Got any tips to speed up my site?

I know there are tons of articles on the web about speeding up websites (esp for Wordpress). I’ve read a few of them and I’ve tried a few of their suggestions. But my technical experience is limited. I wonder if someone could take a quick look at my site and tell me if there are some obvious issues adding to the weight of my site. I get quite a low score on Google’s Pagespeed test.

http://69.195.124.160/~slavens1/test/

Here are a few details of the site:

  • The site is hosted with Bluehost on a shared server.
  • I don’t have browser caching enabled yet, but I plan on adding that. Should I use a plugin or add the code in the .htaccess file?
  • I’ve tried using a minify plugin but it broke my site so I removed it.
  • I’ve heard that Smush.it plugin breaks sites as well so I’m reluctant to use it.
  • I have installed WP-Optimizer to clean up the database. I ran it but didn’t see much or any improvement in speed.
  • I’ve turned off Pingbacks and trackbacks.
  • Should I enable “keep alive”?
  • I will be using Cloudflare soon, but I can’t activate it until I make my site live (I don’t think).
  • I believe Bluehost has gzip compression enabled.

Any help would be appreciated.

Ak

Here are some tips from YSlow for your index page:

Grade F on Make fewer HTTP requests

This page has 15 external Javascript scripts. Try combining them into one.
This page has 9 external stylesheets. Try combining them into one.
This page has 12 external background images. Try combining them with CSS sprites.

Also this but I doubt it will have much effect as the images are probably quite small anyway:

There are 5 images that are scaled down

facebook.png
twitter.png
google_plus.png
linkedin.png
youtube.png

I haven’t looked at your website analysis but the first thing to do is determine whether the cause is more sever-slide or client-side. If it is before the first byte is delivered than the probably more or so exists with the back-end processes rather than client-side things. So actions such as; aggregating assets and what not wouldn’t result in a whole lot efficiency boosts. From what I do know about WordPress the problem is likely more server-side than client-side. Wordpress is a well known resource hog and the problem only perpetuates itself as more data is added to the database and plugins are added. The best solution is probably some type of caching layer like APC on top of more hardware. Though being on a shared hosts those options are likely limited.

That said, when I viewed a couple of pages on your site I didn’t notice any major issues with load times. It was looking at about 3 seconds or so. I mean for Wordpress on a shared server that seems pretty decent to me. Are there any specific pages of concern that are loading much slower than others?

You should really be testing on your domain name, not on your server’s workaround feature.

Do not expect high performance on an “unlimited” shared host. tools.pingdom.com showed a “wait time” of 1.95 seconds for your index page. That is not good, but not too bad. I have seen much worse.

You also have a large amount of file requests (66) totaling 2.7 MB. Your site is never going to load fast as currently designed. That is a lot of requests and a large size.

Are you referring to a plugin like WP Super Cache? Using that will result in your blog serving static HTML for visitors who are not logged in. Based on the tools.pingdom.com test, you could reduce the time it takes for the server to start returning the HTML by 1 second or a little more.

Sounds like you are going through a lot of work for little benefit.

Yes they do (I tested with a gzip testing website). On a high speed internet connection there will be no noticeable benefit. On dial-up there will be, not on broadband.

If you want to see your system’s load average, you could try sticking this small section of PHP code into a PHP and then navigate to it with your browser. I must admit I am curious to know what the server loads are like there.

<?php
print_r(sys_getloadavg());
?>

Thank you for all the great info. I guess it’s the number of server requests that’s doing the most harm. I will try to reduce the amount by combining scripts (which I’m not sure how to do since it’s all dynamic… I will need to discuss it with my programer).

Here’s the link to the server load: http://69.195.124.160/~slavens1/test/serverLoad.php

I have no idea what this means. Please share :slight_smile:

This is your load at 4 PM Eastern Standard Time (USA) which is peak time:

Array ( [0] => 16.73 [1] => 15.33 [2] => 16.7 )

The first number 16.73 is the server’s 1 minute load average, followed by the 5 and then the 15 minute averages. A general rule of thumb is that a load average of 1 per core is acceptable. You can go over 1 per core and still have decent performance. But it is preferable to be below 1. The higher the load goes, the longer it is going to take for scripts to be processed and content to be returned to the browser The server you are on is going to have at minimum 4 cores, probably at least 8 if running a dual quad core CPUs, maybe even as many as 12 if you are on a dual hex (6) core CPU. At a load of 16.73, your server is somewhat overloaded. So you are not going to get high performance out of it.

I tested your site on tools.pingdom.com just now. The wait time for your index page is 2.23 seconds. The higher the load, the bigger that wait time will be on a dynamically generated page. The overall load time for everything was 3.94 seconds. Waiting for the HTML content to be generated took over half the time, even though your index page represents only 1 out of 66 requests total. Loading all your other files took only 1.71 seconds. So your wait time is a bigger component of overall load time than the file requests.

Your website’s speed is not that bad. Other than reducing file request, if you want to reduce your load time further you may have to look at another host that does not overload its servers. This overloading happens a lot on hosts that offer “unlimited” disk space and data transfer, but not necessarily on all of them. Performance is one of the things that often gets sacrificed in order to provide quantity.

You can read more about server load averages here:

After I submitted this post I checked your load again, it hit 22.

Array ( [0] => 22.04 [1] => 17.7 [2] => 16.43 )

This is the load of a shared server I am on at the same time I tested yours:

1 minute: 3.54
5 minute: 3.23
15 minute: 3.55

3.54 versus 22…big difference.

Your server is severely overloaded. It is 4:15 AM Eastern Standard Time in the USA and your server load figures are:

Array ( [0] => 30.17 [1] => 58.45 [2] => 149.19 )

The 15-minute load average is 149.19. That is one of the worst I have ever seen. And it is in the middle of the night. In comparison, the 15-minute load average on a shared server I am on is 2.99 at this time.