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Does Your WordPress Need a Tune-up?

Mechanic

If you have ever owned a car, you know that regular maintenance is required to keep things running smoothly. Much like your vehicle, your WordPress site also requires tweaking and adjustments to remain in top shape.

Keep Applications and Content Up to Date

Like taking your car in for an oil change, you need to keep your WordPress site up to date. In addition to your WordPress install, all plugins, applications, and content should be kept updated for optimum performance.

Beyond running updates on software, you should also clean up and remove any old files. These can leave your site vulnerable and decrease performance. If you’re performing regular maintenance you should know your account well enough to recognize any files that shouldn’t be there.

Review your Plugins

Much like having your tires rotated and balanced, you need to go through your WordPress plugins regularly. Take a look at each plugin to see if you can speed things up. If you can prevent plugins from making database queries or have them cache things this will speed up your site.

To further improve your site’s performance avoid having too many plugins and identify and remove any problematic plugins. If a specific plugin is hurting performance, consult the developer. Many developers appreciate this feedback and can work to improve their plugin.

Update Your php.ini File

Some people like to tune and “soup up” their cars. The same is true of WordPress. There are all sorts of plugins and tools available to help you get more out of your website. However, just like a car, you wouldn’t want to increase the power of something without preparing the rest of the vehicle.

If a plugin increases the memory needs of your WordPress site, you can open your php.ini folder in your public_html directory and change or create the line “memory_limit” so that it reads “memory_limit 64M” The default is 32M, changing it to 64M will generally be plenty.

Additional Resources

Our technical support team at WestHost has put together an excellent database of common questions, including those dealing with WordPress. This can be found at http://kb.westhost.com/.

What other tips do you have for keeping WordPress performing at its best?

About Kyle Stubbs

Kyle Stubbs is a social media specialist and content marketer. Out of the office he enjoys following foreign affairs and researching his family tree. Tweet him at @Kyle_Stubbs or connect on LinkedIn or Google+.

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