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wordpressOn 24th of December (what a nice pic, isn’t it?) my blog was shut down by my hosting  provider (Bluehost) because it was using a lot of resources in a shared server environment causing many slow queries and CPU exceed quota. Because of this, Web Talk was off for about 5 hours.  This caused my email inbox been flooded with dozens of emails from my readers asking me what had happened and when my blog was going to be online again.  This is  what I learnt from that experience and what I did not to occur in the same issue anymore.

OK, now I don’t want to criticize Bluehost at all. I have been with this excellent hosting company for over a year and everything has been OK. But…firstly,  they could contact me before shutting my blog down and warn me what they were going to do. For one year my blog had issues related with its performance. For one year my blog was eating up resources from a shared server. For one year my blog was causing a lot of slow queries in the database (around 2000 in one year) and what did Bluehost do? Without any warning, they closed my blog all of a sudden. I am not a server expert so at the time I didn’t know anything about server issues (believe me, in less than a month I have become an expert as far as server performance is concerned!). They could contact me to say what was wrong in my blog, instead of acting the way they did…

There are a lot of reasons why your blog, despite it is running smoothly apparently, is secretly killing the server where it is hosted. Most of the time these issues have to do with its performance.

First of all you need to know if effectively your blog is giving the server any issue. To do that just go to your server with your favorite FTP client program. In the main root open the folder called  “tmp”. Under “tmp” open the following folders: “mysql_slow_queries” and “cpu_exceeded logs”. These two folders contain logs of issues the server is experiencing while running your blog. If you don’t see a lot of entries you are fine. If you see daily entries you are having a big issue. In fact this means that your blog is using a lot of resources. This means that if you are on a shared environment, your blog is responsible for the poor performance other blogs hosted on the same server are experiencing, and this means that your blog will be shut down sooner or later.  Let’s find out how to make your blog lighter to let the server use less resources.

1 ) Take care of your blog front page. Don’t use a lot of widget in the frontpage. The more widget you use the more you server has to work to display them.

2 ) Don’t show a lot of posts in the front page. Again, the more stuff you want your blog to show, the more the server has to work to keep up with your blog’s need. Just show 6-8 posts in the front page. Also, don’t show the posts completely, but use the “continue reading” option to invite your readers to visit the page where you posts is shown.

3 ) Don’t use a lot of plugins. Above all, delete/deactivate those plugins you don’t make use of. If you are planning to activatede a plugin for good, don’t forget to delete it in the plugin folder.

4 ) Avoid plugins which fetch and use RSS feeds.

5 ) Resize and reuse the images and pictures you use in your blog, especially if you are using large images.

6 ) Optimize your database at least three times a week. To do that, go to your CpanelPHPMyAdmin – Select/click your database (usually is located on the left of the main page) – a list of tables should appear, at the end of the list click Check All – from the drop down menu: With Selected: repair – again, from the drop down menu, With selected: optimize. Now, if you are smarty enough you can use a nice Cron Job command to automate the task. Here is the code to put in the Cron Job section: mysqlcheck  -ao -auto-repair -u ‘database_user’ -p’your_password’   database Please, copy this code and don’t change anything. Don’t modify even the spaces!!!

7 ) Switch to Fast CGI. To do it go to your CpanelPHP ConfigPHP5 (FastCGI)

8 ) Compress your blog’s page by enabling zlib option in your php.ini. Do do that, go to your php.ini located in your server, open it by using Notepad or your FTP client software, locate zlib.output_compression and set it to ON.  Locate zlib.output_compression_level. This option lets you set the compression level. -1 is disabled, 9  is the max compression. In order not to overload your server it is HIGHLY advices to set it to 1 or 2 at most.

9 ) Use WP Super Cache plug-in. This plugin “generates static html files from your dynamic WordPress blog. After a html file is generated your webserver will serve that file instead of processing the comparatively heavier and more expensive WordPress PHP scripts.”

10 ) Update your WordPress. The guys working at WordPress are always looking for ways to improve this eccellent CMS. Chances are that with the next update your blog will run faster!

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2 Comments to “How to improve your Blog’s performance with simple tricks”

  1. Web Talk Says:

    Thanks for you wonderful tutorial rishi! It is sparing me from a lot of trouble. Also, thanks for you comment and your nice suggestion about Wp widget cache! 🙂

  2. Rishi Says:

    A fantastic list of tweaks, buddy! For point 6, if users are unfamiliar with cron jobs, they can employ the WP-DBManager plugin written by Lester Chan. And in general, if you’re running widgets on your website, you can more than likely utilize WP Widget Cache. I prefer Widget Cache to Super Cache since I can retain my “dynamic” content without having to worry about when the page will refresh (ie, generate a new static html page).

    Rishi´s last blog post..Install XCache PHP Opcode Cacher on BlueHost Shared Server

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