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Ways to Optimize Your WordPress Site's Performance

There are many ways to optimize your WordPress website's performance, some of which you can implement at once. It just requires a bit of effort. This post shares the best ways to optimize the performance of websites on the world's biggest content management system.

How is your hosting provider?

You can't expect your website to load quickly or perform well with a subpar host. Quality web hosting is the basis of a fast site. Choose a hosting company and a package that meets your performance and bandwidth requirements. You can choose from shared hosting, virtual private server (VPS) hosting, dedicated hosting, and managed WordPress hosting plans.

If you opt for a WordPress hosting plan, you'll pay more than for shared hosting, but it will be worth it. Shared hosting prices are unbeatable, so if you're just starting out, you might select this option to get your site out there and eventually upgrade. Shared hosting doesn't offer optimal website performance because there are a lot of sites on the same server with access to the same pool of resources.

Established websites with more traffic and content should instead find a VPS, managed, or dedicated hosting plan with sufficient resources to remain scalable without compromising performance. 

If you're in the process of selecting or changing a hosting provider, here are a few suggestions about how to choose hosting optimized for WordPress.

Use the latest PHP version 

The PHP language powers WordPress. This language is server-side, which means the server that hosts your site also stores and executes its files. Like plugins and themes, PHP is updated regularly to run more efficiently, which improves website performance. 

The latest version is PHP 8.3.2. Contact your hosting company's support or check the hosting documentation to see which PHP version you're using. If it's not the latest, ask your host to upgrade it. 

Advanced Custom Fields

ACFs allow you to add custom fields to posts and pages, which gives you more control over layout and appearance. You can add fields to every WordPress element, including media, users, comments, taxonomy terms, and custom options pages. Any theme can support custom field values.

To create groups, click the Add Field Group or Add New button and name it Event, Contact, or another relevant title. The name will appear on the edit screen in the meta box handle. Save changes for the button to become active. 

The new field is added to the bottom of the list when you click on Add Field. You can reorder your fields by dragging the order number. 

Avoid heavy and complicated themes

WordPress themes packed with cool effects and superb images look fun, but they could be an unnecessary burden. Many themes with fancy effects are inefficiently programmed with a ton of code. The code inflates files and slows your site down. 

Choose a simple theme with only the bare minimum of features. If you want, you can install a plugin to add one effect or another later. Custom CSS is also an option.

Use at least one security plugin

Of the hidden gems, Sucuri is an advanced security plugin with malware scanning, a website firewall, and real-time monitoring to eliminate online threats. It is completely free and features security activity audits, file integrity and blocklist monitoring, effective security hardening, and regular security notifications. In the unfortunate event that a hacker compromises your site, the plugin intervenes with post-hack actions.

Optimize images

To speed up your WordPress site, reduce image file sizes as much as is practical. Try to save space and compress image files with Photoshop or Smush, a WordPress image optimization plugin. 

Don't host videos on your server

Videos are the most resource-intensive files you can store on a server. They take up space and slow down websites when loaded. Use YouTube, Vimeo, or another third-party video hosting service to handle storage. Your user experience will improve.

Use caching

When someone visits your website, their browser loads each file, piece of code, and image on each page. Use caching to accelerate this process. It stores a copy of your site in the browser, so when the person returns to your site, they skip large intervals of the loading process.

You can use WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache, but they require some technical experience. Some are easy to set up, but they have fewer customization options. Others are less intuitive, but you can edit every detail on your site with them. Some hosting providers have inbuilt caching plugins. 



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