Second, Pay Attention to Your Plugins
Plugins are the lifeblood of WordPress, yet they can bring your site to it’s knee’s. Literally! Just this week, I upgraded a plugin on a site and completely took down the site. The infamous white screen of death in WordPress. I also recently had a site go down due to a plugin that hadn’t been updated in years.
Some guidelines around plugins:
- Delete any plugins you know you aren’t going to use like Hello Dolly or Akismet.
- Deactivate any plugins not in use and delete them! Even deactivated plugins consume resources in the WordPress database and should be removed.
- Don’t update plugins as soon as the new releases come out, unless you like to be the first to try. (Always know how to get to your site via FTP in case a plugin shut’s down your site. The only way to get your site back up is to rename the directory via FTP).
If you have a feeling that a plugin is causing your speed issue, install a plugin called Query Monitor. It will show you in the toolbar while you are logged into your site how long pages take to load. If you click on the Display in the top menu bar and click ‘Components’, you can see which plugins are taking the longest to load. Sometimes it ends up being an old plugin that you didn’t even know was a problem.