Installing WordPress is incredibly easy. Optimizing it just as easy.
Being a pursuer of optimized pages, I started checking for ways to optimize the output of WordPress. By following Yahoo! Best Practices guide I surmise that the biggest factors in page load are:
- Reduce HTML elements.
- Cache files if server side calls are expensive. Use GZIP compression on files.
- Use GZIP compression on files.
Reduce HTML Elements
This step is quite easy. This is dependent on the theme chosen, which controls all of the output for the blog. I am currently using the Green-Park 2 theme designed by Andreas Jacob. Andreas is incredibly talented and has designed this theme to be lightweight from the ground up.
I am designing a theme which includes many of the tricks Andreas used in Green-Park 2, such as the addition of CSS3 effects that degrade down to CSS2.
Cache files if server side calls are expensive.
WordPress is incredibly powerful, but can be bogged down by PHP calls on every page load. This is usually insignificant to worry about, but when lots of visitors visit the blog those PHP calls can increase page load by a significant amount. A way to fight this slowdown is to cache the generated files and serve those generated files. On this blog I use WP Super Cache, which performs the caching automatically.
Use GZIP compression on files.
Gzipping generally reduces the response size by about 70%. Approximately 90% of today’s Internet traffic travels through browsers that claim to support gzip.