So you’re running a WordPress site on GoDaddy shared hosting, and you’re choosing cPanel over their Managed WordPress hosting. Maybe because you have other non-WordPress content. Maybe you need control over WordPress core files. Whatever the reason, that means that you’re going to have to do some configuration to get WordPress running its best so you can hopefully avoid a slow WordPress site that can’t handle traffic.

There are a bunch of ways to get what I’m about to show you done, and there may me technically superior configurations, but I’m going for simple here. Think I should make some changes? Let me know in the comments. I’m focusing on optimizing the speed of your site in this article. You also need to think about your site’s security and have a backup plan. I’ll try to cover those in other articles.

The first step is to set up the proper PHP configuration. The menu you’ll be working in is Select PHP Version from the software section of cPanel.

From there, chose PHP version 5.6 from the version dropdown and click set as current. Then check the modules to match the screenshot below, and click save at the bottom of the screen.

Then, click switch to PHP options in the upper right, and change the settings to match the screenshot below. You’ll have to click apply on each setting, then click save on the bottom of the screen.

This configuration is a good starting point. PHP 5.6 is the recommended version for WordPress, you can upload larger attachments, and the modules are a good combo for the next section.

The second step is the caching plugin. I’m recommending W3 total cache because it supports memcached, which is the easiest way to save cache to RAM on cPanel hosting.

In your WordPress dashboard, click plugins on the left, then add new. Then from the search box in the upper right, search for w3 total cache.

Click to install, then activate the plugin.

This will add a performance section to the left-hand side of your WordPress dashboard. Go to Performance, then General Settings. Enable the Page, Minify, Database, Object, and Browser cache. For all of them but the Page cache, set the caching method to memcached. You should set the page cache to Disk: Enhanced.

With these settings your site will be much better able to handle traffic.

The third optional step is to sign up for service with Cloudflare. Basically they put copies of things that don’t change about your site like images on their computers around the world, speeding up load time for your visitors. Even their free level provides traffic filtering, caching, and SSL on your site. I’ll follow up with setup steps with them in the near future.

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