Prodcast #9: Version 2.0 is faster, cheaper and easier – The WordPress Speed Up Optimisation Blueprint Version 2.0

Podcast Link

Version 2.0 of The WordPress Speed Up Optimisation Blueprint – 133ms WordPress Page Speed Guide (0.133 second WordPress page loading)

My name is Ben Llewellyn (bio) I am the maker of one of the fastest WordPress websites in the world. In my first blueprint I shared alot of information about my strategy and method on my blog. My second version of the blueprint is faster, cheaper and quicker (it’s much better). Following the steps in Version 2.0 will help you to build a faster WordPress website.

December 2018 saw the release of WordPress version 5.0, Gutenberg page editor (bundled with WP 5.0) and the Twenty Nineteen wordpress.org theme was released.

My goal for Version 2.0 was to revise the first version of my blue print and to make it easier, faster and cheaper for developers and non developers to make a super high speed WordPress website.

I took all the code from Version 1.0 and converted it into a plugin that could be installed into any self hosted WordPress website. The plugin has an options page which enables website owners to turn speed enhancing features on and off. The plugin options page enables webmasters to fully control and manage their own WordPress performance within their WP dashboard. The disadvantage of turning default features off in WordPress may result in sooner or later required functionality fo site features or site plugins may be omitted. So having the ability to turn features on and off grants WordPress website owners the power to control their own website. This future proofs future developments.

The big different between Version 2.0 compared to Version 1.0 is not only the new plugin but we used the Twenty Nineteen theme.

Believe it or not the new Twenty Nineteen Theme was released whilst we were developing the WordPress speed plugin, I inspected the code and knew the theme would run faster – as it turned out it did!

The outcome of Version 2.0 Blueprint made my WordPress website load in 133 milli seconds which is 24 milli seconds faster than Version 1.0. We recorded 100/100 on mobile and desktop Google PageSpeed Insights and received amazing page speed scores on page speed testing tools.

The best thing about Version 2.0 of The WordPress Speed Up Optimisation Blue is: webmasters only have to do 5 things to their WordPress website to get similar page speed results:

  1. Host with WpEngine – fast and secure WordPress website hosting
  2. Setup DNS with DNSMadeEasy – premium dns / fast look up times
  3. Install my free SpeedThemeWP.com plugin (tick all the options and don’t set a favicon URL) – Free
  4. Activate the Twenty Nineteen WordPress theme – Free
  5. Don’t install any other plugins

Version 2.0 gave me a big speed performance boost and it’s much easier to replicate the same results without doing anything technical like coding or using web development tools.

I’m already thinking of methods to breach the 100ms WordPress page load time barrier. Although, humans can’t interpret hundreds of milliseconds. So we’ll see how close we get to beating one hundred milli seconds in Version 3.0.

The plugin is already updated and compatible with the latest WP 5.0.2, latest Gutengerg page editor and runs perfectly with the latest release of the Twenty Nineteen WordPress theme.

If you’re looking to build a super fast WordPress website and you want to do it yourself, following my WordPress Speed Up Optimisation Blueprint V2 will get you a speed gain and make your WordPress pages load quicker for your website vistitors. This has lots of UX and SEO advantages and best of all the information is free on my blog!

That’s it, Thanks for reading/listening.

Podcast #8: The WordPress Speed Up Optimisation Blueprint Conclusion

Play Podcast #8: The WordPress Speed Up Optimisation Blueprint Conclusion

Before I started the WordPress speed Up Optimisation Blueprint, I ran a speed test on a standard WordPress website. The standard WP site loaded in 0.721 seconds– marking the time to beat as 0.7 seconds. This site runs the Twenty Seventeen WordPress theme and is hosted on a standard hosting platform.

Having finished the WordPress Speed Up Optimisation Blueprint I was keen to find out how good the process was and and how far away from 0.721 seconds I was!

I ran a series of WordPress website speed tests – to prove the optimisation process had worked.

Test 1.

My WordPress websites loaded in 0.157 seconds (157 milli seconds) from London when I ran a speed test on GTMetrix dot com.

Test 2.

My WordPress website loaded in 0.325 seconds (325 milli seconds) from Sweden when I ran a speed test on Pingdom dot com.

Am I happy? Yes

I can already think of a few factors I could introduce to the overall process to enhance the blueprint even further! I’ve posted links online to my article and encouraged other developers to share their feedback on techniques to improve and enhance the blueprint.

Version 2 of the WordPress Speed Up Optimisation Blueprint will be published shortly.

If you’ve found my Podcasts interesting, check out the full blueprint on my website blog.

