We all know that WordPress is the best thing since sliced bread. Unfortunately, it does have some flaws in which the main concern is memory hogging. Yes, WordPress uses a lot of PHP and database queries which uses CPU & memory each time a command is executed. A lot of virtual private servers are less powerful than smart phones now-a-days so it’s extremely important to have WordPress run smooth so your web server doesn’t crash. We have 50+ WordPress sites alone on our main web server and are always concerned about WordPress running smoothly to insure 100% up-time for our clients. There are many things you can do to make WordPress use less memory. Below are the necessary items you need to setup on WordPress so there are no issues:

  • Install WP Super Cache or W3 Total Cache with CDN.
    • WP Super Cache will instantly setup page and browser caching for your website. What this does it do? It will store a “cached” version of your website (will execute PHP command once) and will show the cached version to your website visitors. This will dramatically reduce PHP executions!
    • W3 Total Cache with CDN will do the same as WP Super Cache but with more advanced features. The best feature it has over Super Cache is called Minify. Minify will reduce the size of ALL coding on your website including CSS and JavaScript as well as performing the caching functions. Using with a CDN is the best performance enhancing you can use with WordPress. A CDN is a content delivery network that stores your website files on different servers throughout the United States and world. The website visitor will be directed to the server closest to their geographical location for optimal performance. Essentially, your website will be distributed across many servers taking the load off of your server.

  • Install WP Smush.it.
    • This plug-in is an image optimizer that uses Yahoo’s service. While the above plug-in work on coding and executions WP Smush.it optimizes images. Using this with super cache is a bonus on reducing memory usage with WordPress.

  • Install jQuery Image Lazy Load
    • This plug-in will only load images that are visible to the user. If a page has a bunch of images on it, they will not all load at once. This is just another method to help reduce server load.

  • Turn of Pings/Trackbacks and Comments
    • Only if you don’t use comments, disable both comments & pings/trackbacks. Your site will receive a lot of spam comments, pings and trackbacks if enable. WordPress will perform unnecessary operations such as storing the comments, pings and trackbacks in the database, thus causing more load times.

  • Install WP Optimize
    • WP optimize will reduce the size of your database tables. When performing queries, it will take less time to search through your database since it is a small size. Also, it will clean up any unwanted comments, auto saved draft posts and post revisions. All of these just create extra files that are unnecessary.

By using the free tools for WordPress discussed you are on the way to operating a fast WordPress website. Google has taken website speed into account when ranking in SERP’s so it’s more important than ever to have a fast loading website.


Michael Sweigart