Your website's page load time and WordPress speed is of great importance, every internet user knows. But, what few know is that if the site is slow, this will increase the bounce rate in the Google Analytics and decrease the conversion rate - after all, who today has the patience to buy something on a slow website or even to request a quote? And this leaves the user with a bad experience.
Our site should always please Google, as it considers the speed of your site when placing it well in organic searches, that is, if your site is slow, this can harm your SEO strategy.
For this reason, it is necessary to dedicate time to make improvements to your website. Think of it as an investment, because if you don't start reviewing these concepts today, tomorrow your competitor may be much more developed in this matter.
It will require efforts, of course! But all efforts are rewarded. Our website is an example of this. But I'm not going to talk about our site, today we are going to focus on improving yours.
Here we will give you valuable tips, those that, if this were a YouTube video, I would be asking for your like and activation of notifications right now! But, if you find it interesting, you can share or even tell us here in the comments if, after following these tips, you saw any results.
See the topics we’ll talk about next:
- How to measure the speed of your website;
- How to improve WordPress speed in 5 steps:
- Choose high performance hosting;
- Choose a good WordPress Theme;
- Optimize your images;
- Implements caching;
- Uses a CDN;
- Start now!
How to measure the speed of your WordPress site
There are several tools and websites to thoroughly analyze the loading time of your website and also to analyze which files or codes are taking longer to load, which hinders the performance of WordPress.
There is Google PageSpeed, which even today you can access it through your own panel after installing and activating the plugin Site Kit by Google. This plugin allows you to connect your WordPress to Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Google Adsense, with one click Google Search Console, Google Optimize and PageSpeed Insights, which will provide insights into the performance of the site.
But I, in particular, still prefer to use and recommend the GTmetrix .
In it you only need to access the website at the link above and insert the URL you want to analyze. See the example:
Above, we have a printout of the analysis of our main site, agxww.com. On this site, we strictly use all the tips that we will pass here in this post. We can see that the site took 1,1 seconds to fully load and 0,6 seconds for the customer to view the images.
But I know what you must be asking: "How long does my website have to load in order for it to be considered fast?".
Data says that Google considers that a site needs to load in up to 3 seconds, and that this is totally related to what I said at the beginning of the post, the Bounce Rate. The longer the loading time, the user will naturally not wait for the website to load.
How to improve WordPress speed in 5 steps
Now that you know how long your site takes to load, let's see what we need to do to improve its performance and get more benefits.
1. Choose high performance hosting
We talked about hosting WordPress in the first place precisely because this is the most important step of all. There is no point in running all the tips if your hosting does not have a high performance.
I always recommend that you use a cloud hosting. Better that it is dedicated, but if it cannot be due to financial factors, the shared cloud is easy to expand if there is a need to increase disk, memory or even the bandwidth.
Today I will give 2 alternatives of cloud server:
Google Cloud Platform
WordPress can be deployed to Google Cloud in several ways. The best option depends on the amount of traffic that your site can receive and also on the control you want to exercise over the deployment and maintenance. Each option includes all the security, cost and performance benefits of GCP.
It is possible to create a scalable instance on Kubernets Engine or APP Engine. If your site has low or moderate traffic expectations, Compute Engine is a good option.
If you want to learn how to install and configure WordPress on Google Cloud, click on the previous link and see how you can create an instance and host your site there.
Now, if you don't want to worry about configuration, the next topic may be more interesting.
My Site Area
Our other option also hosts your site on Google Cloud, but in a managed way. That is, all the advantages of Google servers, however, without the need for configuration. Choose your plan, and they deliver the resources in a panel where you have everything from a file manager, to an integration with Git. Another advantage is that with a few clicks it is possible to install and configure applications such as WordPress, Magento, e-mails with your domain ... all of this in an automated way. The My Site Area takes care of all the technical configuration.
On this server you can choose Dedicated, which are from R $ 149 (U $ 27) per month, or Shared, where they share a vCPU for their users from R $ 59 (U $ 10) per month.
My Site Area also has a migrator that transfers your WordPress site from the current hosting to your cloud for free.
