Podcast Episode

132 – Speed Up Your Website with NginXpress


Speed Up Your Website with NginXpress

Today’s guest is Branden Lawe, founder of NginXpress, has solved this problem by developing a performance-optimised server stack that runs on Amazon EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) – Amazon’s VPS service.

Why is Website Speed Important?

Unless its just a hobby, the chances are ýour website exists to fulfill some sort of serious and important purpose:
– eCommerce (directly selling digital and physical products)
– Attracting customers to a bricks ‘n’ mortar business (selling products and/or services)
– PR (building brand reputation and trust)
– Recruiting support and donations for a charity or cause
– Other (e.g. affiliate marketing/review sites, etc.)

Whatever the purpose, there are 4 main factors behind a successful website:
– SEO (achieving good search rankings)
– Design (clear, logical and attractive layout that’s easy to use and no need to think)
– Content (compelling content that answers the visitors
– Speed

The 2012 Speed Awareness Month infographic http://speedawarenessmonth.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/infographic5.jpg shows that speed affects 3 things:

  • SEO rankings (Google gives higher pagerank scores to faster loading sites)
  • Conversions & revenue:
    • Mozilla: 2 seconds faster = 15.4% more conversions
    • Amazon: 0.1 seconds slower = 1% loss in revenue
  • User experience:
    • 52% of online shoppers stated that quick page loading was important to site loyalty
    • 40% abandon a website that takes > 3 seconds to load
    • 47% expected (in 2012) < 2 second page loads – now it’s probably less!

The bottom line is that your website is often your first (and often only) chance to make a good impression. Think of it as an ambassador, out there representing your brand to the world. Don’t blow it by making your visitors wait while it loads or they’ll vote with their feet – and tell their friends about it.

Be sure to listen to episode 34 where Phil Graham outlined the 3 steps to a fast WordPress site:

  • Move from shared hosting to a VPS
  • Implement caching
  • Use Nginx instead of Apache

If you take these three steps, the chances are you’ll end up with a super-fast WordPress site that’s capable of handling all the traffic that gets thrown at it.

Other Links Mentioned:

Call To Action

  • Sign up for next webinar
  • Become a NginXpress beta tester at nginxpress.com
    • 10tklz Reply

      The website loadimpact.org appears to not exist… is that the correct URL?

      Jun 21, 2013
    • SJScooter Reply

      EginXpress Is Awesome! Thanks for sharing! It going to change everything for me and for the better.

      Jun 24, 2013
      • dhartzler10 Reply

        SJScooter Awesome!

        Jun 24, 2013
    • Edward Long Reply

      Dustin – It’s now August 11, 2013. Are you still high on nginxpress? Is the beta offer still available? – Ed

      Aug 11, 2013
      • dhartzler10 Reply

        Edward Long Hi Ed, I’m still high on nginxpress 😉 I think Branden’s still taking beta testers. It is a little more technical to get set up, but once you’re up and running, day to day use will be very similar.

        Aug 12, 2013
    • Dave Stachowiak Reply

      Hey Dustin, thanks for the great show! Really appreciate all the perspective here from you and your guests.
      Quick question – are you still recommending WP Engine for hosting for most people looking for a robust WordPress hosting platform? This project sounds very cool, but getting involved in a beta test isn’t the right move for me right now.
      Thanks for any help or advice!

      Aug 22, 2013
    • dhartzler10 Reply

      Dave Stachowiak Hey Dave, WPEngine is a good hosting company, but I don’t like how they won’t allow you to run certain “resource hogging” plugins. Two that I know they ban are BackWPup and Pretty Link Lite.
      If I were you wanted a little bit more reliable hosting, I’d look into http://GetFlywheel.com

      Aug 22, 2013
    • Dave Stachowiak Reply

      dhartzler10 Hey, thanks for the info on Flywheel – I’ll check them out right away.
      FYI, WP Engine doesn’t appear to officially ban Pretty Link (per their banned plugins page and also an email from them I received on this exact question). That said, I do see some chatter online about this being an issue for others – at least in the past, if not currently. Good stuff to know, as that’s a make or break issue for me since I have so many links set via Pretty Link.
      BTW, your resources page is still recommending WP Engine, in the event you weren’t aware.
      Thanks for the great podcast, Dustin. Just starting listening about a week ago and catching up on old episodes as I’m doing a lot of active stuff with WordPress for ourselves and a few clients at the moment. Looking forward to chatting more going forward.

      Aug 23, 2013
    • dhartzler10 Reply

      Dave Stachowiak I know that back in the day when I was using WPEngine for YourWebsiteEngineer that they would turn off Pretty Link without any notification, so I promptly left them.
      I am using them for ConquerYourWebsite.com, but I’m only using a small handful of plugins on that site.

      Aug 23, 2013
    • Dave Stachowiak Reply

      dhartzler10 Cool, thanks again!

      Aug 23, 2013

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