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Optimising rt9.dk

My name is Mikkel Petersen, and I am a SysOps Administrator at My Server Guy. I was recently tasked to optimize rt9.dk, as it was not getting the performance it needed, and the owner Allan Kristiansen would like it to load faster. When optimising a website, the first thing I do is test the site’s current performance. This is to establish a baseline, so that a before and after image can be made. This also makes it easier for Allan Kristiansen to see the exact difference on the optimised website.

 

Snippet from the performance report of rt9.dk, made by gtmetrix.com before optimisation:

It can be seen that the page is only fully loaded after 3.2 seconds, and the TTFB (Time To First Byte, which means the amount of time the visitor sees only a blank page) is 1 second. Its PageSpeed and YSlow scores are also not great, as they are on 60% and 77% respectively.

Before I started optimising the site, I did not want to accidentally slow down or cause downtime on the live rt9.dk. To prevent this, I cloned the server that hosts rt9.dk, and configured it to run in a test environment. This way I could avoid any accidental outages of the live rt9.dk website.

The next step was to fix the problems reported by gtmetrix, which is a good starting point. My colleague Matthew scaled the images, as unnecessary large images were being used. I then continued to fix the rest of the issues reported by gtmetrix, which were:

  • Configuring a CDN (Content Delivery Network). This improves loading times of rt9.dk significantly worldwide.
  • Optimising images
  • Minification of Javascript
  • Removing query strings from static resources

Besides fixing the above points, I have also done some security and performance changes on the server. This included tweaking the WordPress configuration files, adding some customised code we have developed for rt9.dk, and adding Varnish as a backend caching solution.

With these changes done, rt9.dk has now been optimised, and the page has become significantly faster.

 

Snippet from the performance report of rt9.dk, made by gtmetrix.com after optimisation:

As can be seen in the “After” snippet, rt9.dk website is now much faster. With 96% from PageSpeed score, and 85% from YSlow score, the site has definitely gotten faster. The site is now fully loaded in 0.8 seconds (Before 3.2 Seconds), and it has a TTFB of just 0.092 seconds (Before 1 second). Significant improvements for the website!

Rt9.dk is now four times as fast as it was before, and My Server Guy has gotten yet another happy customer!

If you would like a faster website, I’ll very much like to optimise your website as well. Just get in touch, and we’ll sort it out!