Accessing your website normally requires looking up information in a database, structuring it, and then displaying it. This can be slow, especially for large or popular sites. As such we recommend using a caching plugin.
Caching plugins generally create a page using the database information, and then store it in a text file. Future visitors then load the text file rather than doing the complex database operations. The text file gets cleared when new content is published.
The most popular caching plugins are:
Images can add a lot to your websites file size. We recommend making use of the Jetpack plugin and Photon functionality. This adds a cdn to your site - essentially serving the images for you from their servers designed to serve images quickly. They will also compress the images making them smaller in size. Both of these things will make your website faster.
Alternatively there are a variety of plugins that will compress your images as you upload them. Some good ones include:
Note: When switching themes you will generally find that thumbnail sizes will change. To fix this we recommend the Regenerate Thumbnails Plugin.
When it comes to web hosts - you get what you pay for. If you are paying a small amount for your hosting then you will likely be ok in the early days, but the bigger your sites gets the more problems you will have.
The issue is that really cheap web hosts squash a lot of websites onto a single server. The more sites that are on the server, the slower your own website will get.
This, however, doesn't mean you have to pay loads to get good hosting. Below are a few hosts we recommend.
We'd love to get some feedback to help us create better themes.