Get ready to boost Your WordPress Site for Traffic 2018
1. Web Hosting
The first tool you should turn your attention to is your web hosting. If your site’s traffic is steadily growing each day and you’re starting to notice mini spikes of traffic, or if you’re about to ramp up your marketing efforts, it’s probably time to get off that shared hosting plan and move to something more fluid and scalable.
The last thing you want is for your hosting company to call and threaten to pull your site down because it’s negatively affecting others who share server space with you. Cloud hosting plans with load balancers are a good option to consider, but if you’re unsure, talk with your web host to see what they recommend.
A CDN leads to faster page load times because when configured, your website will use an optimized server that’s closest to your site visitor. The data center will store static content and files, and then deliver them to users based on their location. This can help reduce external HTTP requests because the static content is already ready to go instead of requesting tons of HTTP at once.
Your next stop needs to be a content delivery network (CDN) service. Think of this like a web hosting plan that sits on top of your web hosting plan. Does that seem like too much? It’s not if you have a large global audience who would benefit from being able to access your site from servers located closer to them. If speed and reliability of service is a concern, then a CDN is a must.Read more: Top CDN Services for a Blazingly Fast WordPress Site
3. Caching Plugin
If you’re not sure how your site’s caching is currently performing, the SEO Site Checkup tool will give you an idea of what’s going on.
4. Optimize Your Images
Ideally, you’ll want to do a general assessment of your site’s bottlenecks. You might have some really cool animated transitions or other dynamic content floating around on your site, but if they’re going to mean the difference between your site staying up or going down during a spike, it might be worth it to ditch them. The one thing you shouldn’t have to compromise on, however, are your images. All you need is a good image optimization plugin to keep those bad boys in check.
Obviously, we recommend Smush for image optimization. Not only is Smush active on 800,000 WordPress installs, this year it won Torque’s Plugin Madness Competition.
5. Stress Test Your Site
In addition to testing your site for caching issues, don’t forget to run it through the wringer with a stress-testing tool. What these tools do is allow you to create hypothetical traffic surges for your site and then test how well it performs under pressure. See your server’s limits first-hand and use the data to create a plan to scale your site.
6. Web Performance Monitoring
While there’s a possibility that a spike in traffic will be a one-off occurrence, it’s always best to play it safe and assume that surges are an indication of things to come. If your site has reached a point where traffic isn’t entirely predictable or you’re worried about how much you’re pushing the limits of your web hosting plan, it’s probably time to sign up for a web performance monitoring service. They’ll not only check for uptime issues, but they’ll watch for the actual user’s experience on your site and let you know if or when they spot potential issues.
We recommend our own Uptime monitoring tool included in Hummingbird. Uptime lets you know the second your site goes down.
7. Security Plugin
You’ve no doubt seen the news stories whenever major sites like Twitterget taken down by a massive onslaught of hackers. These DDoS attacks don’t always bring sites down entirely, but they do always cause issues with intermittent uptime and sluggish on-site performance. Imagine what would happen if they targeted your site? While I don’t think you need another reminder that security is important, I do think it’s worth mentioning it again in the context of this topic since not all sources of traffic are benevolent.
WordPress as a content management system is very easy to use, which is why there’s absolutely no excuse for leaving a mess behind in there as you work. This is particularly relevant to the subject of traffic surges since lightweight sites tend to handle them better than those that are weighed down (which is why file compression and caching are so important). If you haven’t taken the time to do your spring cleaning this year, then I’d suggest you get to it now. Ditch any unused plugins, themes, images, posts, or pages.
10. CLEAN UP YOUR DATABASE
If left unchecked, your WordPress database will start to accumulate clutter over time. To make it squeaky clean, you want to clean up any leftover tables from uninstalled plugins and remove overheads. Cleaning up your database can be done manually through phpMyAdmin, although can be tricky and damaging if you don’t know what you’re doing.