14 Ways To Speed Up Your WordPress Website And Increase Pageviews

There are literally hundreds of possible ways a user can speed up their website and increase pageviews. From buying traffic (not suggested) to updating your websites server for maximum speed (highly recommended), ensuring that you use proper methods is the best way to increase traffic. I won’t promise you a million visitors a month using these methods, but they will at least ensure you are using “best practices.”

Unlike other lists this article isn’t going to tell you how to write Search Engine Optimized content, instead it should work as the foundation for your new or existing site before you decide to create new or more content. Using these methods you can speed up your sites performance, which in turn SHOULD lead to more traffic.

1. Move Analytics Tracking Codes Higher Up The Page: For example, if you have five scripts running before your sites tag, putting your Google Analytics, GetClicky or other tracking codes closest to the top of the page can help ensure they load more quickly. This ensures that if a user jumps off your sites page before it finishes loading you may still receive credit for the pageview.

2. Use a Search Engine Friendly URL For Posts: At Securenext we use www.securenext.com/[random number]/[postname]. We use the random numbers since they are one form allowed by news aggregation services. However you could simply use http://www.yoursite.com/%5Bpost name]. When creating your URL’s strip out unneeded words. For example instead of http://www.yoursite.com/this-post-is-about-SEO-practices-that-are-commonly-used, we recommend shortening the URL to something more manageable with the topics keywords such as http://www.yoursite.com/commonly-used-SEO-practices.

3. Kill Any Unused Plugins – If you have the Top Posts plugin activated but you aren’t using it, it’s just one more resource your server must use when loading your website. The more unused plugins the slower your site becomes. Since Google and other search engines are now beginning to focus much of their search results based on website speeds it’s important that you limit server resources to speed up your site as much as possible.

4. Replace PHP calls with HTML When Possible: If you are calling your sites main URL in the coding with ”>Site you are forcing your server to call up that PHP and then make it readable to users. Instead you could use Site. This static use measure ensures less calls to your server and can help speed up your site drastically.

5. Minify Your Sites CSS: Your sites stylesheets and other CSS forms have a lot of blank white space, the more space you have the more system resources your server uses to search your sites CSS. We recommend downloading WP-Minify which will help compress that white space, freeing up system resources.

6. Combine Javascripts Where Possible: If you have 5 javascripts running on your site and you understand javascript or you don’t mind hiring someone who does, you can greatly speed up your sites performance by combining javascript code into one or two codes rather than five or six.

7. Install the “Use Google Libraries” Plugin – I know earlier I said you should disable plugins, however this is worth the system resources and won’t sit on your site as an unused option. This program as it’s official website states “Allows your site to use common javascript libraries from Google’s AJAX Libraries CDN, rather than from WordPress’s own copies.” If users have commonly used Google files cached this plugin will reduce server load, helping speed up server load times. You can find the plugins official page here.

8. Install the WP-Super Cache Plugin: Remember those PHP to HTML calls I said to create in tip #4, WP-Super Cache takes the dynamic files on your website and converts them to static HTML pages. By doing this your website is less likely to die when a barrage of Digg or StumbleUpon users find one of your stories. The best part? Advanced options don’t have to be touched, just install the plugin and click “On” to enable the program. You can download WP-Super Cache here.

9. Turn Off The “Post Revisions” Option: Everytime you save a draft, change information you have posted, etc. you are creating a new file in your sites database. If you go into your sites files via FTP access you can find the WP-Config.php file and add the following code right after the files

10. Delete Old Post Revisions: Now that you’ve turned off post revisions it’s time to delete all the old revisions that have been created (this process will not delete posts, just their old revision copies. Here’s the process: Login to your phpMyAdmin section which you can find through your websites cPanel or equivalent server maintenance program. Locate your currently used WordPress database from the phpMyAdmin sidebar, Click the SQL tab from the menu, insert the following line of code then click go and to apply the changes: DELETE FROM wp_posts WHERE post_type = “revision”; all your old revisions should now be deleted. (remember to backup your database before attempting this step – always better to be safe than sorry).

11. Use The “Clean Options” Plugin: When you delete unused plugins they don’t necessarily disappear from your sites database, by using this plugin you can find those unneeded tables and delete them, freeing up database space that didn’t need to be used. The less database tables you have, the faster your site will run. Here’s the clean options plugin.

12. Optimize Images Used On Your Website: The best option would be to use a service such as Amazon S3 servers to serve your sites images from an ultra-fast third party service. These services mean your server isn’t forced to use its own resources to load pictures and that your pages can load much faster with the power of Amazon servers server your large sized photos. You can also give WP-Offload a try which offloads static content such as images, documents and movies.

13. Use A CDN Service: Content Delivery Networks in their most simple of terms create copies of your websites data at various locations. When a user accesses your website the CDN determines where that user is located and serves the copy of your websites pages based on the closest server holding a copy of your website.

14. Add A Header Expiry: Everytime a visitor browses a new page on your website they are greeted with the CSS, Javascript code and other files found in your header, even if they have this information caches, for these users it is recommended you reduce the number of HTTP requests by placing the following code in your .htaccess file:

#Expire Header ExpiresDefault “access plus 2 hours." While that code will not affect first time visitors they will affect subsequent pageviews made by returning visitors until the header command expires as dictated by the webmaster in the above code.

Those are just a few tips that you can implement when setting up or fixing your WordPress based website. By speeding up your website you should see better search engine placement and more loyal visitors who are willing to visit your website because it loads quickly and without any issues. Just like a well oiled car engine, the better condition you keep your website in, the better it will perform for you and your sites visitors.

As always, be sure to backup your website and MySQL databases before you use any of these methods, just to be on the safe side.

Do you have other tips? Feel free to share them with our readers in the comments section.

  1. May 12, 2010 at 6:27 PM

    The good thing with WordPress is the ability to integrate Facebook and Twitter, so yu can get more searches from it naturally also from Google through text.

  2. May 20, 2010 at 11:56 AM

    In the not so far future, lets expect CDNs to offer more support for XML caching, as well as Java processing at the edge. not only that, CDNs will also have to support Web services protocols (SOAP and UDDI)

  3. June 7, 2010 at 10:28 PM

    great article, very informative

  4. August 21, 2011 at 9:30 AM

    Hey Selva, can you also tell what is best permalinks structure for WordPress self hosted

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