How to optimize WordPress and lower load and CPU use

WordPress has become the most famous overloading high CPU script in the world. This is mainly thanks to it's popularity with new users. The good news is, even as a new user, optimizing WordPress is pretty easy if you take some time and follow the steps below.

We listed each optimization for WordPress in order of most helpful.

Before starting, we suggest making a full back up of your WordPress website and database.

  1. Install caching software
    Without any caching in your WordPress it has to check every link, image, tag, and more to load each page. To avoid running everything for each visit there is two caching programs you can easily add as a Plugin from your WordPress admin section. The most common is WP Super Cache and the second is W3 Total Cache. Both are trusted and used by millions of WordPress sites.
  2. Make smaller pages or add Lazy Load
    Making your pages smaller will have a major impact on your load. In fact splitting your page in half will normally lower more than half your load use. If you are still dead set on a long page than at least add a lazy Load plug in. The common amount of posts on a page is 5, anything over that is at risk of having load issues.
  3. Remove tags
    Tags seem like a great way to tell Google what SEO traffic to send to your site. The truth is Google has said many times it does not use tags for SEO purposes. Being the third most common reason for overloading WordPress and with no real SEO benefit removing tags is a great way to lower your CPU and load use. We suggest that if your remove tags to make sure and use sufficient categories to help your visitors navigate well.
  4. Remove admin-ajax
    It's too detailed to explain how to disable admin-ajax in this list, but we have put together a nice blog post showing how you can here: Remove Admin-Ajax
  5. Remove wp-cron
    It's also too detailed to explain how to disable wp-cron in this list, but we have put together a nice blog post showing how you can here: Disable wp-cron.php
  6. Add Akismet
    This will block spam and junk from wasting your sites resources.
  7. Limit login attempts
    It is important to block hackers and attackers, there is multiple plugins that does this well.
  8. Keep media compressed well
    Having large images and media requires more time to load which adds more load use.
  9. AMP by Google
    Amp is a speed and performance improving plug in by Google that was a little dormant until late 2017 when Google decided to put more man hours behind it. We can expect it to be a standard performance boosting plugin like WP Super Cache by the end of 2018.
  10. Disable WordPress XML-RPC with .htaccess

    You can disable all xmlrpc.php requests from the .htaccess file before the request is even passed onto WordPress.

    Simply paste the following code in your .htaccess file:

    # Block WordPress xmlrpc.php requests
    <Files xmlrpc.php>
    order deny,allow
    deny from all
    allow from

There is many other ways to help WordPress, these are just the top ones that really should be done to any new WordPress that plans on getting a substantial amount of traffic.

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