We’ve touched on the topic of how to speed up slow websites in the past, and now we’ll approach it a bit differenty, with more tips and more WordPress focus.
WordPress is extremely popular, and this is the reason why we’re putting exceptional focus on it.
Whether you’ve experienced a drop in performance on your WordPress website, or just want to stay ahead of the game and be ready when it’s time to perform some maintenace, you will find these tips useful regardless.
Question – Why does your website need maintenance?
Websites require maintenance just like our vechicles do. When we forget or worse, we purposefully skip a maintenance check, our cars become less reliable.
There is more of a likelyhood of something going wrong and performance will not be optimal – it’s a no brainer.
When maintenance is not performed for a website that’s running on WordPress, we will experience similar issues to that of our vechicles.
Most importantly, a far from optimal performance leading to a slugish site. A lot of times I see site owners thinking that the reason for the slugishness is that it’s time to upgrade their hosting plan.
And indeed, sometimes upgrading the hosting plan is the solution, but many times it isn’t. There are simpler fixes that you can do to keep performance in the right range.
What is that range you might ask? According to many sources, if it takes more than 3 seconds for a website to load, users will not stick around.
These are the maintenance tasks that you can do
There are many things that can be optimized to keep a WordPress website in top shape, but we can pretty much narrow the list down to a few that will be responsible for most of the results.
1. Remove inactive plugins
This is one of the most important actions that one can take to opmize the performance of WordPress.
Plugins are awesome, we love them, are webstites could not live without them.
One time I had a client who I did a small project for who had more than 20 plugins installed on her site. Around 5 of these have been inactivated. and another 5 can be neglected or subsituted with some simple code.
Needless to say, the first thing I advised her was to immediatey remove the unused plugins. Then we focused on removing the plugins which are active, but they don’t add much value to the site.
2. Delete unused images / media files
While removing unused media files is not the most relevant for us, it can definitely have a positive impact on website performance.
I do the above regularly, as I’ve found that when I change an image for whatever reason, I forget to remove the old one. This happens to me quite frequently with new articles if I include images.
There are specific plugins that can help you clear out your files, but I think that negates out the positive side. Installing a new plugin uses resources too, so like to do this without a plugin.
When reviewing media files, I simply utilize the “Bulk select” option, and filter out all the unused ones.
3. Database maintenance
Another action that you can take is to perform maintenance on your database.
WordPress websites can get bloated by draft articles, old comments, post revisions. This bloating means that the servers resources are used for these useless elements too, resulting in decreased site performance.
You want to avoid this and keep your database healthy. Again there is a number free plugins to do this, and it’s not compliated at all to execute it.
4. Limited the number of plugins
One of the most important factors in my experience that can signifivantly affect performance is the number and the size of the plugins.
I remember I had a client who was also running on the Genesis Framework for WordPress like we do. I received the login the details and first thing I wanted to check is the number of plugins.
There were more than 30 plugins installed, 20 something active.
I was shocked.
You can imagine the first advice I gave was that the number plugins is not ok like this. We narrowed down the plugins to the ones that were essential for the client – somewhere around 15.
On my sites, I like to use less than 10 plugins. With shared web hosting, and a good chaching plugin like WP Rocket, 10 plugins can perform strongly. Anything above it, and you will feel the difference.