There are a lot of ways to improve WordPress speed and the first course of action is almost always looking at what your web host can do. Let’s begin with a “let’s begin” from Tom Rankin, Torque, How to Scale Your WordPress Website: “Let’s begin with a brief discussion on what we mean by ‘scaling’. As your business grows, your site will likely generate higher amounts of traffic and attract many users and contributors. This can result in extra ‘load’ on your server, and handling that is not as easy as it might seem.” And that is 100% correct, there all sorts of combinations and permutations to getting optimal performance. Tom does double duty with a follow up post, 5 Tips for Boosting the Mobile Performance of Your WordPress Site: “Besides improved Search Engine Optimization (SEO), other benefits of refining your WordPress site for mobile include … Improved UX … Increased mobile traffic … Higher conversion rates … Increased social sharing.”
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After you’ve followed some of those tips, you need to prove it (actually you should baseline your performance before implementing anything) using load testing tools like Supervisor or Roboswarm. Rick Crawshaw and James Farmer at WPMUDEV put together a huge two part How To Accurately Test Your WordPress Host (For Free) and Our Managed WordPress Hosting Test Results Are In … : “We chose these nine hosts, both because they’re simply some of the biggest names in WP hosting, and because they’re the platforms which always seem to be on the tongues of our members in conversations and surveys.” They missed performance focused up-and-comer Convesio but I’ll forgive the good folks at WPMUDEV. Speaking of Convesio, Lawrence Ladomery, Page Speed: What We Learned By Analyzing 1,500 Agency Websites: “Agencies have some of the best looking websites, often looking much more polished than the designs they produce for their clients. But how well do they perform, bearing in mind that 37% of visitors bounce when websites take over five seconds to load?” Speaking again, this site has been hosting there for approximately a year, and after their announced partnership with Steadfast, I can say that GTmetrix speed has improved 30% and Supervisor load testing by 25%. That’s a crazy improvement with me doing nothing – bringing average load times down to less than .6 seconds under load.
Moving and Shaking
Some quick shoutouts to folks celebrating new positions. We have Francesca Marano moving to Yoast, and David Aswani the new Events Department Coordinator for Joomla. Let’s get shaking at some fun and informative events happening now and coming up: WordPress Accessibility Day (in progress), Page Builder Summit starting October 5, and WP Agency Summit October 12.