Speeding Up My Website
Image Optimization - PNG Crush
Unlike varying content pages, Images are a fixed download size so I sought out to optimize image sizes. I used PNGCrush to compress images without loss of image quality. Using PNGCrush I was able to knock off 120KB of useless image space.
I wasn't happy about doing it but I removed the WP-Polls plugin. Removing this plugin allowed me to avoid loading both jQuery and MooTools on every page. Removing WP-Polls also allowed me to avoid a few server requests (to CSS and JS files). I saved approximately 75KB by doing this alone.
Google AJAX API
.htaccess ETags and Compression
I took full advantage of Eric Wendelin's guest post, Improve Your YSlow Grade Using .htaccess, and used .htaccess to add Expires headers and file compression strategies to decrease load time and implement file caching.
You'll notice that my new design displays my RSS subscriber count, Twitter follower count, and latest tweet. I've added caching strategies to my website to make the RSS subscriber count and Twitter follower count check once per day and my latest tweet check once per hour. Implementing these caching strategies saves me remote requests on every page load.
Database Query Caching
I've implemented WordPress' DB Cache plugin which caches query results and is proven more effective than WP-Cache and WP-SuperCache. I was having a lot of problems with WP-Cache so this plugin was a godsend for me -- the site feel faster and I don't run into problems with other caching methods.
Room for Improvement
My website is not yet perfect -- there are a few things I can improved:
- CSS Sprites -- Since I've just launched the redesign, I didn't want to go into spriting yet in case I need to overhaul things. Sprites will save me quite a few server requests.
- Media Temple Issues -- Unfortunately I get a "Cannot Establish Connection" every once in a while so I need to check out what's causing that. I never got those warnings on Dreamhost hosting.
- BuySellAds -- I need to twists BSA's arm into Gzipping their resources to speed up downloading of those files. BSA implementing GZipping would help out thousands of websites.
Have any other ideas for optimization? Let me know!