Tag Archive | "Faster"

How to Make WordPress Sites Load 72.7% Faster

Image of going faster

You want to know the secret to a faster WordPress website?

You and everyone else.

But it’s not a secret. The problem is that there is a whole lot of misguidance out there that makes it hard for site owners like you and me to identify the solutions that really work.

Let’s cut the crap and turn down the hype.

If your house has foundation problems, you don’t treat your windows. You fix the foundation. If your car is idling rough, you don’t change your tires. You get under the hood and address the engine.

So if your WordPress website is slow, why on earth would you look to the edges first for a solution?

You don’t. Well, not if you want a real solution that can nearly double your load speed.

You look to the core

The core of your body is generally defined as the torso minus the appendages (arms, legs, and head).

Your WordPress website has a core too. Its “torso” includes hosting, theme, and plugins. This is the origin of every page your site serves. Speed and performance are determined here, at the web page’s origin, not at the edge where the page is viewed.

Sure, you might also have some appendages on your WordPress website. Your site’s “arms and legs” might include nebulous cloud solutions or dispensable content delivery networks. But edge services like these ultimately take their cues from the origin.

Think of it this way:

If you want total body strength, you see the most benefits by increasing the strength of the area in the body where almost all movement originates from: the core. Ripped biceps and pulsating calves are nice, but strength and flexibility in your abs and lower back are essential.

Your website is the same.

If you want supreme performance from your site, then look right to the core and strengthen — or, better said, optimize — the origin of your content.

Here is what an optimized core for a WordPress website includes:

  • Reliable DNS
  • Hosting configured specifically for WordPress with a smart origin caching strategy
  • A clean theme that is devoid of bloat (and preferably on a framework)
  • A plugin list trimmed of fat

Let’s break down these elements, and then I’ll show you how easy it is to increase WordPress performance by nearly 75 percent.

Don’t ignore DNS (even though you want to)

DNS is an annoying topic that makes little sense to most of us, but it can also determine whether your site sinks or swims.

You don’t need to know much about DNS (in fact, you don’t even need to know what the letters stand for), but you should know this: it is the first communication made when someone attempts to pull up one of your URLs in a web browser.

If the DNS for your site isn’t working, then the browser cannot find your site. If it can’t find your site, then it can’t find your page. The net result is that while everything else is working perfectly, your site is as good as down.

It would be like putting a letter in the mail with only an addressee name but no address. The letter isn’t getting there. Your web page isn’t either.

You may have no earthly idea whether you have a DNS problem or not. Find out. Don’t live in the dark. Get data.

Run a quick Pingdom test for your site and look at the first object in the waterfall to load, your domain name. Hover over the multi-colored bar representing its load time. The first number is for DNS, and it should be fast as a blink. Copyblogger’s is 7 milliseconds … even faster than a blink.

The point is this: if you’re serious about performance, get serious about DNS.

Go with a top-notch provider like Amazon’s Route 53. And if the thought of migrating your DNS alone scares you, get someone like our friends at Fantasktic to help.

Improving your WordPress efficiency by even 10 percent won’t matter if your DNS is not reliable.

Get your WordPress hosting and caching right

Once your DNS is squared away, you can turn toward your WordPress install. Start with hosting.

We’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: serious WordPress users need hosting that means business. If you choose generic, shared hosting then you’ll get generic, slow performance.

If you are serious about your site, and if you don’t want it crashing the first time you get a nice stream of traffic, then you need to host it on servers specifically configured for the complexities of hosting WordPress.

You see, WordPress generates pages dynamically. This can mean pulling from theme files, from the database, from image folders, and from third-party sites — just to get a single page generated.

The whole process becomes quicker and more reliable when NGINX is involved and when entire pages, or elements of pages, can be saved on the server and loaded pre-generated when called. This enables web pages to be served much faster to more potential users at once.

This latter process is called origin caching. You can see why having a smart origin caching strategy is so important.

When it comes to WordPress, origin caching doesn’t get much smarter or more efficient than the team at W3 EDGE and their plugin W3 Total Cache.

