So everyone is talking about Page Speed, Yslow!, and how it affects your SEO and search engine rankings.
The search engines have all said “yes, we’re looking at site and page speed.” But how do you speed your WordPress site up?
There are a lot of avenues to go down when looking at how to increase your page speed in WordPress.
I’m going to touch on just a few things you can do right now.
First is to measure your WordPress sites speed using tools that Google gives you at Page Speed Online, which also has pointers on what to improve and why. Awesome, right? They tell you exactly what to do to fix your issues.
We are going to test with http://www.argylemd.com – a newly setup site that has had nothing done to it.
51 out of 100 is basically terrible. We can get that higher and I’m going to show you how to.
Hop back over to your WordPress site and install WP Smush.it to get image file sizes down to optimal.
You’ll find Smush.it under “Media” in your Dashboard, or you can manually go through each image and run Smush.it. I’ve never had any trouble running the bulk options though and it only takes a few minutes.
Lets install the W3 Total Cache plugin. Here is where things can get rather intimidating as W3 Total Cache plugin is pretty in-depth and complicated. I’m just going to run you through some basic settings that should work well for speeding up most WordPress sites.
You’ll notice a new tab at the bottom of the dashboard labeled Performance. Give her a click and lets get underway.
Here are some basic settings I suggest to speed up your WordPress site:
Enable Page Cache and select Disk: Enhanced.
Enable Minify and select Auto. The default settings should be fine unless you have a preference for what HTML, JS, and CSS minifier you use.
Unless you are on a VPS or Dedicated solution, you should leave Database and Object Cache both set to disabled.
Enable Browser Cache
CDN: look for a post on this later.
Save all your settings and move on to Page Cache Settings:
Enable: Don’t cache pages for logged in users, Cache Home Page, and Cache Feeds.
You can leave advanced settings alone. Cache Preload if you’re on a quick hosting environment with the default settings. You can try it on a shared environment, but lower the Pages Per Interval to 5-7.
You may want to toggle this off later to see how it effected load time.
General: Enable Rewrite URL Structure
HTML & XML: Enable Inline CSS and JS.
CSS: Enable, and @import Handling set to Bubble.
Browser Cache Settings:
General: Enable Set Expires Header, Cache Control Header, eTag, W3TC Header, and Gzip Compression.
The rest of the Browser Cache page in W3 Total Cache is fine left as default.
Now you can save all settings and click Deploy.
And now I’m going to refresh the Google Page Speed site and see how our WordPress speed looks:
This should take you about an hour at most, depending how many images Smush.it needs to handle.
Look for the next post, we’re going to get this site to the mid 90′s by adding a CDN and tweaking W3 Total Cache on a more advanced level.
Overwhelmed by W3 Total Cache or looking to take your WordPress site to the next level with more advanced tuning? I offer flat-rate services for those interested.
Check out my Speeding up WordPress Service.
Copyright 2013 - Drew Poland & Argyle Design LLC