Optimizing your server is an important step to ensure a fast website with good uptime. You can either use a tool that integrates parts of these optimizations or do them manually. Doing them manually is the best option because you have full control over all the steps. If you need help setting up some of the optimizations, reach out to our customer service team!
Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a collective of servers distributed across the globe. These servers cache your static content, including images, videos, and documents. When a user requests your site’s homepage — which may include hundreds of images — they’re delivered from a server that’s physically closer to them than yours. This makes the delivery process faster and more reliable, improving the overall user experience on your blog.
Optimize the Server
So you’ve got your WordPress blog set up and ready to go, and it works great. You’re getting a lot of traffic and the site is fast and reliable. But then you notice that your page load times are slowly getting worse, especially on mobile devices.
You may have noticed that WordPress recommends installing a caching plugin like W3 Total Cache as one of the first things to do when setting up a new site. Caching plugins can significantly decrease page load times by storing static versions of frequently-viewed pages in memory instead of having to retrieve them from the database every time they’re accessed (which requires more network calls).
Caching plugins also allow users who visit multiple times within one browsing session (for example, if they’re logged in) to avoid loading their own personalized version each time—a process called “sparsely populated cache invalidation.” Storing less frequently accessed content on a CDN can further increase performance for everyone as well as improve reliability by spreading out traffic across multiple servers (and therefore eliminating single points of failure).
Get a Dedicated IP address
Dedicated IP addresses are static, fixed, and non-changing. This means your website will always have the same IP address, even if you change hosting providers. Relying on a third party to choose an IP address can be risky: what if they make a mistake? When you have your own dedicated IP address, there’s no need to worry about someone else making those decisions for you — it’s all handled by your web host instead!
When choosing a web host, ask if they offer any kind of managed WordPress hosting services or dedicated server plans that include custom IP addresses as part of their service package. If not…there are plenty more options out there!
Compress Contents Using Gzip Compression
In this section, we will look at how to compress content using Gzip compression. Gzip compression is a data compression algorithm that can reduce the size of a file by 70-80%.
Gzip is a lossless algorithm, which means that it compresses only the original data and doesn’t change the contents of your files. So, if you were to decompress any compressed file that was created using gzip compression and then compare it with its original version, they would be identical.
The main advantage of using gzip on your server is that it reduces bandwidth usage and increases page load speed by reducing server load.
Use Browser Cache
The browser cache is a local copy of a web page that is stored on your computer. It is used to speed up your browsing experience by storing images, CSS files, and other media that are loaded on a web page. To speed up loading times even further, try using an image optimization plugin to compress large images before uploading them.
Update your server’s operating system
Updating regularly is one of the most important tasks you can do to keep your server secure and fast. Updates fix security bugs, add features, and they improve performance. If you’re at all serious about running a blog on WordPress, you need to make sure that your server is running the latest version of PHP.
Block bad bots with a firewall
In order to block bad bots, you will need a firewall.
You can install one on your server by following these instructions:
- Install the firewall on WordPress.
It’s important not only because it protects against spammy search engines like Google but also because many bad bots use up server resources unnecessarily which could otherwise go towards serving legitimate user requests instead – thus slowing down overall performance!
Install anti-malware software on your server and keep it updated
To prevent your server from being compromised by a bot, install a firewall and configure it to block bad bots. Also, install anti-malware software on your server and keep it updated regularly. If you have the ability to do so, you should disable the XML-RPC interface as well as directory browsing in order to further reduce your risk of malicious activity.
Additionally, if you have root access to your server (as opposed to using shared hosting), consider installing ModSecurity, an open-source WAF (web application firewall) for Linux servers that will actively monitor incoming traffic and look for suspicious behavior among visitors who attempt to interact with your site.
Disable directory browsing
If your server is running Apache, you can disable directory browsing by setting the DirectoryIndex directive to “disable” in your .htaccess file.
Install ModSecurity, an open-source WAF for Linux servers
A Web Application Firewall (WAF) is a software solution that sits between your web server and the Internet and monitors incoming HTTP requests for malicious activity. It’s an extra layer of protection against cyberattacks like cross-site scripting, SQL injection, and more — without requiring any changes to your website code.
ModSecurity is an open-source WAF for Linux servers. You can install it using your system’s package manager, or use our installation guide below:
Enable automatic security updates in WordPress. This can be done via a plugin or via code snippets.
WordPress updates are important. They fix security vulnerabilities, improve functionality and performance, and add new features that you should take advantage of. In order to ensure that your site stays up-to-date, it’s a good idea to enable automatic security updates in WordPress. This can be done via a plugin or via code snippets.
However, before you update anything on your live site—whether it’s WordPress core or another plugin—make sure you have a backup! If something goes wrong during the update process and you’re not able to fix it quickly enough (or at all), then restoring from an older version will save your bacon in no time flat.
Automate backups to offsite storage and test them regularly.
Automate backups to offsite storage and test them regularly. You can use the UpdraftPlus plugin to do this.
- Backups are important, so make sure you have backups in case of a server crash or data loss.
- If you’re not testing your backups regularly, it’s probably not worth keeping them as they might be outdated or incomplete.
Secure WordPress with a web application firewall (WAF) plugin.
Installing a web application firewall (WAF) plugin is the first step in securing your website. We recommend WordFence or Sucuri Security – Auditing, Malware Scanner and Security Hardening. Both are free plugins that also offer premium versions.
Wordfence has more features than our other recommendation, so it may be right for you if you want something more robust. However, we’ve found it to be slower when loading websites with high traffic levels due to its increased overhead, so we recommend using Wordfence only if you have issues with security on your site or if you need extra protection against attacks such as brute force login attempts or denial of service (DoS) attacks.
We’ve covered all the basics you need to know about optimizing your server for speed. The next step is up to you!