Speed is more than a number. It’s a statement. Making your site fast tells your readers that you care about their time. It tells search engines that your infrastructure is working well and it makes everything easier and smoother.
You can do a lot of things to make your sites faster. Here are some general tips that are easy to implement can be implemented in a day or two:
Deploy a CDN
Cloudflare is free and pretty robust, adding a layer of asset distribution and parallelization to your site. A CDN or content delivery network places your content closer to the user so they can open your website faster.
Use WP Smush or a similar tool to keep the size of your images under control. Try to keep them under 100 KB to give users a near instant loading experience.
Follow GT Metrix’ Guides
GTmetrix has an interactive guide that follows both Google’s and Yahoo’s suggestions for web site development. GT Metrix also explains key technical details that help you make your sites faster.
Go Wild on Caching
If you’re running WordPress you can’t go wrong with W3 Cache, it has a learning curve but it’s simply the best caching solution for WP.
You also need caching at the DB level (if using MySQL go for at least 512MB of cache), and at the Web server level (try using Varnish or something similar).
Install a 64-bit OS
Update your OS and go for a 64-bit version. Trust me, this will not only make your site much faster, but it will also improve performance at every imaginable level.
Change Your Hosting
Try a professional web host that uses SSDs like Digital Ocean or consider clouds like Amazon EC2 or Linode. Please don’t go with cheap brands, stick to A-grade providers.
Fine Tune With New Relic
Install New Relic on your web servers and benchmark every single metric. Refer to the following performance tuning video to know what to look for.
I write a lot about web performance, you can read my articles or ask me a question via email if you can’t find the information you’re looking for on the web. And remember, never settle for less than optimal performance, keep learning and keep improving the speed of your site. Your audience will thank you every day!