The latest Pro release of W3 Total Cache includes fragment caching support for specific theme frameworks (currently only the Genesis framework, as of this article being published). This allows for even more granular caching control and, most important, faster load times like the ones I’m about to illustrate.

When it comes to theme and plugins … clean, clean, clean

Speaking of Genesis, there is a reason why more than 100,000 people use it to power their WordPress websites. Even the best NGINX configuration with the smartest origin caching plan cannot compensate for a bloated theme.

This is the digital web, where ultimately everything we do online is really just the stacking and restacking of 1s and 0s. So everything goes back to code.

Bad code equals a bad site. Period. Whether it’s in your theme or in a plugin, bad code will sink your site and there is no magic hosting, caching, “cloud,” or CDN pill that will cure it.

Bad code makes your site a ticking time bomb that could explode and crash as soon as your next traffic bump.

This is why you need to choose a clean theme. The Genesis Framework and every single child theme from the StudioPress team are exactly that.

This is also why you need to keep your plugin folder as clean as possible.

Keep only the plugins that you need for essential functionality. And of those, keep only the ones with solid, proven code behind them that are actively supported.

WordPress is a strong piece of software. It can handle 40+ plugins if they are all the right ones. But it only takes one bad apple to spoil the bunch. A single faulty plugin could make your site run 72.7 percent slower, which is the exact opposite of what we’re aiming for here.

Let’s break it on down …

The stark reality is that improving WordPress performance is more about removing crap from the core than it is about adding band-aids to the edge.

This may involve some investment, of both money and time, plus a few tough decisions.

Generic hosting, cheap themes, and running the wrong plugins will sink you. If you insist on any one of these, you aren’t serious about performance.

But for those of you who are serious, here is a real-world example of how easy it is to turbocharge a WordPress site.

How to improve WordPress performance by 72.7%

If you are a Synthesis customer, you know Julian Fernandes. Currently stationed in his native Brazil, Julian is one of the most knowledgeable and passionate members of the Synthesis support staff. I asked him to run a few tests for me in preparation for this article. He excitedly obliged.

Here is what Julian did:

He took a domain, julianfernand.es, and brought it up on Synthesis with a basic plan, which includes W3 Total Cache Pro and the latest version of WordPress by default. Then he started running Pingdom tests.

His first test was with the Twenty Thirteen theme running:

default-wordpress

His second test replaced the default WordPress theme with the Genesis Framework and the Sixteen Nine theme, which is also included with every Synthesis setup by default.

genesis-w3tcpro

Then Julian activated fragment caching from within W3 Total Cache Pro.

genesis-w3tcpro-frag

As you can see, with all else equal, just adding the Genesis framework improved the load time from 630 ms to 172 ms. Activating fragment caching on top of that dropped the load time further to 157 ms.

That is a 72.7% increase in speed for WordPress.

And if we had done an initial test on generic non-WordPress hosting, the difference would have been even more drastic.

(For the record, we also tested a random theme from ThemeForest as well as the Woo framework. Each performed well, 334 ms and 347 ms respectively, but not as well Genesis.)

Realize that these tests were not run on a bare bones install. There were actually five posts on the home page, each with featured images. There were even a few widgets, including Simple Social Icons. Yet the speeds were still that fast.

This is what an optimized core can do.

How to optimize your WordPress core today

Now you know what is possible with an optimized core.

Good DNS and hosting alone can get you to sub-second page load speeds. Optimize the core even further with a premium framework, efficient caching, and a no-bloat mindset, and you’re down to eye-blink speeds like 157 milliseconds.

That’s why inward, to your site’s core, is the first place you should look if you want to improve performance.

More often than not, you will find that you don’t need the fancy frills you are so often being sold. They are not the magical performance elixirs they are purported to be. There is a time and place for CDNs and the like, but get your origin optimized first and then let data drive your decisions.

