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Speed up your WordPress site

Thursday, October 18th, 2012 by Servage

Speed or load time is one of the most important factors for users when determining website performance. Unfortunately there are many obstacles on the way, which you can’t do anything about: The user’s computer, the used client software, the provider, backbone connections etc. The factor you can do something about is your web host and the theoretical performance of your site. Please also remember, that just because it works fast for you , it doesn’t necessarily work well for others (depending on the factors mentioned above). Therefore the optimization is worth an effort, even if you’re just scraping milliseconds of the load time, or a few kilobytes of thee total size.

I recently stumbled over an article which goes though a series of improvements you can undertake to increase the speed of your WordPress site. While WordPress is a truly great and easy system to use, it’s extendibility also makes it vulnerable to inefficiencies. Many plugins clutter the scripts and decrease performance. It’s unfortunately always a tradeoff between ease of use and speed.

Plugins and methods useful to improve WordPress speed

Cache. Using a proper caching mechanism, your site doesn’t have to load the same content from database all the time and run thought the same scripts to render the page. With cache the server remembers a site, until it changes, thus reducing the overall overhead on your server.

Minify. Minifying your static script files – combined with cache – makes loading JavaScript and CSS a breeze. The browser can load it quicker, and process it just as well as regular scripts.

CSS Sprites. Reduce the amount of images, thus requests on the server, by combining multiple images, icons etc. into a single or a few CSS sprite(s).

Image compression. You can usually always compress your images a little ;-) Check with your photo or graphics editor how to tweak away the last overweight kilobytes. The math is simple, reducing 100 KB on a page with 10 images is 1 MB saved, this can be actual measurable time for the user experience!

GZIP. Helps compressing and transferring faster between webserver and client browser.

This article goes through a series of similar steps with detailed description on how to implement the performance increases.

Speed up your WordPress site, 4.7 out of 5 based on 3 ratings
Categories: Guides & Tutorials

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