3 EPIC WordPress Speed Hacks

I’m a speed-junkie.

I find this post so appropriate too because I watched “Top Gun” this afternoon as I rested from my mid-term-25-paper-nightmare.

I feel the need for speed.

I was the guy who bought the brand new computer and instantly reformatted, custom-partitioned, and hacked my registry for maximum speed (wait… I still do this…).  If my computer could go faster, I would make sure it would.

The same goes for WordPress.  So here are three of my favorite WordPress speed “hacks” that are SUPER easy to implement and so effective that if you aren’t using them (or decide not to use them) I will call you a n00b.

And, if you aren’t using WordPress, you are a n00b by default.  Just kidding…  Hacks after the jump.

First, these aren’t really hacks, but for all intents and purposes this might be the first time you’ve actually edited any code that wasn’t a part of your plugins or themes, so we’ll call it a “hack” for fun.  That way you can feel cool.

Super Duper Speedy Object Cache Thingamajig

The first is a super simple addition to your wp-config.php file located on the root of your WordPress install.  All you have to do is add 1 line of code to enable WordPress’ built-in Object Cache.

What does it do?  It’ll make WP cache all types and kinds of database queries as files on the server’s hard drive.  Essentially, this is something like asking the server to microwave that delicious hot-pocket instead of asking the server to make the hot-pocket from scratch with homemade ingredients.  … Don’t get it?  Your making the server do less work.

So, copy the following code into your wp-config.php file and voila, instant speed upgrade!

// Enable the WordPress Object Cache:
define(ENABLE_CACHE, true);

Some have noted speed and performance increases that would make a grown man cry.

Super Duper Speedy WP Super Cache Plugin Thingamajiggy

This one is pretty much legendary.  It’s a “plugin” but it soooooooooo much more than just a “plugin”.  The WP Super Cache Plugin makes your WordPress “Ford Focus” install into a “Lamborgini Murcielago” install.

The results and it’s kick-buttness have been well documented so I won’t spend any more time giving it praise, but there are a few issues that you may encounter before and/or during the installation process.

You might have to do the following to get it to work, and WP Super Cache will actually document these changes that you’ll have to make so you can get it to work optimally:

  1. You may have to add additional lines to your wp-config.php file (but you’re already a pro if you did the first hack).
  2. You may have to chmod your root directory and/or the wp-content folder to 777 while you install and setup the plugin.  This is pretty easy and any GUI-based FTP program (or internet browser-based GUI) should give you the ability to do this.
  3. You may have to create and/or move a file or two around in the directories (that’s easy).
  4. You will probably have to enable some type of “permalink” setting, which is easy (goto your WordPress Settings >>> Permalinks >>> Choose Style).
  5. You will want to check your .htaccess file on the root of your WordPress install after you enable addition mod_rewrite in the WP Super Cache settings.  The .htaccess file is already created if you have “permalinks” setup.  Checking it is easy as downloading the .htaccess file and opening it in a text-editor after you set it up in WP Super Cache.

And voila.  Pretty much teh uber.  A must plugin.  You owe it to your readers.

Super Duper Optimize Your Dbase Thingamajigjig

This one’s pretty simple but requires you to do a thing or two on your MySQL database.  It’s easy though, especially if you’re using PhpMyAdmin.  Just 3 clicks and you’re “optimized” for speed.

Get into your admin control panel for your database, click the right one, scroll all the way down and hit “check all” and then goto the right and use the drop down box to choose “optimize tables”.

That’s it!  Pretty sweet, huh.  Here’s a visual overview of the amazing 3-click-wonder.

So there you have it.

Three of my most favorite speed hacks for WordPress.  There are probably 10 others that I’ve done to increase speed, stability, and performance, but they require a little more “know how” and may result in you regretting your attempt…  but these three won’t.

Do it, and I promise that it’ll make you smile… and please let me know how it goes!  I like hearing good news.