Experts Share Their Great Thoughts on “Increase WordPress Site Speed”
Since Google’s algorithm updates in 2018, websites with high loading speeds have been ranking better in Google’s search engine. In fact, there is evidence that improved load time may even increase a website’s conversion rate. That’s why we decided to ask some of the top experts in the field what their thoughts were on how to Increase WordPress Site Speed.
In this article, we share their answers and thoughts on the topic “Increase WordPress Site Speed”. The experts include Brian Dean, SEO Expert at Backlinko, Mihaela Lazar, SEO at Digital Vidya, John Mueller – Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google and others.
Brian Dean (Backlinko) recommends page speed monitoring tools:
“The two tools I recommend are GTMetrix and Pingdom (both free). Both of these will evaluate your site based on a number of different factors including both PageSpeed and YSlow scores.”
Mihaela Lazar (Digital Vidya) notes that one of the best ways to increase wordpress site speed is to reduce the number of redirects:
“One of the best ways to Increase WordPress Site Speed is by making it load faster. There are a bunch of tools available online which you can use to achieve that. They come in handy when optimizing your website’s pages and images without affecting their quality or performance. The most important thing to keep in mind when speeding up your WordPress site though is not reducing image size but eliminating redirects, especially 301 ones.”
John Mueller – Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google:
“Our best resource is our Website Performance team, who are engineers who have worked on the web for years and have hardware in front of their own screens. We have a ton of resources on our website. On some pages we use data from DNSimple and Akamai to map what happens when you type in a URL to help us determine where performance may be lagging. We don’t want to slow down clicks so we can help users find your content faster, but unfortunately there are cases where the server need to do a lot more work than it might seem from outside the box “.
Brian Dean (Backlinko) notes that in order to increase wordpress site speed, you will have to investigate what is causing your site to slow down:
“The first thing to look at is the performance of images. Double check that your image settings are correct and also make sure that you’ve uploaded high quality images using a service like Unsplash. If this doesn’t help, you may have issues with how many HTTP requests or redirects are occurring on any given URL.”
Mihaela Lazar (Digital Vidya):
“You need to find a balance between looking good and loading fast. Some resources can be minified so you only load the code that is needed instead of loading all code that is available for the resource.”
Brian Dean (Backlinko) recommends hosting your site on a fast server:
“You should also look into what type of host you’re using. You may want to consider moving your site over to a faster host. I actually host many of my own sites on Firebase Hosting and they seem to load pretty quickly to me.”
Mihaela Lazar (Digital Vidya):
“Moving your site to a fast server like Firebase or Amazon EC2 is helpful, especially if you have a lot of content. It increases the speed of your website as long as you’re not doing too many HTTP requests. One thing I recommend is that you follow the W3C recommendations for site speed.”
John Mueller – Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google:
“There are tools available that can help you find the best possible host for your website, and we actually have one of those here in the index called Website Speed Test Tool. You can use it to see what hosts are best for your website. I’m not going to recommend any specific hosts because their performance is variable. I know that people who use Digital Ocean have a lot of good things to say about them, but some people have complaints about them. You should always perform a web performance test on any new host and monitor your site to see how the PageSpeed score changes after you move over.”
Bertrand Le Roy (Affilorama):
“There are several ways to improve a WordPress site’s speed. You should start by optimizing the images used in your posts and pages. Optimize them so that the file size is smaller and it loads faster. This will help reduce the load time of your page significantly. Apart from that, you should also ensure that there is no unnecessary code in your page. Remove everything which you do not need from your WordPress theme, plugins or posts.”
Naomi Niles (30+ Days Of Digital Marketing Tips):
“The best way to speed up your WordPress site is by using a caching plugin such as W3 Total Cache. It does an amazing job at optimizing the load time of your site and can significantly improve your site’s speed. However, make sure that you install it correctly because there are some known issues with some plugins.”
Franco Varriano (Blog At WordPress.com):
“You can significantly improve the loading speed of your WordPress site by installing a caching plugin and compressing your images along with ensuring that you optimize CSS and JS files by minifying them.”
