So, let's begin with the fact that I used to be a crazy website performance freak!
I would sit all-nighters to improve individual MS, every second I improved at the website speed – was a reason for party.
Nowadays, I still believe that a website's loading time should be fast, but I wouldn't commit suicide for a few more MS if the website loads in a reasonable amount of time that I as a user can wait – that's good enough for me and I'd rather spend that time on other things.
4 key website speed test tools
gtmetrix (my favorite)
speedom (Walla is the closest to reality of all)
webpagetest Excellent tool, you can also check speed from Israel.
But here is the really important part
The only statistic that is of interest to all the data the tools give is only one statistic – the time it takes the page to actually load.
Neither the PageSpeed Score, nor the YSlow Score, only the Fully Loaded Time.
All other grades do not really change anything in terms of SEO, they are there in total to give guidance and recommendation on how to improve loading time. If for that matter you got red in both metrics and the full loading time of the website is a second and a half – your situation is great!
Until a few years ago, the scores were really critical, you would improve the speed of the website loading time and hop! Jumps a few pages forward on Google.
Today, since Google has come to realize that the internet speeds for people that are browsing are very high (even on mobile!), and there is really no difference between whether the website weighs Mega, 2 Mega or 3 Mega, it will also loading very fast, it does not give too many credit points in favor a website that loads really fast compared to a website that loads in reasonable time, only websites that load slowly – are hit.
It really doesn't mean you shouldn't sit back and improve performance, but let's say I recommend that you get less than 5-6 seconds on GTEMTRIX for full loading – your situation is rotating (the test refers to website upload fully, so if it's written 6 seconds, the top of the website the user sees initially is actually loaded in about 2 seconds).
WordPress plugins that are recommended for website speed optimization
There are quite a few WordPress extensions that can help you improve your website's speed, so I'll share what I personally use most often:
- The shortpixel extension (I use the premium version but also the free version), this extension basically constrict all the images that already have on the website, and since it is installed – every image that goes to the website automatically constricted (if you talk about pictures – do not forget to set alt Per image, rather than forging alt).
- Then I install the wp-rocket plugin (premium, later in the post I will introduce another free tool that does similar work).
It is very important to configure the extension properly. Basically, the better way I've found to set it up is to simply open gtmetrix (the test that provides the most details), run every single option and test whether the loading time is shortened or lengthened and so decide what to leave unchecked and what not. Every website surprises me, every website has different optimal settings for me at Brockett.
- It is important that the storage you choose will be a leverage browser cache option. It's pretty critical, I personally store in WordPress storage – uPress and there it is (and no, I don't have percentages there, I compliment to them for a reason). It is also worth choosing a lightweight template, not something too heavy (for example, AVADA is considered heavy, compared to Hello which is considered lightweight).
- Server matter – critical! It doesn't matter if the website is for promotion or not, the website should sit on a quality server! Is there a budget? Go for Ypres, want to save and still get a good performance? siteground is also an option I would consider! The main thing is it will sit on a quality server, with no less than excellent support and performance!
- Did you happen to be sitting full time on a website and trying to improve its loading time and no matter what, it just couldn't get any better? First of all, in most test tools there is something called a "water fall" which is actually a flowchart that shows how the website was loading, and where the browser took longer. Use this tool, in practice, it contains all the answers.
- Another great plugin you can install (no need if you use Rocket, if not – this is for you!) Is called autoptimize – does a great job! There are websites that I install at the same time as Rocket because it does an exceptional job, sometimes better than Rocket when it comes to Cush.
When you want to upload an image to a website, it is important that its dimensions be the right size and not large for no reason, so you should upload each image to Photoshop, reduce it to the desired size and only then upload it to the website.
On the other hand, don't upload blurry images because you want them to weight 50kb
- There is a Facebook group called "WordPress Speed Up" – the most professional Facebook acceleration group. Crazy what goes there, it is strongly recommended to take a look, not to believe that you can join there for free.
- Leave everything they say about website acceleration, if you end up taking a computer that has never been to the website, type in the address and the website came up in no time – it is all fine.
All of these scores are just numbers in the air intended, in the result test I have seen dozens of websites with horror scores, but in fact they cost less than a second (especially websites listed in a pure code like the website of Yaron Perez who sat and wrote everything on Notepad, but in GTMETRIX it gets 5.1 s, judge yourself if it really takes his website to load 5 seconds …) in conclusion – don't get excited about these tools.
- A nice tip to finish and not just the tip that closes the article: If you don't have the power / time / desire to mess with this thing, look for "wordpress speed optimization" fever, there are so many Indians who would love to flip your website on a rocket for something like 10$ Just don't forget to back up before.
So, here are my tips, if you have any tips, or if you need to recommend a specific plugin that will improve website speed, or anything else related to website acceleration – feel free to share in the comments.