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HOW TO: Optimize WordPress

Last modified: April 1, 2021
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HOW TO: Optimize WordPress

WordPress is currently one of the most popular blogging/CMS applications.

Here are some ideas for you to optimize WordPress and reduce the CPU consumption of this PHP script.

1) Back Up Your WordPress Account

Make a backup of your account first, and then upgrade to the latest version of WordPress. The latest versions have optimized code that could reduce the CPU consumption of your site.

2) Avoid starting with Category

For permalink structure, do not start with the category, tag, author, or postname fields. Instead try /%year%/%postname%/ or /%post_id%/%postname%/. Also, don’t worry about 301 redirects as WordPress will automatically handle that after the permalink change.

3) Install WP Super Cache/ W3 Total Cache under WordPress Plugins

You can install the plugins from your WordPress Dashboard under Plugins. Follow the links below for information on how to set up these plugins.

4) Take concerns about CPU intensive

Many themes are more CPU intensive. Therefore,

    • Make sure your page loads are generating no errors in your Error Log (in cPanel under Logs)
    • Also, if you’re using dynamic image resizing, you may want to disable this if possible.
    • If all else fails, contact the theme provider for assistance, or change to a different theme.

5) Disable CPU intensive plugins

Disable CPU intensive plugins or plugins that you no longer need.

    • All related post plugins (WordPress Related Posts, YARPP) can cause a significantly high load in most cases.
    • WPRobot3 and other auto-posters can also cause high load issues and should be disabled if they are causing issues
    • StatPress and other WordPress statistics software should also be disabled, as these too can consume too much CPU in certain cases. Use Google Analytics instead of statistics.
    • Any other plugins that are not vital to your WordPress should be disabled.

6) Manage Spambots

Non-human visitors/posters (aside from web spiders) should be blocked. Use a captcha such as SI CAPTCHA to prevent comment spam.

7) Lower the rate of web spiders crawling

Lower the rate web spiders crawl your WordPress blogs if you have a large number of blogs hosted under your account. High crawl rates can drive up the load on the server, as many bots try to index your sites.

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