cleared plugins and themes on one of my installs that went slow and still had the issue. Kind of hoping the next update will end up fixing it but only time will tell!

      2. I used to have devsnippets on dreamhost and was acting very slow when i updated it to 2.7 but once i moved to media temple the site was pretty fast. I am not sure if its a hosting issue or a configuration the host is doing that affects the performance. You might need to digg into this as well.

    2. Very useful info. I don’t what to do to speed up my blog before. When I upgraded to WP8 it became slower, made me want to downgrade and back to WP7. But now I realize there are some other things influencing.

  6. Along with point 9 (WP CSS) goes WP JSS from the same maker
    and there are many more plugins available for speeding up the loadingtime by using stuff like sprites etc.

    By using twice the same optimalisation (as mentioned in the text) the site even slows down!

  7. Personally, I’m also a fan of the ‘CleanOptions’ plugin. It finds orphaned options and allows for their removal from the noupe_options table. If you’ve been using WordPress for a few years and try a new plugin or theme every now and then, it helps you clean up those old settings.

    1. I have tried ‘CleanOptions’ plugin before and it worked great. Removing unwanted records from the noupe_options fields will certainly be good. Thanks for the tip.

  8. Great info. Regarding item 12 and displaying the page load time — i inserted the code in a page and the result was “queries in seconds.” without any stats. I do not know php and do not want to take the time to learn it right now just for this, so i was wondering if someone could enlighten me as to what to do to get the stats….does this simply mean that there was no sql? i thought it said that i should get both sql queries AND load time…. thanx for any help

  9. Absolutely brilliant. Whilst I know the need to do these things, my knowledge has perhaps limited my ability. This post has encouraged me to try the things I need to do. Thank you.

  10. Great tips. Thank you for the article.
    The Shrink O’matic seem to be a Windows only. Can someone recommend something similar for Mac?

  11. Umm: “if your browser has to execute any PHP queries”…

    Browsers don’t execute PHP queries. This article tells you some of the basics, but honestly there is more more that can be done. Explore opcode caching and MySQL caching to really speed up WP..

  12. I just wish there was a plugin to simplify using Google App Engine as a CDN rather than having to upload files using their Python utility everytime. Great list of tips!

  13. thats what i needed !!!!

    im about to launch my new Bloggong website !!
    and this is the post i’ve been lookin’ for !!!

    thx Noura !!

    good luck

  14. Thanks for the tips, this will surely come in hand.

    I have been displaying my database queries and time on my blog for sometime now. I always want to know what the details are to ensure that my site loads as fast as possible.

  15. #2 is partially wrong. Deactivated plugins don’t slow down your website at all. WordPress doesn’t even know about them unless you visit your plugins management page.

    Check out wp-settings.php for the proof (around line #500). It grabs the list of activated plugins, checks to see if each activated plugin exists and is valid and if so, it then includes it. It doesn’t do the reverse as you suggested (grabbing all plugins and then seeing if each is activated or not).

    Deactivating plugins you don’t use though is of course valid, although the performance impact will vary greatly depending on the plugin (for most, it’ll be negligible).

    1. I have an install with every WordPress plugin installed. Nearly 15,000 plugins. The only page that is slow is the plugins page. Everything else is completely unaffected.

  16. Thanks so much for this excellent article. I have already implemented some of these tips after reading this post and it certainly has seemed to help speed things up. I really appreciate your posting this information!

  17. Thanks for the great tips and resources. You can never actually have enough things to speed up your personal work through wordpress. My partner won’t stop with the Shrink O’matic with her photography images.

  18. Thanks for this, I’ve been working to improve the performance of my site as of late and I found this to be very, very helpful. One plugin I found useful that isn’t on the list is the Cache Images plugin. It will cache external remote images locally. If you have a blog or website with a good amount of imagery this is a HUGE help. Here’s the official plugin page if anyone is interested:

    http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/cache-images/

  19. Great tips and some that I have been meaning to do for a long while. I’m giving myself a virtual kick up the backside to go and do them now! Thank you.

  20. Don’t 4 and 13 kinda serve the same purpose, while Optimize DB is much faster and easier to use? Great article overall, however css sprites are worth mentioning too.

  21. Great post. I’ve tried all of them before and my blog is still cut-my-wrists slow. I blame GoDaddy, because it’s the only factor left.

    Thanks for you post, though.

  22. about #5: moving pictures and other static files to an external server does not necessarily speed up your website. As shown in the diagram, the server CPU load will be decreased, but this is not a direct measure for a web page loading time.
    In fact, external files can slow down a web site dramatically (external ads, anyone?)
    Use this possibility wisely!!

  23. Thanks so much for this excellent article. I have already implemented some of these tips after reading this post and it certainly has seemed to help speed things up. I really appreciate your posting this information!

  24. hi/ Great tips and some that I have been meaning to do for a long while. I’m giving myself a virtual kick up the backside to go and do them now! Thank you.

  25. Nice.. Great tips and plugins you have suggested in this post. I used Wp-minify and php-speedy. It worked and increased the speed upto 81 from 74/100.

    Thanks again… :)

  26. Thanks for this, I’ve been working to improve the performance of my site as of late and I found this to be very, very helpful. One plugin I found useful that isn’t on the list is the Cache Images plugin. It will cache external remote images locally. If you have a blog or website with a good amount of imagery this is a HUGE help.

  27. Thank you for sharing those valuable information i always had troubles optimizing my WP site with over 800K visitors/month and they were all unhappy with the site speed, your tips helped me much.

    keep u the great work please

    Moe!

  28. CMS systems are very tricky to Overclock ! Sometimes too much of this stuff can cause the opposite effect. The best thing to do is to start with the basics such as Gzip from the server side and than build on to it. If you are using a Rockettheme they have alot of great encoding plugins to help boast performance.

  29. Thank you so much! I was really worrying about the speed of my WP blog because it is using a remote database and took ages to respond. Now it’s extremely fast!

  30. #12.Display page loading time + number of queries is good to know but only use while testing things out.
    After that, I becomes just another useless query the site has to make.

  31. Thanks for the list. With so many pictures on my site, I’m not sure how much this will help. But every little bit helps.

  32. Nice speedup tips and tweaks. I need to optimize my WP site for better loading speed. I am gonna try some of your tips soon to check out differences.

    Thanks;
    Farzana Neha

  33. Brilliant just optimized my database size after reading this post, and Whoa just reduced the database size from 80 MB to just 47.9 MB, that’s mind blowing :D

    Thanks you so much for this post, it really enhanced my site performance!

  34. A very useful post, I just removed the unnecessary plugins and guess what it works! Nice tip, it helped me a lot I installed many plugins that are not necessary but now my WP speeds up a bit. I will try to use all the tips. Thanks for this informative post.

  35. Nice post with some good tips. Installing Total Cache will do a lot of the things mentioned also. I just started my own service for speeding up wordpress blogs for $99

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