I have a client whose WordPress site was compromised in the past and I managed to make some huge improvements by some use of a simple plugin – P3 Profiler.
It was very easy to install and setup (I had to add a profiles directory to the wp-content/uploads directory and also make sure that the Media links directory was correct – I was testing on a local version so needed to update this).
After running the scan I could see that there were clearly some slow plugins working – mainly a re-captcha plugin. I decided it was probably better to have the site running faster than have this in place, and I could always look for another solution further down the line if there was too much spam on the forms.
I also played around with a lot of the theme’s settings. In my case “Brooklyn” that had a progress bar load on every page which simply wasn’t needed and slowed things down. Removing these slow unneeded plugins and updating the theme options makes the site run a lot quicker.
We also had issues with a virus that had got into the site. The best way to get rid of it was to install and Anti-Malware plugin (Anti-Malware from GOTMLS.NET) and run a scan to simply check for compromised files and remove them automatically or manually.
I’m learning a lot about how to keep WordPress clean and fast, and these tips should help you too!