In order to set up a high performance WordPress site, you need to optimize on both the hardware and software layers.
I am going to show you how to optimize your WordPress for better performance. Some of the settings are just plugins and some of them require changes on the WordPress settings.
1. Block Comment Spam
The most annoying issue to use WordPress is fighting the comment spam. You will see the comment spam keep coming in from no where even you have already remove the entire comment system.
The damage done by these comment spam not only flooding your comments entries but also slowing down your server.
It’s very easy to block 90% of the comment spam by using the default plugin Askimet developed by WordPress and it’s free to use.
2. Disable resources consuming WordPress features
There are many invisible activities happening behind the scene of your WordPress site. Some of these activities such as the WordPress heart beep might consume extra server memory and slowing down your server.
By disable some features, you can save up a lot of server resources thus having a faster WordPress back-end as well as the front end.
Follow this guide where you can install a plugin and disable most of the features and dramatically speed up your WordPress.
3. Improve Security
You don’t want to see a hello message from a hacker in every webpages you have using WordPress. WordPress core is very secure but not the plugins and the themes that you use.
Stay away from “free premium” themes, a premium of anything will be never free. Most of the time the hacker will get a premium theme and customize it into a free WordPress theme with back doors. If you install the theme, the hacker can easily hack into your server and databases.
There are many WordPress security plugins out there, I am using All In One WP Security and it works very well.
4. Cache your WordPress content on the server.
WordPress is running PHP and MySQL. Every time an article being viewed, first the PHP scripts will be executed, content will be retrieved from the MySQL database, then only display in front of you after processing. All these processes require server memory and processing power. You will not get any issue when you don’t have a lot of readers.
When you started getting traffic for your WordPress site, your server load will become higher. At a point when your server resources are overloaded, your site will become very slow in responding and eventually down.
So, caching you content means serve a cached version of the article instead of asking the PHP and MySQL database.
You can install caching plugins to cache your content. I find W3 Total Cache plugin is more suitable for an Nginx environment.
5. Install Cloudflare plugin
If you already have a cloudflare account, you can install the Cloudflare plugin developed by Cloudflare to automate the cache purging process.
It’s good to have the plugin so that every time you’ve published or modified an article the cache will be automatically refreshed.