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I was using Google's Pagespeed to analyze a few sites that I work on, some hosted on Webfaction, some hosted elsewhere, some on Wordpress, others on Drupal or no CMS.

http://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/

What I found was that almost all the webfaction sites had a slower server response time, anywhere from .8 to 7 seconds! What can I do, especially on Wordpress sites, to improve that response time?

Thanks!

asked 29 Apr '14, 17:04

Lou%20Friedman's gravatar image

Lou Friedman
015
accept rate: 0%


Hi Lou,

Slow loading times suggest an issue on the server, or a very misconfigured/unoptimized application. It generally takes about 0.3 - 0.4 seconds for me to load a WordPress instance that is not cached on a WebFaction server. If you ever suspect that your server is overloaded, and all your applications are experiencing issues, please submit a support ticket so we can look into it in case we aren't already aware of the problem.

If the server is fine, the general steps to make any website load faster are the same, but with WordPress in mind:

  1. Choose a server that is closest to where your users are.
  2. Keep your WordPress install and any plugins you use up-to-date, and use the latest version of PHP that your theme and plugins support. Having said that, minimize the number of plugins you use, and make sure any custom code you write isn't slowing down the site.
  3. Make sure that your resources are being served as fast as possible and make the client cache them. Our guide here provides instructions on optimizing how your uploads are served, for example. The article here also has simple directives for leveraging browser caching. If you have a lot of scripts and or stylesheets, make sure they are minified. These steps will already drastically increase your PageSpeed score. If you want even more performance, you can also utilize a CDN.
  4. Speed things up on the server. Having WordPress generate your pages on every request is a huge bottleneck. Having WordPress retrieve database records on every requests is an even bigger bottleneck. W3TC is a popular caching plugin, and that is the simple solution. Users can also set up more complex configurations and utilize things like APC and Memcached, or use their own Apache instance behind a reverse proxy cache like Varnish. Note that these require very careful implementation.

Hope that helps!

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answered 29 Apr '14, 19:47

yulian's gravatar image

yulian
27214
accept rate: 24%

Great help there yulian! So I'm moving a site to a new server and vetting possibilities, WebFaction being one of them. The current Wordpress install on a server in Denver, CO, with a CDN in San Jose, CA, returns a response time of .8 sec. and I'm in Lake Tahoe, CA.

BUT The same files on my WebFaction server, setup as a dev site, return an average response time of 3 seconds. Is there any way to tell which servers are where? I will definitely try the plugin—the site is an art gallery with several images of varying resolution.

Thanks!

(29 Apr '14, 20:18) Lou Friedman Lou%20Friedman's gravatar image

If you submit a support ticket we could tell you exactly where your server is, but chances are it's in Texas so latency could be in play if you're seeing higher average loading times from Lake Tahoe; certainly so if you're utilizing a CDN in the same state as yours, which is probably making the real difference (it sounds like for the dev site everything is being loaded from WF).

(29 Apr '14, 21:24) yulian yulian's gravatar image
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question asked: 29 Apr '14, 17:04

question was seen: 8,436 times

last updated: 29 Apr '14, 21:33

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