Last Updated on April 20, 2022 by WP Knowledge Hub
With GTMetrix, users can optimize their sites for both speed and SEO. Slow websites frustrate visitors and send them elsewhere. Having a faster and more responsive website will keep them more engaged and focused on the content.
On top of that, Google uses page speed as an important factor in their ranking algorithms that indexes your WordPress website.
Using this amazingly free online tool will give you great insights on how to improve your WordPress website’s speed score.
First enter your website’s URL and click the TEST YOUR SITE button. GTMetrix will return a series of recommendations that you can do to improve your website.
Here are the most common optimizations you can do:
You can use photo-editing software such as Photoshop to compress your images and save web version manually, or you can also use plugins such as Smush or Short Pixel to batch compress all the images on your website.
While Photoshop and Smush work great, Short Pixel is a cut above the rest, and has great affordable plans to get you started. This is the best option if you have hundreds of images on your site.
Caching will greatly improve your website’s speed. The best options are using a caching plugin, or manually tweaking your .htaccess file:
- Enable GZIP Compression on your website
- Enable Leverage Browser Caching
- Install a caching plugin like W3 Total cache or WP Super Cache.
Eliminate Render-blocking Resources
Render-blocking resources are additional CSS files (stylesheets) and JS (scripts) that are loaded before the important WordPress ones. Every additional non-critical file adds a tiny bit to the total loading time before the “First Contentful Paint“. In other words, the first content users see.
If that time is too long – say more than a few seconds – users might leave your website and that gives search engine a signal that your website might not be serving users as it should and accord you indexing penalties.
The only way to lower the amount of render-blocking resources is to deactivate as many non-essential plugins as possible.
Each plugin you install adds CSS and script files to load that slow down your website. Unless they are 100% necessary to the functioning of your website, deactivate and delete them to greatly improve your site’s speed.
Use a CDN
A content delivery network (CDN) is a system of servers spread out around the world. When a user visits your site they can be served content from the server closest to them.
The most popular CDN is Cloudflare – to add a CDN to your website, you will need to sign up and add your site to a free plan. Once this is done you will need to change your nameservers so the domain looks towards Cloudflare. This can take upto 24 hours.