Crowd Spot Media Speed Optimization Case Study

WordPress Speed Optimization Case Study – www.crowdspotmedia.com

Crowd Spot Media speed optimization case studyNext site in the series of our WordPress site speed optimization case studies is crowdspotmedia.com, hosted on WP Engine. As in our previous speed optimization case studies, understanding the current speed status of site is the first step.

Simultaneously, we have always advised people to take a complete backup of their site as a precautionary measure before making any changes at the live site. Following the same rules, we took a complete backup of the site before moving ahead on our journey of site speed optimization.

GTmetrix, Pingdom Tools and Webpagetest are the three most prominent speed testing tools used by us in our various speed optimization case studies.

Step 1 : Analyse Current Speed Status of Your Site

First step of site speed optimization starts by diagnosing the factors which are responsible for reducing your site speed and increasing page load time. Unless and until we know the reason behind slow loading websites, we can not fix it to run at super fast speed. In order to find out these speed blocking factors, we rely on some excellent online speed testing websites. Let us have a look at these site speed reports and note the down the speed pulling factors which are in need of improvement.

GTmetrix Test before Speed Optimization

GTmetrix Report before Speed Optimization

Page Speed Grade: (90%) A

YSlow Grade: (93%) A

Page load time: 2.03 s

Total page size: 456 KB

Total number of requests: 27

Pingdom Tools Test before Speed Optimization

Pingdom Speed Test before OptimizationPage size: 523.2 kB

Load time: 746 ms

Requests: 27

Perf. grade: 89/100

Your website is faster than 93% of all tested websites.

Webpagetest Report before Speed Optimization

Webpagetest Report before OptimizationFirst Byte Time : A
Keep-alive Enabled : A
Compress Transfer : A
Compress Images : F
Progressive JPEGs : F
Cache static content : B
Effective use of CDN : YES

First View 2.103 s
Repeat View 0.299 s

Step 2 : Update WordPress Theme to its Latest Version

WordPress themes play a key role behind shaping up a site visually as well as functionally. Keeping your WordPress themes updated is quite important to maintain a good healthy website. Updating your WordPress themes synchronises itself with the regular WordPress updates rolling out as the existing themes must adapt themselves to match WordPress updates.

We took DB Backup to ensure that in case of any issues during the update, we can roll back our site to the current state without losing anything. Instead of FTP, we added SFTP to transfer files in a secure way. All the old themes were updated to their latest versions.

Step 3 : Optimize Images and Fix Favicon

First of all, we uploaded favicon file on the site and also added it to the theme so that the site is free from favicon related issue. Creating an .ico file with the specified favicon dimensions is highly recommended. Since this case study site is quite small with a few images, we thought of getting WP Smush.it to optimize images.

We installed, activated and tried to run it through bulk image optimization option. Unluckily, the API did not worked due to some reasons so we removed the plugin. Rather than using an automated image optimization plugin, we thought of optimizing these images manually as they were quite less in number. You can use a good image editor to optimize your images before uploading it to the site.

Step 4 : Configure .htaccess for Speed Optimization

As we have mentioned in many of our earlier case studies, .htaccess file is like a gateway to your site and needs to be configured properly. We opened .htaccess file and carefully edited it with the following code.

<ifModule mod_php5.c>
php_value zlib.output_compression on
</ifModule>

<FilesMatch “.(ico|pdf|flv|jpg|jpeg|png|gif|js|css|swf)$”>
Header set Cache-Control “max-age=604800, public”
</FilesMatch>

SetOutputFilter DEFLATE

<IfModule mod_headers.c>
Header set Connection keep-alive
Header append Vary User-Agent env=!dont-vary
</IfModule>

<IfModule mod_expires.c>
ExpiresActive on
ExpiresDefault “access plus 14 days”
Header set Cache-Control “public”
</IfModule>

<FilesMatch “\.(html|htm|xml|txt|xsl)$”>
Header set Cache-Control “max-age=7200, must-revalidate”
</FilesMatch>

<IfModule mod_mime.c>
AddType application/x-javascript .js
AddType text/css .css
</IfModule>

<IfModule mod_deflate.c>
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/css application/x-javascript text/x-component text/html text/richtext image/svg+xml text/plain text/xsd text/xsl text/xml image/x-icon application/javascript
</IfModule>

<IfModule mod_setenvif.c>
SetEnvIfNoCase Request_URI \.(?:rar|zip)$ no-gzip dont-vary
SetEnvIfNoCase Request_URI \.(?:avi|mov|mp4)$ no-gzip dont-vary
SetEnvIfNoCase Request_URI \.mp3$ no-gzip dont-vary
</IfModule>

# BEGIN WordPress

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^index\.php$ – [L]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /index.php [L]
</IfModule>

# END WordPress

After playing with all the possibilities to optimize site speed, now comes the testing time. Let us have a look at the different site speed test reports one by one.

