It’s time to put your WordPress site on a diet! It’s time to tighten the belt, slim down, increase its speed and ease its load.
There are many different reasons you should be interested in trimming some WordPress fat. Faster loading pages are great, and using less bandwidth and server resources is always a plus.
Here are five things you can easily do to lighten your site load. In fact, these are some practices you may want to adopt as standard procedure for sites you build in the future.
1. Install a Caching Plugin
A caching plugin is nothing to be afraid of. I know they can seem more intimidating than your run-of-the-mill Twitter widget, but you can do it!
Here are a few to choose from:
W3 Total Cache has a nice 1-2 punch, as it caches your pages, database, browser and objects, plus, it has some sweet minify settings.
If you’re in your site making changes, don’t forget you’ve got this turned-on, since your changes will get lost in the cache.
2. Refine Your Plugin and Widget Use
Okay. I understand the love with plugins and widgets. After all, that may be what brought you to the WordPress table in the first place. The problem is, all of these plugins and widgets can really drag your site down.
- Make sure you’re not running unneeded plugins and widgets.
- Manually add code into your theme.
Example: Add your Google Analytics code in your footer instead of relying on a plugin.
In fact, there may be share buttons and other widgets that could just as easily be added straight into your theme code. (Another reason why Standard Theme will rock your socks off.)
3. Hard Code Your Template
Once you’ve settled into your site, there are a few WordPress PHP tags that could be swapped out with some straight-up HTML.
<?php wp_list_pages(); ?>
Every time a page is loaded, WordPress has to check the database for the pages it has stored and drops them into your theme’s <li> elements.
Why not hard code your menu?
This could also be applied to:
- <?php bloginfo(‘name’); ?>
- <?php wp_list_categories(); ?>
- <?php bloginfo(‘stylesheet_url’); ?>
I hope these help you stream-line your WordPress site. The key is to do what you can. Perhaps hard coding in your theme isn’t going to work for your circumstances. No problem! Start with what you can, and keep working with it until you start seeing the site speed improvements you’re looking for.
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