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Optimizing WordPress

Wordpress is currently one of the most popular blogging/CMS applications. Here are some ideas for optimizing Wordpress and reducing the CPU consumption of this PHP script.

  • Make a backup of your account first, and then upgrade to the latest version of Wordpress. The latest versions have optimized code that could reduce the CPU consumption of your site.
  • For permalink structure, do not start with the category, tag, author, or postname fields. Instead try /%year%/%postname%/ or /%post_id%/%postname%/. Also don't worry about 301 redirects as wordpress will automatically handle that after the permalink change.
  • Install WP Super Cache or W3 Total Cache, which can be done from your Wordpress Dashboard under Plugins. Follow the links below for information on how to setup these plugins.
  • Many themes are more CPU intensive.
    • Make sure your page loads are generating no errors in your Error Log (in cPanel under Logs)
    • Also, if you're using dynamic image resizing, you may want to disable this if possible.
    • If all else fails, contact the theme provider for assistance, or change to a different theme.
  • Disable CPU intensive plugins, or plugins that you no longer need.
    • All related posts plugins (WordPress Related Posts, YARPP) can cause significantly high load in most cases.
    • WPRobot3 and other auto-posters can also cause high load issues, and should be disabled if they are causing issues
    • StatPress and other wordpress statistics software should also be disabled, as these too can consume too much CPU in certain cases. Use Google Analytics instead for statistics.
    • Any other plugins that are not vital to your Wordpress should be disabled.
  • Manage Spam bots. Non-human visitors/posters (aside from web spiders) should be blocked. Use a captcha such as SI CAPTCHA to prevent comment spam.
  • Lower the rate web spiders crawl your Wordpress blogs, if you have a large amount of blogs hosted under your account. High crawl rates can drive up the load on the server, as many bots try to index your sites. How?

These changes are not guaranteed fixes, but do provide a starting ground for correcting high load issues on Wordpress sites. If there are any questions about this, don't hesitate to contact support.

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