Many moons ago I decided to ditch my static HTML site www,davidclick.com & gey a designer to convert it too wordpress.
Now I am plagued with slow download times (Yes Ive added tones of so called optimzer plugins) and despite constant content growth on the site Google ranking wise this site stays stubbornly on the bottom of page 3 Google.
Now I dont want any SEO jockey rolling out a pre defined script I have one problem and one problem only:
“How do I improve page download times” Right now its totally pre historic.
So i have two options right now to get this sites download time improved:
Change the hoster to https://getflywheel.com/ ( I hear they can speed up site download times). Is this any good, or am i throwing good money after bad?
The nuclear option - rebuild in static HTML and CSS and say goodbye to an endless cycle of plugins upgrades and the rest of the nagging messages I get everytime i log into WordPress.
I am very close to to the “Nuclear” option but just before I hit the red button I’d love to read any Sitepoints view on how to specifically speed up this site?
Managed WP hosts like Flywheel, WPEngine, Pagely, and Pressable can certainly improve your Wordpress website performance as they have their servers setup to specifically target Wordpress rather than general shared hosts that are somewhat jacks of all trades. Basically, they do a great job of caching the relevant bits and then most offer a CDN to improve the speed of delivering that cache to the user.
Before you switch hosts though - if that one plugin is causing so many headaches, have you tried one of the other numerous gallery plugins instead?
Also, you say you’ve tried loads of optimizer plugins - which ones? Have you tried using something like W3 Total Cache along with a CDN?
And where do you currently host your site? Not all general CPanel hosts are created equal by any means.
When I had a slow, shared Godaddy hosting account I used a a free CDN service which improved the download times tremendously. Now I am fortunate to have have a very fast server and CDN services not required.
Take a look at these Free options before you make any drastic changes. Setup is relatively simple.
If you moved gallery plugins, it would mean starting again with the photos so maybe leave off that for the moment - NextGen Gallery is a pretty widely used plugin and should be speedy enough.
You didn’t say which company you currently host with? That will likely be your bottleneck if its the likes of GoDaddy or Bluehost.
Also, as @John_Betong said - your images are huge! You really don’t want images over about 200kb if you can help it. Let people click through to the high quality photos if you want, but don’t have them load automatically.
CDN means Content Delivery Network, which means that the static files on your website (images, JS, cache files) are stored on a network of servers all around the globe so that it is served from a location close to the user to improve load times. Cloudflare offers CDN services, but there are various other options like MaxCDN or CDNify - or these free options - http://www.wpexplorer.com/free-cdn-services-for-wordpress/
Hi Masm50 and thank you for taking time out to look at my constipated website Here are some answers / Questions :
"You didn’t say which company you currently host with? " - 123 reg
Questions: “Let people click through to the high quality photos if you want, but don’t have them load automatically.” - I’m afraid I’m not the original developer and would have no idea regarding how to do this
OK, 123 Reg may be somewhat of a bottleneck for you, so moving to a better host would certainly be a good start.
The managed Wordpress hosts I previously mentioned are all very good, but also quite expensive. Other options would be something like Siteground (cheap and halfway between a general shared host and a managed Wordpress host) or just a better general shared host. I have had very good experiences with Innohosting and and EZPZhosting for UK-based options, but there are plenty of others.
There are two things to keep in mind. Ranking on Google is more SEO than speed (though they do say speed is 1-4% taken into consideration)
The good news is your site from the outside seems to be doing well. SEO wise you seem to have some issues with pages. The all read York Wedding Photographer Experience Davidclick.com . I’d really change this so each page has it’s own title and meta description. Try Yoast, or simpler still Headspace plugins for this.
Regarding speed. The only issue that was also raised here is the size of some of the images. Resize any that are too big. I’d also install SmushIT to optimise them again.
I see a lot of your theme is custom built. Do yourself a favor and switch to 2012/2014 etc , the default Wordpress Themes. And see if the site speeds up? If it does, then I’d suggest the issue is with the theme or one of those custom plugins. I did note that the gallery or anything photo related when clicked made things slow. I’m betting it’s the theme of custom plugin.
Hi Titan and thank you for taking time out to diagnose the speed problem…
Ive changed hoster and speed has improved. Now I’m tacking the image optimisation mission. I dont want have to ad another plugin. I’m going to re optimise the images via photoshop but what file size should I aim for?
Ive noticed the large file sizes are 2MB - but what should i be aiming for?
Depends on the largest screen size of your visitors. I usually make 1200 pxs width. Don’t forget wordpress will create about 3 sizes. thumb, mid size and the original. If you don’t want to display anything that size then try 800 or 600. Up to you.
As for actual file size that is again up to the quality you want to show. The more quality the bigger the size. I don’t upload anything over 250kb. Works fine, and I sell photos.
In photoshop save for web. I sill recommend SmushIT it will save you some bytes and it doesn’t use resources when not in use.