How do I achieve 1403% performance boost? (Series)

June 26, 2024 (3w ago)

1403% Performance Boost. 158 Milisecond Load Time.

This is the first post of the series where I’ll share how I convert slow websites into blazing fast websites.

This process is so helpful that I use it to make "fast enough" websites "even faster than ever" 💨

I'm starting the series with: 🕵️ How I audit a website for Performance bottlenecks?

Follow me on Linkedin to make sure you don’t miss next parts of this series!

This Audit process guides me throughout the entire optimization!

Let’s get started now!

First off, I have this mindset:

  • Little things add up. So, better fix them.
  • If an improvement is possible, do it! There's no harm.
  • Keep looking for further optimization opportunities.

Then, my process starts with a detailed Audit & its understanding.

Get this wrong, I will have no idea what to do. I'll be stuck!

Get this right, which I do, I reach loading time as fast as 158ms.

It doesn't matter which tools I use for Audit.

What matters is how I find answers to the questions that matter.

Which questions? These four:

  • Why is the website slow?
  • What needs to be done to make it fast?
  • Where do I need to focus?
  • What can & can't be ignored?

The most helpful audit I do is Manual.

These are my most helpful tools (sorted by helpfulness):

  1. Rahat's Brain x Chrome Devtools
  2. GTmetrix Waterfall
  3. Page Speed Insights

Another is WebPageTest, but I rarely use it. Though it is really powerful.

Here's what I (and you should) look for in the audit:

  • Is the LCP JS-dependent?
  • Is there any mixed-content issue?
  • Is the rendered & intrinsic size of images different?
  • Are there any addons used (In case of Elementor)?
  • Are there any redirect chains?
  • Are there any HTTP errors like 500, 403, 404?
  • Are there any unnecessary assets loading & unnecessary preloads?
  • Is there any OVER optimization done? Yes, that's a thing too.
  • Is server response time OK?
  • Is there any CDN active?
  • What is the size of assets above-the-fold?

Above are the points for external audit.

External Audit is when you do not have login of website.

Following are the points for internal audit.

This is when you do have login of website.

  • Are there any performance features disabled? If so, why?
  • Are theme, core, plugins up-to-date? Especially if the latest updates have performance improvements.
  • Are there any duplicate-funcionality or conflicting plugins?
  • Are server memory allocations, PHP values good enough?

There are more but I think we can keep that for later.

Once we have these answers, your work becomes as easy as slicing butter.

Give importance to the audit.

Do not immediately run for installing any caching plugin.

This audit will be your best friend in Speed Optimization.

In the next post, I'll share practical approach with screenshots to finding answers of every question I mentioned here.