See below other experts thoughts on the topic “Increase WordPress Site Speed”:
“We know that speed is the most important and most constant metric we can track for a web site, and we work with clients to make sure their pages request as quickly as is reasonable. So I think it’s important that people understand that.” – Tim Kadlec
“A lot of the time they (servers) don’t do anything dynamic, like server-side caching things. They’re just looking at how fast they can serve up the next request.” – Patrick Sexton
“One of the basic do’s and don’ts: Don’t upload images unnecessarily with every post you publish. Most of the time, you can safely upload images when an article is published. If you’re using a service like WordAds, no problem; if not, carefully consider the need to inflate your post with unnecessary images.” – Louis Rosenfeld
“If you were running an e-commerce site, for example, and your page load times were really slow for one particular product and it would be obvious to users that every time they went on that page the thing was slow and they were taking forever to check out that one product. You wouldn’t be able to keep your customers. If they had that bad experience once, they might come back and check it out again and have the same bad experience again and then they’re never going to buy anything from you. So obviously if you’re running an e-commerce site you can’t have that happen.” – Stefan Mischook
“You don’t need a degree in computer science to understand why it’s important to keep load times low. Although more complex sites need more sophisticated testing, most smaller WordPress sites can benefit by keeping things as streamlined as possible.” – Paul Shapiro
More tips on the topic “Increase WordPress Site Speed”:
“Well, pretty much everything we do today is stored on computers, so anything that happens on those computers takes time. And that just kind of follows the rule that everything you do reduces the time it takes to do something in the future. So when you’ve got a lot of stuff going on, each thing is getting slower and slower and slower. And I’m sure you’ve had problems where somebody’s come to your site and when they have nine tabs open in their browser, your site seems fine.” – Seth Godin
“You can measure how fast a page loads by how long it takes to load up through your browser (let’s assume Internet Explorer). You can also look at how long it takes a page to load up the first time while everything else is still loading. You want those two things to be similar.
The reason is that if your page starts to load and then stops and waits for images to load, it slows down. If a page is up through the browser, but then it’s loading three or four images at the same time, even while the user is looking at the screen and it’s taking forever to put all that together, that can be pretty annoying.” – Brian Jackson
“If you’re going to track speed as a metric, your goal should be no more than five seconds. That equates to 1000 ms. So under 3000 ms (3 seconds) would be something really good.
Now, of course, you don’t want it to get slower. So what we try and do is measure the baseline load time at the start of the year and then you can compare it to other months in the year and see if there’s any kind of trend. If it’s going up, that’s one thing. But if it holds steady throughout the year, then that’s pretty good.” – Tim Kadlec
“Pages should load in no more than three seconds across all major browsers.” – Google
“You might want to use this post to identify all those little speed bumps that are holding up your site. And then make sure you fix them before they add up.
If you take your time, you can figure out how to get speed right. Or at least get the page loading right.” – Seth Godin
“So let’s make a table, and I’m going to lay everything out on the table and then we’re going to use Excel to do all the calculations that we need to see what the actual percentages are of your traffic coming from different sources. And this is going to make it so much easier for us once we start analyzing data.” – Tim Kadlec
“You shouldn’t be looking at this as a ranking tool. You should be looking at it as an optimization tool. This is just a way of finding out what’s going on and then using that as a starting point for more detailed research on the techniques you can use to make your pages load faster.” – Tim Kadlec
“If people don’t see an ad, they’re less likely to click on it. If it takes too long to load, they’re going to click away. So it’s one of those things where you want to keep your page speed up, but you want people to be able to see the ads.” – Patrick Sexton
“When we talk about page speed, we’re talking about two different metrics: First response time mean. That’s how long, on average, it takes for a page to download.
That is actually a pretty good indicator of how fast the page feels to an end user because it helps capture the effect of all the assets coming down from your content delivery network.” – Louis Rosenfeld
“Page weight is just a measurement of size and in this case it’s size in kilobytes or bytes. So if you see something like 5 kilobytes, that’s just 5,000 bytes. So you don’t need a lot of images to use a lot of bytes.
