Analyzing and optimizing performance of a WordPress website


Some time ago I noticed that this blog loaded very slowly. the problem is clearly not the huge number of visitors, so I decided to contact my hosting provider, Versio. They promptly responded responded that the server would be upgraded in the next week, which would ensure much better performance.

Let’s have a look…

I opened an account with the website monitor services of Pingdom and WebSitePulse to do this. indeed, when my hosting provider mailed that they replaced the SATA drives with SAS drives the loading time of the main page of improved significantly somewhere between the morning and evening of 8 may.

You can see in the chart that the load times before the upgrade reach unacceptable times, even up to 12 sec. After the upgrade load-times dropped to a fairly acceptable 1 sec to 2 sec. Here I need to add that that I manually exported and averaged the load times and that the individual load times before the update even spiked to 20 sec. After the upgrade the spread in the load time was also a lot smaller. So, this is already a marked improvement, and from a low-cost webhoster such as Versio I cannot really expect or demand more. But, I believe there is room for improvement. Especially if we consider that WebSitePulse just loads the HTML part of the page, and that all images, javascript, and stylesheets still have to be loaded. So, let’s see what we can do to im.

The website offers a service to scan all elements of a webpage and determines the total size in bytes. The results from the start page showed quite an impressive size: it is 1 MB big. Nowadays, virtually everyone has a broadband internet connection and should no longer have to be a problem (according to this this infographic the average bandwidth 9mbps in the Netherlands, so a website of this size should be able to load within 1-2 sec). still, this is much more than I had expected.

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