I’ve spend significant time optimizing my site for speed. It’s true that Google favors sites that are fast, but I do it because I hate waste, and I find it enjoyable to optimize things.
The yield from this effort is that I now average ~200ms load times for my WordPress content. In short, my site is fast, and I get a lot of questions and comments on how I get this kind of speed, so here’s my setup:
- I run highly optimized markup. I wrote my theme myself (it’s the same for my WordPress and custom content), and it’s focused on simplicity and speed.
- I use inline CSS data to serve my core site images. So, once you pull my CSS you have my logo image and every other image you see in my core template. And that’s cached, so you only get it once. Everything pops after that.
- I run Nginx instead of Apache. It’s attacked less, extremely lightweight, and very fast.
- I compress and cache the hell out of everything using nginx.
- I run Varnish as a front-end to Nginx, which gives wicked fast response times. Basically, it serves your entire site as static files–out of memory.
- I use CloudFlare, which sits in front of all of this, caches my images and CSS and serves them from local distribution points worldwide, and fields all of my junk traffic such as bots and low-level web attacks.
The results have their own voice.
[ In addition to speed, this configuration allows me to take significant traffic while barely noticing. I've been on the front page of Reddit and Hacker News a number of times using this configuration, and my server giggled slightly. ]
So yeah, this config is rockin’, but I am always looking to improve. Hit me up with questions, comments, and ways you think I can optimize. I love to hear from fellow optimizers.
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