This site runs fast.
Page load times are typically below 2 seconds and, depending on the network frequently well below 1 second.
Google’s Page Speed rating is mostly in the high 90s but 100/100 in many cases.
This is how I have achieved this level of performance.
- Genesis theme. At the time of writing I am using an empty child theme, so what you see is a performance tuned version of the framework.
- functions.php tweaks. There are a few additions, like header image support, and previous/next navigation but these are performance neutral (until I add the header image). The performance related changes are as follows:
- Script versions have been removed.
- style.css has been unhooked and replaced with a minified custom.css file.
- HTML is minified using a function.
- Third party content. The Google fonts used as standard have been removed and replaced with locally served fonts. This seems to be faster and dealt with an issue I was having where Google’s webfont.js was damaging my Google Page Speed score. I think this does nothing to improve the real world performance, but I do see third party content as trouble, so I was happy to switch this bit off.
- Async JS and CSS Converts render-blocking CSS and JS files into NON-render-blocking, improving performance of web page.
- Quick Cache Free edition. I also like Super Cache and Total Cache and suspect that Total Cache will produce small extra speed gains over the other, but at the cost of significant effort – if your site is already this fast, the effort will be disproportionate to the gain, I think.
- WP Smush.it to trim image sizes and ImSanity to restrict the maximum dimensions of stored images.
- Google Page Speed Service This is new, seems to help, I did wonder if using it meant that i wouldn’t need to run my own caching, but it seems to run better if I optimise what is sent to it. Serving through Page Speed CDN means that the very modest performance of my own server is not a factor.
This is an experiment and a work in progress. The objective is to help me to make my own and my clients’ sites perform a lot better – do bear in mind that this site is not intending to be a recommendation of how any other “real” site should look or work. For example, adding an image which displays above the fold will instantly generate a huge drop in the PS score on the grounds:
Prioritize visible content
Your page requires additional network round trips to render the above-the-fold content. For best performance, reduce the amount of HTML needed to render above-the-fold content.
The entire HTML response was not sufficient to render the above-the-fold content. This usually indicates that additional resources, loaded after HTML parsing, were required to render above-the-fold content. Prioritize visible content that is needed for rendering above-the-fold by including it directly in the HTML response.
This really isn’t a way most real site owners are going to want to proceed as it effectively debars you from placing images at the start of posts!