Over the last few weeks I’ve worked on improving the performance of this site. Optimization is done for now. I’m pretty satisfied and want to share the results. But first let me tell you about the steps I took.
The very first thing to care about is a fast theme. All other steps may bypass the problem of a slow theme. But they do not solve it. That’s why it is important to do this first. This theme is completely hand-made from scratch. There’s nothing in it that I don’t need. OK, I’m not a designer. But I love to code. Naturally you can use one of the thousands of available themes. But always take the performance into account. That’s not a sorcery. Before you install any plugins test the speed of your WordPress driven website using the default theme. Next compare the result using the theme you want to use. Always do a few tests and use the average for comparison.
For the featured images I solely use PNG format because it results in smaller file size.
On this website I’m using the Complete Analytics Optimization Suite to host the Google Analytics code locally, the EWWW Image Optimizer for image optimization, the Remove Query Strings From Static Resources plugin to remove query strings from static resources like CSS & JS files and the Scripts To Footer plugin to move all script files to the footer.
After trying out different Content Delivery Network solutions I ended up using the free plan of Cloudflare for the dynamic content plus using KeyCDN for the static resources. KeyCND costs a few bucks but for me it’s good value.
Both Cloudflare and KeyCDN allow to use HTTPS with free SSL certificates. Usage of HTTPS also allows the use of HTTP/2 which reduces page load times and latency.
To evaluate the benefit of every single measure I took step by step, tested it and observed it a few days. The final results can be seen from the following screen shots.