Summary: See how four simple steps makes it easy to speed up WordPress in order to retain readers and ensure the search engines don't punish your blog for being slow.
WordPress Speed Challenge Recap
In all it's simplicity, the WP Speed Challenge is a step-by-step process of analyzing the performance before optimization, doing the optimization, then analyzing the performance post-optimization and finally checking the results by comparison the before- and after results of the analyzation.
- On the preparation, I showed you the 10 tools every WordPress blogger needs.
- On the first step of the WP Speed Challenge, you analyzed the blog performance and recorded the results to a spreadsheet.
WordPress optimization is not any more complicated than that. Now that you have the baseline metrics stored to a spreadsheet or a text file, you can begin the WordPress speed optimizing.
Optimizing WordPress for Speed
The 4 most important WordPress optimization steps are...
- Install WP-DBManager -plugin to optimize and backup your Database
- edit your WordPress htaccess,
- install and configuring W3 Total Cache -plugin
- optimize your blog images
The other two, installing WP-DBManager and W3 Total Cache are also simple, but there are things "you just have to know" to get it right, but with my instructions, including how to configure them properly, it'll be easy as pie (and you do love pie, right?).
4 Steps Is All It Takes
To avoid confusion, the first optimization step, optimizing and backing up the WordPress database does not speed up the blog very much. The optimization of the database is good for speed and performance, but it's not much. However, the step itself is very important. In case something goes wrong with your blog, you will love me for telling you to have an automatic database backup done with a plugin.
The other 3 steps will speed up WordPress a lot, with the W3 Total Cache being the most important one (If I'd need to choose one optimization step, that would be it, by far in fact). Optimizing images and placing speed-optimized WordPress HTACCESS in place will help on their own, and complement what the W3 Total Cache plugin will do.
Together, these 4 steps will take care of 90% of WordPress optimization you need to do in order to make your blog fast.
This might come as a surprise to you, but that's how simple it really is. The only tricky part is getting W3 Total Cache installed and configured properly, and even that is not really that hard. The rest is a cakewalk.