Google considers speed to be a key ranking factor. Slow sites will be buried compared to their speedier competition. Regardless of Google, no one likes a sluggish website. Don't get left behind.
We have some easy tips for how to improve your site.
Visit GTMetrix to get a report on your site health. It will give you a simple letter grade. Don't worry: we'll wait here until you're back...
Images can be too big.a 72x72 pixel icon could actually use a 1400x800 image. Maybe, a plugin failed you and request an image that is too big to be optimal. The GTMetrix report will generate optimized images for you.
Image format choices. Know the difference between GIFs (or is that GIF?), JPEGs, PNGs, SVGs and bitmaps. Use the ideal image for the role in the presentation.
Put some stuff into the Footer. Some code can always go into the footer: analytics code, helper code, code relevant to the lower sections of the page (eg. a dynamic footer).
Make content cacheable. WordPress will put query strings onto the tail end of some URLs and change that string with each load to give you a new and fresh load of that image, script or styling. From an end user perspective, that takes a lot of time.
Change the Expiry date (it's a meta data setting in the served assets) to push it days or even months into the future. That let's a web browser shoulder some of the load and keep copies of those elements on their computer instead of downloading them new with each page load.
Easy to deploy third party code almost always kill performance. While it's handy to drop in a snippet from Instagram, Facebook, Google, Click-to-chat, CRM tools, those can kill performance.
Pull as much as possible into your control. Download Google fonts and serve them from your site or your CDN.
Elect to leave out some of the third party assets on some pages. If performance is really important, be cautious of third party apps.
File downloads are a big time suck.
Fewer files to request and smaller files are key.
Almost every web server is capable of serving out files compressed with GZip. Almost every web browser is capable of decoding GZipped files.
Store static copies of complex output (eg. leaderboards, lists of recent posts, stats).
Optimize code on the server before it is shipped to the client.
Deploy a plugin like W3 Total Cache, WP Cache, etc.
Keep-Alive: Time is lost when some browsers reacquire the path to your server with each file request. By tweaking the server's Keep Alive, you can keep that connection active.
Content Delivery Networks (CDNs):
Use a CDN to stow and deliver some of the content.
A CDN can take the pressure off of the server.
It can deliver content from a server closer to the end client.
Hang time is a killer when you're waiting for a web page. By default, PHP can wait for a good length of time before delivery. It is possible to urge it to begin earlier than otherwise. That sends content back to your audience faster. I do this by putting the flush() call at the top of the page.tpl.php file. If you're about to output the themed data, you're ready to deliver content, so I say push it out as soon as you can, even starting the process before the page.tpl.php is populated and served. One thing to note: flushing content may not be a tactic that plays well with GZip.
CSS sprites use portions of a larger image to fulfill some graphical need on your web page. Spriting isn't a new concept-- I probably built my first sprite for a video game over 25 years ago. But its role in web design is comparatively new.
In pursuit of fewer file downloads, you can lump multiple elements into a single image and then use CSS to slice that image for use. There is a lot of finesse to how you slice up an image with CSS. You need to pay attention to how the image will be used and you need to be comfortable using CSS backgrounds with cropping and the repeat concepts figured out.
Website speed is important, but are all of those steps a little too daunting? We have a plan!
Let us go through your WordPress website and work our magic. We guarantee we will improve your site by two letter grades or the work is free*.
We will go through your WordPress website and make performance improvements.
Our Speed Boost Makeover involves going through your site with a fine-toothed comb, and would normally cost you over $300. However, we are currently offering this valuable service for as little as $12900
Shawn DeWolfe Consulting is a Canadian Web Development agency specializing in WordPress support, WordPress website deployments, plugin development, performance improvements and Drupal website design. We migrate sites to Wordpress from Drupal. We migrate sites from Squarespace. We migrate sites from Wix. After the site move, we stay with our clients to offer WordPress support and WordPress site maintenance.
We're based near Victoria BC, but we work with WordPress clients throughtout Canada, the US and Australia.