If you want further guidance on that issue in particular, check out this whitepaper we wrote with the W3 EDGE team: “The Truth About WordPress Performance: Why You May Not Need What You’re Being Sold”

And if you want to go right ahead and get moving, then get started at Synthesis, which gives you literally everything outside of DNS that you need for an optimized core:

  • Hosting configurations designed for WordPress
  • The Genesis framework with Sixteen Nine included
  • W3 Total Cache Pro with support for fragment caching (if you run Genesis)

Plus it’s all ready to go out of the box, with friendly experts like Julian ready to answer questions if you have them.

To start optimizing your core today, sign up with Synthesis.

(And don’t forget to consider our new data center in Amsterdam to further optimize your core for your European traffic.)

About the author

Jerod Morris

Jerod Morris is the Director of Content for Copyblogger Media and a founding member of the Synthesis Managed WordPress Hosting team. Get more from Jerod on Twitter and .

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5 Writing Links That Will Help You Get Better … Stronger … Faster

The Lede | copyblogger.com

This week on The Lede

  • How a 40,000 Word PDF Earned a Massive Audience
  • The Overwhelming Force of “Gradual”
  • How to Write a Good Blog Post, Fast
  • On Finding Real Pleasure in Our Work
  • Twitter’s First Bona Fide Star

Want to grab even more useful links, beyond those that make The Lede, plus additional obscure references to The Six Million Dollar Man, adjusted for inflation?

You only have to follow @copyblogger on Twitter.

//

How a 40,000 Word Guide Earned 361,494 Site Visitors and 8421 Email Opt-ins

Mr. Patel is a master of taking action on real data. Through this dedication, he discovers, then delivers, what his audience wants. In this short case study he lightly analyzes the release of a recent PDF guide that ended up earning him the attention (and permission) of a wide new audience. But it wasn’t easy, and he didn’t get it right the first time …

//

The Overwhelming Force of “Gradual”

The home run. The hail mary. The half-court, last-second, game-winning bucket. The winning lottery ticket. We praise and immortalize these events, in my culture they are what you’d call a scene from the The American Dream. The Big Win. But nature doesn’t work that way. The natural order of things — generally — is a very slow, step-by-step process of growth and movement. If you saw a tree jump from sapling to 50 feet tall in one day, you’d wonder what the hell was going on in the world. So why are we obsessed with seeking the unnatural, sugar-coated growth of our work? Is there another way?

//

How to Write a Good Blog Post (Fast)

Ms. Duistermaat introduces us to her “Breadmaker Technique” of content creation, a process that cuts much of the angst out of getting started, and getting to a workable draft of your article. I find this, along with a little advice from Mr. Clark, to be very useful tools for getting good content done.

//

On Finding Real Pleasure in Our Work

It’s not often that a philosopher has the chops to not only teach, but make you laugh. Maybe it’s merely a 21st century sensibility, but Mr. de Botton delivers the goods in this smart, useful, and funny talk about the nature of work and success. Makes me think how much further Mr. Nietschze or Mr. Kant could have spread their messages, had they more finely tuned their respective senses of humor.

//

Twitter’s First Bona Fide Star

It’s well known that Copyblogger thinks digital sharecropping is a dumb move, but that’s never meant that we’re against the contextually smart use of social networking sites. This is one such case. Though Ms. Oxford’s story will certainly not be replicated (often, at least), the results of her producing the right content, in the right place, at the right time can’t be denied. You may never end up on Jimmy Kimmel Live, but do you really need to end up there in order to achieve your business goals?

Miss anything on Copyblogger recently?

About the Author: Robert Bruce is VP of Marketing for Copyblogger Media. In his off hours, he files unusually short stories to the Internet.

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Following The Trend: Mozscape Gets Faster and Cleaner

Posted by AndrewDumont

There's a trend emerging with Mozscape, and it's a good one. Updates are getting more regular and indexes are increasing in size (with exception to a few bumps in the road). Today, we're happy to announce a few more awesome features to add to that list!

A few weeks back, Rand announced the Mozscape API beta, and the Moz community came by the dozens to try it out. Thanks to that passionate group of beta testers, we nailed down some bugs and battle-tested the new API.

Now, it's ready for primetime.

