As a WP support professional, friends and clients often say to me, “Chris, I love WordPress but what can I do to get more productivity out of my WordPress site?” So this piece is meant to summarize many of the WordPress related tips that I’ve shared with others over the years.

For starters, WordPress is an amazingly powerful website builder and content management system. It is even more robust if you know the information that I’m about to share with you. So here are five ways to make WP run even better than it’s already working for you.

1 – Keep Your Theme and Plugins Updated

The first and most important tip when it comes to maintaining your WordPress website is ‘always keep it up to date.’ Make sure that each of your themes and plugins are always current.

WP is inherently secure, which is one of the main reasons so many websites rely on it.

However, even with their diligent security team, it is still vulnerable to attacks. So, it is best to remain proactive by always keeping all the files up to date. Do not overlook even minor theme and plugin updates.

2 – Remove or Minimize Unused Plugins

WordPress plugins are the ideal way of enhancing the functionality of your WP site. However, using them in excess might affect the security and performance of the website

If you want to enjoy a successful website, you should get rid of all the outdated plugins and the plugins that you no longer use or need. So, go ahead and turn off or deactivate the plugins, then delete them. That being so, before you start removing the unnecessary plugins, you need to take a closer look at every plugin you have installed to see which ones you’re using, and which ones you are not.

3 – Use Excerpts on Homepage/Archives

By default, WP shows the full content of every article on the home page and archives. Unfortunately, this causes your home page, tags, categories, and other archive pages to load very slowly.

Another disadvantage of displaying full articles is that the users do not feel the need to visit the actual article; this can significantly reduce your page views, and the overall amount of time visitors spend on your website. To speed up the loading times for Homepage/archive pages, you should consider using excerpts instead of full content.

4 – Use a Productivity Plugin

If you have a very busy website with plenty of traffic and lots of content continually getting uploaded, your database could use a routine maintenance. By maintaining the database, you will be primarily cleaning out the website’s cobwebs, and this will help enhance the loading speeds, and also reduce database error frequency. Fortunately, you do not need to be a MySQL guru to tune up your database.

There are several great WordPress productivity plugins which will walk you through the entire process of routine maintenance. The easiest way of keeping your database clean is to use WordPress Super Cache to simplify the process.

5 – Turn off Pingbacks and Trackbacks

Trackbacks and pingbacks allow blogs to communicate with each other. That said, it is important to note that many of the trackbacks and pingbacks are usually spam; this is the easiest way for the spammers to get backlinks from your website.

If you’re tired of the spammy pingbacks and trackbacks, then there’s an option for disabling them entirely.

To turn off pingbacks and trackbacks, you simply need to:

  1. Go to Settings > Discussions.
  2. Look for the first heading (the default article configuration).
  3. Deselect the checkbox that says “Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks & trackbacks).”
  4. Click on the ‘save changes’ button at the bottom of the page, and you are done.

Do this and you won’t have to worry about receiving pingbacks or trackbacks again. One more thing if you’re running a WP site–hosting. While many hosting companies offer security as part of their standard hosting packages, not all do so. As such, it’s best to check and find out what type of security your host offers.

In a nutshell, we’ve just covered five ways to improve the performance of your WP installation. Heed these tips and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a WordPress productivity ninja. And of course, if you need help or have questions WP Site Helpers is here to make it plain for you!