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 blog article.


Podcast #2: Making a WordPress website load quickly starts with the DNS lookup speed

Play Podcast #2: Making a WordPress website load quickly starts with the DNS lookup speed

Making a WordPress website load quickly doesn’t start with anything to do with WordPress!

To build a high speed WordPress website you need to obtain lots and lots of micro speed gains! Website speed gains are generally measured in milli seconds – 1000th s of a second. They’re super fast!

Micro speed gains are millisecond speed improvements that by themselves are un-noticeable to a human being because they’re so fast. However, when you combine lots of micro speed gains, they soon become a much larger total speed gain. A larger total speed gain is a detectable number that becomes noticeable to website visitors on a website. It impacts the speed of web page content delivery through page loading.

The first micro speed gain that I’m going to talk about in my podcast is DNS look up speed.

For the sake of my podcast, I’m going to explain quickly what a DNS look up is before we talk about how to optimise the speed of one.

A DNS look up is performed every time an internet user types a website address into their website browser search bar. Each time a website address is typed in and the user presses return on their keyboard – their web browser performs a DNS lookup. It all happens without the browser displaying anything. First of all the users web browser connects to nameservers where the domain is searched and a server IP address is found. Once the server IP address is retrieved – the website browser is diverted to the web server. So you can think of a server IP address a bit like a post code or zip code of a website – which can be anywhere in the World. This information tells the website browser where to connect to – to load a website! This is a very simple explanation of how a DNS look up is performed.

When you buy a domain, it often comes with nameservers. Nameserver are basically servers that have an index of server IP address and domains. A nameserver needs to know these two things to display a website when a link is clicked or an internet user types a website address and hits return in their web browser.

The 1st step in The WordPress Speed Up Optimisation Blueprint is: to select a premium DNS provider that any domain can be linked to. A premium DNS provider has quick nameservers that can perform a fast DNS lookup.

In my WordPress Speed Up Optimisation Blueprint I witnessed a 78 milli second speed gain comparing the standard nameserver look up speed to the premium nameserver look up speed.

Therefore, if you want to build a super fast WordPress website – remember… the first thing you should do is connect your domain name to a high speed DNS service provider to obtain a high speed DNS look up speed. Let’s face it: a 78 milli second speed saving isn’t going to be detectable to your website visitors on its own, but when it’s combined with lots and lots of other micro speed gains – it soon becomes a tangible and recognisable speed gain that website visitors start to notice because they see pages loading much more quickly than on other websites.

If you are performing your own website speed tests on Pingdom or GTMetrix – the first bar on the chart will be the DNS look up speed. If you’re seeing a number greater than around 100ms (a connection speed) you’re missing out on a micro speed gain!

You can read about the DNS speed up process on article.