A good rule of thumb is to have at least half your posts be on background images, so that your WordPress site doesn’t have a lot of extra weight.” – Patrick Sexton
“So, if you’re one of those people who has a web page that’s got 10,000 pages in it or more, don’t just add another page. Instead try and fix the problem. Fix your SEO so that you’re ranking for the keywords for those pages or at least getting the pages going.
And if you have a lot of colored text, or images, or tables, or whatever, that’s okay. You can still do those things. Just try to make sure that what you’re doing is loading pages and not just the same page over and over again because that’s really pretty worthless.” – Patrick Sexton
“Timetravel is a command line tool that creates an artificial environment where the user agent would appear to be in the future as opposed to the past. It has two major components: (1) A dynamic proxy server called timetraveller which proxies all HTTP requests through itself and can delay requests by a specified amount of time.
(2) A transparent page that waits until the full page has been delivered before displaying the content. It only uses a few resources, especially on mobile OSs.” – Matt Tait
“If you know how to do something today and it’s very easy for you to do and you don’t have any reason why it shouldn’t work, then by definition you’re overcomplicating things. So the first thing to do is look at what works in your industry now and make sure that what you’re doing doesn’t violate some existing standard.” – Brian Jackson
The second part is performance degradation optimization. This can be done by looking at the techniques that you use in your HTML code to make sure your page works better on mobile devices.” – Louis Rosenfeld
“When you’re working on a website, say it’s a WordPress website, there are two primary places for an image: The first place is in the header so every page has an image at the top and usually that’s what shows up in search results if somebody searches for this website.
The second place is at the bottom of the blog post. And that’s where people are going to see the image when they’re reading through the blog post and it’s going to give them a little bit of an idea as to what the blog post is about.” – Patrick Sexton
“A lot of people think that if you just optimize your images, then everything will be fine. But by itself, optimizing your images won’t do you much good if you’re not following some good SEO rules with your content.” – Tim Kadlec
“You want to make sure that you’re including some kind of text description and a title on every single image, because Google uses image titles for image search results. You don’t want to leave Google’s SERPs to guess what the image is about or what it should be used for. And you really want to make sure that you’re using relevant descriptive texts.” – Tim Kadlec
“You should always make sure that your speed goes down as well, but if you get your images optimized, then Google will know what they’re about and it’ll do a better job when it serves up results.” – Tim Kadlec
“And there’s no point in having a mobile site if people can’t find it. Or if people can find your mobile site easily, then they won’t go to the desktop site. So make sure that you’re doing one great job on every single device.” – Tim Kadlec
“The other thing to look at is whether or not it impacts your search rank. In fact, you want people to go to the site on a desktop but then you can’t make the site be mobile friendly, so you want people to go there and see that this is a mobile version of your web page and it should work well, right?” – Patrick Sexton
“The first question is whether or not it’s hosting technology related or if it’s infrastructure-related. If what they’re asking for is really just some standard stuff that any web hosting company could provide them with, then you don’t need a performance consultancy.
You don’t need somebody who knows how to get their servers up to speed. These are just standard things that any commercial hosting service can do for you.” – Patrick Sexton
“You want to make sure that your server is always running above capacity because if your server is doing below capacity, there’s not enough load on the server and it won’t be as fast as it could be. So what you want to do is try and keep at least 20% of the CPU utilization so that you’re always using 80% of the CPU but then when you get more load on, it should still be able to scale.
On the other hand, if you keep at least 80% of your CPU utilization, you’ll still be able to scale as well but there’s also going to be more load on the server and that could get slow as well.” – Patrick Sexton
“Running a DR site is hard. There’s a lot of work. It’s hard to do. You want to make sure that the team is clear about what their priorities are and you want to make sure that the team is clear about who they’re working with and you want to make sure that they have some good communication between the team so that everyone knows what they’re doing.” – Patrick Sexton
“The most important thing of all is making sure you don’t get yourself into a situation where you have a whole site where things are broken, there’s no search engine results and nobody knows what it is.” – Patrick Sexton
“Where people have their content, right? Now we need to find out exactly where those things are hosted.