WordPress Performance Checklist

Time and time again, I see WordPress users struggling with performance. In a lot of cases, it’s not hard to achieve faster speeds. It usually comes down to choosing the right technology stack and following best optimization practices. Having been in the performance industry for years, we’ve seen what does and doesn’t work.

Below is a performance checklist put together to save you time.

Invest in Good Hosting

Nothing is more important than the WordPress host you choose to power your sites. I use Vondelphia to host my websites. If you’re serious about your business or blog, go with a host that you can trust. I recommend Von, because they have great support and use a very fast container stack. The $8/mt WordPress only hosting package or the $12/mt cPanel Hosting package works well.

Racecar Fast Theme!

Whether it’s a high-traffic blog, WooCommerce shop or different kind of site, the GeneratePress theme is always my first recommendation. It’s fast, lightweight, and will ensure your site looks beautiful. Here are some key features about GP:

  • Base install scores 100/100 on mobile with Core Web Vitals.
  • Every file loaded is as small as possible (we are talking KBs).
  • It’s a modular system, features you don’t need never run any code.
  • It uses dynamic CSS and streamlined SVG icons instead of Font Awesome.
  • Hybrid full-site editing and block-based approach.
  • 100% accessible, an important aspect often overlooked.
  • No jQuery dependency.

Compress, Convert and Lazy Load

Images make up about 50% of an entire website’s page weight on mobile devices. That’s why image optimization is something you can’t ignore. This is what you should do:

  1. Compress Images inside WordPress or on your desktop before uploading
  2. Convert website images to WebP (instead of .png or .jpg)
  3. Enable lazy load for everything, from iframes, to images and even videos

Recommended Plugins and Tips

The number of plugins you use isn’t as important as how well they are coded. The good news is, there are developers out there care about performance. Here are a couple of plugins I use and highly recommend:

  • GenerateBlocks instead of Elementor / Divi
  • Antispam Bee instead of Askimet
  • Code Snippet
  • Rank Math or The SEO Framework instead of Yoast
  • BBQ + WP Cerber
  • Novashare

Everything Else

Here are some tips and suggestions to make your website racecar fast:

  • Avoid redirects at all costs
  • Ditch your sliders
  • Don’t use Google AMP / reCAPTCHA
  • Disable plugins that shouldn’t be loading on pages or posts
  • Limit the number of installed plugins
  • Clean WordPress Media Library and Files using Media Cleaner
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