The first step in optimizing is: taking care of your website. Just like a car or house that is not maintained, it will fall into disrepair. The argument "but I haven't done anything about my site for a year" is actually a counter-argument to poor performance and infected sites. Maintaining a website means, among other things, keeping track of all possible updates, keeping up with technologies and control.
These two indicators tell us that there are updates available for: WordPress, plugins or themes.
Updaten WordPress (core)
As soon as you log in to your WordPress site (as admin) you will be notified when a new version of WordPress is available:
Some may have had problems with updates at some point, but this is usually just fine. In addition, at Savvii we offer a snapshot / backup service that allows you to quickly undo a failed update by restoring a snapshot from last night. Always try to perform updates. In addition to optimizing your code (which often improves speed), any security holes that may have been discovered will also be plugged. Updating your WordPress is therefore important for speed and security.
Remove & update plugins
After the WordPress installation it is important that you maintain the plugins of your website. At first we recommend to look through your list of plugins to see which plugins you can throw away. Do you not use a plugin, is a plugin inactive or do you only use a plugin every x number of months? Then it is worth considering to remove the complete plugin. Each (inactive) plugin is loaded by Wordpress and is therefore a form of delay.
Once you have cleaned the list of plugins and removed unused and deactivated plugins, you can start updating the remaining plugins. On the plugin page of your WordPress installation you will see which plugins are obsolete.
Two plugins, one up-to-date and the other with available updates.
In WordPress you have the choice to update them all at once or one by one. The same applies as when updating WordPress itself: we make snapshots / backups so you can always return to a variant of your website before you have made your updates.
Delete & update themes
The last of the three big but simple steps for site optimization is almost the same as the plugins. The same goes for the installed themes.
Three themes with available updates.
WordPress often comes with one or more standard themes. These themes are seldom or not used by users who immediately put their own theme on them. These themes are seldom or not used by users who directly create their own theme. Our advice here is to remove all unused themes with the exception of the most recent theme supplied by Wordpress. You could still fall back on this if you run into problems with your own theme.
On our platform we offer four versions of PHP at the time of writing: 5.6, 7.0, 7.1 and 7.2. The PHP 7 series has seen a significant improvement in speed compared to the PHP 5 series. With speeds up to 30% faster and 40% more efficient memory use, upgrading PHP is one of the easiest things to optimize the speed of your site. In addition, the support of PHP 5.6 will stop within the next year so it is advisable to get your site to PHP 7.0 as soon as possible. You can adjust this per site via the admin panel on admin.savvii.nl.
Savvii updates (core & plugins)
At Savvii we offer the service to perform Wordpress core and plugin updates for your site. More information about this can be found on our support page.
- Wordpress codex about plugin updates (EN): https://wordpress.org/support/article/managing-plugins/
- Wordpress codex about adjusting minor version updates (EN): https://wordpress.org/support/article/configuring-automatic-background-updates/
All steps in this step-by-step plan
Step 1: Cleaning up & updating (here you are now)
Update and clean up all extra elements of your website.
Setting up our Varnish caching and own caching plugins
A little more technical manual for analyzing further delays