How to Configure WordPress Hosting for Maximum Performance
If you have a WordPress website, you know how frustrating it can be when your site isn’t loading smoothly. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re already a pro, there are a few tweaks you can make to make your WordPress hosting experience as good as possible. In this article, we’ll cover some tips and suggestions on how to properly configure your WordPress webhosting so that your sites load as fast as possible.
Install WordPress on a Dedicated Server
Dedicated hosting is incredibly popular among WordPress users, as it makes installing and running the content management system much easier. When choosing this type of hosting, you should look for a provider that offers 24/7 support, along with some of the following benefits:
- Unlimited storage
- Free incoming emails
- Free domain privacy
- Speed boosts through caching
- SSH access for advanced users
- No transfer limits
- Free backups
- Free content delivery via WPengine
- Full access to a security tool (like WordPress security plugin)
- Free custom themes and plugins
- Free daily premium content
- Free domain privacy
If you meet the qualifications, this is definitely the type of hosting you want to be using. When choosing this type of hosting, you’re giving up the convenience of shared hosting for the extra benefits listed above.
Use the Right Add-ons
When you install WordPress, you should install the proper plug-ins to make your site perform at its best. Even though you might already have a few plugins installed, there are several more that can significantly improve the performance of your site. Here are some of the best WordPress add-ons you can use to maximise the performance of your sites:
- Akismet – anti-spam protection
- All-in-One WP Installer – for simplifying the process of installing WordPress
- BBPress – Best Blogging Platform
- BuddyPress – a social network specifically for bloggers
- Cron-jobs – create scheduled tasks and reminders for yourself using this plugin
- Easy Twitter Disconnect – disconnect your account from your blog or website via Twitter
- GD-Photos – add photos to your posts using your iPad or other mobile device
- Gravity Forms – the most popular form plugin (standalone or in conjunction with WordPress)
- Hootsuite – connect your social media accounts to one place for easy management
- Instapaper – redirect tweets and other social media messages to a handy reading list
- Jetpack – expand your site’s functionality with this popular add-on from Google
- Long-form Text – enable long-form text posts (resolved posts over six or seven kilobytes in length)
- Memorable Events – create event calendars that you can share with your social media connections
- Meta Box – enter your site’s meta data (such as the genre of your posts) in the format of a box on your posts’ pages
- Open Source CMS – choose this option to install WordPress to give the software project credit
- Page Alerts – get emails whenever a page on your site gets changed
- Pelican WordPress – choose this option if you want to use WordPress but aren’t familiar with its technicalities
- Richemont CSS – add this rich-text-styling utility to your site’s header and footer for the ultimate in customization
- SEO by Yoast – this free SEO plugin adds three meta boxes to your site’s editable dashboard to organize your content according to parameters you set
- Smush.it – optimize your images using this free service
- Statpress – display site metrics (like page views) in a glance
- Textify – make images clickable (like a YouTube or Vimeo video)
- Trending Topics – create a personalized feed of news articles that you can share on social media sites
- WP-Optimizer – additional tools to make your site faster and more efficient
- WP-Redirect – replace old blog posts with new ones on your site (keeps your content unique)
- XML Sitemap – generate a sitemap for your site
By installing the proper plugins listed above, you’re giving your site the best shot at performing at its optimum capacity. In most cases, installing plugins is straightforward – just click the appropriate button to have the plugin initiate the process (most WordPress plugins come with a helpful guide on how to use them). When you find a popular plugin that you think might be beneficial to your site, make sure to install it!
Use The Right Template
A WordPress template is a readymade website that you can use to launch your site. When choosing a template, make sure to go for a clean, modern design that expresses your brand’s message. One of the best WordPress templates you can use is the aptly named “Clean-Slate”, by TwentyThree. This is an extremely flexible theme that allows you to build any kind of website you might imagine.
Installing a WordPress template is very simple – just click the appropriate button to have the theme initiate the process (most WordPress templates come with a handy guide on how to use them). When you find a template you think might be beneficial to your site, make sure to install it!
Reduce The Number Of HTTP Requests
If you’re using a shared hosting service, it’s likely that your site is already hosted on a server that shares its resources with other sites. In most cases, running a site like WordPress on shared hosting is already a compromise – it doesn’t come with all the features you need to fully optimize its performance.
If you’re using a VPS (virtual private server), you can take advantage of their high-bandwidth connections to the Internet to minimize the number of HTTP requests your site makes. A VPS provides you with everything you need to run a blog or website, including a dedicated IP address that allows you to secure remote access with a single username and password.
Use The Right Language
When choosing a host for your WordPress site, you want to make sure that you’re using a language that both you and the support staff can understand. Since this is a technical article, we’re going to assume you’re using English as your first language – if you’re learning English as a second language, then some of the words and phrases below might seem foreign to you. Don’t worry, though – all you need are a few words and phrases to get by when you’re using WordPress.
When you use keywords and phrases in the content of your site, your posts, and the title of your posts, you’re giving the search engines (like Google) something to grab onto when compiling their ranking lists. To optimize your site for keywords, join a reputable free keyword tool like Google Keyword Planner, which will give you an idea of the best keywords to use for your site. When selecting these keywords, make sure that they’re relevant to your target audience (in most cases, this is going to be people searching for your product or service). Once you have a list of keywords, you can use them to populate your blog posts, headlines, and descriptions with relevant content. Keep your content brief and to the point (under 500 words), as long articles with no content aside from citations from other websites are generally regarded as low-quality content.
Websites that are mobile-friendly perform better than those that are not, so try to make sure that your media (especially your blog posts) are mobile-friendly.
Manage Your Email With A Paneldaddy
One of the biggest barriers to running a successful blog is managing your email marketing – especially if you’re doing it yourself. Using a tool like MailChimp to manage your email lists is one way to save lots of time and ensure that your emails get delivered to your audience’s inboxes. There are several standalone email marketing tools you can use, too, which make the process even easier.
Just pick one that you think is easy to use and has all the features you need, and then get to marketing!