This is the final part of a five part series which will explore the ways in which you can improve the speed of your WordPress blog without having to delve in to your code.
Read Part 1 – ‘Removing ‘Render Blocking’ scripts from your header’
Read Part 2 – ‘Compress (‘Minify’) Your Code’
Read Part 3 – ‘Optimise Your Images’
Read Part 3 – ‘Optimise Your Database’
Enable Caching of Your Site
What does that mean?
Whenever a page is loaded via WordPress, it has to load many files, make multiple calls to the external database, run any custom functions and then format and present all the data to the user. Although this is usually done in under a few seconds, it is in most cases an unnecessary step that can be avoided.
What can I do then?
You can tell WordPress not to do this by creating a static copy of the code that is generated and storing it. In easy terms, it is like running the WordPress page, then saving all the code and showing that to people instead, so they don’t have to wait for all the background functions to process. Caching will also enable a bunch of functions on your hosting account which speed up the presentation and reduce the overall size of files.
Producing static files can dramatically reduce load times, as well as the load on your server.
Anything I should know?
If you have content which changes on every page load (such as random articles or images), this will not be reflected in the caching. If you need this functionality kept in place, then you may need to exclude certain pages from the caching.
I have WordPress!
Hooray! The following plugins are recommended for this purpose:
- Cache Enabler. Install, activate, reap the benefits. This plugin is designed to work alongside another plugin from this series; Optimus. This plugin requires no setup at all, so it is ideal for people who don’t want to delve too far in to the plugin.
- W3 Total Cache. In my experience, this is the most complete caching plugin on the market. It can be used out of the box, or it can be customised to make it run even quicker and faster. If you are happy to look through pages of settings and experiment, then install w3tc.
Having troubles with getting your plugins to work? Don’t have a website which runs WordPress? No worries – the same rules apply, but you will need a coder to make the changes for you.
Get in touch today to see how I can improve the loading times of your website, keeping potential customers on your website for longer.
Photo Credit: David Goehring on Flickr