10 Ways to Speed Up Your WordPress Blog

WordPress is one of the most popular blog software. It is free to use and it’s open source so users can customize it as they see fit. Sometimes, however, it can be slow, meaning that your visitors give up trying to view your site and go somewhere else. Slow websites also get dinged by Google and ranked lower in effort to go direct people to faster, more usable sites. Here you find 10 ways to speed up your WordPress blog so you can have more visitors that are more satisfied, and willing to spend more money while they are there.

1. Lose some of the plugins – With thousands of plugins available for WordPress, bloggers often add on too many, causing their blog to slow down. The first step is to review the plugins you have installed and deactivate and then delete the ones that are not essential to the mission of your blog. When you reduce the load on your server, you make the WordPress experience better for everyone.

2. Use WP Super Cache – This is a free plugin that converts your dynamic WordPress files into static files so your server can display them faster. This practice helps relieve the pressure on servers when visitor traffic is high or when servers don’t have sufficient processing power for the task at hand. Use of WP Super Cache also turns on gzip.

3. Optimize your images – Use the “Save for Web and Devices” option in Adobe Photoshop to reduce the size of your photos and help your pages load faster over the same connections.

4. Remove social media buttons – Every time your page loads, the button tries to refresh with the host site, a process that uses valuable time. Take these off, especially if they handle vote counting or other dynamic displays.

5. Remove image effects – Image tools such as shadowbox produce cool effects, but bloat pages, making them load slower. Take them off of your WordPress installation.

6. Stop hot linking – If other websites like your images, they may “hotlink” them. This way they use your bandwidth to serve up photos on their site. That doesn’t seem fair, does it? They get your files and you pay with a slow website. You can use your .htaccess file to substitute a hot linked image to a theft warning message. Search Google for instructions if you want to do this.

7. Break up long posts – Many themes support the ‘nextpage’ tag. If your theme supports the tag, you can manually create new pages by adding the tag where you want your breaks.

8. Optimize your MySQL database – Log into your Web host’s control panel and start phpMyAdmin and then select the option that optimizes tables. Alternatively, you can download a plugin called Optimize BD that will do this from within your WordPress blog’s admin section.

9. Analyze your site with Y-Slow – This is a Yahoo! addon for Mozilla Firefox that identifies page elements that are increasing loading time. This essential tool will point you in the right direction while optimizing your WordPress blog.

10. Minimise your CSS – Use WP-CSS to reduce the size of your CSS files, making them load faster by reducing the actual size of your CSS files.

Use these 10 ways to speed up your WordPress blog so that you encourage your visitors to stay, improve your position in Google, and earn more money.

This post was contributed by Kip who writes at BroadbandCompare.com.au where you can easily compare broadband providers to find the best plan for you.

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