When we browse websites online, we definitely want the fastest speed. This has something to do with your network connection. However, on top of that, it is the website load time or page load time that matters.
Let’s imagine if you visit a site that normally take 3 seconds to load up fully, and one day you just find that you have been waiting for more than 10 seconds and the page still yet to load up fully. This is really annoying!
People usually just think that something’s wrong with the site and close it straight away. If I keep visiting the site a few times yet seeing the slow page load time, the chance for me to come back to visit the site is very slim.
Let’s put this into our perspective. How long is your website page load time? Do you even feel impatient when you load up your own site? If you did, you bet the response of your visitors. How many visitors have you missed just because of the slow page load time on your website?
Page Load Time – How Do You Measure?
In order to properly measure the page load time we will need to access a free service – Pingdom rather than using a stop watch and count the page load time ourselves, due to the limitation of our broadband service. Just visit Pingdom and enter your website URL and Pingdom will do the rest of the job by determining your website’s page load time.
Below is a screenshot before and after I implemented the tweak on my one my blogs:
The page load time up from 5.45 seconds to 1.36 seconds. The speed of the page load time just 4 times faster after I implement the tweak! This is pretty amazing to me. When I browse the site myself, I can definitely feel a lot faster. Although I would not say pingdom test is 100% accurate but at least it gives you a rough idea of the improvement. Even the page load speed is double, it is good enough given that I only spend a few minutes to do the tweak.
So, go ahead and use Pingdom to get an idea of your page load time on your website.
Free Plugin To Increase Page Load Time
There are a lot of thing that you can do to increase page load time but I do not want to get into too technical, i.e. to modify templates, doing something that involve programming (not even simple html). The only thing I have done is to install a free plugin, W3 Total Cache that helps me to speed up my page load time.
Steps to Configure W3 Total Cache
I didn’t play around too much with W3 Total Cache so I will only briefly run through the setting that I used to to increase my page load time by 4 times. It is a pretty versatile plugin with lot of setting but I only modify the general setting. So refer to the steps below.
1. After you have installed and activated the plugin, go to the General Setting tab under Performance, as shown below:
2. Check Enable Page Cache, Enable Minify, Enable Database Cache, Enable Object Cache, Enable Browser Cache. If you are using content delivery network (CDN), you can also modify the setting there. For my blog, I only do the minimal setting.
3. Save all Settings and click on the Deploy button. You need to do that otherwise the setting will be only in the preview mode.
That’s all for what I have done to my blog to get the page load speed 4 times faster.
Note: You can also use WP Super Cache to speed up your page load time as well. This plugin is recommended by Hostgator and you can refer to this page to check out the recommended plugin configuration.
Feel free to share your experience with some other critical setting with W3 Total Cache or other plugins you found it useful to increase speed of page load time. Leave me a comment below and let me know what you think.