GTmetrix Test After Speed Optimization

GTmetrix test after speed optimizationPage Speed Grade: (97%) A

YSlow Grade: (94%) A

Page load time: 0.68 s

Total page size: 374 KB

Total number of requests: 25

Pingdom Tools Test After Speed Optimization

Pingdom Test Report After Speed OptimizationPage size: 441.3 kB

Load time: 642 ms

Requests: 27

Perf. grade: 94/100

Your website is faster than 95% of all tested websites.

Webpagetest Report after Speed Optimization

Webpagetest Report after Speed OptimizationFirst Byte Time: A
Keep-alive Enabled: A
Compress Transfer: A
Compress Images: B
Progressive JPEGs: A
Cache static content: A
Effective use of CDN: YES

First View 1.095 s
Repeat View 0.272s

Site Speed Improvement Analysis (Before and After)

Site Speed Improvement Analysis Based on GTmetrix Reports

Factor Before Optimization After Optimization Result Gain
Page Speed Grade 90% (A) 97% (A) Improved 08%
YSlow Grade 93% (A) 94% (A) Improved 01%
Page load time 2.03 s 0.68 s Improved 67%
Total page size 456 Kb 374 kB Improved 18%
Total number of requests 27 25 Improved 07%

Values of Page Speed Grade, YSlow Grade, Total page size as well as the Total number of requests got better.

Site Speed Improvement Analysis Based on Pingdom Tools

Factor Before Optimization After Optimization Result Gain
Page Size 523.2 kB 441.3 kB Improved 16%
Load time 746 ms 642 ms Improved 14%
Requests 27 27 No Change NA
Perf. Grade 89/100 94/100 Improved 06%

Your website is faster than 95% of all tested websites. [Earlier: Your website is slower than 93% of all tested websites.]

Values of Page size, Load time and Perf. Grade improved.

Site Speed Improvement Analysis Based on Webpagetest Reports

Factor Before Optimization After Optimization Result
First Byte Time A A No Change
Keep-alive Enabled A A No Change
Compress Transfer A A No Change
Compress Images F B Improved
Progressive JPEGs F A Improved
Cache static content B A Improved
Effective use of CDN YES YES No Change
First View 2.103 s 1.095 s Improved (48%)
Repeat View 0.299 s 0.272 s Improved (09%)

Conclusion

Our case study site is fully optimized for speed. The above site speed reports and speed improvement analysis presents a good proof of our site speed optimization results. Site is loading in less than 1 second. and that is our definition of super fast running sites. You can follow similar steps to optimize your own WordPress website quite easily, although do understand that each and every website is unique in nature.

Depending on your web host infrastructure as well as the WordPress plugins on your site, you may not achieve the same level of site speed performance by following similar steps. You can comment below or send an email to me about your experience or queries related to site speed optimization. I am professionally available for commercial site speed optimization consultation on oDesk.

Website Speed Optimization Case Study Details
Website – www.crowdspotmedia.com
Web Host Server – WP Engine
Site Speed Optimizer – +Mark de Scande
Editor – +Ashutosh Kasera

Author 


WordPress Site Speed Expert, Speeding up WordPress sites across the Globe

I am the fuel behind the high speed of innumerable fast running wordpress websites hosted either on a cheap server or a dedicated server.
Today, Speed is a matter of great concern, and I don't only optimize but re-energize. I am also a lifetime WPMU Dev member.


One of the largest free blogging websites BlogLines in South Africa is my baby. I not only conceived the idea of free blogging in South Africa, but also implemented it with an objective of adding a new dimension to the world of free blogging. Blogging helps us in enhancing the quality of our social life by transforming the ways in which we share our ideas and opinions with each other. South Africa blogging environment has never been so easy and user-friendly as it is today.

I have practised and learned all the technical aspects related to WordPress. In the past couple of years, I have developed a wide range of websites using WordPress, WordPress MU and now using the latest WordPress MultiSite.

I am the WordPress Speed Energizer Wiz, and I am always hunting around to find slow running websites. I know, these websites need me in order to live a long and healthy life.
Only the wordpress sites powered with speed, capable of running at full throttle are going to survive in this tough and competitive world of Internet.

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