Sometime back Google changed the way it indexes pages with the introduction of Caffeine. With that Google also made an announcement that they will be using site speed to determine web search ranking for a given site. So, it is important to make sure that your blog or site performance is better than before to go higher on search ranks. Let me share my experiment to make this blog faster!
1. Web Host : This site was initially hosted on dot5hosting which was terribly slow because of the way they were hosting multiple accounts on the same server. Upon complaining about the performance multiple times, they were pathetic in addressing the technical issues on their side and my blog home response time was always over 12 seconds to load. Then I moved to BlueHost, which is the current webhost of this blog. The site performance improved immediately after moving to Bluehost, you can see it on this graph.
2. Plugins: However, there are more things to work upon to make the blog much faster. There are plenty of caching plugins to make the wordpress blog faster. One such plugin which I am currently using is W3 Total Cache. I have installed this plugin very recently and will be able to share the numbers after reviewing it for a while. But I am already seeing the results. Google’s Page Speed and Y!Slow are consistently showing 90+ score for my blog.
To measure the page speed there are few external sites like webpagetest.org and gtmetrix.com (thanks to Kevin). But I suggest you to use Mozilla Firefox browser with plugins like ‘google page speed‘ and ‘YSlow‘ with ‘FireBug‘ to know what exactly is the performance issue on your blog. Attack one issue at a time and I am sure over a period you will be able to achieve a good score on those tools.
3. Widgets : I have seen many bloggers adding multiple widgets on their sites like ‘live traffic’, ‘music player’, ‘alexa rank’, ‘page rank info’ etc., My suggestion is to get rid of those useless widgets which slow down your page performance drastically. If you are so fancy about showing off, put it in a page instead of on sidebar or footer of your blog. Go ahead and take a look at my blog home, you get a fair idea of what I am talking about!
These are the golden set of rules to make your blog or site load faster. Go ahead, improve your page load speed and get higher on search rankings. Feel free to share if you know any other trick to achieve better performance.