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Appleton WordPress Message Board › Page load speeds - could be our host.

Page load speeds - could be our host.

Jeff R.
Greenville, WI
Post #: 15
Desktop with Canvas (WooTheme): 65 / 100, Desktop with 2014: 70/100.
Mobile speeds about 10 points lower for both.
Suggestions include "Should fix" Enable compression, "Consider fixing" Eliminate render-blocking JavaScript and CSS in above-the-fold content.
Desktop with Boast (WooTheme): 62/100, Desktop with 2014: 72/100.
Again, mobile speeds are about 10 points lower with both themes.
Same suggestions as above, but also suggesting Optimize images (apparently BOTH of them) and Leverage Browser caching.

In the end, doesn't have a whole lot going on - some text, the jquery load, the nav menu built on the fly, and grabbing the Google fonts ... none of that should be terribly detrimental to load time. But when combined with what Lynn has been going through on her new Sterling Ridge site, I'm thinking much of the issue is connectivity to our host's servers. Certainly losing 10 points between 2014 and a WooTheme can be attributed in part to an additional layer (Woo FrameWork) and that's less than optimal. I'd still trade 10 points for a well-built infrastructure. I'd be happier if they could trim it to a 5 point differential, but most of the issue appears to be LiquidWeb in my opinion.
Caleb S.
user 44183672
Neenah, WI
Post #: 2
How do we really fix Eliminate render-blocking JavaScript and CSS in above-the-fold content? I understand what they're saying, but WTF? Should I add the render blocking CSS to the head on initial load and set a cookie when the regular CSS sheet downloads. Then on each additional page load check for the cookie and don't include CSS in the head? Who does this? How is it done effectively?
Jeff R.
Greenville, WI
Post #: 16
Actually it looks (from the Google Developers' page) like I would be "removing" render-blocking code in the .js & .css in about a dozen files. Seems like a lot of fussing for a few milliseconds ... and then what about when any modification is made or code is updated ... do it all again? Hmmm.
Lynn R.
user 14159651
Appleton, WI
Post #: 4
Hi Jeff,
It's not Liquid Web hosting. I have been having the same issues on the dev site at Bluehost. Liquid Web has suggested that I use compression (Optimize tool in cPanel) which I have done. They also said to try Gzip, but find the results debatable.

So this morning my page speed (Enfold theme from Themeforest) was up from a low-E (52/100) to a mid-C (71/100) score. I used WP Smush-it (recommend by GTMetrics) on the images. It reduced a few image sizes, but broke a bunch of links.

That's when I discovered two things:
1-even though I had changed the links to the new domain in MyPHPAdmin, there were a bunch of images that were hard-coded to the old site. (Found and fixed them with Blue Velvet Underground plugin, which was recommended by GTMetrics -if I remeber correctly). And then using the GTMetrics tools as described below.
2- using the drop down for each 'suggestion' in GTMetrics will open exactly which link/image is the problem. From there, I am now scaling each image (which Smush-it didn't fix) to the size that is being used/recommended. I'm doing this one-by-one within the WordPress Library tools. Tedious, but not so many that I shouldn't have it done in an hour or so.

Then I will look into the YSlow which says I need to:
Add Expires headers
Make fewer HTTP requests
Use cookie-free domains
Avoid URL redirects
Configure entity tags (ETags)

I found a plugin "Add Headers" that might fix this. It just looks like a bit of code to add to the functions.php in my child theme. If anyone knows anything about this kind of thing, I'd love the feedback. I plan to test it on the dev site and see if it messes anything up and/or improves the score.

After that I'm done! (for now) I was told not to chase the numbers too much, I just couldn't live with a 'F' grade.


Jeff R.
Greenville, WI
Post #: 17
Some good suggestions in the post Lynn - thank you!

As a matter of practice, I leave image files for the theme (things like buttons / backgrounds / borders) at full size, but I could see where compressing them would be an advantage ... perhaps I'll give that a go. When it comes to image files that are actually what I call "content pictures", I ALWAYS scale those before uploading ... never taller than 600px or wider than 800px if it's at all possible. Again - compression might be an option to speed things up - but only if it doesn't degrade image quality.

As for the rest of the YSlow recommendations - definitely grist for the mill. We can learn a lot about how efficiently our themes are designed by looking in to how much of that is necessary.

Steve H.
user 40673292
Greenville, WI
Post #: 13
This might help, I'm going to give it a try.­
Jeff R.
Greenville, WI
Post #: 20
Improved one of my sites by 5 points ... so I'd call it a helper, but I'm not going to say it's the "Holy Grail" of performance improvement.
Lynn R.
user 14159651
Appleton, WI
Post #: 6
Good stuff, Steve. Thanks for playing!

I actually modified the .htaccess like this file yesterday (via my SEO by Yoast plugin) and it worked great.

Previously, using the tips provided in for WordPress, I resized images, added a cache (Quick Cache plugin) and minified my css. Clicking on each of the issues, pulls up a 'how to' on fixing each issue.

This is the link that my ace hosting guy told me to use (love the name!):

I've done some, but not all of these fixes.

So after my changes yesterday, I'm at (80/100) to (71/100) score! Yeah!

NOW -and this might be a question for Marc B. Will I be able to take this site and replicate it with new sites, to minimize the time or will I need to go through these steps with ever new site. I think the answer might be a bit of both (images for example are always a variable).
Lynn R.
user 14159651
Appleton, WI
Post #: 7
I just got a few extra points using this link
Configure ETags

In Apache's httpd.conf file, modify the FileEtag line, or insert one. It should read:

FileETag MTime Size

Your ETags will now be a hash using the file's size and its last modified time. The point is that without this line, your ETags also use the "node" or server in the ETag. The same file on two servers would have different ETags, which can make caching fail if your browser encounters a file served by a different server from the version it has in its cache. If you have only one server, it doesn't matter, but it makes YSlow happy.

Good tip for Liquid Web users - hint, hint.
Jeff R.
Greenville, WI
Post #: 22

Thanks Lynn!
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