Starting today, Mozscape just got a whole lot faster. It now supports 200 requests per second for everyone on paid levels — that's a 20x increase from the current paid levels! This rate limit increase will allow users to pull Mozscape data as they please, with a lot less wait time in between requests. Even better, you don't need to change a thing on your end to utilize latest update as a paid Mozscape user – just keep calling. No new keys, no new code.

Free Mozscape users, we didn't forget about you! We've got a small rate limit increase coming your way in the coming weeks.

We're also rolling out a fresh update to the Mozscape API documentation. We've heard time and time again that the old documentation caused headaches for folks who have tried to integrate Mozscape data. That's a bummer, so we completely refreshed the structure of our API documentation to remove some of the pain that came with navigating through the docs. This update is also live as of today.

All of these updates tie directly back to the theme of progression with Mozscape. We've got some of our best people on the job, and some 18 million resources behind improving our data (if you know what I mean). Much more to come!

PS. If you've built something awesome with Mozscape, drop me a line or let us know in the comments. We may be sending some love your way soon.

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!


SEOmoz Daily SEO Blog

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9 Web Resources To Help You Accomplish Your Goals Faster

In this post I will share with you some of my favorite resources on the web that I keep in my bookmark. They range from inspiration to graphics, content to money. As an online entrepreneur, I am constantly working on web projects. I am not just delegating but working in the trenches, honing the design, optimizing conversion, testing usability and adding functionality. Great projects need great tools. Today, I am sharing with you a few tools I use very frequently to help me accomplish my goals faster. Let’s check them out:

1. href="http://www.iconfinder.com/">IconFinder.com: Icon Search Engine

What?

You can use href="http://www.iconfinder.com/">Iconfinder.com to search for all kinds of icons. From social media to custom graphics. Simply type in a search term and download the icons for free. Iconfinder.com has a simple and user-freindly interface just like href="http://www.google.com/">Google.com.

Why?

As Bloggers or Internet Entrepreneurs, we constantly are building web properties or creating content. Good icons can make our end result look more elegant and professional. I love this website and return to it constantly. I am sure you will love this as well.

2. href="http://www.webdesignerwall.com/">WebDesignerWall.com: Blog for Web Designers

What?

Design, usability, code and trends blog for web designers.

Why?

If you are into web design, and minor development, you will absolutely love this blog. I have seen Nick La, founder of href="http://webdesignerwall.com/">webdesignerwall.com, go from one website to five successful website launches in multiple but related niche markets. Nick posts blogs related to photoshop, illustrator, css, html, inspirational websites and web trends. I have been following his blog for four years now.

3. href="http://www.themeforest.com/">Themeforest.com: Website Theme Shop

id="more-7637">What?

Shop for Site Templates, WordPress themes, forum themes, and much more.

Why?

Why reinvent the wheel, if you even earn minimum wages ($ 8/hour), you cannot crank up a WordPress theme or any theme for that matter in five hours ($ 8/5 hrs = $ 40/theme). No matter how experienced and fast you are. I think $ 40/theme is a steal. href="http://www.themeforest.com/">Themeforest.com has over 4000 custom themes that hundreds of developers make and provide here. It shows all features and you can even see demos to reassure you only pay for the theme that fits your needs.

4. href="http://www.textlinkads.com/">TextLinkAds.com: Web Ad Marketplace

What?

Buy and Sell Banner Ads.

Why?

As a content owner/website publisher, you want your content to be monetized – duh. Finding advertisers and maximizing revenue can become hard work at times. href="http://www.textlinkads.com/">TextLinkAds is a marketplace where advertisers look for publishers that are related to their products/services. Advertisers also buy ads for back-linking purposes here. So that’s kinda nice as well.

5. href="http://www.myblogguest.com/">MyBlogGuest.com: Community Of Guest Bloggers

What?

href="http://www.myblogguest.com/">Guest Bloggers can distribute content for free. Publisers/Blog Owners can get content for free. Nice deal src='http://cdn.entrepreneurs-journey.com/wp-includes/images/smilies/icon_smile.gif' alt=':)' class='wp-smiley' />

Why?