Podcast #7: The Grand Finale

Play Podcast #7: The Grand Finale

I logged into my WpEngine account and carried out a few basic steps in prepharation for the final speed measurement test:

Step 1. I turned on my CDN

A CDN is a content delivery network. A CDN serves content such as videos, images and other static files to visitors around the world from a server that is closest to their geographic location. This speeds up the content download speed for website visitors Worldwide. It makes web pages load faster for them, where ever they are in the World.

Step 2. I turned on object caching

Object caching enables websites to retrieve data without performing a new database lookup each time a previous data set is requested. Recalling data from temporary memory instead of double checking it generates a speed saving.

Step 3. I cleared my cache

I did this to ensure that when my website launched, the correct .css and .js files would be served to my website visitors.

Step 4. I checked my CDN was active

To verify my CDN was active I visited my website WP Speed Up Optimisation.com. I refreshed the page then I right clicked on the page and clicked “View Source”. Another tab opened which had a series of long numbers and letters in the href tag.

I’ve included a screen grab on my tutorial article to explain this.

We were all set for the next and final WordPress website speed test.

Podcast #6: SSL is better for SERPs and provide safer visitor experiences!

Play Podcast #6: SSL is better for SERPs and provide safer visitor experiences!

I purchased and activated my SSL certificate from within my WpEngine hosting account.

You can read about the SEO advantages of serving pages on https:// on my blog.

With the recent Chrome browser alerts for website’s that don’t have an SSL certificate coming into play – I certainly didn’t want to disrupt my website visitor experience for anyone attempting to visit my website.

So – I didn’t think twice about setting up https:// URLs on my website.

Setting up SSL was relatively straight forward. I followed a 3 step process – which is listed on my blog. It’s important that you secure all URLs when you install an SSL certificate not just a few. The final part of the setup included me reaching out to WpEngine technical support via live chat to change my website permalinks to the https versions. Just so you know – there are lots of database plugins to do this, but WpEngine tech support will perform this task for you – if you ask them nicely!

With my SSL certificate active – I had nearly finished my WordPress Speed Optimisation Blueprint steps.

Podcast #5: WordPress theme building with speed and performance in mind

Play Podcast #5: WordPress theme building with speed and performance in mind

So far I’d generated a total micro speed gain of 0.226 seconds following the WordPress Speed Up Optimisation Blueprint.

12 years working as a WordPress developer had helped me gain valuable insight on the right things to do to make a WordPress theme load quickly and the wrong things to do to make a WordPress website load quickly!

From the developers perspective: the most efficient method to make a WordPress website theme run as fast as possible is to start with a sound foundation. With a strong, stable and lightweight foundation – any website will run fast.

The least efficient method to optimise a WordPress website speed is to: download a premium theme, and then start to eliminate the assets largely because of 2 reasons:

1. How can I be sure what I eliminate wont stop my theme and website from working?

2. Instead of turning lots of things off, why aren’t I just turning necessary things on?

Now, I appreciate not everyone knows how to build WordPress themes and even if you’re a php developer – the WordPress API requires you to use functions specific to WordPress and call the functions in certain way using PHP. Therefore, good developers need to understand PHP and the WordPress API in order to build speed enhanced WordPress themes.

The good news is I’ve done all the hard work for you and built a customised lightweight WordPress theme. If you want to use my theme, you will need to purchase a site license to use the Genesis Framework parent theme. The link is on my blog and the Speed Up Genesis Child Theme is available to download on my blog.

The speed optimised WordPress website is currently running on the wpspeedupoptimised dot com website. So you can run your own speed tests on it if you wish.
You can read about the special steps I’ve followed to optimise my child theme on the www.slibdesign.com blog article.

Podcast #4: Did aPHP 5 to 7 upgrade make my WordPress website run faster?

Play Podcast #4: Did aPHP 5 to 7 upgrade make my WordPress website run faster?

WordPress requires the php server environment to run.

Did a PHP 5.6 to PHP 7 upgrade make my WordPress website run faster?

No.

But my WordPress website was already running super fast! I’m glad I upgraded my server PHP version to ensure I had the very fastest speed available to me using the PHP language.

If you do a bit of research online – you’ll soon discover that on average PHP version 7 does out perform previous versions of PHP. That was the main reason for upgrading my server from PHP 5.6 to PHP 7.

Now, because I was hosting on a managed hosting package, I just reached out to WpEngine technical support via live chat and requested them to make the upgrade for me . The upgrade was free, although my server IP address did change. This meant that I had to update my DNSMadeEasy DNS settings for a second time. The steps to follow are outlined on my blog article.

If you’re starting to build a website from scratch – just like I did, I’d suggest upgrading to PHP 7. The WordPress Speed Up Optimisation Blueprint process demonstrates how to do this.
Remember it’s all about micro speed gains!

In hindsight, I should have upgraded my WpEngine server before I made my first DNSMadeEasy change. But you live and learn! More information about the WordPress Speed Up Optimisation Blueprint is available on my blog at www.slibdesign.com.