Useful Resources for Optimising your Website for speed

Posted by OnTheInternet.co.nz in Useful Hints and Tips on December 23, 2014 with No Comments

Optimising for speed is important to the success of your site. Research shows that if visitors to your site wait longer than they think is reasonable, they will give up and go elsewhere. The magic figure seems to be around 3-5 seconds, before you have to make an impression, so if you keep those visits coming in, then you need to be optimising for speed.

There are a number of great resources online. As we do a mixture of both WordPress and Joomla sites, we’ll start with the ones that you will find most useful for any site. Any of the sites we build for our clients are pre-optimised using the resources below and may optionally include other add-on optimisations such as content delivery networks.

Useful for any type of site

GTMetrix.com

Our favourite go to for speed optimising the sites we build. The interface is easy to use, and it combines the work of the two key page checkers – YSlow and Google Page Speed. After checking, feedback is useful, and the site ranks any actions required in order of performance impact. Unfortunately testing is not available from a New Zealand based node. but testing is available from Sydney, Australia.

Webpagetest.com

Performs a similar task to the GTMetrix site, but the interface isn’t as nice. It does however have a New Zealand based testing node provided by Trade Me

Feedthebot.com

Provides a range of tools useful for optimising. Tools aren’t completely integrated (although many are) which makes the site navigation a little clunky, but the tools are useful, and provide a different view to what GTMetrix or Webpagetest.com, do.

Smush.it

The Smush.it tool from Yahoo, does one thing – optimises images. Doing so decreases the size of the image, and therefore imroves the time it takes to download your website. The interface is simple to use, but you need to have access to your site (ftp or similar) to upload the results.

Joomla Specific tools

Aside from the above, there are resources available to help you optimise your Joomla website for speed. The best one we’ve come across is joomla-seo.net. The site is specifically focused on Joomla tuning and provides a useful checklist for tuning your Joomla site.

For our Joomla sites we recommend JCH Optimize (There is a WordPress version available as well).This tool makes configuration easier by providing a number of pre configured set-ups – but for tinkerers, there is the opportunity to adjust these settings if required.

WordPress Specific tools

We like the GTMetrix Plugin that allows you to test your WordPress site using GTMetrix, within WordPress. We also recommend the venerable  W3 Total Cache

As you update your website, the performance of your site can decrease, so it’s important to regularly check your sites pages and adjust them accordingly. If you need help with this, please let us know.

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