I love talking about speeding up WordPress websites. But before we go any further it's important to know that there are two broad types of sites:
And before we optimize things left & right you should know that some techniques work really well for one type of website and won't work for the other type.
By a static site I mean a site where the content rarely changes once published. This includes brochure websites where you have a home page, an about page, a services page, and a contact page. And it also includes information sites – even incredibly large ones like news sites.
A dynamic site is one where the content changes often – or one where users see different content based on who they are. Ecommerce sites where each visitor has their own cart is a dynamic website. So are membership sites where each user might see different content.
Static Sites & Caching
There’s one big technique that people talk about all the time when it comes to speeding up your site. And that’s taking advantage of caching.
There are lots of different types of caching but right now I’m speaking about server caching where a web server assembles different pieces of a page and then saves the output. The next visitor will receive the saved copy which saves the server a ton of processing time.
Caching can be an incredibly powerful tool for static websites. But it’s a lot more limited for dynamic sites. So if you’re doing your own research on speeding up sites make sure you understand which type of website they’re talking about.
If you use the same techniques for a brochure website on your WooCommerce site you’re going to be disappointed.
For this series, we’re primarily going to be working on a dynamic website. You can optimize any type of site. Just keep in mind that caching should be even more effective for static sites.