Save the Internet from WordPress speed abuse.
Updated: November 2017
4 minute read
Visual Composer is a $34 page builder for WordPress.
We don’t use Page Builders. Mobile sites don’t usually need them with only one column of content. We find them too frustrating (slow) and in the end we can get the same results (only faster) using discrete plugins and other workarounds.
Vertikal (built on top of Bootstrap).
Vertikal theme is a multipurpose theme.
Features left, vertical, animated navigation menu.
Pingdom.com to Dallas, TX, USA:
Load time: 3 seconds
Page weight: 925k
Load time: 874 milliseconds
Page weight: 473k
NOTE: You can hit subsecond testing with Pingdom.com. Run it twice. The first pass is the unprimed-cache load time (first visit) and the second is the primed-cache time (return visit).
WebPagetest.org to Dulles, VA, USA:
Load time: 4.4 seconds
Page weight: 918k
TTFB: 1.35 seconds < This is a killer. Time To First Byte is the time it takes to start rendering your screen.
Time-to-first-byte is a measurement (in milliseconds) indicating the responsiveness of a web server. It’s the server “speed overhead.”
Load time: 1.993 seconds
Page weight: 465k
TTFB: 364 milliseconds
TTFB was improved with Cache Enabler plugin.
Cache Enabler and WP Super Simple Speed combined. WP Super Simple Speed enables Gzip for you – among other things. Don’t be afraid of the two-year staleness warning on WP Super Simple Speed plugin. It works fine with PHP 7.1.
Cloudflare CDN, the free version, doesn’t always help – or worse – is a detriment:
Try and get speed without a CDN – using strategy and plugin tricks. CDN is a last-ditch rescue.
Contact Form 7
Appears to be globally loading.
Open Sans and PT Sans Narrow.
see link below next item.
Your theme is using FontAwesome for little icons (phone, envelope, etc) better not mess with it.
Popup Magnific loading but not seen.
Responsive lightbox plugin available on GitHub.
Activated (but not used on home page).
WP jQuery Plus is undetectable. It depends upon if the Google version is in the cache. Which it probably is. But no speed test will reflect the improvement of an asset that is already present. It’s transparent. But you will see changes in the “waterfall” of page elements. Check that for file name changes. This helps you verify where the jQuery source is coming from.
Images: 7 PNGs and 1 JPG. Low-hanging fruit
60% of page weight is images (pretty typical). Three optimize-image suggestions:
Reduced to actual dimensions of PNG 250px wide instead of JPG 2,048 px wide. File size reduction: 166k to 8k = 158k savings.
Convert from PNG to JPG. Reduction: 267k to 35k = 232k savings.
Convert from PNG to JPG. Reduction: 80k to 18k savings = 62k savings.
Changing those three images reduce the page weight by 452k. The original image weight total was 552k. So this reduces the image weight by 81 percent. With no loss in image quality.
Unfortunately, even drastic image changes often won’t reduce speed by half.
To replace the images, we suggest Enable Media Replace plugin (200,000+ active installs).
Comments are “on.”
Emojis are “on.”
What made the biggest improvements? Cache Enabler plugin reduced TTFB from 1.35 seconds to 364 milliseconds. Image optimization did the rest of the heavy lifting.
“How good is good enough” depends upon percentage of audience visits via mobile devices. They need better speed than required by desktop visitors. Google recommends below 3 second load time. We recommended 2 seconds.
Here is our reader’s question:
“What is your recommendation for developing WP pages? Is there an editor that can make developing pages more time effective while still enabling a fast loading website?”
WordPress is adding Gutenberg editor to WordPress 5.0 core. It will change how pages are built. Study about it or test with the Gutenberg plugin.
Mobile WordPress Speed – without coding!
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