And, surprisingly, there’s little or no information available about how to tune your blogs for a bit of a speed boost. Not all in one place anyway.
To fill that gap, Luke Corden as released Speed Demon, a video tutorial course (with accompanying 111-page PDF for those who prefer to read rather than watch).
The course is broken down into 5 sections, as you can see in the screenshot below of the Members’ Area:
Some of these techniques you may already be using, depending on your level of experience with WordPress.
Speed Demon Pros
I spent a few hours going through all the material and testing it out and, while I’m an experienced WordPress user, there were a few new nuggets of information for me here that I could apply to my sites to squeeze a little more speed out of them.
For WordPress newbies or those not familiar with tweaking WordPress sites, the course will be very useful and provides step-by-step instructions on what to do to make your blogs perform better. What’s more, just about everything is free; i.e. tools and plugins you use to analyze and fix your site are all free.
Speed Demon Cons
The one exception is towards the end of the course where Content Delivery Networks are mentioned. While you can sign up for one of these free, you do need to provide credit card details so you can be automatically charged once you go over your free allocation of resources.
I don’t use a content delivery network myself so I can’t advise on typical costs. However, costs will be based on resource usage. I think that a $39.95 per month fee is a typical amount you’d be looking at. Only you can decide if that expenditure is worth it for your site.
There’s an instruction in the course about setting the permissions on the wp-content folder and all folders and subfolders in it to 777 which is a very bad idea. Permissions are set on files and folders to allow only certain people to have access to them. 777 permissions provide access to everybody (who knows where to look). So do not follow this instruction. If you need to change the permissions on a file or folder, WordPress will tell you itself and you can then make the requisite change.
With the caveats about not setting the permissions on the wp-content folder and that a content delivery network will cost money, the course is a solid guide on how to squeeze some extra speed out of your blogs.
Luke says that any site that take more than 2 seconds to load is going to lose visitors. That may be an indictment on the piddling attention spans of people today, but there are other factors that can affect page load speeds that are outside of your control. 2 seconds or under is achievable but I think that load speeds under 4-5 seconds are acceptable. And these techniques will certainly get you in the 2-5 second range.
Besides, the course is only $9.95 (well, for the next 6 days anyway – till Feb. 27th anyway!)
Filed under: WordPress Stuff