ID #81027

Checklist for WordPress websites

Checklist for WordPress websites

If you are experiencing a slow WordPress website, this could be caused by a number of different reasons. We will provide you with a check list of things you could check yourself to improve the loading speed of your WordPress website. 


  1.   Check the size of your site
  2.   Optimizing your database tables
  3.   Database Caching
  4.   Check the Plugins
  5.   Check your Theme
  6.   Turn off post revisions
  7.   Fixing RSS Pings and Pingbacks
  8.   Optimize the HTTP requests
  9.   Placement of files: CSS on top, JavaScript on bottom


Check the size of your site

The most common issue for slow sites is the sheer size of the page. A typical webpage today has a lot of pictures, java scripts, flash and videos. All of this content will take up a large portion of you bandwidth. If you have a lot of images or videos make sure that the images have a size that is optimized for the web, and that the videos have a resolutions that is not too high.


Optimizing your database tables

A lot of issues regarding slow WordPress sites are caused because the connection between the website and the database is taking too long or is performed in a not so optimized way.
We recommend that you install the plugin WP-DBmanager which gives you the functionality to manage your database and to create periodic backups. Otherwise you can also use the phpMyAdmin tool we provide threw the ACTIVE 24 Customer Centre:


Database Caching

This is a crucial step to improve your loading time for your website. Each time you visit your blog, WordPress will go through a sometimes lengthy process to build everything you see. First it will process the PHP code which will make numerous calls to your database and finally output HTML for your web browser to display. On some blogs this could happen between 20 to 200 times per page! WordPress has often been criticized as slow but we can change that by enabling caching. If you enable caching only the first visitor will go through this entire process.
The caching mechanism will save the data and then serve every subsequent visitor the final result. Thus speeding up WordPress by a huge factor.There are numerous plugins available to do this and many have benefits and drawbacks from one to another. We can recommend WP Super Cache for its ease of use and W3 Total Cache for its rich feature set.


Check the Plugins

Plugins are usually one of the main reasons for strange loading times in WordPress. There are thousands of plugins around and if you have installed a plugin that you are not using or if it is out of date this could have a huge impact on your loading time. Example of plugins that caused slowdowns in the past are: Popularity contest, aLink or @Feed.

If you are suspecting that a plugin is causing your problems please activate all plugins and go over your website. Then enable them one by one until you find the plugin that causes the issues. When you found the plugin that causes the issues either contact the author of the plugins for available fixes or search for an alternative plugin that could be used instead.

Check your Theme

Check your Theme

If you cannot find any issues with your plugins then try to change the theme. Themes can include a lot of links and plugins that can cause your site to load slowly. Themes many times add a lot of code to the file "function.php", which means that everything that can cause issues with plugins also applies to themes. Many themes also have a lot of java scripts that are being ran or connected. If these scripts are very large or are missing, this can cause a lot of timing issues.


Turn off post revisions

In the version 2.6 of WordPress they included a tracking mechanism that sends a revision to the database every time you save a post on your site. If you do not need this feature you can easily turn it off by adding this line in your "wp-config.php" file: 

define('WP_POST_REVISIONS', false);

If you have a blog page or a website were you let you visitors post content to your site there is a big risk that you already have a lot of these revisions in your database.
If you want to remove them completely you can do that by using the WP-DBManager plugin or by running this query on your database:


DELETE FROM wp_posts WHERE post_type = "revision";


This will delete all revision posts from you database. This will help your site to transfer less data to and from the database.



Do not make these changes if you do not know if this is important for your website. We recommend you to also create a backup of your site and database before you make any changes.


Fixing RSS Pings and Pingbacks

Sometimes the reasons for slow sites are timeouts to RSS ping or pingback timeouts. 
In WordPress by default there are servers listed in a ping list. This list is found in"Settings - Writing panel". If one of them is wrong or faulty this will generate timeouts that will slow down the sites loading time. Another reason could be pingbacks to links in your articles

or on your site. You can disable pingbacks in "Settings - Discussion" by un-checking the option "Attempt to notify any blogs linked to from the article?"


Optimize the HTTP requests

Every file like like an image, CSS file or java script will generate a HTTP request. Every request takes some time to get processed and by lowering the amount of files on your site it will load a lot quicker. This usually means that you need to use less plugins. There is a good plugin called "PHP speedy plugin" which merges all you java scripts and CSS files into one big file which lowers the amount of HTTP request that are made for the site.



Not all plugins are compatible with PHP speedy plugin. If you are using a lot of images on your website there is a tool called "CSS Sprite generator" which lets you merge all your images into one image and then use CSS code to place them correctly on your site. This helps to lower

the HTTP request a lot, depending on how many images you are using.


Placement of files: CSS on top, JavaScript on bottom

One way of getting the site to appear to load faster is to place all the links to your CSS files in the top of the page and the java scripts in the bottom.