WordPress Performance - Introduction

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WordPress Performance, WordPress site tuning, WordPress site performance optimization, etc., refers to the various practices, techniques, and tools used to optimize the speed and efficiency of a WordPress website. A well-performing WordPress site not only provides a better user experience but also ranks higher in search engine results. In the articles on this wiki, this topic mostly relates to the performance of WooCommerce webshops, where both factors should translate into increased sales. Also: caching is only one aspect of 'site performance.

Some aspects

Some aspects of WordPress performance, roughly in order from measurement » server » client:

  1. Develop performance policy: Explicitly state goals, measurement approaches and resources. E.g.: To what price is performance improvement important?
  2. Procedures for continuous measurement & optimization. E.g.: Regular site & plugin updates, server updates, reviews & discussions, dashboarding
  3. External performance measuring: External tools like Google PageSpeed, GTmetrix and Pingdom
  4. Internal performance measuring: Tools like plugin Query Monitor
  5. External site monitoring: E.g., tools that monitor if a site is down
  6. Internal site monitoring: E.g., Bash scripts that track performance indicators
  7. DNS optimization: Fast & reliable DNS providers like CloudFlare or Amazon Route 53
  8. DNS Prefetching, preloading & preconnecting
  9. Server: Distributed functionality. E.g.: external firewall, Varnish, load balancing
  10. Server: Hardware & location
  11. Server: Stack design. E.g.: Apache vs. Nginx, RDBMS, PHP version
  12. Server: Apache: Directives at the most efficient location (global, site config files, .htaccess)
  13. Server: In-memory vs. in-storage?
  14. Internal caching: Transients, page caching, object caching, in-memory caching vs. database-cacing
  15. External caching: External caching, Varnish? CloudFlare? CDN?
  16. Traffic management (firewall?): Bot visits
  17. Database optimization: Cleanup, query optimization, adding indexes, custom functionality
  18. Traffic compression: Use e.g., GZip for sending files
  19. Site: Heartbeat API control
  20. Site: Asset optimization: Defer JavaScript
  21. Site: Asset optimization: Asynchronous JavaScript loading
  22. Site: Asset optimization: Asynchronous loading of third-party analytics tools
  23. Site: Image size optimization
  24. Site: Minification & concatenation
  25. Site: Reduce number of HTTP requests (?)
  26. Site: Plugins: Optimize amount & resources, document this, disable/delete plugins that are only needed incidentially
  27. Site: Theme: Optimize theme. E.g.: custom vs. off-the-shelf
  28. Site: Have a responsive theme with separate content optimizations for desktop & mobile
  29. Site: Mobile-specific optimization: AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)
  30. Site: Mobile-specific optimization: E.g., touch-friendly buttons, less content because of smaller screens, etc.
  31. Site: Optimize security infrastructure. E.g.: WAF needed? If so, what? External firewall? Captcha, etc.
  32. Site: Limit external services (fonts, ads, libraries?)
  33. Site: WooCommerce: Number of taxonomies + elements, complexity of shop page, shop page caching
  34. Site: WooCommerce: Number of products
  35. Site: Speed perception: Optimize above-the-fold content
  36. Site: Speed perception: Ensure quick user experience
  37. Site: Speed perception: Don't use "wait screens"
  38. Site: Speed perception: Lazy loading: Delay loading of non-essential images & iframes until they are needed
  39. Browser caching


Some really nice sources, if this stuff is new to you: