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Speed up your site! #WCTO2015

Did you know the average user will wait only 2-3 seconds waiting for a webpage to load before abandoning it forever? Having a fast website is critical to its success. How do you ensure your site loads fast and reliably, to all kinds of users around the world? In this presentation we’ll discuss seven strategies for increasing your WordPress site’s speed.

Covering caching, content delivery networks, image optimization, file optimization, database cleaning, and hosting and theme choices, you’re guaranteed to leave this presentation with concrete next steps for improving your site’s performance:
Understand many components that go into determining site speed.
Use free tools to measure and monitor speed and performance of WordPress-based websites.
Create and modify websites to perform faster, better, stronger!

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Speed up your site! #WCTO2015

  2. 2. About Meagan  15+ years coding websites  Started using WordPress in 2005  Works on sites as small as ants & as large as elephants  Favourite Colour: Rainbow!  Follow: @mhanes on Twitter
  3. 3. Why is speed important?  User Satisfaction & Audience Building  Slow site = unhappy users, won’t return  Affects your PageRank  Slow site = lower rank in Google, harder to be found  Impacts Sales and Success of Website  Slow site = higher abandonment rates, marketing dollars wasted  And many, many more reasons why…  Like bragging rights!!
  4. 4. Recipe: Speed Up Pie Serves One Website Theme Choice Plugins File Optimization Image Optimization Caching CDNs Database Cleanup
  5. 5. Theme Choice Pretty, but at what cost?  Not all themes are created equal!  Twenty Fifteen: 328KB, 13 files, 0.6s  Premium Themes: 850KB – 2.5MB, 40+ files, 1.5-3.0s  More features + plugins = more bloat  Be specific with your theme needs!  What can be done via plugins or functions.php?  Use a fast framework, or try a different theme  Measure, measure, measure!  GTMetrix, Pingdom, Webpagetest
  6. 6. Plugins More plugins, more problems  Each plugin you use adds overhead to your site.  Even admin-only plugins!  Get Data: P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler)  Don’t need it? Deactivate and delete it!  Add simple plugin functionality to functions.php  Turning off all comments, adding custom post types, etc  Disable plugins on unneeded pages – Plugin Organizer by Jeff Sterup  May cause troubles, so test, test, test!  Advanced Coders: You can also load plugins via a custom taxonomy + functions.php!1
  7. 7. File Optimization File this under ‘u’ for ‘useful’  Minify CSS and JavaScript  Remove unneeded whitespace, padding, simplify variable names  Makes code not easily readable by humans  BWP Minify Plugin  Defer JavaScript  Wait to load JS until page is loaded  Achieve via BWP Minify or manually  <script source=“myScript.js” defer>  Google PageSpeed Insights = your best friend for more information  WARNING: Back up before playing with these!
  8. 8. Image Optimizing Not all of us have high speed connections!  NEVER use images for text – unreadable by SEO!  Use only the image dimensions you need  Full Camera image size: 3000x2400 pixels, ~2MB  Common web size: 640x480, ~40KB  That’s over 50 times smaller!  Use the correct file type for your purpose  JPG: Rich Photos PNG: Vector/Transparency GIF: <256 Colours/Animated  Compress the file!  TinyPNG, TinyJPG, EZGIF  Refer to Google’s Image Optimization Guide1
  9. 9. Caching Make it once, serve it over and over!  Serves static HTML vs dynamic database calls  Perfect for sites where content changes rarely  Also great when viewers won’t be logging in to see custom content  Many premium hosts (WPEngine) do this for you!  #1 caching plugin: WP Super Cache  “What about Queries?”  Transients API Query Caching1  Query Optimization2 your-wordpress-by-caching-custom-queries-using- transients-api/
  10. 10. CDNs No, it doesn’t stand for Canadian ;)  Deliver files from server closest to viewer  You wouldn’t order a pizza from another province, right?  Saves connection time, network hops  Distributes load when one server is overwhelmed  Best for when concurrent users, server stress is your bottleneck  Use them if it makes sense!  CloudFlare (free for basic accounts)  MaxCDN (what the pros use)
  11. 11. Database Cleanup Oh yay, Spring Cleaning time!  More records = more time spent combing through them  Many are of no actual value:  Spam and unapproved comments  Old Page + Post Revisions  Items trashed but not purged  Leftover cruft from deleted plugins  Solution: WP-Optimize (  Feeling brave? Play with phpMyAdmin!  WARNING: BACK UP FIRST!!  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
  12. 12. Warp Speed, Captain!  Many factors influence site speed  Measure, Report, Improve!  Any step forward is a good step   Questions? Ideas?  Slides:  @mhanes