6 Ways to Optimize Speed of Large WordPress Websites [Updated]


Are you loosing visitor on your website because of a slow loading WordPress site ?

A slow loading site can be frustrating always and ultimately compel the visitors to shut it down and switch to next one.

It has been an issue with the WordPress websites with a huge number of blog posts and all that results in slow loading speed. Although, there are also other WordPress websites which handles the traffic easily and run efficiently while loading.

I am going to tell you useful tips to help you to speed up your website.

Step #1: Use a proper web hosting provider

Every website requires hosting space to run online. How would you decide which hosting is better that speeds up your website ?

  • Server Location is crucial: Choose the server that is near to the location of your user that you are serving.

Let’s say, if you run a local restaurant in US.

Than choosing the server nearest to your customers location is the best thing to do. As servers located close to your customers has minimum latency. A faster website make your users happy and helps you to increase your business.

  • Choose Hosting Server either Linux / Windows: Often it is a hard task for beginners to select a hosting provider. WordPress is built on PHP and it runs well on both Linux and Windows server, you can pick either of them. Both are equally capable to turn your website extremely fast.
  • Speed Test: Once you purchase hosting you can make a speed test to your server using web speed page test. As speed is one of the most important factor for a good hosting.
  • Hard Disk: Use SSD (Solid state drive) for hosting your website as these hard drive give better performance for your website.
  • Server Up-timeChoose hosting that provide maximum uptime for your server. As Google loves website that perform best and up-time for maximum time.
  • Support:  If something goes wrong with your website, there must be technical support team to help you with your server needs.
  • Hosting Space:  Now a day most of the companies are offering unlimited bandwidth and storage. If you see plans on any website, I recommend to take minimum of 10 GB of storage and bandwidth for small websites, so that you can easily update your website in future with more content with no issues. If you run a large website then I recommend you to choose space and bandwidth according to future needs of the traffic that you are expecting on your website.

Recommended Hosting

Liquidweb and DigitalOcean are really good hosting providers.

There are some other hosting providers like Hostgator, BlueHost etc. (But we do not recommend you to choose them, if you are not a tech-savvy person then it might a big problem because they do not have a great tech support.)

Step #2: Use Pingdom Tool: Quickest and easiest one

Before starting optimization, check the current performance of the website by using Pingdom tool so that you should have some benchmarking figures to compare against after you make the changes and see how it has affected the performance.

speed test


The Pingdom Tool tells you about the loading speed of your website. With Pingdom, you can identify what areas of a web page are fast, slow or too big, what best practices you are not following. It is too easy to use Pingdom tool.

Pingdom Tool helps you to identify “broken links”, “slow loading of images, JS or CSS”, webpage size, number of requests, parallel loading of files, cache information etc.’

This identification of crucial website data helps you to plug lots of issues with your website. Let’s analyze them one by one …

Broken Links: Broken link slow down the website. As our server continuously hit file to fetch. We recommend you to remove broken links or connect file to proper source so that server loads quickly .

File Size: If File size is big enough to load then you have to reduce the file size.

  • Image Compression: – PNG image format is good to use on website. But if your images are big you can compress your images with online tools like tinypng andtinyjpg that compress png and jpg images.
  • CSS and JS Compress :-  CSS or JS file Compression will help you to reduce file size and make your website to load fast. There are lot of website that minify orcompress css.
  • Page Size :- Reducing page size again load your website fast. If possible, work in a way to make your page size small.
  • Cache File :- Cache file on your server again enhance the speed of websites. There are wp total cache plugin available on WordPress to cache entire website file, Database and much more.

There are various other tools also to check your website’s loading speed like Yahoo! Y slow (Work on Chrome Extension to test your website), Google Page Speed.

But I would suggest that the Pingdom tool is the easy and the quickest one. It provides a straight forward approach and gives the entire status of your website within no time.

Step #3:  Use minimum number of WordPress plugins

Using too many plugins in a website can create an overhead to your blog and slow your website speed. So choose your plugins carefully and use only those which are needed for your website.

If you are using too many plugin, there are some plugin available on WordPress which tell which plugin is good or bad in performance part.

P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler) :- It is the best plugin over WordPress plugin directory to check which plugin is creating performance issue on your website. Once you install this plugin and run a test this plugin generate a report that will show you with plugin is slowing your website. You can disable that plugin or install some alternative plugin to fix the speed of your website.

plugin speed

Step #4: Delete Spam comments

Batch Comment Spam Deletion WordPress plugin help you to delete spam comment in batch. One of the most important thing – if you have a popular website, you will get thousand of spam comments everyday. No plugin is enough good to delete large number of spam at once from a website. So if you run this plugin then it will delete spam comment batch wise and run until all the spam comments were deleted.

