Do you have a WordPress site? If so, how fast is it? We were able to take a site from PageSpeed score of 24% to 90%. At Schofield Studios we accept nothing less than 90% and usually reaching over 95% depending on the website.
You may be wondering how we were able to achieve this. It’s not as difficult as you may think. With a quality theme or custom coded site and a fast hosting provider you will be able to have the same success as us.
To begin, head over to GTMetrix to evaluate your site. This will give you a PageSpeed score and also tell you what is holding your site back from a higher score. Underneath each category will be a description of how to fix the problem. Many of these are not easy to figure out if you don’t understand what you’re looking at.
We will cover in this article a couple of the most common ways to improve the speed of your website.
Above is an image of the PageSpeed before we improved the speed. Note the high load time, page size, and requests. If you refer to the image at the very top you will notice these numbers are much lower.
1. Hosting Provider
To start, you must make sure you have a quality hosting provider. Of course we will recommend our hosting service because we have the fastest and most secure servers on the planet. We will also maintain your website so you won’t have to worry about anything (like reading the rest of this article to improve the speed of your site). To get started contact us here.
The main difference to look for in a hosting service is the speed of their servers. There are many speed test on Google and Youtube.
There are also different features that may fit your needs better. This will vary case by case.
The final thing is price… I will go ahead and say in most cases don’t just look for the cheapest price. You really do get what you pay for when it comes to hosting your website. Remember, this is the backbone of your website so it isn’t something I would go cheap with.
2. Use a Cache Plugin
Caching your website is vital to your site’s performance. It is something very simple to do but still so many websites fail to do it. Without getting all technically, caching your website will allow your pages to become static. Static pages typically render faster in browsers. The way WordPress works requires a lot of back and forth between to and from the database. Cutting out most of the back and forth will allow your site to be much quicker.
I prefer WP Fastest Cache because it is very light and super easy to use. Simply install and active the plugin. Then configure it to look like the image below and you’re all done!
Note that when you make certain updates to your site you may need to clear your cache before you will be able to see the change. Click on the “Delete Cache” tab then “Delete Cache.” Look at the image below to see what it looks like.
3. Optimize/Compress Images
Images are usually one of the main culprits of a slow website. Begin by resizing the images to the size they will render on your site. You don’t want the browser to resize the image… this takes tons of time.
I use Photoshop for this however there are tons of websites you can use to resize images… just Google “resize image.” If you do use photoshop, click “File > Export > Save for Web.” This will allow you to resize the image, as well as, optimize it by choosing the “Quality” (it is ranked 0-100). You wanted the image to be the lowest possible quality while still looking good.
EWWW Image Optimizer, once installed and activated will be found under the “Media” tab. It will be label as “Bulk Optimzer.” Click that, then click “Scan for Unoptimized Image.” Finally, click “Optimize Image” and let the plugin work its magic!
WP Smush is also a very easy plugin to use and essentially does the same thing except also compresses the images. Once installed and activated the plugin is also found under “Media.” On the right hand side click “Check Images” then “Smush Images” and again let it work its magic!
4. LazyLoad Images
This is a very simple concept… LazyLoad stops the images from loading until they are in view of the user. This saves on a lot of the initial load time of the website.
Install and activate the Rocket LazyLoad plugin. Under “Settings” you will find the plugin. Once your on the plugin’s page tick the boxes that apply to you (I would definitely click images) then click save changes and you’re done!
Wrapping It Up
This is, by no means, everything that could possibly be slowing your site down. However, it is a great starting point for improving the speed of your site. For about 90% of sites this is all you will need for others you may need a few small, minor adjustments or queeks to your site.
If you are one of the few sites that does need additional improvements or if you just don’t feel like doing it let us know! We will be happy to help you.
Did this article help you? If it did leave us a comment! Do you have other plugins or strategies for improving the speed of a website? Leave us a comment as well. We love hearing from you!
Oh, and one last thing… take a look at our PageSpeed for our site. We don’t show this to brag but just to show you that we practice what we preach. We have tested and nearly perfected website speed. Your site will be here in no time!