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WP Optimization: How I Reduced Page Load Time by 75%

Discussion in 'Blogging' started by The Scarlet Pimp, Apr 30, 2010.

  1. The Scarlet Pimp

    The Scarlet Pimp Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    WordPress Optimization: How I Reduced Page Load Time by 75%

    I heard rumblings last year that Google would start altering their rankings based upon speed of page loads. This was confirmed a couple of weeks ago on the Google Webmaster?s blog, and ? while they say that their new speed standards will only affect 1% of searches ? you can bet that portion will rise in the future.

    A few weeks before Google?s announcement, I decided it was time to start looking at site performance. I moved a couple of my sites, including this one, from my Dreamhost Shared server, to a Virtual Private Server (VPS) on The Rackspace Cloud.

    Additionally, I implemented a few other performance enhancements that I?ll cover below. From all of these changes, I cut load time of pages on kadavy.net by 75%, and my Webmaster Tools performance graph now looks like this.

    A summary of what?s to follow:

    * I reduced average page-load time from 12 seconds to 3 seconds, saving my visitors almost one week of time per month.

    * I did this by first switching from a Dreamhost Shared server to The Rackspace Cloud.

    * I then used the W3 Total Cache Wordpress Plugin, and served my media files from Amazon?s Cloudfront CDN, from multiple subdomains.

    Great web publishing platforms like WordPress have made it easy for just about anyone to publish information and have it seen by the world, but as Google starts favoring sites that have the resources and knowledge to optimize page load time, some publishers? messages may not have the reach they once did.

    Exacerbating this problem is that information on website optimization is somewhat complicated and assumes a considerable amount of technical knowledge.

    I hope to share my experience with improving the page load time of my WordPress site in as plain of language as possible. I?m a designer by training, and get by how I can as a developer.

    So, maybe some folks out there who know more than I do about this stuff will have some knowledge to offer. Maybe I did something completely wrong, in which case, let me know in the comments!

    Servers: What?s the difference between Shared and VPS?

    With shared hosting ? such as Dreamhost?s ? your sites are all on one machine with a whole bunch of other sites, sharing all of the resources (CPU usage and RAM usage). You also don?t have much control over the configuration of your server, such as what PHP modules are activated (of which, there are probably way too many), and the configuration of your PHP.ini file.

    With a VPS ? The Rackspace Cloud, specifically ? your ?server? is a piece of a machine, with CPU and memory resources dedicated just for your piece of it. You can choose what flavor of Linux you have installed, how your Apache server is configured (if you want to run Apache at all), how your PHP is configured ? you can control pretty much everything.

    The drawback is that you have to administer it all yourself. This was challenging for me to figure out, but as you can see the speed payoff is pretty amazing.

    Why not use Dreamhost?s PS?

    As I evaluated my options, I considered simply upgrading to Dreamhost PS. All I would have had to do was press a button to do this, but I had heard not-so-good-things about Dreamhost PS ? and most importantly, my MySQL database would have still been on a shared server.

    I would have to pay extra if I wanted my database on a nicer server. This seemed pointless to me, and didn?t sound like a VPS at all. I wasn?t keen on administering my own server, but after help from some nice people at Jelly (especially Chris Chandler from Flatterline) things are going okay so far.

    Read More...
    http://www.kadavy.net/blog/posts/wordpress-optimization-dreamhost-rackspace/
     
  2. makingfastcash22

    makingfastcash22 Senior Member

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    Thanks for the post, I have been using w 3 total cache on my autoblogs and have had no problems.

    However I have no idea how to implement the cdn features, especially with amazon.

    I get my post from amazon via wp robot.

    Not sure If that could work with my setup.
     
  3. foxriver

    foxriver Junior Member

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    I wonder how many page loads a month were you getting and what the price difference is from the shared to the vps?
     
  4. The Scarlet Pimp

    The Scarlet Pimp Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    you'll have to ask the author.
     
  5. Googler

    Googler Junior Member

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    Its a great post brother!
    Its really amazing to optimize with DH
     
  6. adbox

    adbox Power Member

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    I tried a cache plugin, but the caching caused my comments not to appear for a couple of days. So i moved to a compression plugin: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-http-compression/

    I do no benchmarking myself, but the description Obama hooked me: