Quickly improve your WordPress page load speeds

It’s no secret that search engines are increasingly putting more emphasis on page load speed as a search rank factor. Want some tips on how to speed up your website? This article is intended to provide you with some bullets that will help you. If you’ve ever run page speed tests using popular online tools, the suggested issues and fixes  can look like a foreign language. We will attempt to provide some of these fixes in layman’s terms below.

Take a closer look below ↓

Here’s 4 ways to increase your WordPress Page Load Speeds

1. Use these two WordPress Plugins for Page Speed Optimization 

These plugins should play nicely with your site’s setup, they’re easy to install and setup, and ultimately work for what we were looking for. Install these two plugins as a tag team and you will experience big gains in performance quickly.

 – Autoptimize

Helps Correct: Minification and CSS recommendations. There’s 3 quick settings to deploy that can you help you immediately. Additonally, there is a now a “lazy load images” option built into the plugin you can take advantage of as well.

>Read reviews, more info, download plugin here:  https://wordpress.org/plugins/autoptimize/

– Async Javascript

Helps correct: Eliminate Render-blocking Javascript in above-the-fold content messages.

Depending on whether you choose to Async or Defer depends on how your site is setup. IF it breaks some functionality deferring for example, just choose to Async. There’s a setting to connect with Autoptimize plugin. 

>Read reviews, more info, download plugin here: https://wordpress.org/plugins/async-javascript/

 2. Resize and Optimize your images

Helps Correct: Image resize and compression suggestions 

There’s two recommendations I’d like to make here. One is to start resizing and optimizing your images PRIOR to uploading them into WordPress. Resize the images to a spec where you can use it at full size so that WordPress doesn’t have to resize it for you. You can use a simple tool like the Preview Tool (Macs) to resize them and I suggest an online compression tool to futher compress the images.  I’ve enjoyed using these two online compression tools: compresspng.com and compressjpg.com. Once you’ve resized and compressed upload the images into WordPress for use in the layout.

Plugin recommendations: WP Smush can be used if you need to bulk optimize images you’ve already used in WordPress. Additionally, you can select to automatically optimize all newly uploaded media.  There’s also an option to lazy load in Smush if you’re interested. I would suggest doing so here if you don’t use Autoptimize to lazy load.

UPDATE TO POST: Here’s an article from our friends at AThemes. This article provides several awesome recommendations for image optimization: https://athemes.com/collections/best-wordpress-image-optimisation-plugins/

3. Take advantage of caching

A good WordPress host will provide some sort of caching options for you. Im still experimenting with things, but as of now, Im using the default cache settings on my own website partnered with the plugins in this article. There’s several caching plugins in the repository so just make a search in WordPress by choosing to Add new plugin and search something like “cache plugins” You can read some reviews to find one you like. 

4. Explore a new host

Helps Correct: Server response time

There are several hosts that provide WordPress-optimized hosting and features such as server-level caching. The main point here is that it may be worth your time to research and see what’s out there.Personally, we experienced a boost in performance by switching to SiteGround hosting from GoDaddy. 

page load speed odometer

Whatever you do, don’t forget about your page load speeds! I continue to plug away and run tests using these tools below. You should too!

Google Page Speed Insights Tool

Pingdom Speed Test

Gmetrix Speed Test 

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