In an effort to speed up my site’s load times, which are in the lowest 20% according to google, I thought I would try W3TC since it offered minify and a Content Delivery Network (CDN) interface. I was hoping that with W3TC I would see a speed increase. Well, there were lots of problems:
** It killed the font choice for the header
** It killed the logon. The item was still on the page, and changed the pointer to indicate click able, but it went nowhere. The URL changed to the logon URL, but logon never appeared. I was locked out of the site. When I was in the dashboard, installing W3TC, I could load, install, configure W3TC, and work the dashboard, but once I logged off, I could not get back in.
** Worst of all the load times INCREASED by 10 secs.
Well, thank god for backups. I simply restored the WP site (left the SQL as is) from an earlier backup to before I loaded W3TC.
FYI: this is on a shared server, not a VPS.
But, I just gave up on W3TC and yanked it. The site is now running on WP Super Cache. If the glowing reviews are to be believed I might consider going back to W3TC but I have no confidence in it. This is the second time I’ve had a problem with it. About 8 months ago I tried it and something similar happened. In that case the site would not even come up. I had lost control completely, and had to call the hosting outfit to load a backup.
But WPSC has not given me much of a load advantage either.
I’m currently getting (with WebPageTest):
F-A-F-C-F (with no CDN)
I would do CDN last, as there are too many other issues to address first.
eg poor first byte times
It manages a C for compressed images. (I don’t want to compress the images any further, but I will be moving to PNG form JPG, as I want to keep the image quality up) and there is more to be gained by tuning elsewhere.
Even more importantly is what I see on first load… 6 to 9 secs for a usable page. I truly believe it is affecting my google rankings as they take load times into account with their algorithm.
I registered for some space on amazon’s cloud, but have not utilized it yet. I don’t want to use CDN until the other issues are solved.
I have turned on GZIP but webpagetest tells me that I have 12 files that could be zipped, are not and if zipped would save about 133kb of download.
Any ideas anyone, I’m here to learn.