16) Disable pingbacks and trackbacks
Pingbacks and trackbacks are two basic Wordpress components that alert you whenever your blog or page receives a link. They might seem to be useful, but there are tools like Google Webmaster and other services to check the links of your website.
Enabling pingbacks and trackbacks can also put an undesirable amount of strain on your Server resources. This is because whenever anyone tries to link up to your website, it generates requests from WordPress back and forth. This functionality is also widely misused when targeting a website with DDoS attacks.
You can turn it all off in WP-Admin → Settings → Discussion. Just deselect “Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks).” This will help you speed up WordPress even more.
17) Control the number of post revisions stored
The Revision Control plugin could be used to make sure you keep post revisions to a minimum. It could be set to 2 or 3 so that you have something to fall back on in case you make a mistake, but not too high so that you don’t clutter your back end with unnecessary amounts of drafted posts.
18) Set up monitoring for website errors and uptime
A popular saying goes like what gets measured gets managed. This is also true for website speed. Only if you are aware that there is a problem, you can take corrective action.
Many tools like Pingdom offer automatic monitoring to measure the speed of your website. They send you an email notification if your website gets too slow, once you register for it.
GTmetrix also has a service of monitoring key metrics like server response time and visual render time which is what Google and your visitors will really appreciate.
Uptime Robot helps you monitor numerous websites for free and notifies you immediately through an email or SMS for downtime or other serious issues on your website.
19) Disable hotlinking and leeching of your content
Hotlinking is a form of bandwidth “theft.” It occurs when other websites give a direct link to the images on your website from their articles making your server load increasingly high.
It refers to the practice of using images in your content that are not hosted on your own website. Instead of uploading an image to your website and then including it from your own media library, hotlinking enables you to provide a link to another website from which the image is loaded.
Hotlinking takes away from your bandwidth because your server has to work to deliver the image to some other website and you get nothing out of it in terms of traffic.
Therefore, it is recommended to ensure that you disable hotlinking and leeching of your content. If you don’t, you are basically giving leechers free access to your bandwidth, hence decreasing your website performance for users visiting your website.
CloudFlare users can use Scrapeshield.
20) Avoid using sliders for better speed and conversions
Thus, since sliders don’t add real value to your website, it is recommended to choose a theme that gives you the freedom of not having to use sliders on your homepage.
21) Use a better social sharing plugin
To get the best speed, you could just display social sharing icons without the counts. But displaying the social counts might help with social proof and hence increase your traffic, so it might be okay to compromise a little on the loading speed for better business results.
Social Warfare is light and specially designed for social sharing. Also, it is optimized for speed and doesn’t slow down the website.
Sumo.com is a suite of tools, which loads the scripts for other tools too which causes the speed issue.
22) Remove query strings from static resources
Query strings is a term given to URLs that contain “?” or “&”.
Removing these query strings doesn’t increase the loading speed of your website, but it can help improve your score when testing using Pingdom or GTMetrix.
You can turn this option on inside WP Rocket.
23) Keep your website secure by enabling HTTPS and HTTP/2
Security is another WordPress speed up technique that often remains unnoticed. The resources that are being used to curb attacks cannot be used for processing the website’s code and processing queries to the database.
It is recommended to keep an eye on your access log to check for any excessive attempts to brute force attack your website. Sometimes, hackers like to see if they can break into websites or exploit vulnerable plugins to suck up your website’s resources, as a pastime.
Similarly, unethical competitors in your niche may launch Denial of Service (DoS) attacks that are designed to eat up your server’s resources and slow down your website so that visitors go to their website instead.
Hence, along with keeping WordPress and its components like plugins and theme updated, you should also keep a frequent check on your log files and server resources to see if there is an excessive load. Ideally, you would get an alert if the server load is too high so that you can investigate. Generally, excessive server load is caused by bots attacking your website.
You can safeguard yourself from brute force attacks and Distributed Denial of Service attacks (DDoS) attacks with the help of CloudFlare or Sucuri. It is not recommended to use only a plugin for security, because it will consume valuable resources using PHP, which will be expensive.
Thus, offloading security to CloudFlare or Sucuri would be less resource-intensive than using something like WordFence – an all in one security and firewall, which is a lighter alternative to WordFence, in case you’d like to use only a plugin. However, WordFence is recommended for security if the server has more resources.
If your website is still on HTTP, then it is recommended to get it upgraded to https (don’t use only plugins for this, else you might see some unexpected behavior).
24) Reduce external HTTP requests to a minimum
WordPress plugins and themes tend to generate plenty of HTTP requests, resulting in your website experiencing a drastic decrease in the page load speed.
To restrain this, you can easily reduce these external HTTP requests and keep them to a minimum by disabling scripts and styles that you don’t use. However, it should be kept in mind that you don’t remove all the scripts from your website.
25) Keep Your Site Secure
Speed is a crucial factor for the success of a website as it influences the bounce rate, conversions, search rankings and much more. Even mere seconds can make a big difference.
Lowering your website’s loading time helps a great deal in improving the user experience of your visitors. It also improves the ranking of your website in the SERPs.
The goal is always to create a high-quality website that serves visitors in the best way possible. Besides, reduced bandwidth usage of your hosting and faster website-loading speed on the client-side will benefit you both in the short as well as in the long run.
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