There are two things that discourage users the most and increase the bounce rate: website speed and content. Most search engines evaluate site loading speed when ranking websites and decrease the visibility of slower websites. The two key elements that affect the latency of websites running on Azure App Service are:

  • use of remote storage by web apps
  • same data center for WordPress installation and database

Consider implementing the following steps to speed up your WordPress site running on Azure App Services.

1. Website and database should be located in the same data center

Website and database present in the same data center decrease latency time as an app doesn’t need to travel the world and request database from a remote data center. It results in the increased speed of the page load time.

2. Avoid ClearDB free MySQL cluster database

WordPress offers free MySQL for WordPress websites, but it doesn’t suit the production needs due to the 20MB storage limit. Another notable limitation is the allowed four connections. Furthermore, it has poor performance that affects WordPress speed and never meets the required standards.

3. Use better database solutions that allow increasing the overall speed of your WordPress site

The right MySQL solution is necessary for the optimal website performance. You can use MySQL in-app, MySQL on virtual machines, and MySQL solution offered by ClearDB to get the better results.

4. Optimize your database

WordPress sites are great when it comes to auto-saves, but they keep databases full with a lot of trash coming from comments, pingbacks, and revisions. WP-Optimize is a great plugin to remove irrelevant data from the database to increase the efficiency and speed up your WordPress site.

5. Compress images

Big sized images significantly decrease page load time and consume bandwidth. Azure Storage Blob and Azure CDN help to solve this issue as they allow adding media directly to the website instead of using the upload option. Use WP Smush.it to compress images in the library without losing their quality.

6. Reduce HTTP requests

Put all JS and CSS files in one file to prevent multiple dependent requests. If you are using JS or CSS, then use Better WordPress Minify or similar plugins to combine all the stylesheets into one place and reduce the number of requests. It is also better to place your files in your local installation rather than keeping them in third-party libraries.

7. Use Azure CDN

Azure CDN is very helpful if static content is the case that slows down your WordPress website. IIS Static content caching and Azure CDN will help you to sort out these issues.

8. Check your theme

Don’t ignore the speed issues of your WordPress theme. To check the speed of the theme, uninstall your theme and install the default TwentyFourteen one. If you experience a significant speed increase then you know that the poorly coded theme is the issue.

9. Inspect your plugins

Use the P3 WordPress plugin to investigate the performance of other plugins. Remove plugins which you don’t use and install only the credible plugins. This will improve your website overall performance.  

10. Turn off pingbacks and trackbacks

Pingback is a feature that informs the website owner of other resources linking to yours and trackback is a legacy link system. They slow down the speed of the website and you should disable them to improve the performance of your WordPress site.

11. Set the dimensions of your images

Specify your image dimensions as it takes more time for the client browser to process the download along with identifying the dimensions of the layout for the images.

12. Caching

IIS output caching,  Azure Redis cache, WP Super Cache, and Wincache are amazing plugins that handle caching for high-traffic websites. They improve the throughput, correctly handle comments, and greatly improve website performance.

All these measures are just a few minutes of work but they will definitely help you to speed up your WordPress site.