I’ve been performing an occasional webpage speed test on this blog since Google’s announcement about using site speed in web search ranking.
It’s not a high priority, but I want to at least try to stay up to par.
The Firefox Page Speed delivers the same overall results as the Page Speed Online. YSlow is a different kind of tool that I use less. Because right now, I’m at the limits of my knowledge about webpage speed tests. Let me explain.
The reports to speed up load time of this site showed quite some improvements at the beginning. I can understand optimizing my graphics (in fact, Page Speed offers you to download these optimized graphics and upload them to your server). Easy.
I also managed to solve problems like
– Minify CSS,
– Enable compression,
– Leverage browser caching,
– Minify HTML and
– Optimize the order of styles and scripts.
But things like
– Specify a cache validator,
– Remove query strings from static resources and
– Specify a Vary: Accept-Encoding header
are much harder for me to solve.
There’s a lot of general information available on the links mentioned above, but I really would like simple and easy step-by-step instructions on how to implement different optimization methods.
Nevertheless, an online webpage speed test for Affordable Internet Marketing results in a score of 93.
I achieved that thanks to the use of a great plugin called W3 Total Cache.
It allowed me to learn a lot about tecnical matters to speed up the loading of web pages. I took little steps to develop my experience with these matters.
Also, this plugin creates an .htaccess file, to be stored in your blog folder, that sets caching conditions to leverage browser caching and enable compression.
Unfortunately, this plugin is so advanced that it exceeds my technical knowledge and it resulted in many 404’s, even in my back office. So I deleted the plugin, not because it’s bad, but it’s too technical for me.
Nevertheless, I kept parts of the .htaccess file that it gereated and together with a new Cache plugin it works fine and results in a webpage speed test score of 93.
Here’s what I have in my htaccess file right now (yes, I know, there’s a way to shorten this code, but I like it the way it is 🙂 ).
Mind you, if you’re going to apply anything from this file, remember to save your old file so you can put it back in case anything goes wrong!
YSlow finds even more things to optimize, but many of them, too, are beyond my knowledge. I use that one as the next step in my tech experience.
The small optimization step I’m working at right now is creating sprites (combines multiple background images into a single image) using a great site called Sprite Me. My first attempt failed miserably, but I’m ready to try again.
So, that’s how I use a webpage speed test to decrease the load time of my pages.
If you have any comments, additions, resources or remarks, post them below.
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