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Have a slow WordPress blog? Or perhaps you checked your speed index online and saw how poorly your site was doing. Or you just had WordPress installed and want it to perform its best.

Today I’ll give you hands on practical tips for improving your WordPress site’s speed, tips you can use right now.

And just so you know it worked, we’d be taking your speed rating from pingdom tools before and after the tweaks.

Ready? Let’s roll.

 

First thing I’ll like you to do is head over to this site pingdom.com and check your speed indexed, so you have a before and after comparison. Check your page load time like in the picture.

Now follow these simple steps.

 

Update WordPress

This might not be the most important step for speeding up your site, but it is very important to overall site health. So be sure to be on the lookout for new WordPress stable releases and update your website.

 

Clean Up Plugins

Most WordPress users tend to have a bunch of plugins on their installation, both used and unused. Go through your WordPress plugins and check for unused or inactive plugins and delete them.

First, this is a security risk, just having things lying around. And secondly, WordPress runs through every plugin directory on load, so it’s best to have just what you need. And though there is no real limit to how many you can install, this can consume speed on shared hosting servers.

You could also download the P3 Plugin profiler to analyze how your plugins impact your site speed.

 

Install a cache plugin

I like WP SuperCache because W3 Total Cache, in my opinion, is for more advanced and complex sites. So download the plugin and install on your wordpress site.

Once installed, activate the plugin and visit the plugin page under your settings panel. On the first tab you see, click the “enable caching” option. For more advanced users, check the plugin author’s page for more tweaks.

 

Smush.it for Images

Using Yahoo’s Smush.it service could reduce the size of all your image files by ~10% – 30%.

So download the plugin here, and install it.

After installing, go to the media tab and click “Bulk smush.it” if you already have images on your site, this step could take long, depending on the number of files that have to be processed.

 

Enable Browser Caching

This would store some of your files on the local computers of people who view it, therefore reducing the number of elements that have to be downloaded on repeat visits.

To do this, go to your root folder on your web host and open the .htaccess file

Add this code to the file, you could download it and edit with notepad or edit it online if your host provides such service

## EXPIRES CACHING ##
<IfModule mod_expires.c>
ExpiresActive On
ExpiresByType image/jpg "access plus 1 year"
ExpiresByType image/jpeg "access plus 1 year"
ExpiresByType image/gif "access plus 1 year"
ExpiresByType image/png "access plus 1 year"
ExpiresByType text/css "access plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType application/pdf "access plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType text/x-javascript "access plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType application/x-shockwave-flash "access plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType image/x-icon "access plus 1 year"
ExpiresDefault "access plus 2 days"
</IfModule>
## EXPIRES CACHING ##

 

 

Optimize Database

The WordPress database can be optimized periodically to help speed up quarries. To do this, install and activate WP DBManger.

Next, click the backup database link, then optimize database, and lastly repair database.

Simple steps.

 

Alright, now lets go back to pingdom tools and check your site speed again. What’s the improvement like? Be sure to share with the comments box.

Thank you for reading, and don’t forget to subscribe to my blog feed