Optimizing WordPress

WordPress is currently one of the most popular blogging/CMS applications. Here are some ideas for optimizing WordPress and reducing the CPU consumption of this PHP script.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Install WP Super Cache or W3 Total Cache, which can be done from your WordPress Dashboard under Plugins. Follow the links below for information on how to setup these plugins.
  • Many themes are more CPU intensive.
    • 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.
  • Disable CPU intensive plugins, or plugins that you no longer need.
    • All related posts plugins (WordPress Related Posts, YARPP) can cause 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 for statistics.
    • Any other plugins that are not vital to your WordPress should be disabled.
  • Manage Spam bots. Non-human visitors/posters (aside from web spiders) should be blocked. Use a captcha such as SI CAPTCHA to prevent comment spam.
  • Lower the rate web spiders crawl your WordPress blogs, if you have a large amount 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.
  • These changes are not guaranteed fixes, but do provide a starting ground for correcting high load issues on WordPress sites. If there are any questions about this, don’t hesitate to contact support.

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