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Make your WordPress site faster

I’m a fan of WordPress, it’s the tool I recommend for anyone looking for a website and unless you have a very specific requirement you’ll find it’s probably the best solution for any web based project. More on the alternatives another time, but for those with a WordPress based site, here’s some tech tips and tricks to make it faster. Note that these are pretty tech-laden tips, read some of my other WordPress articles for some more general tips on Plugins, Themes and more.

Caching

This is all about speed – no one wants a slow website, especially Google when indexing and ranking your site. Everyone wants a fast site and this is where caching comes in. If you already have a WordPress based site and want a quick and free solution, installed the WP SuperCache plugin, it does what it says on the tin and will make an instant difference. It’s always a good idea to speak with your web host too, they’ll be able to advise on the best boxes to tick in the plugin settings.

If you want more, and you really should – then look up WP Rocket – it’s my go-to caching tool. It’s not free, but see that as a good thing, it’s a premium offering with great support and it’s not that expensive either. It’s super easy to use, friendlier than WP SuperCache and works out of the box. With some fine-tuning it is even better. Reach out, I can help. All sites that I manage or support are running WP Rocket, it’s the best I’ve used, hands down.

CDN

Further to caching, using a CDN can make a massive difference to the speed and performance of any website. I use MaxCDN and now I’ve made the move into using CDNs, I won’t look back. It can be daunting at first, but if you’re already using WP Rocket, then using MaxCDN is easy and makes an even bigger difference. My Formula 1 blog has benefitted massively from WP Rocket and MaxCDN, it’s super quick to load and even if the server is overloaded, readers can still get to the site due to the awesome caching and CDN combo. Just to note, good hosting helps too, Badger GP runs on a VPS, not shared or cloud hosting.

Hosting

Finding the right web hosting company is a minefield. There are thousands of companies out there offering hosting. They range from aiming to be the fastest or the cheapest and when you get through to ordering, unless you’re a web developer, many of the options and possibilities are jargon-laden. Simply choosing the cheapest isn’t the best course of action, it can be more expensive in the long run. In an ideal world, you will find and select your web host and then forget all about it, just paying the annual fee. I’ve been hosting sites for close to 20 years and for the last 5 or more have stuck with the company I regard as the best, TSO Host. Their services and support are spot on. Their managed VPS options are great for a proper website and the ‘cloud’ offering is decent enough for a small website or someone just starting out. I manage and support all my clients and they are all on TSO supported hardware. Oh and TSO are UK-based, which is great. If you want to host with TSO, you can save 10% via my discount code: rightpalava or clicking this link for TSO Host.

HTTPS

While not essential for most sites, Google does favourably look upon having SSL (and therefore giving your site the green ‘https’ prefix) and it gives your visitors peace of mind too. If you have any sort of e-commerce or personal user data on your site it really is essential. Your web hosting company can help you have SSL on your site and it can cost just £50 per year. If you’re using MaxCDN then you can also enable HTTPS/2 on your caching configuration to make a performance improvement too. So having an SSL-enabled site will not only make your site more secure, please users and Google, it can also make it quicker. Win win.

Want to know more?

Get in touch with me and see if I can help, all my clients that I manage and support have some, if not all of the above. I offer 1 day per month of my time to personal sites for people who need tech guidance and advice, so it’s worth getting in touch, or get me on Twitter.

Photo by Robin Pierre on Unsplash

Written by
Adam Le Feuvre
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Written by Adam Le Feuvre

Stuff written by

Adam Le Feuvre