How to Test the Health of Your WordPress Website (Step-By-Step Instructions)
Did you know that a properly configured WordPress website can perform as well as a brand new, freshly installed WordPress site? It’s true! That’s because a healthy WordPress site has a lot of available resources that provide enough power to the site, even under heavy load. So if you’re looking to reduce website delivery times, boost SEO, or simply want to make sure that your website is healthy, this article is for you. We’ll cover everything from core configuration to executing a stress test on your site so you can have confidence that your website is performing at its best. Ready to get started? Let’s dive in.
Step one: Make sure you’ve got a tested and proven configuration
The first step to getting your WordPress site into perfect condition is to make sure that you’ve got a tested and proven configuration. To do this, you need to create a fresh installation of WordPress on your server and completely configure it. Once you’ve done that, you’ll have a solid starting point from which you can make incremental improvements. For more information on how to do this, check out our guide to creating a tested and proven WordPress configuration.
Step two: Check for broken links and errors
After you’ve got a tested and proven WordPress configuration, the next step is to check for broken links and errors. If the site is live, then you can use a tool like Google’s Search Console to easily find and fix any broken links or errors. If it’s not live yet, then you can use tools like Link Inspector or Hootsuite’s own broken link monitoring tool to find and fix any errors before your site goes live. Remember, you can use plugins to extend the functionality of your WordPress site, so keep your eyes open for any errors that could be generated from third party plugins.
Step three: Run a speed test
Once you’ve got all your plugins and themes updated, installed, and functioning correctly, it’s time to run a speed test. A speed test will provide you with a baseline to work from, so you’ll know exactly how fast or slow your site is performing compared to other sites of a similar size and scope. You can use free tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights to easily run a speed test or use a service like Bluehost to get a free dedicated IP that you can use to run your own speed test.
If you’re curious as to how fast your site is performing compared to other sites, then use a tool like Google’s PageSpeed Insights to easily benchmark your site’s speed. You can get an idea of how your site stacks up against other sites of a similar size and scope.
Step four: Use the resources at your disposal
After you’ve tested your site’s speed and found it to be above average, the next step is to use the resources at your disposal. One of the best things that can help your WordPress site perform at its best is resources. If you’ve got a decent amount of bandwidth, then you can use a tool like Cloudflare’s free edge plan to easily setup an additional origin for your site (more on this later). If money is no object to you, then you can get a fast, dedicated server from a reputable host like Bluehost or Gridhost.
If you choose to go the Bluehost route, then you can get a free dedicated IP that you can use to run your own tests or use one of their premium features to get access to some excellent performance-boosting tools like PageSpeed Insights and GTmetrix. For more information on how to use these tools, visit their websites.
Step five: Monitor your server’s performance
The final step is to monitor the performance of your server. Even though we’ve gone through a lot, this step is important because after all this work, you’ll want to make sure that your server is still performing at its intended level. For this step, you can use a tool like New Relic to monitor your site’s performance. On the free tier, New Relic gives you detailed site usage metrics including a breakdown of traffic by country, browser, and device. If you upgrade to the premium plan, then you’ll get even more metrics including a breakdown of your website’s performance by page, region, and device.
As a webmaster, you’ll want to look at the performance metrics from New Relic to determine if your site is performing as expected. If you notice that one or more of the metrics are below average, then it might be time to revisit your server’s configuration and start over.
Hopefully, this guide has helped you discover some ways to make your WordPress site perform better. If you’ve got any other tips or tricks, then please feel free to leave us a comment below! Happy webmastering.