5 Easy steps to speed up your WordPress website

A beginners guide to speeding up WordPress on shared hosting.

There will come a time when you will begin to notice that the speed of your beloved WordPress website no longer runs as smooth as it once did.

Database driven websites require a little TLC from time to time as they tend to accumulate database junk. Most users are not aware of this as it all happens behind the scenes.

But how does that happen?

WordPress was built as a blogging platform and although this was the intention of the creators, developers have created plugins that can extend the capabilities of WordPress allowing you to turn a blog into whatever type of website you want. This can be eCommerce websites, directory websites, social media networks, property search websites etc.

Over time we all install and uninstall numerous themes and plugins until we settle with the right set of tools. But without you knowing, this process silently increases the size of your database which can lead to load and speed issues.

Around 80% of WordPress themes and plugins leave junk in your database when they are uninstalled.  Some plugins and themes do come with options to remove all data from the database when they are removed – but this is very rare.

Don’t be tempted by cheap web hosts

Hosting plays a big part in the speed of your website. We recommend that you host your website with a reputable company. Read the reviews, do a little research, don’t just go for the cheapest option as this will end up costing you more in the long run.

Try to work with small/medium-sized companies, large web hosting providers such as GoDaddy, 1&1, 123reg etc oversubscribe their plans.

If you are UK based we always recommend subscribing to one of our WordPress hosting packages or using someone like Guru or Krystal.

If you are in the US then Siteground or Bluehost do a pretty good job too.

So what can you do to improve the speed of your website?

1. Try and avoid using too many plugins as this will eventually begin to take its toll on shared servers that have limited resource pools, GoDaddy is a perfect example of this.

2. Use lightweight WordPress themes. Test loading speeds, check that the theme is well maintained and has a reputable developer behind it. You can check developer reviews and test loading speeds with tools such as Google Page Speed.

3. Optimise your database from time to time, remove unwanted trashed/spam comments and stale entries such as post revisions and transient data. You should also consider removing orphaned database tables.

4. Use a cache plugin, this will help reduce the load on your hosting account and will serve pages much faster. Check out the Fastest Cache plugin or maybe something a little more advanced like WP Super Cache.

5. Use Cloudflare – Cloudflare is a free service that accelerates and secures your website by acting as a proxy between your visitors and your website. With Cloudflare, you can protect your website against malicious visitors, save bandwidth and reduce average page load times. This is ideal for websites that target an international audience.