As your WordPress site grows, moving to a new, faster and more capable hosting service can be inevitable. Before you decide to find a new WordPress hosting plan, however, there are things you can do to make the most out of your existing plans. These optimization steps can also be used to increase the overall performance of your WordPress site. Which steps are we talking about? Let’s find out, shall we?
The Right Kind of Caching
There are a lot of caching plugins and methods you can use to speed up a WordPress site, but the best way to squeeze more life or performance out of your current hosting plan is by using the right kind of caching in the first place. W3 Total Cache, for instance, supports both disk caching and memcached as well as several other methods.
To find out the right caching method to use, you need to consider the kind of web hosting service you are currently using. Shared hosting services are often not compatible with memcached, so it is best to use disk caching to turn dynamic elements into static HTML files. On the other hand, you have a lot of other advanced options – including integrating Nginx and Redis for caching – if you are on a VPS.
Don’t forget to also cache your database, especially if you don’t change or update your content often. Instead of dealing with one (or several) database request every time a post is loaded, you can speed things up by caching them on the disk or through other methods.
Another common problem with WordPress hosting is not enough monthly data transfer allocation. A lot of hosting companies are now offering unlimited bandwidth to their users, but unlimited hosting may not be what you use right now. Aside from the allocated bandwidth, you may also experience problems with data transfer speed, especially during traffic spikes and other special circumstances.
The answer to these problems is a CDN. A CDN or content distribution/delivery network can take some of the load your hosting server deals with and spread it across multiple servers around the world. Whenever a user access your site, the CDN will quickly determine the best server to stream static files from based on proximity and availability.
Not only will you be reducing the monthly data usage on your main WordPress hosting account, you will also be reducing the page loading time of your site substantially. This is because you now have multiple servers handling different HTTP requests instead of just one dealing with a queue.
Sometimes, the key to squeezing more performance from your WordPress hosting service is as simple as keeping your WordPress installation up to date. The recent versions of WordPress are designed to handle high traffic better. Information is processed more efficiently, allowing even a large WordPress site to perform well under load.
The same goes for plugins and themes. Outdated plugins and themes are not only sources of performance problems, but also huge security risks that you should always avoid. Whenever you have an outdated theme or plugin running within your WordPress installation, be sure to upgrade to the most recent version immediately.
Another thing to keep in mind is unused plugins and themes. Don’t leave them stored on your server just because you think they are not affecting your site (being disabled and all); even deactivated plugins can have some impact to your site’s performance and the way it works altogether. It is better to uninstall unused resources and reinstall them when you want to use the plugins and themes.
Other Free Services
Some limitations can be solved by using free third-party services. If you need more space to store your media files, for example, you can use Google Drive or other cloud storage services for the job. Most of today’s best cloud storage services support direct access of images and other supported media files, so they can indeed be used to store a large portion of your WordPress site.
Some WordPress hosting services don’t allow backup files to be stored for more than 14 days or shorter. Don’t worry, because you can also automatically upload backups of your WordPress site to the cloud using plugins or via FTP. You will be saving a lot of valuable web hosting space this way.
Can’t send newsletters because your web hosting company wouldn’t let you? MailChimp and various other free newsletter services are there for you to use. These services are very easy to integrate with WordPress, either through a plugin or embedding. You no longer have to go over your outgoing mail quota or violate the hosting company’s terms and conditions.
Do you have more suggestions on how to make the most out of a WordPress hosting service plan? Be sure to tell me your tips and tricks in the Comments section below.