WordPress is one of the most popular open-source platforms in the category of CMS for website development. Moreover, it is the first and most preferred option among many, due to the fact that it is simple to use, stable, without high costs or even free and which offers a lot of plugins and themes that can make the site look and work exactly as you wish.
As a result, WordPress owns approximately 31% of the website development market. With such a large market share, it is easy to imagine that there are a lot of WordPress websites and also many future site owners who intend to use this platform. In other words, it is essential to understand how it works and why it is important to optimize WordPress.
WordPress optimization is the process of improving, adjusting and customizing for increased performance so that the website is faster and easier to access. This consists of many things, such as choosing the right specifications, the appropriate theme, permanently updating the platform, optimizing databases, managing plugins, etc.
The right specifications
WordPress, like any other software, has its specific requirements in terms of hardware and drives to run smoothly. For WordPress, you need the following: PHP version 7.2 or higher, MySQL version 5.6 or higher, or MariaDB version 10.0 or higher.
Also, HTTPS is vital and the first thing to do. An efficient alternative is to purchase an SSL certificate together with the hosting service to ensure the installation.
Using non-compliant WordPress will only slow down its functionality or things that may even block it. Therefore, solving such potential problems should be among the first things to be done in the optimization process.
Keeping plugins up to date
One of the worst things you can do to a WordPress site is to let it work with outdated plugins, themes or platform. Old versions affect the performance of the website because every update there is a lot of corrections, bugs and security improvements. It is very important for the site to take full advantage of the latest updates, both for themes and plugins used.
Optimization of the WP database
This includes all pages of the site, all posts, forms, inputs, outputs, plugin settings, themes, etc. Thus, as the web site improves, more and more data is stored in the WP database. For this reason, performance may decrease. Therefore, it is necessary to periodically optimize the database so that it remains secure and stable. There are plugins that help this process automatically.
The site loading speed is important for the viewer experience. Moreover, a fast site is better ranked in the search engines. In order to check the speed of the site, verification tools such as Google PageSpeed Insights can be used. This type of tool also offers speed optimization solutions.
Image optimization and compression
It is important that the image dimensions be optimized and cache-enabled both on the website and for the browser. There are also great plugins that help increase the speed of your WordPress site.
Security is one of the elements of optimization. No site owner would want to lose their site files or be compromised by an attack due to a vulnerability. The vulnerabilities appear in the case of inferior, outdated versions.
These steps should be just the starting point in terms of WordPress optimization and, as the website develops, they can evolve.