Talking tech since 2003

WordPress is an awesome blogging content management platform.  Aside from its user friendly design and the fact it works very well, one of the great things about WordPress is the abundance of third party themes, plugins and support.  However, as should be expected with anything that is third party, there may always be a few bad apples in the bunch.  What exactly am I getting at?  I’ll explain.

There are and always will be a few themes and plugins out there for WordPress which are not “top notch”.  While the plugin or theme may do what it claims to do, the quality of the code may not be up to par which therefore results in poor performance of WordPress and your website.  In the past, I’ve talked about website performance being important and different ways to improve your sites overall performance.  Now I want to discuss ways to help improve WordPress performance specifically (and it’s a lot easier than you may think).

The first step to improving WordPress performance is disabling and deleting (yes, delete them too!) plugins you no longer use.  Even if you have a plugin disabled WordPress still has to check to make sure it is in fact disabled which will slow down your site – so delete the plugins if you don’t use them!

The next step is to go through your currently enabled plugins and disable them one at a time, check your site, see if you notice any noticeable improvements in speed.  If so, you may want to stop using that particular plugin and/or find an alternative one.  From my experience, I’ve found that these realtime stats plugins such as StatPress Reloaded, Short-Stats, etc typically will eat up CPU and spike the MySQL usage which will definitely slow down your site.  If you have a dedicated server or a VPS with SSH access, you can check for yourself and see what is eating up your CPU (if anything).

Additional steps you can take to help improve performance are looking into caching methods.  Plugins such as WP-Cache and W3 Total Cache (I use this one because it works very nicely with my CDN) are popular and work well.  Lastly, you may also want to check out a plugin called WP-Optimize which will optimize your WordPress database to remove overhead (such as old post revisions, old spam comments, etc) and make it more efficient.


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