October 11, 2021

How PHP and MySQL Can Help You Speed Up Your Website? 

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Having a website with fast loading speed is every webmaster’s dream. The reason is that page speed plays a significant part in improving user experience and SEO. The longer your website loads, the higher its bounce rate will be.


  • 1 How Do PHP and MySQL Work Together?
  • 2 Speeding Up Your Website with PHP and MySQL Optimizations
    • 2.1 1. Set Up a Dedicated Server
    • 2.2 2. Update PHP Version
    • 2.3 3. Improve Your Code
    • 2.4 4. Optimize MySQL
    • 2.5 5. Decrease File Sizes
  • 3 Conclusion

One of the ways to improve website speed is by optimizing the PHP and MySQL configurations. Doing so is particularly important for websites developed using PHP and powered by MySQL databases.

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Keep reading to understand how optimizing PHP and MySQL can help to speed up your website.

How Do PHP and MySQL Work Together?

PHP is a scripting language for building websites. It’s often paired with MySQL, a Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) queried using the SQL standard language.

The MySQL database is responsible for storing website content. When a visitor accesses a PHP-based web page, the browser sends a request for content to the site’s hosting server.

If the server approves the request, it will use PHP commands to retrieve the required information from the database and send it to the visitor’s browser.

Each request sent to the server consumes server resources. Websites tend to slow down during high traffic because the server requires many resources to process all the requests.

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By optimizing PHP and MySQL, you get to eliminate unnecessary requests and reduce the server workload. The site scripts will work more efficiently, lessening the number of server resources used.

Speeding Up Your Website with PHP and MySQL Optimizations

If your website runs on PHP and utilizes MySQL database, consider checking their optimizations. The following section will present five tips to improve your site’s PHP and MySQL performance for faster load speed.

1. Set Up a Dedicated Server

As mentioned earlier, server resources affect website speed. The number of resources you get will depend on the hosting type your site is running on.

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This is why websites running on shared hosting generally have this issue during peak times. Shared hosting is a hosting type that divides its server resources between users within the same server.

If this happens to you, the easiest fix would be to move your site to a dedicated server. Dedicated hosting allocates its entire server for one customer. Meaning, you won’t have to share server resources with other users.

Opting for VPS hosting can also solve the slow load time issue. This hosting type uses virtual shared servers with scalable resources. Plus, VPS hosting tends to be more affordable than dedicated hosting. Check this provider for best hosting deals.

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2. Update PHP Version

PHP developers continually optimize their code for better performance and security. Therefore, updating your PHP to the latest version will help to improve your site’s overall performance.

As of writing this article, the latest stable version of PHP is 8.0. Check your web host to see if it automatically updates your website’s PHP version. Otherwise, migrate your site to PHP 8.0 manually via the hosting control panel.

3. Improve Your Code

A website with bulky code will take longer to load due to having large stylesheets. As a result, each request sent to the server takes up more server resources than necessary. For this reason, it’s vital to compress and optimize your code.

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Do so by removing white spaces, unnecessary comments and line breaks, and inline styling from your code. You can use a PHP compressor like PHP Minifier to reduce your file sizes. If you have PHP extensions installed, remove the ones you don’t need.

Additionally, remove duplicate code from your site files. Besides making the code bulky, it also creates vulnerabilities for hackers to exploit.

4. Optimize MySQL

Tuning your MySQL is particularly important for large-scale websites. Doing so will help reduce the risk of performance issues as more and more data enters the database.

Like with PHP, updating your MySQL database to the latest version will help improve its performance. MySQL 5.6 and higher versions use InnoDB as the default storage engine, which performs better than its predecessor ‒ MyISAM.

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Optimize your queries and subqueries by indexing predicate columns. Indexes help the database find specific data more quickly, eliminating unnecessary table scans.

Last but not least, avoid using MySQL as a queue. It prevents the database from completing parallel tasks, increasing the load time.

5. Decrease File Sizes

Another way to decrease PHP file sizes is to compress them into GZIP format. This file format uses the GZIP compression method to reduce file sizes before being sent to the client’s browser. By reducing the transfer time, the page will load faster.

You can enable GZIP compression via the hosting control panel. Install a speed optimization plugin that provides a GZIP compression feature if your site is running on WordPress. Some of the best options include WP Rocket and W3 Total Cache.

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Conducting PHP and MySQL optimizations is essential for increasing the load speed of PHP-based websites. A fast website will improve your user experience and SEO, resulting in a higher ranking in search engine results pages (SERP).

Make sure to perform other website optimization practices for even better performance. Monitor your website speed periodically using a website speed tester like Pingdom to detect any bottlenecks. After all, prevention is better than cure.

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