Photographer’s: Beware of WordPress Jetpack

I was doing a checkup on one of my client’s websites this past week and noticed extremely slow loading times on one of their portfolio galleries. I thought that was strange, as the hosting is a virtual private server setup and generally – blazing fast (compared to shared hosting).

One gallery was taking over 15 seconds to load and had almost 200 queries happening on one page! I checked to see what all was turned on in Jetpack’s settings. Here’s what was turned on (and what I turned back off).

  • Enable site accelerator
    • Speed up image load times
    • Speed up static file load times
  • Lazy-loading images will improve your site’s speed and create a smoother viewing experience. Images will load as visitors scroll down the screen, instead of all at once.
    • Enable Lazy Loading for images

After disabling these settings the Requests on the page dropped to 58 and page load time dropped to under one second. This one gallery has 130+ images on it, which I’d try and reduce later on, but for now this one change in Jetpack made a huge improvement in portfolio performance.

Photographers, social media may get the most immediate attention and great reward, but do not neglect regular posts to your blog. It not only is longer lasting than social posts, but it also improves your website ranking over time.

Virgil’s website now ranks in the top ten for “charleston wedding photographer” – which is an extremely crowded and competitive market. Now – that may not bring in a large quantity of quality leads for the higher end market, but it at the very least gets a lot more eyes on his website.

Whether you’re a brand new business, or one that’s been around for ten years – reach out to me if you need help improving and optimizing your website portfolio. I love the challenge and love to see the results it brings.


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