Feb 15, 2012

What are the best tools for speeding up a website?

What are some good tools that I can use to help determine what is the cause of website slowdown. I've been using firebug to edit and debug, but something that provides more useful and comprehensive diagnostics. Any tools out there that people have found particularly useful?


You can also use CDN, CloudFlare is my preferred choice if you don't have some money to spend. I use W3Cache Wordpress plugin combined with CloudFlare to speed up my blog and you cannot forget that the server hosting your site can also be the cause of slow speed just as the reply commenter said. 


If you have already optimized your site as much as possible by compressing images, combining CSS/Javascript files and using some sort of cache system for dynamic content and still experience slow load times then your hosting service is the likely culprit. No amount of optimization can overcome an overloaded network or underpowered server. If you are running a dedicated server I would suggest physical hardware upgrades such as more RAM/faster CPU. You could also look into the LiteSpeed platform. It performs much more efficiently and quicker than Apache while using less server resources.

I am not sure what platform you are using, but I hope you will consider using some kind of caching program. I use an excellent WordPress plugin called W3 Total Cache. It's excellent and can help speed up a WordPress site considerably.

You can get more info here about it:


"The fastest and most complete WordPress performance optimization plugin. Trusted by many popular blogs like: mashable.com, pearsonified.com, noupe.com, webdesignerdepot.com, freelanceswitch.com, briansolis.com, tutsplus.com, yoast.com, css3.info and others — W3 Total Cache improves the user experience of your blog by improving your server performance, caching every aspect of your site, reducing the download time of your theme and providing transparent content delivery network (CDN) integration.
At least 10x improvement in site performance (when fully configured: Grade A in YSlow or great Google Page Speed Improvements)
“Instant” second page views (browser caching after first page view)
Reduced page load time: increased visitor time on site (visitors view more pages)
Optimized progressive render (pages appear to load instantly)
Improved web server performance (easily sustain high traffic spikes)
Up to 80% Bandwidth savings via Minify and HTTP compression of HTML, CSS, JavaScript and RSS feeds
Compatible with shared hosting, virtual private servers and dedicated servers / clusters
Transparent content delivery network (CDN) integration with Media Library, theme files and WordPress itself
Caching of (minified and compressed) pages and posts in memory or on disk
Caching of (minified and compressed) CSS and JavaScript in memory, on disk or on CDN
Caching of RSS (comments, page and site) feeds in memory or on disk
Caching of search results pages (i.e. URIs with query string variables) in memory or on disk
Caching of database objects in memory
Minification of posts and pages and RSS feeds
Minification (combine and remove comments / white space) of inline, embedded or 3rd party JavaScript (with automated updates)
Minification (combine and remove comments / white space) of inline, embedded or 3rd party CSS (with automated updates)
Browser caching of CSS, JavaScript and HTML using future expire headers and entity tags (ETag)
JavaScript grouping by template (home page, post page etc) with embed location management
Non-blocking JavaScript embedding
Import post attachments directly into the Media Library (and CDN)
Easily improve the user experience for your readers without having to change WordPress, your theme, your plugins or how you produce your content."
There is actually a very helpful tool in Firebug that helps you evaluate your website. If you open Firebug and go to the Page Speed tab, it will show you how good (or bad) your website download performance is and provide a score from 1 to 100. The list below the score of things like "minify CCS" and "Optimize images" will have bullets beside them that show yellow, green or red to indicate whether they need to be addressed. It's a pretty helpful tool, and if you are already using Firebug, you should make use of it. You might want to consider also adding Page Speed by Google. You should be able to improve your website noticeably (and increase your Firebug Page Speed score) by effectively using these tools.
Answer this