Improving Page Load Time for WordPress

Pingdom Website Speed Test

I have recently been spending some time looking at ways of improving page load time for WordPress websites. This has the twin benefits of improving user experience whilst at the same time improving Google ranking.

In this article I will look at some practical ways in which I am seeking to improve the page load time on this website.

Benchmarking is critical when seeking to bring about measurable, quantifiable improvements in page speed. One possible test model would involve measuring page load speed on a clean default installation of WordPress and then again after adding individual plugins, or replacing templates. However, some results would be more relevant when performed on a site containing a representative sample of content.

This blog, started in 2008 and subject to repeated and prolonged periods of neglect since then, is as good a place to start as any.

Improving site speed with W3 Total Cache on a Shared Server

GTmetrix results after installing W3 Total cache

I am currently developing a WordPress website for a Equine Breakdown company. The site features an eCommerce shop powered by WooCommerce.  This enables customers to purchase breakdown cover online, and pay using payPal or by Direct Debit.

When launched the site will run on a Virtual Private Server, but in the meantime I am developing it in a test server environment on a Shared Server.

Joomla 1.5 SEO Checklist

Joomla 1.5 SEO Check List

Here’s a simple SEO check list for Joomla 1.5.x, added for my own reference, and based on the checklist at the excellent Red Evolution website:

I’ll blog further on my experience of implementing these seo tactics on my own sites, to develop my own personal list.

  • Use SEF URL’s.
    Our preferred solution is SEF Advance.  It’s not perfect but it works very well. It’s also fast and simple to set up.
    If you are using SEF Advance you can set it to hide the section and category in the URL. This can make the URL’s simpler and shorter.
  • Page Title settings
    Set the page title to HIDE in the parameters, you can do this globally. This allows the page Title box to be used for a well crafted page TITLE element, very important for SEO, and then simply use a normal H1 element for the on page title. For content items use the title alias for your SEF URL.
  • H1 on-page header
    With the page title set to HIDE create an H1 on-page header, assuming the page content needs a header. You may need to style your CSS to make this look OK.
    Create a unique META DESCRIPTION for each page. Google uses these in the SERPs.
    Create unique META KEYWORDS for each page. They are no longer important but it’s better to be safe than sorry. May still have some impact on legacy search engines?
  • Global Configuration Settings
    Empty the global META TAGS in Global Config.
    Empty the Site Name in the Global Config.
  • Fix Canonical Issues
    To fix the so called canonical issues and make sure you only have one version of your homepage add the following lines to your .htaccess file AFTER replacing ‘’ with your own domain.
    #Red Evo index.php fix
    RewriteCond %{THE_REQUEST} ^[A-Z]{3,9}\ /index\.php\ HTTP/
    RewriteRule ^index\.php$ [R=301,L]
    #Red Evo Homepage fix
    Redirect 301 /home
  • Install the Joomap extension
    Install the Joomap extension and tell Google, Live, Yahoo etc about your site!
  • Install Google Analytics
    Install Google Analytics and/or Clicky into your template’s index.php file using the in built Joomla! Template Manager.
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