Steps to Optimize a High Traffic WordPress Blog

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WordPress is one of the best content management systems (CMS) for blogs. And the best thing about WordPress is that it is free and open source yet powerful. It has compromised a growing community that develops plugins and themes. And according to Wikipedia, WordPress shares more than 12% of the top 1,000,000 websites on the internet. This makes WordPress unbeatable in this type of CMS.

But like a double-edged sword, WordPress is so powerful but also resource-sucking. The more complicated the system will be and more resources will be consumed. If it’s just a simple WordPress installation, you won’t need as many resources. But if you add more and more plugins and more complicated themes, it will require a lot of resources. So why not uninstall all plugins?

Let’s see what WordPress plugins are for. The purpose of WordPress plugins is to extend the core function of WordPress to add more features to WordPress. Since WordPress plugins are developed by the community or personal developers, not all WordPress plugins are good. Most of them are dead projects or abandoned projects. And this will cause a lot of problems for the WordPress blog itself. And high CPU load is one of them.

A low-traffic WordPress blog usually doesn’t cause problems with high CPU load or high memory usage. But when it comes to a high traffic blog, you need to think about CPU load and memory usage. Otherwise, your blog will slow down and, worse, your account will be suspended. Being suspended is a very bad experience, you have lost visitors and that is not good for your website’s SEO.

Follow the tips below to optimize your high-traffic blog:

1. Plugins

The WordPress plugin system is one of the most powerful features of WordPress. Developers or the community can easily create plugins to extend WordPress features. In addition to its easy-to-use API, it also has complete API documentation. And there are many examples and articles on the internet about how to develop a WordPress plugin. But this is the double edge feature. Even though it is powerful, not all plugins are good. Some of them are dead or discontinued projects and, worse, they leave security holes in your WordPress blog. So my suggestion is to minimize the use of WordPress plugins. Use only highly recommended (highly rated and most downloaded) and active (not discontinued) plugins. Always test the plugin on your dummy website before uploading it to your live website. One mistake can bring disaster to your website. So choose carefully.

two. Themes

The WordPress template/theme system is also one of the best features of WordPress. You can change themes and customize them easily. And there are many free or premium themes you can find. I suggest you use simple, easy to read and beautiful themes for your high traffic blog. Because if your themes are complicated, more resources will be required for your server. For example, swiping the featured post, this is a good feature for the user. But not for server load. Minimize your themes (css, image and javascript), to optimize server load.

3. Optimize script

Script optimization means deleting unnecessary and modified script to optimize the script algorithm. Scripts included php, css, sql and javascript. Check your script’s runtime and optimize, optimize, optimize.

4. Use cache mechanism

This is one of the most important things you must have for a high traffic blog, the caching mechanism. There are many WordPress plugins for caching. There are 4 caching mechanisms: database cache, page cache, memory cache and object cache. Database cache and pages you should have. There are some plugins to do this, but I recommend installing db cache reloaded and hyper cache. These 2 plugins would be best for the caching mechanism.

5. Host images on another server or use cdn

Hosting your images on another server or using cdn could be better. Hosting images on another server or CDN will reduce the server’s CPU load. Imagine if you had 1k images stored on your server. And you have to serve 10 thousand visitors a day. This will consume your CPU resources and as a result, your website will respond slower. In addition to images, you can also host CSS and JavaScript files on another server or CDN.

6. Analyze your traffic

Use and analyze your analytics or traffic monitoring application. I recommend Google Analytics and AWSts. Google analytics to analyze your traffic sources, daily traffic and many things. And from this data you can decide where to host your website, for example most of the traffic comes from the US and then host your website within the US. And analyze your traffic with Awstats (available on Cpanel), to find fewer hours of traffic. And you must do your backup or update at this time.

7. Optimize the database and back it up regularly

Optimizing database is also important, if you have a lot of data in your MySql database it will lead to data overload. Therefore, you need to regularly optimize your database to maintain MySql database performance. And you should back up your database regularly to prevent disasters.

8. Upgrade to VPS

Anyway, when you get 5K traffic per day, you have no other option but to opt for VPS (Virtual Private Server). Buy the smallest or mid-range VPS just to get started. And later, as your site grows, add more resources to your VPS.

That’s it for now. Final words, good luck with your blogging and happy blogging.

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