Talking About Website Optimization, WordPress-Style

Our April presenter at the WordPress MeetUp was Brian Pederson, who presented on steps a person can take to speed up their website, or website optimization. Because we are a fickle people, we won’t wait very long for a website to load into our computers and smartphones. Most of us leave if it takes longer than three seconds.

I couldn’t wait to get home and see how my own website was ranking. And so rather than give you the “Brian said this…” version of the evening, I’ll just tell you about how putting his suggestions to work increased my website’s loading time.

If you want to see what tools are available for testing your page’s loading speed, google “gzip compression.” I used Brian’s recommended PageSpeed Insights, a web-based service ran by Google. My website only had a 56 point ranking.

Some of the image compression tools suggested are Robin Image Optimizer, Shortpixels and several others. Ewww Image Optimizer is a plugin that do image compression for you. Check it out. If my server doesn’t support it, may have to go to a cloud-based service. But Shortpixels worked for me, and I got my website up into the 70s. Once you get your website optimized, Imsanity will optimize the actual size of an image as they are being uploaded.

I moved onto Javascript optimization. Autoptimize is a plugin that compresses and works 80% of the time. The beta version has some image optimization that includes lazy-loading, but you have to go to the developer’s website and dig the beta version out. I just went with the version on the repository. Got that done but the number went down two points!

But never say die – maybe optimizing my caching would help. My hosting site, FlyWheel, offers caching as a service. If you don’t have that option, Jetpack contains its own site accelerator, or use WP Super Cache or Cache Enabler, both good cache plugins. Breeze is great for cloudways user. Turns out I’d never turned the caching on my own website! After doing so, I got my number all the way up to 86!

Brian had more to say, but as you remember this isn’t a word-for-word post from him, it’s about my experiences. And I’m pleased with the results.

Thanks, Brian!