Got FontAwesome? Here’s a speed tip.

Are you using FontAwesome on your Wordpess blog?  If so, you’re likely enjoying all the nifty icons that are available, however you might also be sacrificing a bit of site speed.  While updating my sidebar subscribe button, it occurred to me that both my theme and multiple plugins use FontAwesome for icons.   Great for attractive page elements, perhaps not so good for that crucial few seconds while you’re visitors (and potential subscribers) are first arriving at your blog.

Right when you want your website’s best performance, you potentially have 3 (or more) duplicate processes running – all but one simply serving to bloat your website.  At the moment you want your best content or offer loading, numerous plugins are all competing for the privilege of loading those awesome icons…crikeys!

Fortunately, you may have an easy fix – no fancy software required:

  1. First, check if you’re theme loads FontAwesome.  Many premium themes these days have it included, and I’d recommend letting you’re theme do the heavy lifting on this one if you can.  If your theme has the option to enable/disable the loading of FontAwesome, leave it enabled for now.
  2. Second, if you’re only running a few plugins, it’s may be easiest to check each of their respective Settings panels individually.  Look for an option to disable loading FA, and then make it so!
  3. If you have a lot of plugins running, try the (free) website speed test at Pingdom.  Use the “waterfall” view to look for a file or files with “fontawesome” in the filepath.
  4.  Hover over the file during your test, and you’ll see the full path of the request.  This should reveal exactly which plugin or plugins is calling for FontAwesome.
  5. Using the settings for your plugins and theme, slim down the load – turn off the FA-loading feature all but one add-on(theme or plugin).

This was a quick fix for me, although certainly more advanced methods exist for savvy.  For a more advanced-yet-free option, try the Plugin Organizer from the WordPress repository.  Load only the plugins you want on specific pages, and selectively turn off the ones that particular page or post doesn’t require (Disclaimer: you have to mod a file or two).  Of course, you can also Google “selective loading for Worpress plugins” to find a wealth of tips and tutorials from folks much more tech-minded than me if you’re really looking to trim your times.

Good luck!

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