Google is on a mission to speed up the web and is suggesting that an above the fold page load should be within one second for mobile devices. While WordPress is fairly fast out of the box when combined with a well configured server and not much traffic, it is when you’ve installed a custom theme and plugins that things will start to slow down. Since loading time is one of the ranking factors there is a very good chance this will start to effect your postion in SERPs. This is one very good reason why I prefer to roll-my-own my websites as it gives me the ability to think about and integrate SEO considerations from the very beginning, and although there are always improvements that can be made I know I can always go back and tweak the code as and when either Google changes its algorithms or I learn more. However, having recently started my own blogs and so as not reinvent the wheel I opted for WordPress. I’ve always been a bit reluctant in going down this road because of the apparent lack of control of the SEO aspects. Up till now the total sum of my efforts in regard to this has been to include the odd SEO plugin such as that by Yoast:WordPress SEO Plugin
Serendipitously, just when I am looking at improving the SEO for my blogs, I came across this Kindle book. To be honest I wasn’t expecting very much as so many of these low-priced Kindle books promise so much and deliver so little and are usually badly written to boot. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth for this book. In fact I would say it under sells itself, no bold promises in the product description unlike so many others of a similar ilk. After a few pages it becomes clear that this guy knows his stuff and even better knows how to write about it, with clear step-by-step instructions and plenty of screen-shots. Don’t be put off by the occasional error in the author’s use of English, such as technic instead of technique and the occasional stilted sentence. These do not detract in any way from an otherwise well written text.
With an hour or two I had made significant improvements to both the loading speed and optimisation of my blog. All of the techniques I would say are do-able by your average blogger who knows how to open up the WordPress admin panel at the very least. Most of the techniques are applicable to both low and high traffic blogs, and the reader is even shown how to CDN their blog free of charge for the ultimate speed-up; a veritable Formula One of site loading. My site has already shown significant improvement with just a few of the techniques discussed and there are still a few more left to implement.
Your page load time will go from 5.70 seconds, or worse, to an expected goal approaching 1 second
Why should you bother in speeding up your site? We are given some very convincing reasons followed by how to actually measure your site speed before and then again after each technique to give instant feed back to show how your efforts are being rewarded.
I won’t cover the specific techniques as the reader can refer to the book description where the topics covered are given for each of the 10 chapters. However, if by the end of Chapter six you haven’t achieved a significant improvement in the loading time of your blog then I will eat my hat!
In the WP Hacks & Tricks chapter techniques are given to avoid being penalised by your host provider when the CPU time or memory usage becomes heavy, particularly relevant for average blogger on a shared server host.
I was fortunate enough to spot this book when the need arose and better still when it was on promo but would have happily parted with my hard-earned cash knowing that it actually delivers on what it says and then some.