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speed up wordpress blog There are many websites out there that teach you how to optimize and speed up WordPress blog for faster response times and prepare it for the Digg effect. Today, I will spare you the details and will not go through all those things again. Instead, I am going to recommend to you a WordPress plugin that can quickly and easily speed up your WordPress site and improve your blog’s response time without too much effort on your side.

PHP Speedy is a WordPress plugin that cleans up and compresses your code so that it can load faster. There are few technical configurations that you need to make, but it is definitely manageable, even when you don’t have any coding knowledge

The details…

There are many factors that can cause your WordPress blog to slow down. One of them is having too many javascript and CSS files in your site that choke up your bandwidth. This often happens when you installed too many plugins, or placed too many advertisements on your site. The more javascript/CSS files you have, the more HTTP requests that your site has to make and the longer it take for the page to load.

What PHP Speedy does is:

  • Consolidates all the javascript and CSS and combines them all into two files, one for the javascript code and another for CSS (only applies for those files listed in the <head> tag). This includes all the javascript and CSS file introduced by any of the other plugins.
  • Minifies and compresses the combined file and saves it to the cache.
  • Removes all the javascript and CSS link in the <head> tag and serves the combined file from the cache to the readers.

With PHP Speedy, your site now makes less HTTP requests and serve a smaller compressed version of the file to your reader. I have used it on my site together with the SuperCache plugin. The result has been impressive. I am able to shave three seconds off the loading time, and that is a whopping 40% improvement.

Installing and configuring PHP Speedy

The PHP Speedy plugin is not found in the WordPress plugins repository, so you have to download it from the developer’s site.

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Install the plugin just like any other plugins.

On the plugin setting page, there are several options that you can configure.

Javascript libraries

This is the part where it lists down all the Javascript libraries used by the WordPress software. Although it is unchecked by default, it is wise to check them all and let PHP Speedy handle them.

speed up wordpress site

Ignore list

If you have javascript or CSS files that you don’t want PHP Speedy to handle, here is where you list them all down.

optimize wordpress blog

Minify Options

This is the part where you specify whether PHP Speedy should minify your file. As before, it is better to choose Yes for all.

php speedy wordpress

Compression

I would strongly recommend you to use the htaccess or the WP-SuperCache plugin to activate the compression function for your server.

speedy-gzip

Expires header

The Expires header informs the server that the content is still fresh and the clients (browsers) should load the files directly from the cache. There is no need to retrieve the files again from the database.

speedy-expires

Some limitations

While PHP Speedy is very useful, there are some issues that it cannot solve:

  • If you are using external javascript of CSS files, there is no way that PHP Speedy can handle them.
  • It does not support javascripts that use the document.write feature. In such cases, it is better to include that particular javascript in the ignore list.
  • PHP Speedy only sets the expiration for your CSS and JS files. It doesn’t (yet) handle the images, which would further reduce the site’s loading time.
  • If you are using @import syntax in your CSS file, PHP Speedy won’t be able to support it.

If you can live with the above limitations, then I am sure PHP Speedy will be very handy to you.

What other plugins do you use to improve the performance and speed up WordPress blog?

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