According to Google Labs Site Performance tool, the Solar Polar WordPress website took an average of 6-7 seconds to load during the month of June 2010. With Google now using page loading times as a ranking factor this was an issue that I had to address.
I started to investigate how to cut that page load time.
After a little internet searching I discovered that Google Chrome browser has a developer tool to help. A “Timeline” view which shows page load time.
I also found this great article by Julius Kuhn-Regnier. It highlights many steps that can be taken to speed up your WordPress installation.
To firstly analyse my site I visited the home page using Chrome and once the page had loaded, right clicked and choose “Inspect Element”.
This opens up the Developer tools in the same browser window. You can “undock to a separate window” by clicking the button in the bottom left hand corner.
Choose the “Resources” tab and then underneath the “Graphs” columns choose “Time”. You’ll then see a neat graph of how long each element on your web page is taking to load.
What I changed
I then looked at my WordPress plugins. There were 2 differing version of jquery being called! Not great.
I actually got rid of one of the Social Links plugins. It seemed more hassle than it was worth. If I need the links I’ll just hard code them in a text widget.
I then used the advice in Julius Kuhn-Regnier‘s blog. JQuery is actually used within WordPress itself so in my own header just before the <?php wp_head() ?> section I included the call.
<?php wp_enqueue_script("jquery"); ?>
more to follow as I document the list….