In this article I’ll be summing up several techniques by which you can speed up your wordpress blog or website easily and it’s guaranteed to work. On a normal not optimized wordpress website this can mean over 30% of decrease of load speed without much work. This article is also applicable for normal websites or other CMS except in some cases. I’d also like to mention that I’ve only concentrated on the best and most resulting ways, so there will be many other ways still left to explore at the end of article, which you have to do it yourself.
Before we can start the optimization, I’d recommend you note down the current load time of your website by going to http://tools.pingdom.com and entering your website url. This will enable us to reference how much increase in speed we are really getting.
My test website is a pretty basic website with more images than text, Total unoptimized page was 1060 KB with 15.52 sec load time.
Caching & Compression of WordPress Website
Caching is a technique by which the dynamic php pages are converted to static pages and stored in disk or memcache ready to serve to visitors, caching is the most effective technique to lower page load time as number of db call and php compilation reduces, hence the pages are served faster, and best of all the process saves lots of system cpu and memory. Caching is great for shared server and drastically lowers load time.
I personally use and recommend W3 Total Cache as it has huge amount of caching options including db caching, page cache, JS minimisation, gzip compression etc. Best of all its Free!!
Expect 20% decrease in load speed. My Test Website (which didn’t have much textual and dynamic content in test page) decreased from 15.52 sec to 12.22 sec.
Optimization of Images
After caching the only thing which can give a drastic effect on page load time is optimization of images, smush-it is a great plugin for wordpress which can optimize and reduce image sizes.
After using smush-it on average every picture was optimizes and reduces 20% of the size. And this is great news for me and my next test showed me a good decrease in load time. This time it reduced to 11.60 sec which is a good amount of decrease in terms of optimization only.
Expect 5-10% decrease in load speed depending on images.
Content Delivery Network (CDN)
CDN can hugely improve page load time. By going through my pingdom details I can see that the images are the main culprit in load time, when the total site takes 4 sec to load the images takes 8 sec. This can be lowered by using CDN network such as amazon, HP CDN etc. Most of the image specific big websites use CDN. In my test I have used a popular CDN service and configured it using W3 Total Cache plugin.