Speeding up WordPress

I recently rebuilt www.keepchickens.info on the WordPress platform with over 200 pages and it was slow to load. Very slow www.pingdom.com put it at between 9.4 secs and 15 secs – ouch. Consequently the hits went down 28.3% over the first month – even more ouch.

The site was built around pages with no blog posts. Having checked out Chris Coyiers recent Digging into WP post I discovered the problem was with my permalinks. I was using /%pagename%/ which sends the database queries through the roof and slowed the server side down of page delivery to a crawl. The permalink is now /%year%/pagename%/ – pages permalinks are unaffected and the speed is amazing! Hits have gone back up by 23.3% overnight.

Content is important, but so it is speed. If the page is taking to long to load, people move on.
While you are trying to speed things up – it is worth compressing the images with Yahoo’s Smush it and finding the delivery bottlenecks with http://tools.pingdom.com/