Quickly and easily speed up your WordPress site in 10 minutes part 1…

So you have built your fantastic WordPress based site, installed your favourite plugins, uploaded tons of images and your website looks like the online equivalent of a Fillet Steak covered in Burmese sauce. You type in the web address ready to see your baby for the first time and 15 seconds later that little arrow next to your address bar is still spinning as your assets painstakingly make their way to your browser window. You start to sweat and hit the reload button for good measure. This time is take 16 seconds and you are Jack’s delicate colon.

The scenario described above is one of the most common problems faced by by budding web developers, especially in WordPress circles. In this three part miniseries I will talk you through a few processes which are guaranteed to help you speed up your website which you should incorporate into your workflow with every website you build. Because of its fantastic modular nature WordPress is able to run several, sometimes hundreds of separate applications simultaneously, which is handy when you want a contact form, a spinning 3d image of earth and a dynamic loading slider running at the same time on your homepage, however each of these applications can have dozens of separate assets that all need to be loaded in order for your website to appear. These html requests can slow down even the fasted server. Not to fear though, with a few minor tweaks you and your website will be giving Wiley coyote a run for his money.

Your first port of call should be finding out how fast your website is and formulating a goal speed. No website is instantaneous, sure you could build your website in pure html with no images and have it load as fast as lightning but what is the point of glourious tools such as HTML5, CSS3 and Javascript turning the wonderful world of the internet into an audio visual paradise if your website is going to look like a directory builder from 1995. Using this fantastic tool from pingdom http://tools.pingdom.com/fpt/ you can quickly and easily see how fast your website is as well as get handy tips on how to improve it.

So how fast should your website be? Analytics show that bounce rate increases exponentially after 8 seconds of loading, furthermore the users who do stay on your site after 8 seconds will already be frustrated with the service and be more likely to leave early. Personally I like to play it safe and make sure my homepage loads in no less than 6 seconds and in under 4 if I can possibly manage it. Using the great tips I will show you in parts 2 and 3 I guarantee that you can get your homepage running in under that magic 8 seconds window.

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