I recently made a video about the three plugins your wordpress site needs if you want to improve the speed of your site. That video will be down below. In the post I want to go into some more details and really break down what the plugins do and a few other ways to speed your site up.
Testing your Site Speed
Your site speed is a measure of how quickly your server responds to a request. Whenever somebody puts the url in they send a request to your server asking for information. The load speed is how long it takes for the web server to respond and serve up the page.
Before we try to improve the site speed we need to measure it’s current speed. The goal for every website is to load under 3 seconds. After 3 seconds you start losing potential visitors. If you have an e-commerce site, this could mean the loss of paying customers! Google also takes site speed into account when serving up search results. There’s a ton of reasons to make sure your site loads fast!
Now that you have an accurate measure of your site speed we can begin improving it! The first step is to optimize your images. Generally, this is where most people have issues. If you have a WordPress site then I recommend using Smush. It is a free image compression plugin.
You can also optimize the plugins yourself. You will want to export your images in the progressive JPG format and set the resolution on the long side to be 2000 pixels. Anything larger and you are just wasting space. Progressive JPGs mean that when the page loads the images will show up as a blur. A good resource for learning how to export images: https://www.wpbeginner.com/beginners-guide/speed-wordpress-save-images-optimized-web/
Optimizing The Database
Wp-Optimize is all about optimizing the back end. It’s a pretty self explanatory plugin. I don’t recommend using the image optimization settings that it comes with, only use it to clean the database. Make sure to run backups before doing any of these optimizations, because it could cause issues!
Using a Cache
I’ve saved the best for last. Caching will hands down make the biggest difference on your site. A cache is essentially a pre-loaded version of your site that the server can quickly load.
I’ve tried a bunch of different plugins for caching and hands down the best I’ve used is WP Fastest Cache. It’s features include caching, combining files (CSS and JS), Minfiying, Browser Caching and pre-loading.
Content Delivery Network
If you have a lot of visitors from all around the world then you should look into a Content Delivery Network (CDN). Currently your site is on one server. No matter where your visitor is from they have to wait for the site to load from that server. With a CDN your site is on multiple servers all around the world. Depending on the location of your site visitor your site will be loaded up from different servers. If you have a lot of worldwide visitors then a CDN can definitely help!
Check All Plugins
Another thing you can do to improve your site speed is to double check all of your plugins! If you have a lot of plugins then you may want to consider getting rid of them. A basic site might require 5 plugins and I’ve had e-commerce sites with 20 plugins on them (usually for very specific applications). However, if you have 60 plugins then you really need to go through and see what you really need. Every plugin is going to make your site load slower.
If you have done all of these steps and you are still having an issue with your load speed then you might have a bad plugin also. I recently had to get rid of my HubSpot ChatBot because the plugin was doubling my site’s load time! You would think that a company like HubSpot would have a safe, efficient plugin but I wasn’t the only one that had these issues.
Prefer To Watch Instead of Read?
Still Having Troubles?
If you are still having trouble getting your site to load under 3 seconds then you can reach out for a consultation. We can take a look at your site and figure out why it’s loading slow and how to improve it. Some sites require a little extra work to get it in tip-top shape.