Here are some safer ways you can help your site "fly" so it loads quickly for visitors (without getting your life insurance policy canceled for risky hobbies).
Don't worry if a lot of the terms or things they mention on those lists seem like something even Sheldon and Leonard couldn't explain. Remember that you don't have to implement everything on their lists to see an improvement in the speed of your site. You just want a benchmark you can measure your progress against.
1. Optimize Your Images
If you're using large images (especially if you're loading them directly from your nice, 5 billion megapixel camera), you need to resize them before you add them to your website or blog.
Here are three free ways to resize your images:
You may also want to look at optimizing your images so they'll load faster using the plugin WP Smush.it This will resize each image as you add them to your posts. I've installed this one and will be testing it out so I'll share my experience with it once I've used it for a bit.
2. Scripts & Banners
One thing that can really slow down your site's loading time is if you have a lot of scripts and banners from other websites. So if you've got 10 different analytic tracking or similar scripts... or 15 affiliate banner ads... that's going to really slow down how your pages load. Try narrowing that down.
Sometimes your site may be very slow to load because of an image from another, slower server that you've featured in your home page or side bar. Try saving the images, upload them to your own server, and using those links to display them. Then your visitor isn't being bounced around to different websites to load all the pieces of your website.
3. Clean Up Your Plugins
Too many plugins = slow loading blog!
How many do you need? It depends on the features you want on your blog. So there is no set in stone perfect number of plugins.
Get rid of any that you aren't using. Don't just deactivate them, but actually delete them from your blog.
4. Optimize Your Database
Over time your database gets cluttered up with saved versions of posts (each time you revise or save a draft, it's stored in the database), spam and unapproved comments, etc.
You can use the plugin WP Optimize to clean it up.
5. Install a Caching Plugin
I'm using W3 Total Cache. Trust me when I say you don't want me to turn it off. It makes a nice difference in page load speed.
What are your favorite tips for speeding up your blog?
Has anything on this list worked well for you?
Got any other tips, tricks, or tools you like for speeding up loading time?