An interesting industry development in recent months is that Google has teamed up with WordPress in an endeavour to improve WordPress’s speed.
An estimate is that about 29% of content on the web is published with WordPress. If you use WordPress regularly, you’re probably aware that it is very easy to introduce quite severe slowdowns into your site simply by installing a plugin or changing a setting.
Google has a stated goal of improving the speed of the Web. Webpage display speed has been a factor in ranking for some time, and it’s reasonable to assume that Google hopes to give it increased importance. As well as this, security issues are also common – partly because the field is so rich for pickings as there are so many websites in terms of simple scale of numbers.
If you have ever looked at a WordPress site’s performance with a tool such as webpagetest.org you’ll have seen that literally hundreds of small files need to be loaded by a web browser to display a site. Both the display and loading of these in the browser can be slow, but additionally, WordPress can be slow to generate the base HTML for a page and most well developed sites will use some form of performance plugin, the most common being Supercache and W3 Total Cache though there are many others, including the relatively new Rocket.
For those who are interested in details, the first article below includes a number of comparisons of WordPress against industry averages. The bottom line is that WordPress is starting to compare poorly with industry averages. Google and WordPress are out to fix this and the partnership is only exciting for WordPress site owners as it demonstrates clearly Google’s commitment to the platform and WordPress’s willingness to partner with others for the benefit of the industry.