The current statistics say that most, if not all, new sites are developed using WordPress. That said, it is clear that there is something that WordPress possesses, which other CMSs lack. For many, that ‘something’ might be the ease-of-use and the millions of resources (such as WordPress Themes and plugins). For many, it might the way it makes it easy for development and further selling (something I personally practice on my site where I sell Thesis 2 skins).
There are several reasons to fall in love with WordPress. However, great things do have a space for some negative energy. Although WordPress has a very less space for such negative ‘energies’, it has some minor issues. But as they say, perfectionism is better than goodness. One of these minor issues is the loading speed. Although it highly depends on the theme being used, there are some other factors that matter as well.
Following are three ways to speed up WordPress, and how you could easily implement the same.
Using Sprites Instead Of Multiple Images
If you’re aware about CSS Image Sprites, you know what I’m talking about. A sprite is one single image containing several (even hundreds, if preferable!) different images. That single image is then used as a background image for every ‘sub-image’ inside it, and then given a ‘background-position’ which then gives a final result of which is nothing but the required part from the sprite.
One (and the main) advantage of using CSS Sprites that it reduces the number of HTTP requests put on the server. In simple language, the more the number of images, the more the HTTP requests loaded on the server and furthermore, the more number of HTTP requests slows down the blog! Therefore, to speed up WordPress, or any platform for that matter, using image sprites is far better than using separate images.
Disabling ‘Push Emails’ Function
Recently, I wrote an article regarding the 500 Internal Server Error fix, and it seemed to solve the problem for many including me! The only solution discussed there was to reduce the number of SMTP requests. This means that if you have several devices where you have your email accounts set-up, the number of SMTP requests can go higher. This gets worse if the ‘Push Emails’ feature is on – which continuously sends requests to servers ‘asking for new emails’.
Disabling this will surely avoid the 500 Internal server error, but also increase the site’s speed because of avoiding the minor SMTP requests overload.
Use A Caching Plugin
Many believe that using a caching plugin just doesn’t help, and many believe it plays an important role. I am amongst those who fall between those two options. My favorite caching plugin is W3 Total Cache. That plugin, upon installation, does 98% of the things for you. The other 2% can be done as per requirement.
A caching plugin is helpful to clear the junk off the site, also ‘refreshing’ the site after changes such as CSS tweaks.
Using the right web host also makes a difference. Although I use Hostgator, I would prefer you to go for Bluehost as I’ll be switching to it in a few months