More server power costs - but is a good investment. We show what needs to be considered to create optimal WordPress conditions.
There are numerous guides for optimizing WordPress . However, when it comes to the question of the best hardware requirements, you quickly come up against limits. Because it depends on what purpose your site is supposed to fulfill: Some need a lot of RAM, others an extremely fast CPU.
Basically, the question of page load speed is thus also a hardware question. And a question of money. Because when it comes to hosting and hardware: more power costs, but is also a sensible investment. Computing power and hostingplan determine the basic WordPress requirements of your server. If these conditions are good, they can positively influence the conversion rate, page interaction and your Google ranking .
Basically, the performance of your WordPress site computer is the same as that of your private computer: the more power the server has, the faster programs can be executed. Large shared hosting providers usually give you the following key figures:
- Storage space and disk type (usually also of the mail and database storage)
- Working memory
- Server location
However, CPU power is often neglected, which is one of the most important WordPress requirements.
WordPress Hardware requirement 1: CPU - the more cores, the better
The processor chip is the heart of the server. It basically determines how many processes can be processed at what speed. Nowadays, the type and sheer performance of the CPU is less decisive - many host use modern and thus very powerful hardware - but rather the number of cores.
The number of cores fundamentally describes the multitasking capability of a computer. Roughly speaking, a server with two cores can handle twice as many processes in one minute as a CPU with one core. This means that a server with two cores is much better suited for a server WordPress site with many concurrent users than a server with one core.
Regarding the choice of hardware, the question of the average and maximum number of concurrent users ultimately determines what server power you need.
WordPress Hardware requirement 2: Hard disk - SSDs up to 20x faster than HDDs
The hard disk is also an important WordPress requirement, but refers to a different process. While the processor determines how many calculations can be performed and how fast, the hard disk determines how fast the data for the calculation of these processes can be loaded to the CPU.
The type of hard disk is the most important factor for better performance. A distinction is made between the cheaper and slower hard disk drives (HDD) and the faster and more expensive solid state drives (SSD).
The high speed of SSDs results from their construction: HDDs contain mechanical components that have to be moved. SSDs, on the other hand, are comparable to USB sticks: they do not contain any moving parts that have to be set in motion and moved.
SSDs are therefore also less susceptible to shocks and do not break down as quickly. In addition, they are significantly more ecological. Anyone who wants an uncompromisingly fast server should definitely opt for an SSD.
Some providers store the database on an SSD hard disk, but store all other data on HDDs. This solution is a compromise between economy and performance and overall significantly faster than an offer where all data is stored on an HDD.
However, you have the best WordPress conditions when all data is stored on SSDs.
WordPress Hardware requirement 3: Working memory - the more, the better
RAM, or random access memory, is considered by many to be the critical component of server performance. RAM is located between the hard disk and the CPU. It prepares data from the server's memory for processing in the processor. This is because RAM can be accessed much faster than the hard disk. This means that the larger the RAM, the more computing processes can be stored "ready to work" for the CPU. Thus, the entire data processing becomes faster.
WordPress Hardware Requirement 4: PHP Memory Limit
Besides the mere size of the working memory, a second value WordPress is decisive: the so-called PHP memory limit. This value describes the amount of memory reserved for the execution of PHP-based processes. Since the plugins PHP must be read for each step of the themes calculation, the PHP memory limit determines the speed of the most important functions.
But which RAM limit offers optimal WordPress conditions? Here, as so often: it depends.
According to WordPress , most installations run well with 64MB. Standard for most hosters are between 100MB and 128MB. More powerful tariffs also offer 256MB or more.
It is important to note that not only the PHP memory limit is crucial, but also the remaining RAM (the PHP limit is derived from the normal RAM). If the remaining RAM is too small, computing processes may be aborted.
WordPress Hardware Requirement 5: The server location - the closer, the better
The server location also has an influence on the loading speed. It is easy to imagine that the distance between user and server has an influence on the speed of page delivery: If a server in the USA has to be addressed for each request, this simply takes longer than if the server is located in Europe.
Even if the server location is certainly not the most important WordPress requirement, it can have a decisive influence on page performance.
Conclusion: Hardware is important, but only half the battle
The following applies to server performance: The more you pay, the more performance you get. Therefore, the question of which server requirements you really need for WordPress is crucial.
This question arises regardless of whether you are already operating your site or are setting up WordPress from scratch. However, if your WordPress instance is already online, it is advisable to carry out a page optimization first. This is free of charge (although time-consuming). Only then should you think about additional performance investments.
Without choosing the right hosting plan, however, your server's performance can quickly fizzle out. Because if you have to share the hardware with dozens or hundreds of other customers, you offer WordPress conditions that are rather unfavorable. In the next part of this series, we will therefore go into the most important performance factors of hosting.
But before that we would of course like to know what experience you have had with hardware so far. Which servers have proven to be particularly fast and what can you recommend to other WordPress users, for example regarding the PHP limit?
We're looking forward to hearing what you think.