Guest Bloggers in need of new audience, broader reach, backlinks, and traffic can post their blogs here. The Publisher will review your content, make you an offer and on your acceptance publish your content on their websites. You have total control over the content and where it gets published. For the Publisher this is great, since they get to pick and choose only the content that they link. Free and Quality content for them. Amazing.

6. href="http://www.namecheck.com/">NameCheck.com: Check Username Availability w/ 1 Click

What?

Check username availability for href="http://www.facebook.com/">Facebook, href="http://www.twitter.com/">Twitter, href="http://www.digg.com/">Digg, href="http://www.myspace.com/">Myspace, href="http://www.wikipedia.org/">Wikipedia, and many other platforms with one simple click.

Why?

This is a great tool for startups when they are brainstorming product/company/service name ideas. This tool also shows you domain name and trademark availabilities.

7. href="http://www.pixlr.com/editor/">Pixlr.com/editor: Free Photo Editing – Photoshop Style

What?

Free Photo Editing Online.

Why?

No need to download anything or pay $ 699.00 to Adobe to download Photoshop. href="http://www.pixlr.com/editor/">Pixlr is an amazing tool that has many of the options Photoshop has including filter, layers, image adjustments, and you can even use all your Fonts stored in your computer. It’s super fast, uses up minimal computer resources, and super sleek. Although I will still stick with my Photoshop, I love this tool and often use it. The site loads up quicker than my Photoshop on my computer.

8. href="http://www.w3schools.com/">W3Schools.com: Dictionary for Web Programers

What?

A complete resource of several web programming technologies: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, SQL…

Why?

At times you want to look up the code for bolding, underlining, styling or running a query. If you wish you could look up the code as easily as looking up a meaning of a word in a dictionary, now this is possible with href="http://www.w3schools.com/">W3Schools.com. Every command attribute and possibilities are mentioned in this website. It’s amazingly intuitive to browse, and gives accurate information. A good website to Bookmark.

9. href="http://www.gratitudelog.com/">GratitudeLog.com: Gratitude Posting Twitter Style

What?

Post your gratitude as a status update.

Why?

It’s an amazing concept. One of the best pieces of advice my Dad gave me was to always live in a state of genuine gratitude. He emphasised the importance of “genuine gratitude” as apposed to “verbal gratitude”. At href="http://www.gratitudelog.com/">GratitudeLog.com, you can connect with regular to popular people who live in a state of gratitude and are sharing this feeling with the world.

I hope that you like all these resources mentioned above and enjoy them as much as I do. Although I have many other tools in my arsenal, I wanted to share with you only the ones that were simple, handy, easy to use, web-based, and those which could benefit the most amount of Online Entrepreneurs.

Wow! “Simple“, “Handy“, “Easy-to-use“, “Benefit the most amount of people” – Aren’t these traits of a great product, that simply spread virally after some initial kickstart? I am always looking for patterns and opportunities believing that it is one of the key traits to becoming and maintaining a thought leader status in any industry.

Next Week

I am re-listening to a book on billionaires, and noticing many patterns within these mega successful people. I am in the process of writing an article on that which is coming up next. Honestly, I am fascinated by mega successes, and enjoy looking for patterns and replicating them to achieve similar results. I have been successful in many cases, and working on others. In my entrepreneur’s journey, I want to take you with me and share all of my findings.

Aziz signing off

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/> href="http://entrepreneurs-journey.com/free-report/"> src="http://cdn.entrepreneurs-journey.com/wp-content/themes/ej2/images/internetbiz-cover_thumb-white.png" width="122" height="140" border="0" alt="How To Start An Internet Business & Make Your First $ 1,000 Online" align="left" /> /> align="right">Get your bonus copy of my book />“How To Start An Internet Business />& Make Your First $ 1,000 Online” /> href="http://entrepreneurs-journey.com/free-report/">Download Here

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commoncraft.com A simple story that illustrates the forces shaping social media. This video comes in an unbranded “presentation quality” version that can be licensed for use in the workplace. http

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