A Deep Dive Into the GTmetrix Speed Test Tool

If you're looking to improve the performance of your website, GT Metrix is a fantastic tool to get you started. At Brown Box, we love using GT Metrix and use it whenever we need to diagnose any performance issues!

GTmetrix was developed by GT.net, a company based out of Canada, as a tool for their hosting customers to easily determine the performance of their site. Besides Pingdom, it is probably one of the most well known and used speed testing tools on the web today! In fact, the reason we are writing this is that we have a lot of Kinsta customers that are always asking us how to follow the advice they see on their GTmetrix reports. Compared to other developer tools, GTmetrix is pretty easy to use and the beginner can pick it up pretty quickly. It uses a combination of Google PageSpeed Insights and YSlow to generate scores and recommendations.

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20 WordPress Core Functions That Don’t Scale and How to Work Around Them

An interesting list including some very commonly used functions in Wordpress. Some of the comments and advice is specific to Wordpress.com VIP hosting, but it's a useful reference nonetheless.

WordPress comes with a set of core functions that are globally accessible. Most theme and plugin developers rely on these function to extend the functionality of the WordPress framework. There are however a collection of functions that are not necessarily fast when used repeatedly, in other words, they do not scale. Fortunately, Automattic, the company behind the paid VIP WordPress service, has released a set of functions that do not scale properly because they are not cached and possible workarounds around those functions.

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Introducing The Website Speed Test Image Analysis Tool

This is an interesting new tool for measuring the performance and optimisation of your site, specifically with regard to images. Initial impressions are positive, but we'll be evaluating this over this next little while and considering whether to add it to our arsenal of performance testing tools.

Enter Website Speed Test, a free and drop-dead-simple tool that leverages our (Cloudinary’s) image smarts to let you measure, diagnose and (crucially) communicate about the image performance of any website.

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How to Optimize Images for Web and Performance

As developers we put a lot of effort into tweaking and optimising our code to try and get the best performance out of it that we can. Yet many site owners end up slowing their sites down more than we ever could by using huge, unoptimised images. This article explains why optimising your images is so important, and how you can go about it.

According to HTTP Archive, as of April 2017, images make up on average 66% of a total webpage’s weight. So when it comes to optimizing your WordPress site, images is by far the first place you should start! It’s more important than scripts and fonts. And ironically, a good image optimization workflow is one of the easiest things to implement, yet a lot of website owners overlook this.

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How to communicate the value of WordPress website maintenance to your clients

Maintenance is an incredibly important component of running a successful website, here are some key items that'll help you highlight its importance to your clients.

Maintenance as a concept isn’t sexy. Who enjoys maintaining their car, or technical appliances, or even taking their skis for a service after a fantastic ski season. In that case, how can we get excited about offering website maintenance as an additional value to our clients, and better yet how do you explain to them it’s essential to their website’s success.

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Why You Should Be Using Supported PHP Versions

We're currently in the process of planning to move to PHP7 - initially, this was about the massive performance improvements it provides, but security is also becoming a consideration too. Unfortunately, there's a lot of testing and other preparation to be done, which takes time. But we strongly believe it's an essential step in the never-ending search for continuous improvement.

A dilemma we are facing today is that many businesses, developers, and hosts have fallen behind when it comes to supporting the latest PHP versions. Some of the statistics below might even shock you. Today we want to discuss some of the reasons why it is so important that everyone use the latest PHP versions, not only for security reasons, but also for better performance and support.

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How Many WordPress Plugins is Too Many? The Answer Might Surprise You

This article makes a very good point - in the majority of cases it's not the raw number of plugins that impact your site's performance or security, but which plugins you use. Of course, the more plugins you have the higher the chances that you'll have one that can cause problems - but if you select carefully (and keep them up to date!) you can run as many plugins as you want with minimal impact.

If you’ve used WordPress for a while, I’m sure someone has told you that you “shouldn’t use too many plugins”. It’s obvious – using too many plugins will slow your WordPress site down, right?

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A Designer’s Guide to Perceived Performance

Perceptions are what counts when it comes to crafting a satisfying user experience

A well-designed site isn’t how easy it is to use or how elegant it looks. A site isn’t well-designed unless the user is satisfied with their experience. An overlooked aspect of this experience is performance. A slow, beautiful site will always be less satisfying to use than an inelegant fast site. It takes a user just three seconds to decide to abandon a website.

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The 6 Best WordPress Image Optimization Plugins Compared

A great looking website is not enough to make it successful. Performance (including image) optimisation is one of the most important parts when it comes to developing a website that stands out.

Compelling content is often not enough. Every visitor will use different criteria to judge whether your site is worth their time, but few issues can sink you as quickly as slow load times.

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