Speed Optimization

What’s Making Our WordPress Sites Slow?! We Are! – WordPress Website Design Article

This is the blog post that accompanies a talk I gave at WordCamp Seattle in 2019. You can see the slides here. Additionally, the HTTP Archive Web Almanac was published around the same time so I’ve also interspersed some of the insights from that report since they dovetail really nicely. Providing excellent context for this post, the CMS chapter shows how sites built with a Content Management System (and WordPress sites comprise almost 75% of those in the report) tend…

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Reduce HTTP Requests on WordPress – WordPress Website Design Article

Looking to reduce the HTTP requests on your WordPress website? When you’re trying to speed up your WordPress site, there are some simple non-technical solutions that make a great starting point, like choosing a quality WordPress host and using a WordPress caching plugin. But once you’ve handled the basics, you might want to go a little further to make your site load even faster. And that brings me to today’s post about HTTP requests in WordPress, and how you can…

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Improve the Time To First Byte (TTFB) of your WordPress site – WordPress Website Design Article

The Time To First Byte (TTFB), or server response time, of your WordPress site can be an important indicator of performance. It doesn’t represent the whole picture, but a very specific part in the process. Time to First Byte is a measure of how fast your server responds when someone tries to visit a page on your site. Specifically, it’s measuring how long it takes from the time the browser asks the server for the page, to when the browser…

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Which Speed Testing Tool Should You Use For Your WordPress Site? – WordPress Website Design Article

Measuring the loading time of your WordPress site is obviously a critical step in optimizing for speed. You have to be able to find where the bottlenecks are and where you can achieve the easiest and biggest performance “wins”. There are numerous tools, such as Pingdom, GTmetrix etc,  available for measuring the performance of your site, each of them providing a different result, which is understandably confusing. Which one is “right” and which one should you use? The answer depends…

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7 Simple WordPress Performance Test Best Practices – WordPress Website Design Article

These days it seems most WordPress users are aware of the need for speed on their websites: conversions, SEO, user experience etc. I won’t recycle all the usual stats here 😉 Maybe you’ve read some articles and seen that you need to speed test your site. So you click on whichever tool is mentioned, input your URL and proceed to freak out at the results. But wait! Before freaking out, make sure you’re observing these rudimentary best practices when doing…

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Google PageSpeed Insights – A Common Sense Guide for WordPress Users – WordPress Website Design Article

Listen, let’s keep it real, I don’t think you should use PageSpeed Insights unless you’re a developer. PageSpeed has its heart in the right place, but it’s not intended for the average WordPress site owner and the reports it provides are ripe for misinterpretation. Have you ever watched the show Silicon Valley? One of the main characters is Richard, the CEO of a tech startup. He’s a programming genius but socially inept. He has great intentions and a grand vision,…

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WordPress Speed Optimization Glossary | Web Training Wheels – WordPress Website Design Article

Trying to make your WordPress site faster is an already technically complex process, further obscured by all the jargon you have to understand. Here’s an overview of some commonly used site “speed up” terms. I hope it helps demystify the process! General web terms Browser The program you open to get on the internet: Chrome, Firefox, Safari are the most common examples. Server A special computer, provided by your hosting company, where your website actually lives. By “lives”, I mean…

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Will HTTP/2 Make Your WordPress Site Faster? – WordPress Website Design Article

What is HTTP/2? Without boring the pants off you, HTTP/2 is an updated and more efficient way of delivering web site components from server to browser. There are 3 conditions: Browsers have to support it – most of them do now. Servers have to support it. Many do, ask your host about it. If they don’t, using Cloudflare will enable HTTP/2 Your site has to use HTTPS Now that it’s becoming increasingly widespread, most articles on the topic make sweeping…

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