There's nothing worse when you land on a site and it takes ages to load.
Let's face it, we all lead busy lives and when it comes to blog load speed, fast is good; slow isn't.
But how do you go about making sure your blog will load as fast as it possibly can?
With installing plugins and using third party services like Google Analytics it can be hard.
I've still managed to get my load times down to under 2 seconds currently though with over 20 plugins active.
Here's what I've done to achieve that loading time.
When I returned to hosting my site on WordPress, I chose Siteground.
In the past I moved away from shared hosting but so far, I've been impressed with the loading speed I can achieve using Siteground.
They have their own caching plugin called the Siteground Supercharger which helps to keep things ticking over.
When using their plugin you can avail of three levels of caching:
- Dynanic Cache - creates a copy of all of your website's dynamic content and stores them in the server's memory;
- Memcached - speeds up database calls, API calls, and page rendering by storing data and objects in memory to reduce the number of times a database is queried.
If you're using a different host, there are alternative caching plugins which I've successfully used in the past.
As part of my hosting account with Siteground, I've added CloudFlare into the mix as well.
CloudFlare is a global network designed to improve website performance and security.
I'm currently using the free plan and that has a whole host of useful features.
Autoptimize concatenates all scripts and styles, minifies and then compresses them.
It doesn't conflict with Cloudflare's minification features so I use both.
I've tried quite a few WordPress themes in my time but I keep coming back to the Genesis Framework.
It's never let me down in the blog load speed stakes. It has consistently been the fasted loading theme I've ever used.
I'm sure there are others equally as good but because I've tried and tested it, Genesis always gives me the best results.
I was a bit sceptical at first about upgrading from PHP 5.6 to 7.
Would it really give the improved performance in speed that people mention?
Or would it just give me a whole lot of trouble with incompatible plugins?
The first thing I did was to use the PHP Compatibility Checker plugin from WP Engine.
It checks your site for compatibility with PHP 7 and reports back any issues you might have before you upgrade.
I checked out the information it gave me and decided I could live without a couple of plugins if they caused me problems.
I went ahead and upgraded anyway. It was really simple with Siteground. I just did it through my cPanel.
To be honest I'm not sure whether I can actually see any benefits from using PHP 7.
But what I assume is that as it's meant to be so much less memory intensive, things are running much smoother under the bonnet so to speak.
How Do You Keep Your Blog Load Speed Under Control?
Do you have any tricks up your sleeve to keep your site's loading time down to a minimum?
Do you use any of the things I've mentioned or perhaps an alternative?
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