Improving the speed at which my websites load

I host a number of sites on my server that have anything from 10 to 1000 requests a day. some sites are image heavy – galleries – and others have a load of javascript plug-ins to make them look nice and do cool things. I have been trying to find different ways of improving the speed of the site as a number of users had complained about the glacial slowness of some of the components.

So, what did I do?

  • upped the installed memory from 512MB 533MHz to 2048 667Mhz – single biggest improvement!
  • repaired and optimised all MySQL database tables for each site
  • disabled all unnecessary wordpress plugins
  • enabled WP-Super-Cache, a cacheing plugin to improve performance of popular pages, on all WordPress sites.
  • resized and optimised for web all photos in the photo galleries
  • installed the firefox add-on, YSlow, to my browser and used that to identify slow parts of the site.
  • enabled the Apache2 module, mod_deflate, to compress elements of the page before serving them.
  • tweaked mod_deflate like this:

From this:

<ifmodule mod_deflate.c>
    # compress content with type html, text, and xml
    AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html text/plain text/xml
</ifmodule>

to this:

<ifmodule mod_deflate.c>
    # compress content with type html, text, xml, css, and javascript
    AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html text/plain text/xml text/css text/javascript application/x-javascript
</ifmodule>

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