WordPress Hosting & Web Performance – Optimization Tips
WordPress is one of the most popular platforms for building websites. But it’s not magic. The choices you make when building and maintaining your WordPress site have a significant impact on performance.
Study after study has shown that the faster a website loads, the more visitors stick around consuming content and making purchases. You simply can’t overlook website performance.
Managed WordPress Hosting
If you use a WordPress web host, your provider will do some of your site optimization for you. A shared WordPress host may be adequate for your needs if you don’t expect heavy traffic. A Managed WordPress hosting service comes with quite a bit of performance optimization including optimized server configurations, automatic backups and updates, and advanced security.
Split Up Your Comments
Popular WordPress blogs can receive dozens or even hundreds of comments on a single post. If you try to display them all on one page, it will take too long to load. Visitors will simply give up and go away. In your WordPress Settings, you can select the Break Comments into Pages option so that only a certain number of comments are displayed at a time.
Split Up Your Posts
If your posts are long and photo-heavy, you can split them into multiple pages so that your visitors don’t have to wait for the entire post to load. Use the <!––nextpage––> tag to break up a post into multiple pages.
Clean Up Your Database
After a while, your WordPress database will contain data that you don’t need anymore, such as multiple revisions of a post and abandoned drafts. Yet your site has to wade through all that unnecessary data whenever it accesses the database. A plugin like WP-Sweep makes it easy to delete unneeded data and optimize your database structure.
Measure Your Performance Improvements
You can check the speed of your WordPress website with free online tools such as Dotcom-Monitor’s Web Page Speed Test. Test before and after making any optimizations, so you can see how much improvement you’ve achieved.
Images, as I have mentioned before, play a huge part in the performance of any website or web based application. Some hosting providers offer the use of a CDN (content delivery network), which can drastically decrease page load times for image heavy websites. The use of a CDN can up the monthly price for hosting, but there are some companies, such as LightningBase, who offer them as an included part of their packages.
Questions to consider when choosing hosting for your WordPress website:
Will there be a need for hosted email?
What is your average monthly budget for hosting?
Will security be an issue? Is there any reason your readers are at risk if your site became hacked? Do they enter any personal information on your site (credit card info, contact info, etc.)?
What is your current traffic and growth rate?
What problems are you looking to solve by switching hosting companies? Once you know the answer, it is much easier to narrow down top contenders.