Optimize your WordPress site and make it faster! – part 1

After a long break, i’ve decided to back to blogging again! thought to write a series of articles about optimizing your WordPress site and make it faster. Lets see how it goes 🙂

Making your site fast is essential for user experience and search engine optimization. First thing about WordPress, It is HUGE! And as it is also so much user friendly, so most of the WordPress user is non coder. they try a lot of plugins in it which impose more load on the site. And also, sometimes more plugins means more css and js files which effects the load.

Now, lets categories optimization level. I think levels are
– Basic Optimization
– Database Optimization
– Advance Server Optimization

I am going to discuss basic optimization today, you don’t need any coding experience to do this.

  • Firstly, Server response time matters!

If you have a lot of files to load, then you need a fast server that serve files real fast. How to test your server’s average response time? its simple, open command prompt if you are using windows, or terminal in linux or mac, and type this
ping yoursite.com
you will see response time there.
example, if you try ping facebook.com you’ll see average response time of Facebook server is 450 millisecond, which means if you have 100 files to load, it will take 4.5 seconds only to get response from server, then more time may need to download those depending on you internet connection speed. So, as you don’t have any option to control users internet speed, we can select as much fast server as we can.

If you ask me for recommendation, my first choice is always amazon. cloud servers are great. but amazon provides unmanaged servers only, so unless you know some server administration stuff, it is almost impossible to use by yourself.

My second choice is easy DnH I am using it from last 3 years without any trouble, it is easy to use, more like godaddy, but better than godaddy in term of service.

Hostgator is my 3rd choice. they provides cpanel too in case you are cpanel lover. best thing about hostgator was its customer service, but last year, after godaddy owns it, I feel little difficult. anyway, you can use my affiliate link if you wish, which means some more bucks for me :), or direct link here too

  • Secondly, Cut extra loads!

Remember, WordPress itself is huge, with it you need to use a theme which has some css and js files to load. Plugins with it means additional load, and some plugins has separate stylesheet and script which is enqueued  at front end. So these extra files makes extra request to server, which means extra response time.

  • Thirdly, combine what you have

you may have separate css and js files in your theme or plugins, but why keeping those separate? I mean, those will still work if you have a large css of js file instead of 4-5 small files. so combining these in 1 file means less request to server, and less response time of course!

Like CSS and JS, we can use combined form of icons and images in a single image used in theme and re-positioning it using css, as example, if you see facebook, all major icons in FB combined in this single image and positioned using css. this process is called css sprite. you may need some css knowledge to do that. There are some cool sprite generater tools out there, you may try spritegen or csssprites

  • Fourthly, JS in bottom

Bad thing about JavaScript is, when browsers start loading a JS file, it stops all other works until it is done. so you can put essential js at top, but rest of in bottom.

  • fifthly, Shrink you resources

Now, you have combines JS and CSS file but developers code those in human readable form ( with enough spaced between lines, making comments ). For browser, you don’t need it to be human readable, you just need it machine readable. So, why not delete all extra spaces and comments we have in CSS and JS files, which will save some kilobytes. You don’t need to do that manually, theres some nice plugins out there to do this. I will add links later part in this particle.

Similar to CSS and JS we can compress out images too, if you have some coding knowladge, you may use timthumb image reisizer instead of html resizing which will save a lot of KBs to load.

  • Now its caching time!

Why compiling the HUGE WordPress every time in every page load, instead you can compile once and save the result in somewhere as a static file and then server it, So you saved compilation time!
This process is called caching. Theres nice plugins out there for cache.

Now, plugins you may need to do these

WP minify plugin is one of the best plugin I ever used for file combine and minification. at allows you to combine css and js file and put js files at bottom

WP Smush.it allows you to compress your images dynamically.

W3Total cache is the best caching plugin I have used, but it may seem little complex to use as it has a lot of option, you can use wp super cache too

Now, you can measure your site’s performance using gtmetrix this will also suggest you how to improve optimization!

These are basic optimization. more coming up next! 🙂

2 comments on “Optimize your WordPress site and make it faster! – part 1

  1. Howdy! I know this is somewhat off-topic however I needed to ask.
    Does building a well-established website like yours require a large amount of work?

    I am brand new to blogging however I do write in my journal daily.
    I’d like to start a blog so I will be able to share my experience and views online.
    Please let me know if you have any ideas or tips for new aspiring bloggers.
    Appreciate it!

    1. Its very easy to open a blog using WordPress. Just matter of 5 minute work if you use wordpress.com personal blog. Or if you have own domain and you want to self hosted blog, you can use WordPress as blog engine and a basic shared hosting for start. its very easy anyway. take a look at wordpress.org