Since Google is considering using page load times as a ranking factor in Caffeine and slow load times cause a bad experience for users, I have been looking for solutions to make my pages load faster.
I've been looking at typical solutions, primarily caching plugins like WP Cache and WP Super Cache. But I've hesitated to install them. I keep my plugins to a bare bones minimum - Akismet, Contact Form 7, and Really Simple CAPTCHA are the only ones I use. I've also read some disturbing things about issues such caching plugins have caused on other sites.
Well, last night I stumbled onto a tip from a guy (Jim Morgan) who I REALLY respect when it comes to Apache and Mod_Rewrite. This guy knows more about Mod_Rewrite than anyone I've corresponded with on the web... bar none. And to boot, he is an effeciency freak!
Basically, your WordPress performance can be improved by optimizing the code that WordPress adds to your root folder's .htaccess. The default code from WordPress can be very inefficient depending on your web host's server configuration and server traffic volumes.
Check it out... try it out... and let me know what if any improvements or issues you run into. I installed it last night and page load times went from 4-8 seconds down to 1-3 seconds immediately. It was a VERY noticeable difference on my site.
I tried it on a site running wordpress 2.9 and got a 500 error.
Google Caffeine: What it really is • The Register
It should be noted that Google has said that they MAY add page loading speed as a ranking factor some time in 2010. It won't be in the Caffeine update, but could be added later.
Nonetheless, I am a speed and performance freak, so I will try this.
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin
I am also trying to speed up my Wordpress blog.. Once you end up with one too many plugins and active areas to your website, load time seems to end up through the roof. Granted it's not impossible or killing my visitors or anything, but it would always be nice to have a faster blog