Site load speed is an important ranking metric! Here is how I made my sites to load faster

11 replies
Hey guys so today I looked at some of my sites and realized that loading speed is very slow so I spent all day trying to figure it all out. I think everybody realizes how important it is to have a fast loading website!

I didn't totally figure it out but got my sites to load much faster and now get good scores from PageSpeed Insights from Google. One site went from 68 to 85 (site 1), other from 72 to 89 (site 2)

Here is what I did:
  • installed WP Smush It plugin to make images smaller
  • installed WP Optimize plugin to delete all stored and unused data - post revisions, old meta-tags etc
  • installed WP Minify plugin to compress HTML, JS and CSS - for one site I only used a setting to compress HTML because when you choose to compress CSS and JS your site might loose certain elements. (but by implementing those I actually got a score of 92 for site 1)

then I went to .htaccess file and added 2 codes.

1. For leveraging browser caching. I found a code on this site: How to Leverage Browser Caching in WordPress via .htaccess

2. For compressing JS, HTML, CSS and XML files. I found code here: Top 3 Methods to Enable Gzip Compression in WordPress

The main thing that slows down my websites loading speed is ShareThis plugin and my social media buttons plugin but I don't know how to optimize these.

The scores are still really good even with these plugins being installed on my site.

I'm not a pro and did all this by reading articles and testing so if anybody has any comments and recommendations for speeding up WP sites please share
#important #load #metric #ranking #site #speed
  • Profile picture of the author the brewer
    Great share....load speeds are important. Too long and it can affect bounce rate and that will be noticed by Google.

    I good place to start when checking load speed and a host of other things is to use Neil Patel's website checker over at Quick Sprout plus there is a host of awesomeness over there anyway:

    Quick Sprout
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    • Profile picture of the author clean99
      Originally Posted by the brewer View Post

      Great share....load speeds are important. Too long and it can affect bounce rate and that will be noticed by Google.

      I good place to start when checking load speed and a host of other things is to use Neil Patel's website checker over at Quick Sprout plus there is a host of awesomeness over there anyway:

      Quick Sprout
      Just ran through my sites through Quick Sprout. Awesome tool!

      Weird though because it gave me the same readings for one site and lower reading for another site.
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  • Profile picture of the author bradstern
    +1 on Quick Sprout. Neil Patel is amazing too. He gives away premium content for free on the site!
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  • Profile picture of the author clean99
    I think one of the biggest problems with my sites are themes I'm using. For one site I'm using Socrates (faster site) and for slower site I'm using Gazette theme.

    Another reason for slower loading times could be my host. I'm using shared hosting from Hostgator, I think dedicated host would make sites load much much faster.
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    • Profile picture of the author Brandon Tanner
      Good points (if you're on WP). Another biggie is to put all of your Javascript calls and inline Javascript near the end of the document (instead of in the header or early in the body). Right before the closing </body> tag is good. That can make a huge difference in page load time... especially if you use a lot of JS plugins.
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  • Profile picture of the author Danny Cutts
    Nice points I use most of tthose plugins...

    A couple I don't use though...

    Thanks :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author brettb
    Good tips. Another one I'll add is that you should try putting ads and 3rd party widgets in IFrames. That way your site will load without having to wait for any other sites. I did this on my latest site as the Alexa stats widget was taking forever to load.

    Probably not a good idea to try this with AdSense ads though.
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    • Profile picture of the author clean99
      Originally Posted by Brandon Tanner View Post

      Good points (if you're on WP). Another biggie is to put all of your Javascript calls and inline Javascript near the end of the document (instead of in the header or early in the body). Right before the closing </body> tag is good. That can make a huge difference in page load time... especially if you use a lot of JS plugins.
      So would that be changing things up in you index.php, or template.php or somewhere else? I got JS online shopping cart and the analysis from Google PageSpeed says that it slows things down. Any advice on what to do?

      Originally Posted by Danny Cutts View Post

      Nice points I use most of tthose plugins...

      A couple I don't use though...

      Thanks :-)
      You are welcome.

      I also added wp-dbmanager plugin that manages all WP database. Not sure if it did anything though as my Google PageSpeed score staid the same

      Originally Posted by kpmedia View Post

      Some of those metrics are just opinions. Some are BS opinions, too.
      Some is flat out wrong -- the analysis is fubar.
      It's also slow as hell. I have sites that consistently load in 1s, and it says it takes 4s? I don't think so.

      Pingdom has a better analysis.
      I noticed that too btw. One of my site loads in about 3 seconds but the analysis from quicksprout said 7 seconds, the other site loads in 2 seconds but analysis says 5

      Originally Posted by brettb View Post

      Good tips. Another one I'll add is that you should try putting ads and 3rd party widgets in IFrames. That way your site will load without having to wait for any other sites. I did this on my latest site as the Alexa stats widget was taking forever to load.

      Probably not a good idea to try this with AdSense ads though.
      I should try that. I was able to optimize my images in my social media widget by getting "fixed" css from for my pages from Spriteme.org
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  • Profile picture of the author bluefirepro
    Setting up W3C is not that difficult, if you just need a simple and effective caching plugin.

    Once installed: just go to general settings and tick

    - Page cache: Disk Enchanced
    - Database Cache: Disk
    - Browser Cache

    Do not go for object cache if you are on shared hosting as it may not benefit you in any way and can get you account banned. [useful on VPS]

    Minification of JS and CSS is your choice. I usually leave it like that.


    Regards
    bf
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    • Profile picture of the author StuartDavidson
      Great information. I used the page insights from chrome inspect element and tried to improve all the speed factors they listed. I also installed some plugins on my site, such as Better WordPress Minify, WP-HTML-Compression, WP Smush.it and WP Super Cache to try speed it up. Seems to have worked ok without using CDN or other improvements
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