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page load speed

Bryan Apr 28, 2013 11:48AM EDT

We went live this weekend using the Swipe theme. Its currently taking anywhere from 6-10 seconds to load the homepage. Under our previous theme, this was 2 seconds or less. Any suggestions? I tried enabling W3 Total Cache but that has not made much of a difference.

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RAWfolio Support Apr 29, 2013 01:30PM EDT RAWfolio Agent

Load times for any page with a slideshow on it, will be directly related to the number of images in the slideshow, their filesize, the server’s response time and the user’s connection speed. A page that has 20 images weighing 500kb each will take much longer to load than a page with 20 images weighing 50kb each, regardless of the other factors. All of our themes load the page first, and then trigger the images to download which helps page load times and also gives the appearance of the page loading faster on slower connections.

Caching helps with the latter variables, but it won’t help if there’s many images with a large filesize. Also keep in mind that W3TC and most other caching plugins do not cache pages for users that are logged in by default, so to get an accurate gauge on what visitors would see, visit your site in a different browser or log out prior to viewing the site.

The ideal filesize for a 900×600 image used on the web should be under 100kb, properly optimizing images before they are uploaded to your site will help reduce load times on gallery and non gallery pages. Any images exported from Photoshop or Lightroom should be done via ‘Save for Web’, and the quality setting generally doesn’t need to be any higher than 80% depending on the image. Anything higher will result in no visible difference in a web browser, and is only increasing the filesize.

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