After spending much time over the last couple of months looking at improving website performance I took the plunge and even bought a book on the subject – I find reading technical material in book form far easier than online.

Anyway, High Performance Web Sites by Steve Souders is recommended.

Now that the plug is out of the way, I am happy to report that on a test version of the BMTG site, I’ve finally achieved my goal – the best YSlow score I’m likely to achieve – a grade B (88%). The remaining 12% is down to not having a CDN and due to Google Analytics not having an expires header. Anyway, this translates to a 19% increase in speed compared to the current site.

The current site (launched a couple of weeks ago) had massive improvements made to it but only achieved a grade D (64%) score. The previous version of the site was a grade F.

The changes I’ve made were those that weren’t covered by PHP Speedy – namely having an expires header for image files and turning off eTags. This was acheived by the following lines added to my .htaccess file…

ExpiresActive On
ExpiresByType image/gif "access plus 6 months"
ExpiresByType image/jpeg "access plus 6 months"
ExpiresByType image/png "access plus 6 months"
Header unset ETag
FileETag None