2. Choose a good WordPress theme
The theme of your website has a relevant role in the loading time. So I always recommend using a theme that is not free, as they will have a larger team taking care of performance, improvements and even providing support in whatever you need.
Here in AGX, we use a lot Astra Theme. It has less than 50kb and has a differential for not having JQuery dependencies that hinder your page load time. The updates are constant and do very well with Elementor, and other tools that I will mention here below.
We have already built institutional sites, ecommerces and marketplaces with Astra, and because I have never had problems with the speed of WordPress, I recommend it.
3. Optimize your images
The images represent about 50% or more of the page size of a website. So, by reducing the size of your images by 1/4, you would have at least 50% less effort for your page to load. It's a good tip, isn't it?
This is because many people upload images of any size, sometimes without even noticing it. We have already seen sites here that ran with images of 5MB, just because they downloaded from the image bank and did not know that it was necessary or that it could reduce this image without losing quality.
In this step we have 2 options. The first is, of course, resize the images on your website. It is worth entering and evaluating from the size of your logo, to that image at the bottom of the page.
The second option is to use a image compressor. This will cause you to reduce the file size without changing the dimensions. There are compression options with losses, which dramatically reduces the file size, but also decreases the image quality. And there are the lossless, which make a small reduction, but also do not lose quality.
We use the Smush Pro do WPMU Dev. It has a free version, but the Pro version is very good, because in the package comes other plugins like H, which mimics the code, in addition to other plugins. Smush is on more than 1 million sites in the world and has other resources besides image compression such as Image CDN, WebP Support, Lazy Load, among others.
4. Implements caching
If you already know what the page cache is, proceed to the next step. If you don’t know yet, I’ll try to explain it in a practical way.
When visiting your site, the server runs PHP and sends queries to the database to assemble the HTML. With that, it can take a while for the server to display the HTML, as it assembles when requested, and your server works to go there at the bank, make queries and present whenever requested.
It is at this time that the page cache acts. It stores ready HTML or static HTML for a period of time that can be determined. Some use hours, others do not update the site daily, use even more time.
When the cache delivers to visitors without going through this process that I mentioned, the loading is faster and improves the performance of the site, especially when there is high traffic, because your server is not overloaded.
WordPress speed plugin tip
"- And that tip from the plugin ???" Calm! I will not forget this, after all, that was what I told you earlier about how Cache works. But before talking about the plugin I have to warn you that some hosts already have this service on the server. So it is good to find out if your service already offers.
Here at the company, we use WordPress sites WP Rocket for Cache storage. I've used some from the market, but none can compare. First because the basic configuration of it already optimizes your site. That is, installed and activated, it is already working. This is a positive point.
In addition, you can perform some manual optimizations such as Lazy Load, Gzip Compression, Database Optimization, Google Analytics Optimization and Google Fonts. It is not good?
5. Uses a CDN
CDN is the acronym for Content Delivery Network. As the name says, it is a content distribution network whose objective is to speed up the loading time of your website. That's because it delivers the static content from the server's website closest to where they make the request.
It is very natural for people not to consider the location of their data center when hiring, but this is extremely relevant. Understands how:
Think of a website that people in Brazil, the United States and Australia access. Since, your server is in the United States. Whoever is closest to the server will be able to load the site much faster than whoever is in Australia. This is because the distance influences the time the server receives and responds to your website data.
The CDN solved this problem. CDN companies generally have state-of-the-art servers around the world where replicas of websites are stored. In other words, with the CDN if I have a point in Australia, I minimize the loading time as it will not be necessary to request static files in the USA.
My last and very important CDN tip for WordPress is the Bunny.net. It now has 53 data centers on 6 continents and in 35 countries. But the main advantage of it is that its installation is very easy and practical: Register on the website and create an account. Add your URL to Bunny and then install the BunnyCDN plugin to complete the configuration. And the good news is that you'll be able to test for 15 days and compare the speeds before and after activation.
After these golden tips, don't waste any more time and speed up your WordPress right now. You will understand the before and after of your site, not only in the loading but in the advancement of positions in keywords, and much more!
If you have any questions about this topic or if you have had a good result, let us know in the comments.
To the next!