PDF Download: Frank WordPress theme speed case study. Experiment 1.

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During the experimental Frank theme project, we learned the mysteries of achieving under 1-second page loads on cheap, shared hosting.

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To get the domain count on a shared server, we use an online tool called Reverse IP Domain Check at www.yougetsignal.com. When we saw the number of domains fighting for bandwidth on two separate GoDaddy servers, we were astounded at the disparity – one was almost clear and the other crammed. We decided to add the plugin WP Super Cache to both sites.

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For PagePipe, it made no difference. This was typical of past performance with cache plugins because we always optimized sites to the point it never mattered. Or frequently, adding the cache plugin broke some other feature we needed.

Imagine our surprise, when we installed WP Super Cache on TeareLabs and the loadtime immediately dropped from over 3 seconds to 500 milliseconds. Our target!

We might conclude at this point: First, the more exaggerated the number of domains, the greater the opportunity for improvement from caching. If you’re site is optimized and you have a server that isn’t jammed with traffic, it may not need a caching plugin – yet.

NOTE: Since this was written GoDaddy reduced the number of domains on the SteveTeare.com server to 23 domains. Then the caching plugin no longer gave any benefit.

In this report, you learn a few graphic tricks for page variety. We give a brief explanation of how the JPEG Xray images were produced. Also, how PNG signage can make lightweight fake columns when you place more content in the caption.

We also examine the necessity of stock images for low-budget production – in spite of Google’s custom photography recommendation.

You see how a no-brainer color scheme can mimic the powerful green, white, and black used on PagePipe trials (report #6). We show plenty of yellow-and-black identities as models. And demonstrate gray-scale testing for legibility. Expressive color schemes and the common Frank theme tie these two fraternal twin-sister websites together.

The difference between fixed-width and responsive design messed up touch-screen navigation for our dropdown menus. This was impossible to test on a simulator. We needed a real iPad with fat fingers to troubleshoot these problems.

PagePipe helps you balance performance and mobile branding.

What others think of us:


"I'm so thankful to you, Steve for helping me throughout. That page loads very fast." quvor.com Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

by - Faizan Shaikh