Dear WordPress Bloggers:
As a PHP developer and someone with quite a few years experience with WordPress, I would like to offer you some advice on how to run a WordPress Blog that loads quickly and looks good.
Examine Plugins and Themes Closely
If your blog is lacking a feature or option that you’re unable to code yourself, please spend some time and research any plugin that you may want to install to provide that feature or option to you.
Take a careful look at the information provided by WordPress.org. It shows active installations, last update, and even reviews of the plugin. Make sure to have a look at all of this information and consider whether or not it would be a good idea to install it.
I’ve seen far too many blogs with plugins installed that have been abandoned for several years that end up getting compromised and the end result is a hacker wreaking havoc on their WordPress site.
My advice on plugins is to only ever use plugins you truly need.
Plugins for Things That Exist Elsewhere
You know what will really slow down your admin section? Installing a plugin that shows the full Google Analytics Dashboard in your admin backend. If you find it truly inconvenient to log into Google Analytics, then who am I to stop you? Plugins like this offer no value other than convenience and have to load in a ton of extra scripts so that all the features work.
Sending Mail Through WordPress
If you have a newsletter or something of the sort where you need to send mass mail to all of your readers please consider using a dedicated service for sending mail.
Some examples are SendGrid, Amazon SES, and MailGun.
Using these services not only offer a lot more insight into your mailing list, but also keep the load of your hosts server. All of the above service providers have excellent delivery rates and all offer their own brand of stats and reporting on open rates and the like..
If ever someone tells you that they will build a theme for you on the cheap, maybe dig a little deeper and ask some questions as to how the theme would be developed. I’ve seen far too many sites where a “theme developer” has installed a third party theme (Not one they’ve created) and used a page builder plugin to tweak the theme to a customers request.
Generally these people install a ton of bloat to support the various components that the page builder requires to operate which means when you load up your site, there is almost always a ton of bloat included.
Poorly built / coded themes are yet another reason a lot of WordPress sites are slow as molasses and take upwards of 30 seconds to load.
Cache Cache Cache
One great way to keep your site quick and your web site load low, is to cache all the things. There are a couple excellent plugins for caching with very simple options to follow. Personally I use WP Super Cache as I feel it offers effective caching and pairs nicely with CloudFlare.
In the End………
As the end of the day, it’s your web site. I can only give you the tools and experience. It’s up to you what you do with it. The faster your site loads, the more people you can serve and the more ad revenue you can make.
If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments and I will answer them as soon as I can!