The Genesis Framework is proving to be a one of the best WordPress frameworks around. It’s clean, fast, and easy to use and maintain. However, there is some concern over compatibility with some WordPress Plugins.
So, in this WordPress Tutorial I am going to show you one of the best plugins fro speeding up your website and also entirely compatible with Genesis.
Not only that, but, knowing how important it is to have a fast WordPress site if you are trying to run a small business, this Tutorial will also cover best practices for the plugin itself.
Mallee Blue Media also offers a complete web design and WordPress Site Migration Service which can dramatically speed up a sluggish website.
Speed Matters. Google uses page speed in it’s algorithm. Unless you host your business on a dedicated server, most of us, being the shared server crowd, need a little page speed boost. The Free Version of Comet Cache does just that. It gives your pages a boost and it does it very well.
Jump to the end for links to the resources mentioned on this site.
Why Use the Genesis Framework?
First, many people are hearing about Genesis and not sure what it is or why they need it. Is it a WordPress competitor? Is it a plugin? No, it’s neither of those.
The Genesis framework is a way of storing, retrieving and displaying your content in WordPress. By installing it as a theme you can then purchase or build a Child Theme.
Like other frameworks Genesis acts as a foundation. You then install child themes which will determine the appearance and functionality to your WordPress site.
With me so far?
With the Genesis Framework you no longer have to worry about breaking your WordPress code when updating to the latest version, every update is tested and verified before being released to the end user.
Any updates are done behind the scenes and never touch the design of your site if you are using one of the many Child Themes available.
Why Comet Cache?
Go here to purchase the premium version of Comet Cache.
In this Tutorial it’s the Lite (free) version enables you to store (cache) your site for fast retrieval by web browsers and servers. I am using it on this site. Pretty ain’t she?
Comet Cache works in the background, sorting your stuff and enabling it to load quickly and easily. As already mentioned, Google likes fast sites. If you want to rank on the top of Google’s search engine you need good page architecture and a site that is technically clean and efficient.
Comet cache is not a magic bullet, but it can certainly shine your guns and makes them flash.
It works great on Genesis and requires very little tweaking to have a definite impact on your site. Now, I promised an Online WordPress Tutorial for this Plugin, so, here it is.
How to Configure and Use Comet Cache in Genesis
Before you Install
- Make sure you have the latest WordPress version.
- Make sure all your Plugins are up to date.
- Backup you website – from your Host account cPanel, or equivalent.
- Do some speed testing (see below) to see how well the Plugin performs once it’s installed.
To install Comet Cache, you can either download the archived contents from the plugin’s page on the WordPress.org site, or you could search for it in “Plugins > Add New” in the WordPress admin.
After activation of the plugin, you would see that Comet Cache is now in your left hand pane. Simply go there and click, “Yes” to enable the plugin. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on “Save all changes” button.
Now, this is such a good plugin that the rest of this WordPress Tutorial will be pretty Comet – much like the plugin.
Most of the settings can be left alone. There are juts a few that you want to give extra attention to.
If you deactivate Comet Cache, your settings and caching files are not removed. However, if you plan to remove it completely, you must first set this option to ‘Yes’ and then deactivate the plugin in order for it to remove itself completely from your system.
If you don’t update your site much, you could set this to 6 months and that would speed things up even further. The longer the Cache Expiration Time is, the greater your performance gain.
Alternatively, the shorter the Expiration Time, the fresher everything will remain on your site. A default value of 7 days is a good middle ground.
Of course your expiration time is only one part of the big caching process. Comet Cache will also purge the cache automatically as changes are made to the site.
Therefore, your expiration time is really just a fall-back; e.g. the maximum amount of time that a cache file could ever possibly live.
This basically refers to browser caching, where a browser caches static files like images, CSS, JS files and in some extreme cases, the page itself.
Setting this option to Yes is good in case of sites which do not have memberships. However, in membership sites, the cache might create issues like showing the user as logged-in, in spite of logging out.
I have found that enabling this has sometimes caused the old data to appear on other devices. So, test it. Use a different device to check that changes to a page, an image, etc, are appearing. If they do not, then disable this feature.
I have not noticed any drop in page speed by disabling it, but I have been very annoyed when my website started serving up yesterdays news and not today’s.
This is not essentially a setting and GZIP Compression is not a part of the plugin. However, if you have access to the server and hence, create .htaccess files, this helps you in creating the settings necessary for GZIP compression.
The Developer has been very thoughtful here and told you exactly what you need to do if you do not have GZip enabled. To find out if it is or not, just Google, “Test Gzip” or similar. There are a number of tools that will test the site in a second.
There are also a number of WordPress Tutorials online that will walk you through the process of enabling GZip for your WordPress site.
How to Monitor Page Speed and Caching Results
This is the fun part. If you have tested your site using GTMetrix and kept a snapshot before you installed, then, having installed and configured and saved the plugin, I recommend you go back to your site and hit refresh.
The important thing is that you have gained speed and, as my Grandmother used to say, “Every Mickle makes a Muckle”.
How to Improve WordPress page Speed even Further
Source TechWyse Internet Marketing
I hope you found this Tutorial helpful.
Let me know what results you get using this plugin in WordPress Genesis Framework.
If you need a hand, please drop me a line. Make a call, Zip me an email.
You should also [ninja_forms_modal_form id=5 text_link=’Join my Newsletter’] . It only comes out when I have something worth saying and will ensure you don’t miss a beat.
*Comet Cache and Studio Press Genesis Framework are Affiliate Partners which we endorse, use and run on our own site.
Imogen Bailey says
Hi David, thanks for the Quick Cache tips. I am using it now on my Genesis website. What do you think of the paid version?
David Trounce says
Hi Imogen. Glad you found it helpful. Regarding the paid version, most people running a small WordPress site will find the free version sufficient. But, as in all things, you get what you pay for. If you really want to nail site speed once and for all and you think you need the gains, I would recommend the paid version.