Improve WordPress Website Speed

Google released new speed algorithm in 2020 that looks at page loading speed, and if the website is loading more than 3 seconds then they say that clients and customers are less likely to come back to that website to buy further products or services.

Google will reward websites by improving their google ranking for those that have better website.

WordPress will always be a slower website by default with the PHP coding than a custom build website from scratch that can be more speed optimised, but WordPress does offer amazing SEO and functionality other than speed.

Below I’ve compared two websites, www.destiny.ie which has lots of images and content, and it loads much faster than www.ddireland.ie which was newly created with a low amount of content and it is very slow, so imagine what will happen if more images added to www.ddireland.ie?

I would recommend to perform a test on GTMetrix website to find out how the website is performing.

How to improve website speed

To improve the website speed we can reduce the image size, and then it’s mostly about the website code such as HTML, CSS, Javascript and PHP.

When developers write website code they use a lot of white space so the code can be written and read easier which makes sense with websites over hundred and thousand of lines in code, but this creates more time to load those lines of code.

Don’t worry, we don’t have to go and edit all the code, instead you can use a plugin that will do it for you.

Improve Website Speed with SG Optimizer plugin

If your hosting is with SiteGround by default your WordPress will already have the SG Optimizer plugin installed.

On your SiteGround hosting account head over on your SiteGround account and in your domain go to SiteTools > Speed > Catching > Memcached and enable it.

To configure the SG Optimizer, go to WordPress admin panel and click on SG Otpimzer

Let’s brake down now the configurations:

Supercacher Settings

Enable Memcached and keep everything else on default.

Environment Optimization

Enable HTTPS

Enable WordPress Heartbeat Optimization

Everything else can stay as default.

Frontend Optimization

This will help to remove unnecessary code and remove the white space between code giving the website better performance.

Enable all of them, but do be careful with Minify JavaScript Files, Combine JavaScript Files and Defer render-blocking JS – if your website uses a lot of plugins it may cause them not to work correctly. Check full website functionality after enabling.

Media Optimisation

By enabling New Images Optimization it will reduce the image size on every upload.

I would also highly recommend to enable Generate WebP Copies of New Images, this will reduce image size by a lot with changing images to new modern format! But it will not work properly if the website is using CloudFlare.

Lazy load images helps the user, this loads the images on the webpage after all the text has loaded, so the user can start reading and see images with a delay.

If you already got loads of images on the website you can optimise existing images and bulk generate WebP files (images).

After all complete, click Purge SG Cache in the top of the WordPress admin panel.

Our result now should look like this.

Previously speed was 1.8 + .6 = 2.4 seconds and now got a full second down. Which doesn’t look like a lot, but it does matter.

Amazon predicted if their website slows down by 1 second it will cost amazon 1.6 Billion US Dollars in revenue! Website speed does matter for the users and search engines to rank your website higher.

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