How to Quickly Load a WordPress Site (Without Plugins)
WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems and is especially suited for creating blogs. Its popularity is well-deserved as it is both feature-rich and user-friendly. Because of its design, it is pretty much plug-and-play, which makes setup quick and easy. However, this ease of use comes at a price as installing and configuring WordPress can be quite complex.
Why Do You Need To Speed Things Up?
Every minute counts when it comes to keeping your readers engaged. Gone are the days when a website could easily capture the attention of a reader – nowadays, users have plenty of distractions surrounding them all the time. That being said, when users visit a website, they generally expect it to load fast in order to keep their interest. When sites take longer than expected to load, it can break the reader’s engagement and even cause them to leave the site altogether. In this day and age, where everyone wants to be the best at everything, it is more important than ever to ensure that your site loads speedily as you can offer your visitors a seamless and trouble-free experience.
The Cost Of Plugins
Plugin installation is a necessary evil in WordPress as not all of the functions and features that the platform offers can be pulled in via the core. This is where plugins come in – they allow you to add additional functionality to your site, which is otherwise not possible with out-of-the-box WordPress. Installing plugins can increase the size of your WordPress installation considerably. The cost of plugins also has to be borne in mind when considering their usefulness. To give you a rough idea, a plugin to generate product reviews can be purchased for around $120 to $150 per year.
Additional Downsides Of Plugins
Although plugins can be of great value, they also have many additional downsides. First, they can potentially slow down your site as certain plugins, when enabled, can make pages load more slowly. Second, some plugins, when inactive, can cause your site to be flagged as a potential threat by web-hosting providers and security systems. Third, some plugins can cause compatibility issues with other plugins and even the theme you are using.
In light of the above, it would be unwise to automatically assume that every plugin will make your site perform better. As with any other piece of software or application, you can have a positive effect by employing good practices and avoiding the bad ones. In order to do this, you will need to carefully consider each plugin you use and how you use it. Make sure that you are not causing any performance problems and that you are not risking security by doing this. If you do find a plugin that meets these criteria and it also fits within your budget, then there is no reason not to use it as you can get the functionality you need and avoid the potential problems that come with plugins.
Manually Loading Your Site
As the saying goes, “the devil is in the details”, and this is especially true when it comes to website load times. If you are a savvy user and you want to load a WordPress site manually, without using any plugins, then you have several options available to you. The first is to use a caching plugin. These types of plugins will store previously-viewed content in a hidden format, so that when a visitor returns to the site, they will instantly see the most up-to-date content. Caching plugins can greatly reduce the number of requests that are made to your server when a website is loaded for the first time or when content is refreshed in some way. As a result, your site will generally feel snappier and more responsive to visitors no matter what browser or device they are using.
The second option is to use a more lightweight version of WordPress. Much like a mobile phone operates using fewer resources and has fewer pre-installed apps than a laptop, so too can a WordPress site. Because of this, you may experience a noticeable improvement in page load times when using a lightweight version of WordPress or a caching plugin.
If these options are not suitable for your needs or you want to take things up a notch, you can always pull your site offline by hand. If you are using a caching plugin, then simply disable it when you want to load your site manually. This will cause the content to be served directly from your server, which can take a while and will introduce some extra load time. If you want to go the extra mile and fully load a WordPress site manually, you can do this by hand or use a special software package designed for this purpose – WP offline. This tool allows you to fully load your site and enable caching afterwards, if needed. The benefit of doing this manually is that you can ensure everything is loaded properly and there are no unexpected errors. In addition, you can remove all the unnecessary and undesirable plugins that you don’t need and that are taking up space. You will also need to set up Apache or Nginx as a reverse proxy in order to properly load a WordPress site manually. Doing this can be difficult and may require additional training – but it is a necessary step to ensure you fully load every bit of content from your server.
An unplugged WordPress site will, at the very least, give you a good idea of what is going on behind the scenes. In addition, you can see quite clearly where all the bottlenecks are and where additional resources are needed. From here, you can make adjustments and work to improve things. If you feel like you are performing poorly, it is usually because something isn’t loaded properly – either a plugin or the core itself. When this happens, it is usually the result of poor coding or an overloaded server. In order to diagnose this, you can use tools like the WP error log or sit down and use your head to figure out where the issues are. Once you know where these issues are, then you can work on eliminating them.