10 server level WordPress Optimization tips to speed up your blog

We all know that WordPress is a great tool for creating a blog. WordPress has many optimization plugins to get the most out of it and speed up WordPress blog. Unfortunately, those plugins can speed up to some extent. To be in the competition and to make websites faster, we need to do some sort of optimization at the server level. WordPress optimization with some server-level best practices can return a good yield out of a WordPress blog. So in this article, we will talk about those 10 server-level WordPress Optimization tips to speed up your blog

Also Read: How To Install WordPress: A Beginners Guide

If you are using a shared hosting service, then options for server-level optimization are very few. Usually, the web hosts will restrict almost all settings in shared hosting. Even most of the companies do not allow to do some basic PHP setting change. So if you are using shared hosting then most of the tips may not be applicable to you. But if you are on VPS or a dedicated server, then you can try these tricks to get the best out of your WordPress blog.

wordpress optimization

To optimize at the server level, you should have a basic knowledge and understate of Web Server and how those work. If you don’t know what is a web server then you can read this article where I spoke about the 3 best web servers in the world. If you don’t know which hosting type you should choose, then you can read through this article to clear your confusion.

Use a Good Web Server

Many of us don’t look for a good web server while buying hosting. Apache is the default choice of almost all shared hosting and VPS. Unfortunately, Apache is not the perfect webserver to speed up websites. Instead, we can go for the Light Speed server which is offered by many hosts in their shared hosting package. Since it’s not free so in VPS or dedicated server, it does not any sense. You can use NGINX in VPS or dedicated which is faster than Apache and free of cost also.

Recommended Read: 10 Best WordPress Hosting

Use Cache Module

The cache module acts as a mediator between visitors and web servers. Cache modules save static files in their modules so that whenever visitors request any web content, it is directly served by the cache module instead of loading pressure on the main web server. This helps in loading the website much faster. There are two free modules for Apache and NGINX which are very popular.

Both varnish and NGINX cache can be installed in Apache and NGINX web servers. Usually, those are provided by the host but if not you can ask them to install by yourself. But make sure those are installed and configured properly. Otherwise, this might even slow down your website. As per my personal experience, NGINX cache performs much better than varnish, and varnish cache creates so many problems if not configured correctly.

Use Reverse Proxy

A reverse proxy is an intermediate proxy server that handles all client request as if it is the main server. Whenever a client request happens, the reverse proxy server serves the content without bothering the main server. The main difference between forwarding and the Reverse proxy is that, in the case of the Forwarding proxy, the proxy needs to be there at the client level. But in the case of reverse proxy, it sits on the server-side.

NGINX reverse proxy is very popular and can be installed in Apache and NGINX. So for those who are looking for a reverse proxy module, NGINX reverse proxy is a very good solution.

Enable GZIP compression

More than 90% of the website shows website contents in compressed format. If data is not compressed, it will take more time for a website to load which is annoying for many visitors. You can enable GZIP compression by using a WordPress plugin but the same can be done by changing some settings at the server level.

How to enable GZIP compression in C Panel

  • Log in to C Panel
  • Go to Optimize Website under software
  • Select desired compression option.

Optimize Images

If you are using Apache or NGINX, then you can use the Page Speed module to optimize images at the server level. However, you can always optimize images by using WordPress plugins. Page speed modules compress images and thus reduce website load time. Ideally, it can reduce image size by up to 50% by removing no visible image information and applying high-efficiency compression methods. It also supports offering new image formats like WEP. If you allow the page speed module to change your HTML and CSS code then it reduces image size more and loads your website faster.

Use A CDN

A CDN ( Content Delivery Network) helps you by offering seamless speed for your website across the globe. CDN uses a bunch of servers in various cities of the world. Those servers copy your website content. So whenever a visitor visits your website, the content gets delivered from the nearest server. Though this is the primary job of a CDN it does much more than this task nowadays. If you want to know more about CDN and want to know about free CDN service then please read this article.

Use HTTP/ 2 protocol

HTTP/ 2 or HTTP version 2 protocol loads your website faster. At presents, only 10 million website uses HTTP/2 protocol. But these numbers are increasing and if you want to increase your website loading speed then you should use the HTTP/2 protocol. If you are using shared hosting then you might see a straightforward setting to enable HTTP/2. In VPS or dedicated servers, you have to install the module manually depending upon your server type. You can also enable HTTP/2 in Cloud flare CDN without bothering anything at the server level.

Use SSL

SSL ( Secure Security Layer) is a must nowadays if you want to speed up or rank your website. Google does not entertain any website nowadays without an SSL certificate installed. SSL also helps in blocking not secure content and thus increases the website speed. For shared hosting nowadays all host provides free SSL. For VPS and dedicated servers, you need to install the SSL certificate manually. If case you don’t want to install an SSL certificate at the server level, you can use Free SSL from Cloudflare.

Minify Codes

There are many server modules are available which minify CSS, Javascript, and HTML codes to optimize the website. Unnecessary codes are a big burden for speed. Magnifying codes help in removing those extra codes and loading your website faster. Apart from minifying codes at the server level, you can also select the option in Cloudflare setting to minify Javascript, HTML, and CSS codes.

PHP setting

Default PHP setting is not suitable to have good loading speed of websites. Shared hosting does not allow for PHP setting change. If you use a VPS or dedicated server then you can apply below PHP setting to get best out of your server.

memory_limit = 128M
max_execution_time=300;
max_input_time=-1
upload_max_filesize=25M;
post_max_size=20M;
max_input_vars=10000
suhosin.get.max_vars = 10000;
suhosin.post.max_vars = 10000;

Wrapping Up: WordPress Optimization Tips

Well, in this article we only talked about 10 Server Level WordPress Optimization tips. But there are hundreds of other optimization tricks that you use. These tricks along with some WordPress-level optimization can yield the maximum benefits. Please read this article if you want to how two WordPress plugins can do wonders to speed up a website.

That’s all I have in this article. Hopefully, you got some useful information from this article. If you have any questions, then do write in the comment section and I will be happy to answer you.

Rajib is the Co-Founder and the Lead Product Analyst of RiansTech. A BTech in Mechanical Engineering and a veteran in the Home Appliance industry with over 17 years of experience in designing appliances for industry leaders like GE and Whirlpool. He also runs a successful niche blog (RiansClub) on Mechanical Engineering

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