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Techniques to speed up your slow WordPress site

WordPress is a wonderful blogging software for bloggers and businesses to promote their products. Unfortunately many WordPress sites have delayed response times. This can cause customers and readers not to return to their site.

 
 
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PRLog - Apr. 4, 2012 - WordPress itself is not slow as it has been very well written and optimized. Much of the loss in performance in WordPress sites mostly comes from how bloggers are drafting and publishing their WordPress articles. When your WordPress site is set up properly and optimized correctly for speed, your WordPress articles download very quickly to the visitor’s PC. There are a few main areas to examine in order to speed up your WordPress site. They are the host performance, the server performance and transmission over the internet.


A slow host can slow down WordPress
The first area to tackle in order to speed up your WordPress site is your hosting services provider. There is not much you can do if your server is overloaded except complain to the host technical support staff and have your site moved to a different server.  Any attempt at improving your blog performance may not be noticeable if your host is overloaded.

Some hosting service providers have reduced their hosting fees to such an extent that they have overloaded their servers with many sites. You will notice that your site takes longer and longer to view at you PC as the months go by.

“We discovered a simple and easy test to show up potential overload problems on the host server.” says Dr. Peter Achutha of Peter Publishing. “By far this is not a conclusive test but an indicator of potential hosting problems.  Go to your website control panel and do a backup of all your files on your site and time how long it takes to do the backup. It should take about 30 seconds to one minute per 100MB of the compressed file generated. The compression times may vary a little depending on the time of day but it can be a reasonable indicator that your hosting service provider is over loaded with too many other jobs. Our old host took 30 minutes to 45 minutes to back up 220MB of files on a good day and more than an hour on a bad day. We were so frustrated by our old hosting services provider that we started up own hosting services.” Please see http://drpetersnews.com/liquidnet-ltd-uk-web-hosting-pete... for more information.

Two main areas to examine to speed up a slow WordPress site
Having sorted your hosting services there are two main areas that need to be examined to speed up your WordPress site.  The first area is how the server handles your files, that is the server's response to a page request and the second area is how the files are transmitted over the internet.  Large and complex pages can a take a much longer time to build and transmit over the internet.  Try to keep your pages simple and file sizes small and this will speed up internal operations within the server. Furthermore small file sizes will reduce the time required to transmit your pages across the internet.

How to speed up the server response of your WordPress site
The quickest way to speed up your slow WordPress site is to use a cache. All your WordPress files are stored on the hard disk of the server.  They are loaded into memory and sent to the visitor’s browser when someone visits your site. The hard disk is a relatively much slower device compared to memory. Hard disk speeds are normally measured in milliseconds and memory speed is normally measured in nanoseconds. One millisecond is one million nanoseconds. Hence a visitor’s experience of browsing through your site can be sped up if your files are stored in memory. A cache does just that. The caching algorithm holds previously accessed files in cache memory. Subsequent visitors receive your pages from the cache memory instead of from the hard disk and thereby speeding up your site.

Some cache plugins will activate your browser cache so that when a visitor moves from page to page of your site, common images, like your theme picture and widgets do not get download from the server again. This dramatically improves the speed of your web page downloads.

“We are using three different caches on our WordPress site” say Dr. Peter Achutha “They are PHP Image Cache to cache all our images as we have as many as 14 photos per page, a Widget Cache and W3 Total Cache. We saw a dramatic improvement is response times by caching our WordPress site”


Reduce size and number of images on your WordPress site
In order to speed up WordPress examine all pictures and photos and try to reduce their sizes. Images make your site interesting to visit and they can grab the visitor’s attention long enough for him to decide to stay on and explore your site further. If the images on your site are not set up properly, they can dramatically slow down your WordPress site.

Firstly, use the correct compression methods for different types of images. Photos are best saved in JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) format as .jpg files, large bold images are best saved in Portable Network Graphics format as .png files. JPEG format is a lossy compression format and there will be a slight and tolerable loss in picture quality. Most visitors to your WordPress website will not notice quality degradation of JPEG formats. The PNG format is a lossless compression format and can in many cases results in larger files than JPEG formats.

When you are building your site try to save your images in different formats and select and use the smallest picture files that can make viewing your website an interesting experience without too much loss of quality of the images.

Secondly, keep the image size the same as the display size. That means if you have a 2000x3000 pixel image and display it as a 200x300 image you will be consuming a lot of bandwidth transferring your files from the server to the visitor’s browser. This is because the compressed image file transmitted is at least ten times larger than needed. It is best to keep the image, in the example above, as a 200x300 pixel image on your server.

Thirdly, try to create your web pages with only one picture above the fold and the rest of your pictures below the fold. This will allow a visitor to begin reading your web page even if the web page has not completely downloaded into his browser.

Lastly, try to reduce the number of images per page. If you have many images or your articles are very long, try to split your article into several pages or several articles. This technique can speed up page delivery to your visitors by reducing the amount of processing and data transmission per page. Furthermore, splitting your articles may help improve your search engine optimization (SEO) ranking.

There are several other powerful techniques, such as file compression and removing etags, that can help you speed up your slow WordPress site. Please visit our site http://bachutha.com/how-to-speed-up-wordpress-my-experien... for more information.


Hacking, malware and security
Finally, do install a security plugin into your WordPress site. This will not speed up your WordPress site but it will reduce the chances that your site is hacked and infiltrated with malware. Malware can dramatically slow down you WordPress site. Malware can cause the server to go off line so that your site cannot be visited by your regular visitors. It can even infiltrate your site with third party advertisements and propaganda which can degrade the performance of your site.  Worst still, if your site is hacked you may even find all your pages missing.

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Peter Publishing is a publishing company with expertise in small run printing. They research many topics from baking bread to gold price movement for publication on their websites. They are involved in web hosting and web site development as they have sufficient expertise in web hosting, search engine optimization (SEO), WordPress optimization, and e-commerce hosting and use their own in house expertise to develop their sites.

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