WordPress is one of the most popular website development CMS platforms available. More often, it is the first choice for website owners and developers, owing to the fact that it is easy to use, stable, and offers a ton of plugins and themes to make your website look and work, exactly the way you imagine it be it personal or professional. WordPress commands about 31% of the CMS market share. With such a huge market captured, it is easy to envision that there are a ton of WordPress websites and more who are planning to use WordPress as CMS for their upcoming websites. It is extremely vital to have a good understanding of what WordPress Optimization is.
WordPress optimization is the process of enhancing, tweaking and customizing the WordPress set up in order to improve performance, make it load faster and more easily discoverable for. It consists of many things, that includes, having the right specifications, updating WordPress time to time, optimizing databases, managing plugins, etc. All of which are geared to make an efficient WordPress website. Let’s get into the specifications of WordPress management and see what it involves.
Having the apt system specifications:
To run WordPress smoothly it requires specific requirements in terms of hardware and utilities. For WordPress, you need the following:
- PHP version 7.2 or greater
- At least MySQL version 5.6 OR MariaDB version 10.0
- HTTPS support: The first thing you need to do is ensure your server has these specifications. A simpler alternative would be to opt for WordPress Hosting as it already takes care of the system requirements and specifications. Not running WordPress on its ideal conditions has the threat of making your website slow. Website may also experience crashing time to time, if the specifications are not favourable.
Always keeping WordPress and Plugins in use Up to Date:
The worst mistake you could do to your WordPress website is to use an outdated version of WordPress. It affects the performance of the website negatively and help in breach of the security of your website. Keep your plugins and themes updated to ensure that website works to its full potential and there are no compatibility issues. Also, it is recommended to only keep the plugins that you use and delete the ones that are not in use, to keep overall WordPress ecosystem a lot lighter and faster.
The WP Database holds everything that is valued to your website. This includes all the website pages, posts, forms, form entries, plugin settings, theme settings, etc. As your website keeps getting better and bigger, more and more data is stored in the WP Database. Over the period, the WP Database may become heavy and sluggish which affects the overall speed of the website. There are ways to manually to periodically optimize WP Database and there are also quite a few plugins available that can help like, WPOptimize, Advanced Database Cleaner and WP DMManager which have recognized to work in the past for better results.
Speed is important for a positive user experience. Moreover, a fast and reliable website helps with organic search visibility. To know where you stand on the speed front, use tools like Lighthouse and Google PageSpeed Insights. These tools will not only help you understand where you stand in terms of website speed but also provide a clear plan of action to improve it. Some basic things that you should take care of are:
- Enabling Gzip on the server
- Ensure compression and optimization of images and videos
- Utilize sprites to deliver images more efficiently and try to make the best of server-side and browser caching. There are also certain efficient WordPress plugins that can help you improve the speed of the website.
No website owner wants to go through the painful process of recuperating from a website breach or data loss. There are ways to optimize the security of your WordPress website, ensure your WordPress is updated, and that you have SSL setup on your website. Moreover, ensure that the directories such as WP-Content and WP-Upload do not allow any PHP code to be run on them. Furthermore, it would be a good idea to have 3rd party sophisticated tools to ramp up the security.
These 5 steps should be the initial points of WordPress optimization and you can evolve over time once you get into the groove. Hope this helps you to understand what WordPress Optimization is and how to go about it.