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Leverage Browser Caching
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Marcy
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May 14, 2018 - 12:08 pm
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Rick,

I've run pingdom and GTMetrix tests on all 4 of my websites, and they ALL got an F for leverage browser caching. I've seen this before and decided it was time to try and figure out what it means.

I google searched what to do, and found 2 articles on adding ExpireBy code to the .httpsaccess file of the websites. I have a few questions about that.

1) Is this how you would recommend fixing this issue? Or is there a better way where I'm not playing with that important file?

2) Do non-WordPress sites even have .httpaccess files? I don't see one in the cPanel for the nonWordPress site (desertpipes.org). If not, how would I do the Expiry?

3) As a relative novice, should I even worry about this, or just leave my sites without it?

Thanks for any help,

Marcy

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Rick Anderson
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May 14, 2018 - 4:00 pm
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Expiration headers for static assets are best done at the server level.  The funny thing is that once you add them you will get another error because they also have drawbacks. 

.htaccess files are used by Apache servers.  They are instructions to the server that override server defaults. They are not unique to WordPress but they are unique to Apache.  They do not exist on nginx servers or windows servers.

If you REALLY want to improve your site speed then you NEED to host with a hosting company that:

  1. provides you with a free SSL
  2. uses PHP 7+
  3. Serves secure sites over HTTP2

Someone like Me  surprised

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Marcy
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May 15, 2018 - 3:20 pm
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All 4 of my sites are coming up with this leverage cache browser. Two of the sites are hosted at SiteGround, which has all three things you listed. One is at AISO.net, which has PHP 7+ and http2, and the owner of that site has purchased an SSL. These three sites actually have decent load times, less than 2 seconds.

Well, the main site in question is (ruach.org), which is extraordinarily slow, also has connection errors with Pingdom and GTMetrix.com, and has a huge wait time at the top of the waterfall. It is hosted with GoDaddy, and trust me when I say this is NOT my choice. I have absolutely no control over this one!! I'm just trying to figure out why it has so many problems, and GoDaddy is not particularly helpful.

Thanks,
Marcy

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Rick Anderson
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May 15, 2018 - 4:06 pm
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Marcy my earlier comments are directed at the Ruach site.  If your site is loading under 2 seconds then there is very little to be gained.  SiteGround may be able to handle the "expires" headers that you are looking for in your static assets.  I believe they also provide CDN which can help with this.  The CDN generally sets a long automatic expiration header for static assets.

Ruach has too many images and as I recall images that aren't optimized.

I ran across an article today with a link to an excellent free class taught at Udacity by Google engineers on image optimization for responsive images.

https://developers.google.com/web/fundamentals/design-and-ux/responsive/images

I strongly encourage you to try this course - it is both free and state of the art.

I am in the process of adding art direction and srcset to all images in Agility, which will be helpful.

The soon to be released full screen slider will have this functionality.

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Ellen Madono
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May 19, 2018 - 1:23 pm
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Hi

I am interested in all the load up time for pages, but Rick's three host facilities looks pretty technical and it not necessarily free.  My host provides the 3 factors that Rick mentioned to speed up loading of a page.  First I have to know how fast the pages on my site load.  I would think that the landing page and a few vital information page are essential for my site.  For me, the rest is not vital.  How do I check general load up time?  I thought that my internet connection and my computer or mobile device would cause great potential variation.

Best,

Ellen Madono

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Rick Anderson
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May 19, 2018 - 2:12 pm
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Ellen, your site loads so slowly that you should take steps immediately to speed it up.  Here is the result of the test that I ran - https://www.webpagetest.org/result/180519_2H_10351125ffe49cf7d307ffb723e1f140/

The only pages where page load speed isn't absolutely critical are pages behind a paywall and pages Google wouldn't be serving in response to a search.  So every content page and every post need to load as fast as possible.  Google judges each page on it's own merits.  If you home page is fast but your most important articles are slow your fast home page won't help the article pages.

The speed that matters for SEO is the speed your page loads for Googles mobile indexing bot.

The speed that matters for User Experience is the speed of the individual's connection to your site.  

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Ellen Madono
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May 20, 2018 - 6:00 am
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Hi Rick,

Thanks for looking at my site for me.  

What do you recommend I do first about the speed?  I thought you were going to say your site has so many problems that speed is the last of your worries.

Best,

Ellen Madono

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Rick Anderson
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May 20, 2018 - 7:52 am
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Ellen, in the other post I talk quite a bit about what you can do for speed.  I see very few problems on your site other than speed.

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Ellen Madono
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May 20, 2018 - 7:14 pm
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Thanks for checking.  I will talk to my host tomorrow and get back to you.

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