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Our Site Speed is slower than 94% of Sites Online! How to Improve?

Posted by : Jitendra Singh, April 9th, 2012

These are the things to be done in order to increase page load times. Have an idea of the page load times now so that u can see later how this affects you.

    1. Utilizing the Cache Plug-in -

This saves the webpages as html files and enables fewer PHP calls to WordPress so that the page loads way faster. Super cache is what is used more, but Quick cache or Total cache can also be a viable alternative.

    1. Usage of Content Delivery Network

Using Content Delivery Network, such as Cloud Front from Amazon can easily offload network traffic like CSS, JavaScript, etc. This makes the site load very fast. Max CDN is another way when coupled with Total cache, can deliver very fast load times.

    1. Reducing clutters in Sidebar-

Loading of sidebar widgets can also affect load speeds, which consume network resources unnecessarily. Removing the widgets will present a cleaner design of the web pages.

    1. Social Button Reduction

Social buttons are a big drag on the resources as they tend to be of a large file size. The Share bar plugin especially has many links and takes ages to load. So it is advisable to keep only popular sites as shares, like Facebook or Twitter or Google. Also adding them before and after the posts may increase sharing, but reduce load times.

    1. Avoiding commenting system extras

Loading times of comment systems can be pretty huge. There are lots of comment systems including the ever popular Facebook comment system. Word press comments are the fastest to load. But usage of Facebook comments over Word press essentially results in a tradeoff between load times and popularity.

    1. Remove Gravatars

Hosting Gravatars may be looking cool and attract comments and all that, but when comments become large, loading up 200 Gravatars can really slow the load times of the page. So disable them for a clean comment system.

    1. Loading of fewer comments

Load only 5 to 6 comments and load further if the user requests it. This will load up the page faster and make it more responsive. Utilize the Word Press comment settings (Settings>Discussion) for reduction of comments to be seen. Stopping spam comments and also stopping their attempts can significantly aid in proper load times.

    1. JavaScript at bottom, minimize, compress

Shifting of JavaScript to footer can be rewarding as it does not interfere with the page loading. Combining of JavaScript too can save a lot of resources. Always loading of CSS should be in HEAD and minimize the use of CSS if possible.

    1. Reduce Images and their sizes

Keeping image sizes low, using lesser colors to save and compressing it high will result in small file sizes for embedding. Loading up few images per site is also essential. Offloading them to a CDN can also be a viable option. There are several plugins, which compress the images on the net to boost up load times.

  1. Embedding fewer videos

Embedding of YouTube videos resulted in page load times to be highest If it is also the popular page, then the visitors may experience very slow speeds.So embedded videos should be kept to a minimum.

Additionally latest browsers have facility to compress the web pages and display them quickly to us. Simple tweaks to the .ini file of the site can compress the site significantly. Some sites may also have the option directly to enable GZip. These are being implemented on a regular basis by many. But then proper tweaking can result in amazing load times, which made the site load twice as fast.

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