UPDATE (10/27/2011): As of today, I’m scoring a 99/100 on PageSpeed (missing point is an erroneous error about images being unoptimized), and a 99/100 on YSlow (missing point is about Cloudflare setting cookies on static content, which isn’t a huge issue). So at this point, I can finally say “USE CLOUDFLARE”. It’s more than worth it (which, since it’s free….).
So in a fit of boredom last night, I decided to take a look at page speed increases again.
This time is a bit different as I’m not using Cloudflare and I’ve changed themes. Since moving to the new theme, and an update to W3TC, I’d been getting in the mid-80’s for both Page Speed, and YSlow. Which shouldn’t be the case with Cloudflare. Everything says it should have greatly improved my speeds, and score… so something was clearly up.
So, some testing later, and I’ve figured out what was up. First, was disabling the automatic settings in W3TC. I’m guessing this (automatic minify) would work if you weren’t using a WP_CONTENT_URL (which I guess I probably don’t need anymore with Cloudflare… but changing to not use it would take a bit of work at this point.). The point of the WP_CONTENT_URL, however, is to “parallelize” the browser download process… so Cloudflare probably doesn’t solve this issue.
Anyway, disabling it, then going into W3TC’s minify section and adding all the URLs for your CSS and JS files that are loaded on your home page. Also, I went into my thematic child theme’s style.css, and removed all the @import’s, and added those CSS files to the minify settings. Reordering the CSS and JS was then a trial and error, but got it working.
Now, page loads are damn fast. And YSlow gives me 99/100, and Page Speed gives me a 97. Cloudflare gives me the CDN points, so the only thing hurting my YSlow score is Google Analytics not having long distance expiration.
Optimization takes time, but it works. I’m not positive why Page Speed is knocking off the 6 points, but I think it’s some CSS inefficiencies. *shrugs*
Good luck, and feel free to ask if you run into any issues. Might just redirect you to somewhere else, but it’s working.