Run a Speed Test
This is how we are going to get a baseline to compare against later.
What happens when you take a completely untouched website and do everything you can to speed it up? Will it load twice as fast?
We will use this website (wponcall.com) as a test subject, and make every improvement we can to speed things up. The website is currently running the most current version of WordPress and is not using any plugins or other methods to speed things up. We will make the following speed improvements:
Once we are done with all of these steps, you will be able to improve the speed of your site, even if you do just one of the above items!
We are running the most recent version of WordPress (4.2.2 as of this writing). We also have quite a few plugins active including:
All plugins are up to date. The site is hosted by SiteGround, which has some cool tools to speed up the site. We will be using Google’s own speed testing tool found here: http://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
We are using their tool because we want to know what Google thinks of our site speed (in addition to our site visitors). Today, we will only focus on our desktop speed and leave our mobile speed for another day. Our baseline test results were:
We will be using WP Super Cache as our caching plugin (download here). We will set things up according to their recommended settings and then make tweaks from there if we need.
(A 3.17% increase in score)
To setup this plugin:
With this plugin, you do have to be careful that you do not break your website. Some themes do not play along nicely, so be sure to check your website after activating this plugin. It effects your style sheet so sometimes it can break your site’s layout. If that does happen, simply deactivate the plugin and it will return to normal. The video below will show a quick walkthrough of the above steps.
(A 7.93% increase from our base score)
Google PageSpeed is described as:
This is a server configuration that allows faster loading of site files. Google has actually stopped providing this service, but many hosts have included it as part of their packages. wpONcall is hosted by SiteGround, which is a provider that offers Google PageSpeed. To enable it, I have:
Your host may differ in how to enable Google PageSpeed. The best thing to do is call your host and ask if they offer it.
(A 7.36% decrease from our previous score. Because of this poor score, we will disable Google PageSpeed and instead use SiteGround’s SuperCache.)
Because Google PageSpeed did not help (it actually hurt our score), we will disable it and instead activate SiteGround’s SuperCache. This is a feature unique to SiteGround, which is another reason SiteGround is a good hosting option. If you are on a different host, contact them and ask if they provide any server-side caching functionality. In my SiteGround account, I:
(A 0% change from our previous score. The site may load faster, but Google’s testing may not see any changes with the site.)
Just like you can zip a folder to reduce its size, you can also zip website files to reduce their size as well. We will be using the plugin called GZip Ninja Speed Compression (http://wordpress.org/plugins/gzip-ninja-speed-compression/).
(A 7.93% change from our base score.)
After making all of these site changes, did we see an improvement? Well, based on our PageSpeed score, no. Why was there only a small change in score? Our best guess is that Google’s PageSpeed test only grades your site on a list of set criteria, not on the actual loading time of your site.
The results here were pretty disappointing, but I do notice a significant difference in how snappy the site is now compared to before the changes made here. Next time we revisit our website speed, we may try different methods of testing our speed as well as different settings to our speed-enhancing plugins.
Great post helped my site a lot coolgamergear.com
I hope you disabled WP Super Cache when you enabled the SiteGround Supercacher. If you didn’t, they will work against each other and actually slow your site down.
The best configuration is the SiteGround recommended optimization. Do your minifying via Cloudflare and enable Railgun as well. Its free with the SiteGround integrated Cloudflare option. You can also enable GZip via Cloudflare and get enhanced security too.
It’s crucial any particular one gets best bonuses and fantastic satisfaction while playing the game.