Alternatively, Spam Comments Cleaner plugin will delete comment on monthly, weekly or daily basis with the help of cron job to schedule activities for an specific event.

spam comment

Manually delete spam comments

You need to be extra careful with manually delete spam comments. Counting takes a lot of time on big databases. Keeping thousands of spam comments in your database slow down your website. Keep deleting spam comments from your database.

You can perform these queries to delete comments from your database.

DELETE FROM wp_comments WHERE comment_approved = ‘trash’
DELETE FROM wp_comments WHERE comment_approved = ‘spam’
DELETE FROM wp_comments WHERE comment_approved = ‘0’
DELETE FROM wp_comments WHERE comment_approved = ‘post-trash’

Although these are five queries but they will quickly remove the comments from the database.

On the other hand if you want to count all the comments from your database then you can write these queries:

SELECT FROM wp_comments WHERE comment_approved = ‘trash’
SELECT FROM wp_comments WHERE comment_approved = ‘spam’
SELECT FROM wp_comments WHERE comment_approved = ‘0’
SELECT FROM wp_comments WHERE comment_approved = ‘post-trash’

The last query will count all the comments from the database with in no time.

Step #5: Delete Post revisions

When you click on update button in WordPress while updating post, WordPress store these revisions for each update that you can roll back any time. This can create lot of revision on website that reduce your website speed. Cleaning revision is like cleaning unnecessary data from database to enhance speed of your website.

This is a weakness of WordPress. Copies of old post revisions make your database heavier and slow down the speed of your website.

Be sure to delete old post revisions. Install Better delete revision plugin to remove the old revisions from your posts and pages.

Better Delete Revision

Manually Delete Revision

Back up the wp_posts table and then used a simple MySQL command to remove old post revisions. This decreases the table size from 400 MB to 120 MB.

DELETE FROM ‘wp_posts’ WHERE post_type = ‘revision’ AND post_date NOTLIKE ‘2012-%’

Step #6: Choose your theme wisely

Choose a WordPress Theme that is built by some reputed WordPress theme company, Such that you will get a optimized theme for your website. Furthermore, You can consider InkThemes for selecting your WordPress themes

  • Mobile responsive :- Is your WordPress Theme compatible with Mobile, Ipad and desktop. This is really important factor in terms of Google. Now a days Google is giving much importance to the websites that are responsive. As there are large number of user over internet that are viewing website in the mobile devices. So keep remember to check whether your theme is completely responsive. Google release online tool to check responsive layout.

Mobile Friendly

  • Theme update with new version :- Choose theme that is compatible with WordPress updates. Some companies are fast enough to update theme with new WordPress launch or once they find any bug or security issue in the theme. Choose companies that are responsive and take action with update in themes.
  • Improved speed :- Theme that use minimum CSS and JS Files are fast to load. Check With Pingdom tool where your themes have any broken css of js files. If yes I recommend you to ask theme company to fix that issues.
  • Theme Option Panel :- Check if your theme has theme option panel. As these type of theme are some what easy to setup. Not all the themes are easy that have theme option panel.
  • Easiness :- This is the really important factor to consider while choosing WordPress theme. Easy theme makes your life simple and help you to move fast while setting up a website for business.
  • Built in security enhancement:- There are plugins available over internet that help you to check whether you theme is secure or not. Check your WordPress security with Anti-Malware Security and Brute-Force Firewall and Acunetix WP Security are two plugins that would assist you to check security of your website.
  • Search engine optimization :-  You should better take care of updating the theme time to time. SEO features should also included with your theme. To strengthen your SEO it is important to add a custom title to your article/blog. Theme must have main title as in h1 tag.
  • Theme Support :- Does your theme company provide technical support. InkTheme has great support forum. Thousand of users are getting benefited.
  • Beautiful designs :- Does you theme looks good? Theme with elegant design attracts visitors to stay for a longer duration.

Recommended Themes

If you are blogger, I personally recommend BlogSpring, If you going to create business website then Colorway will be best option and if you are going to create business or corporate website that capture leads then BlackRider theme is excellent. These themes are speed optimized and you will get good results for sure.

Step #7: Optimizing the Database

The database is the place where everything about your WordPress is stored. WordPress uses database to store posts, pages, comments, settings and plugin information.

Every time a page is reloaded it reads your database. If the database is bloated, the information can take longer to be found and displayed.

This is the main reason why you need to optimize your database regularly especially if you have a large website.

You can use WP-DB manager plugin. This plugin will help you to back up, restore, repair and optimize your database.

backup wordpress



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