Speeding Up A Self-Hosted WordPress Site

Speed – Who Wants Speed?

Yes, I know – you can’t use plugins on WP.com sites. But I also know lots of people who have WP.com sites and also have self-hosted WordPress sites.

And because WP.com is a great community able to reach lots of people, I am putting the information here as well.

Here’s the link to How To Improve Your Site’s Speed

To give you an idea of what you can expect, here is a screen grab of my results according to the website grading tool at GTMetrix.


Modifying Theme Files

The second piece of information I came across will be useful for anyone with a self-hosted site who doesn’t want to make a child theme.

It is how to make changes without losing the changes when the theme is updated.

I just listened to a talk by Lucy Beer at WordCamp San Diego. As with many WordCamp talks, it is recorded on WordPress.tv and you can sign up in the reader to follow those talks here on WordPress.com

In a nutshell, she says that if you have a self-hosted site but don’t want to use child themes or are uncertain about how to create one, then there are a couple of plugins you can use.

If you are using child themes, then there’s no need to use the plugins.

But if not, then these two plugins are in the WordPress repository:

With Modular Custom CSS you can make changes to CSS without touching the core files.

And with My Custom Functions you can add to the functions file safely. In fact, the plugin won’t (usually) apply the code if it is invalid.

I recommend you to listen to her talk on Customising Without Hacking and you will see how straightforward it is to use these.

Web Hosting On A VPS

We have been using Digital Ocean web hosting for one of our self-hosted businesses since 2014 and it had been very reliable and very fast.

It does need to be set up, though. And if you are thinking of setting up a WordPress self-hosted site on Digital Ocean and you are not sure whether you can set it up correctly, then take a look at Server Pilot, because they set it up for you and handle all the security.

If that sounds like a plan, you will get $10.00 in credit equivalent to one-month’s hosting with this link to Digital Ocean web hosting. Once you have spent $25.00, I’ll get $25.00 referral commission.


  1. Rebekah M says:

    Well, I, for one, can vouch for that. My self hosted site became a lot faster.

    Will check out that ‘My Custom Functions’ now …


  2. Mara Eastern says:

    Ha! This is so cool. I use a Child Theme Plugin for my self-hosted site because I couldn’t figure out how to create a child theme. I’ll definitely look now into the other resources you mention.


    1. Thanks, I didn’t know there was a child theme plugin. What’s the name of it? I stumbled around a bit when I first started making a child theme. Now I just keep one on my computer and then whenever I want to use one with a different theme, I just change the names in the style file. I could do a short post on it?


      1. Mara Eastern says:

        Here’s the plugin: https://wordpress.org/plugins/child-theme-configurator/.

        I didn’t know there was WordPress TV before you pointed that out, so I’ll definitely welcome more tech posts 🙂


        1. Excellent. I must try it out.

          I just watched a video on WordPress.tv about the template hierarchy: http://wordpress.tv/2016/05/01/alicia-st-rose-wrangle-the-wordpress-template-hierarchy-like-a-boss-2/#comment-472310


        2. Mara Eastern says:

          There’s a huge deal to learn about these things. I’m extremely curious but sometimes a bit frustrated when I see how basic things, such as template hierarchy, escape me… Looking forward to your future tech posts 🙂


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