We have a need, a need for speed!

Yes… yes we do! We need our website to load lightning fast. As fast as we can push the links and buttons we want as close to instant page loads as we can un-humanly get!

So let us let you in on some of the Monkey Secrets as to the simple way we do it for our pages.

Follow us to fill your need, your need for speed!

Well first of all how fast is your website rigth now? Simple to measure using tools that Google gives you at Page Speed Online, which also has pointers on what to improve and why.

Here are our top 5 ways to help keep your WordPress site running as fast as you can, all of them available from the Wordpres plugin Repository, just type them into “Add New” Plugin:

1. Deactivate and minimise number of plug-ins

Now, it is extremely useful to simply install some killer plugins to keep your site running optimally. This is probably the simplest way that most end users use. However you don;t need them running ALL the time most of the time… Activate them when you need thejm, then deactivate them when your don’t.

So simply deactivate plug-ins you don’t use, don’t absolutely need or don’t want. Remove them entirely from WordPress’s plugins folder (located in wp-content/plugins) after deactivating them inside WordPress itself. Plugins are the cause of many, many of the problems us Monkeys see.

Word of warning here, deactivated plugins don’t get auto updated like the active ones. So when you do your “optimise” time of the month, and activate your tools,, first step is head over to your dashboard update tab and check they are all updated.

Speed up WordPress Website2.  Repair and Optimize your Database with WP Optimize

Your database has been updated a lot of times in the last day, whether you’ve posted or not.  There’s a lot of chance for errors there, so you might as well check. You used to have to do this manully (and still can if you are  that much of a masochist!), but now this plugin does it for you.

WP-Optimize is a simple to use database cleanup and optimization tool. It doesn’t require that you log into PhpMyAdmin AT ALL to optimize your database tables. It allows you to remove post revisions, comments in the spam queue, un-approved comments within few clicks.

3. Get Caching on your side

Every WordPress site, indeed all websites, should be using some server side caching program.

As far as which caching plugin to use, we have use 2 in our time.

  1. WP Super Cache plug-in
  2. W3 Total Cache plug-in

This is especially true when expecting a large amount of traffic.

Hint here while you are working actively on the site, you may want to turn it off while editing posts (or clear the cache from the Settings page) as it often doesn’t refresh a page after an edit. Both have “don;t cache for known users” as a setting but we’ve found this variable.

4. Compress CSS and Javascript on the fly

Use WP Minify to combine and compress CSS and Javascript. This plugin integrates the Minify engine into your WordPress website. Once enabled, this plugin will combine and compress JS and CSS files to improve page load time.

How Does it Work? (Well frankly, why the heck do you care? ), but for those Monkey Geeks amongst us, this plugin grabs JS/CSS files in the generated WordPress post and passes that list to the Minify engine. The Minify engine then returns a consolidated, minified, and compressed script or style for WP Minify to reference in the WordPress header.

Simply, “this thing makes your code slicker and faster”.

5. Minimise the size of all your images

This one is fairly obvious for most of us. Our rule of thumb to start with is that NO image will ever be uploaded to any site that is larger than 800px. Simple rule that all the monkaeys understand, and we stick to it like bananas!

The second line of defence in the image load reduction is a little plugin called WP Smush.it. This plugin works on the fly as you work and reduces image file sizes and improves performance using the Yahoo’s excellent Smush.it API from within WordPress.

Yahoo’s excellent Exceptional Performance series recommends optimizing images in several lossless ways:

  • stripping meta data from JPEGs
  • optimizing JPEG compression
  • converting certain GIFs to indexed PNGs
  • stripping the un-used colours from indexed images

Smush.it offers an API that performs these optimizations (except for stripping JPEG meta data) automatically, and this plugin seamlessly integrates Smush.it with WordPress. How does it work?  Once again really? why the heck do you care? But for those Monkey Geeks amongst us, this plugin  will automatically run every image you add to a page or post through the Smush.it behind the scenes. You don’t have to do anything different.

You can even run all your existing images through Smush.it. Click on the Bulk Smush.it under the Media Library tab and

It must be said that sometimes the Smush.it service goes down or is under heavy load. If the plugin has difficulty connecting to Smush.it then automatically smushing is temporarily disabled (currently for 6 hours). You can always re-enable it via the Media > Settings screen or manually smush the image from the Media Library.


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