Site speed has become increasingly important in the eyes of Google, and since they are the currently the king of search, it’s important to give them what they want. It’s also important for the user experience.
Here’s a few tips and tools that can help you improve site speed and improve SEO results, as well as user experience for your website.
First of all, make sure that you are using a good hosting service. If you are using a WordPress site, look for a hosting service that is designed for WordPress. I personally like A2hosting, but Bluehost is also popular. I’m sure there’s other good hosting services out there, so do your homework. You may want to make sure that your hosting company does not have a built in caching program that interferes with other plugins, like WP Rocket. (Note: I have no affiliation or financial gains, when I mention these companies.)
Also make sure that all your plugins and themes are up to date, and remove any WordPress plugins that you are not using, as they can slow down your site.
Next you’ll want to check your site speed. Here’s a few free tools you can use:
- GTmetrix gives you insights as to how your site loads and provides recommendations on how to optimize it for site speed.
- Google’s Page Speed Insights measures your page speed and provides PageSpeed suggestions to make your web site faster. The PageSpeed Score ranges from 0 to 100 points. A score of 85 or above means your page speed is optimal. The tool distinguishes two main criteria: How fast your page above-the-fold loads and how fast the whole page loads. Each page is tested for mobile and desktop experience separately.
- Pingdom allows you to test your sites load time and find bottlenecks.
- WP Super Cache is a premium WordPress plugin. This plugin generates static html files from your dynamic WordPress blog. After a html file is generated your webserver will serve that file instead of processing the comparatively heavier and more expensive WordPress PHP scripts.
- Image optimization plugins such as WP Smush and Imagify will compress and optimize image files, improve performance and may boost your SEO rankings. Both programs have a free plugin and a premium version.
- A CDN like Cloudflare can help increase performance and improve site security.
Hopefully these tips and tools will help you improve your web site speed and load time, and improve your SEO results as well as user experience.