Website Speed Starting at 7 Seconds

Why I’m feeling Rather Smug – 65% Website Speed Increase

I can’t remember the exact facts this, although I am sure Google will easily spill the beans on them, but for something like for a 100ms speed lag in page load times, you loose a 1% conversion on a website (believe this was a Amazon quote).

The point is simple, slow sites suck (and cost viewers) and fast sites rule.

This has been amplified by Google now taking page load speeds into account when ranking websites, see here an idol of mine, Matt Cutt’s blog post on this and also in the Google Webmasters Blog, I strongly suggest you read both of these articles before continuing here.

So why am I feeling smug?

I went from a whopping +7 seconds page load time, to a mere 2.5 seconds. Yup thats a 65% increase in speed. I was most impressed and the beautiful thing is, I could get more out of this as well!

Lets look at the tests before and after, to drool at the results in all their glory.

Before Optimising

Website Speed Starting at 7 Seconds

Website Speed Starting at 7 Seconds

The full report can be seen here:

After Optimising

Website Speed Under 5 Seconds

Here are two links, just to show there is a decrease

What Do I do?

Well, I ditched the wp-cache plugin and chose something a little ‘meater’, W3 Total Cache. I chose this plugin because of the excellent reviews from industry guru’s and because I am intending to add a true CDN (Content Delivery Network) shortly (rather than using a cheat subdomain).

But this was only half the story, when looking at the details the testing site gave, it was horrifying to spot that the wp-polls plugin was adding a massive 2 second lag on one of the tests, so that really had to go, adding in several other tweaks, setting in the cdn on a subdomain, totalled a heafty page speed saving.

The biggest bonus of all, I can still improve, even after just 20 minutes of work, the images used are not optimised fully and I am sure I could squeeze a 0.5 second saving at least from focusing on them, let alone minimising css usage, code and so on… But to save time, I’m only going to focus on the new images I add and do my best to not compromise quality over the page-load speed influence.

The Question is…

How badly does your e-commerce site or blog lag? Have you even checked? How many customers are you loosing because of this? And… what are you going to do about it?

5 replies
  1. Michael McNamara
    Michael McNamara says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience Matt…

    I’ve been pruning a number of WordPress plugins from my site and tuning my LAMP settings, trying to get my site under that 7 second barrier. Interestingly I’m also using WP-Polls so I’ll have to remove that and retest.



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