Page Speed Optimization for WordPress is bit tricky and good amount of time and knowledge is required to optimize Page Loading speed of a WordPress blog. Regular readers are aware about our craziness about page loading speed with colorful websites. It is a challenge to make a graphically nice looking WordPress website to load within 1.5 seconds.
Page Speed Optimization for WordPress means WordPress Cache Plugins and CDN. WordPress Cache Plugins means W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache. In this guide we will sum up all the points of Page Speed Optimization for WordPress along with very very important points. This Page Speed Optimization for WordPress guide is for both for the advanced users, developers to just a beginner.
Define goals for Page Speed Optimization with your resources
- The World standard test for Page Speed optimization is webpagetest.org ; your goal is to make all green A and over 90/100 score.
- For professional websites it is probably better to take the help of Page Speed specialists for Page Speed optimization those who are using very costly servers like high performance servers of Rackspace and Media Template costing more than $1000 per month. The reason is, the configuration of those servers are set in a different way and Page Speed optimization on those servers requires depth of knowledge about Linux, Servers and Networking.
- Quality of server and Quality of CDN are of utmost importance for defining goals for Page Speed. For Server our recommendation is three – Rackspace, Media Template and Amazon. For CDN and overall Page Speed optimization our recommendation is limited to three again – Akamai, NetDNA and CloudFlare.
- If you are using a so called traditional VPS or worse a shared server Page Speed optimization needs very careful attempts as caching is a resource intensive process.
- Regarding Cache Plugin – W3 Total Cache is a compact solution and WP Super Cache needs some extra plugins as combination and some hand coding. There is performance wise no difference of Page Speed Optimization in the hand of a knowledgeable person.
Needed Tutorials for Page Speed Optimization for WordPress
- For W3 Super Cache with Cloudflare : Follow this guide on W3 Total Cache Setup with CloudFlare and CDN for Page Speed Optimization.
- For Configuring WP Super Cache With Origin Pull or Origin Push CDN follow this tutorial.
- To Speed up WordPress by Gzip Compression from .htaccess (for WP Super Cache) and php flush follow this one.
Further tweaks and notes for Page Speed Optimization
- Try to avoid too many mixing of https and http call of CDN. This can result in mixed content error.
- The crux of using CDN for Page Speed Optimization is to offload files to cookieless domain served from geographically closest area. If there are hundreds of components are loading from one url, no CDN can perform well. Set the containers / baskets in divided way so that one domain serves 4-5 components. This is theoretical part of Page Speed Optimization for parallel downloads. But in practice there are glitches.
- Minimize PHP and database queries for Page Speed Optimization – In most themes the header.php has <title><?php bloginfo(™name™); ?><?php bloginfo(™description™); ?></title> query. You can replace it with plain <title>your blog’s title</title>. It is reducing 2 queries.
- In the same logic, many PHP calls can be eliminated from the full theme.
- An important part of Page Speed Optimization for WordPress is to check posts / pages after using any Cache Plugin to randomly to avoid white pages being served.
- Painful part of Page Speed Optimization is to combine the CSS. Combining CSS can break some themes.
- For Cloud servers with Loadbalancers cacheability tests might show errors. It is important to check from webpagetest.org from various locations set to actually ‘see’ what is happening.
- Try to reduce number of plugins for better speed which calls too many SQL queries.
- Use php flush (see point 3 under Needed Tutorials for Page Speed Optimization for WordPress)
Conclusion on Page Speed Optimization for WordPress
Page speed optimization for WordPress is a time taking procedure as you might have to compromise on a part for another part. Various combination, test and re-test will find the perfect page speed for a particular set up with the installed plugins, theme etc.