Hey there and welcome to WordPress Wednesday!

How fast is your WordPress website?

If you don’t know and don’t know how to test it, be sure to check out the last video on Google PageSpeed Insights. Don’t worry. I’ll wait.

So how fast is your website? I’m willing to bet that you aren’t exactly happy with the results. And that’s good. You should always be wanting to make sure your website is as fast as possible.

And the good news is that there are ways that you can speed up your WordPress website. And in fact, it might actually be easier than you think it is. So today let’s go through some of the top steps that you can take to speed up your website.

Before we begin, if you want to see more videos on WordPress, ecommerce, digital marketing and other website related topics, be sure to hit the subscribe button and to ring the bell for notifications.

Now let’s get started.

Make sure you compress images

One of the biggest things you can do right now is to compress your images. There is no reason for you to be showing photos that are over 1 megabyte in file size. Those can take forever to load, especially if the user is on an unstable connection.

The good news is that there are easy ways to compress your images and other files. You can use a photo editor, like Photoshop or the Preview app on a Mac. You can change the size of the image. I would recommend that if the image is not going to be full width on your page that you keep it to be no wider than 1000 pixels. Also, you can adjust the resolution, which I suggest to be no more than 100.

When you’re ready, you can export it or export it for screens and move the quality down to shrink the file size. Finally, for a little bit more compression, you can use TinyPNG or ImageOptim to compress your image even further.

I’ve also linked to a blog post I wrote over compressing images down in the description below.

Use caching features or plugins

Also, you’ll want to use any caching features available through your web host or use web caching plugins.

Caching is when a version of your webpage and the resource that it uses are stored either in the browser or on the server. And this makes loading the webpage even faster because it’s right there already.

I know with WP Engine, you can turn this on by utilizing the CDN option. And your web host might have a similar option.

If you don’t you can use a caching plugin. I recommend W3 Total Cache, WP Rocket and WP Super Cache, although you’ll probably have to pay for higher tiers in WP Rocket.

Minify your CSS and JavaScript

This might be something you need a developer to do, although there are plugins that could probably help you out with this, but you really should by minifying your CSS and JavaScript.

What does that mean? Well, minifying files gets rid of different spaces and line breaks inside of the file. Each of those are technically characters inside that file and they take up space. And if the files are long enough, they can really take up a lot of space.

So if you’re a developer, make sure you have a step in your process to minify those files. I use a Gulp process to do that for both JavaScript and CSS files. And if you’re not a developer, make sure you talk to your developer about doing this. As I said, there are plugins that can help you with this, but it’s best if the files themselves are minified.

You’d be surprised just how much you can speed up your website by doing this.

Remove plugins that aren’t needed

Another thing you can do is to make sure that you only have plugins that you absolutely need  on your website.

If you have 30 plugins on your website, that’s going to take a while to run. That’s a lot of code that has to be run everytime the page is loaded. And depending on the plugin, it might also have to load CSS and JavaScript. That takes precious time.

And even if you have plugins that aren’t active, they can still be hurting your website. For starters, those plugins are still taking up space on your web hosting. And that can hurt site performance, even if they’re not being run. And second, they pose a security risk. You might not be updating them, since well, they aren’t active. But bad actors can still use the vulnerabilities to get into your website.

So go through your plugins list and remove any plugins that aren’t active or that you just don’t need anymore. Your website will be happier for it.

Google Site Kit and PageSpeed Insights

Finally, you can keep an eye on your page speed by using the PageSpeed Insights section of the Google Site Kit plugin.

This is wonderful because you don’t have to worry about going to PageSpeed Insights and instead can test and see your scores right inside your WordPress dashboard.

I talked about the Site Kit plugin last week, which is a great tool to have for your site for a multitude of reasons.

Up Next

So what questions do you have about improving your WordPress website’s page speed? Are you stuck with anything? Are you confused maybe about what you’ve seen in your Google PageSpeed Insights score? Be sure to leave them down in the comments section below.

Next Wednesday we’ll be discussing the different SEO plugins you might want to use for your website.

To see that and other videos on WordPress, ecommerce, digital marketing and other website related topics, be sure to hit the subscribe button and to ring the bell for notifications.

And until next time, happy WordPressing!

Links

Timestamps

  • 00:47 — Compress Your Images
  • 1:44 — Use Caching Features or Plugins
  • 2:25 — Minify JavaScript and CSS
  • 3:13 — Remove Plugins That Aren't Needed
  • 4:03 — Google Site Kit and PageSpeed Insights