The speed of your website is an important ranking factor for Google (why would Google recommend a slow website to its users?) and is an important conversion factor for turning your visitors into clients.
You can check your website speed in Google PageSpeed Insights benchmark tool. After typing your website address this tool will rank your website in two categories – Mobile and Desktop – and each will receive a score between 1 and 100.
You should aim for a score at least above the average (50+) to be competitive, 70 is a good score and above 70 is a very good score.
Helpful WordPress plugins
Unfortunately, you probably won’t score over 50 points with plugins alone, speed optimization is a complex issue requiring a professional developer, but a plugin is a good start. In order to speed up your website you can use the following plugins:
W3 Total Cache
A heavy duty all in one solution plugin with many options, the main options include:
- cache policies – cache policies tell your internet browser to keep images and other website files on your computer for future use so they won’t be downloaded every time you refresh a webpage
- file minification – the file minification option will remove spaces, line breaks and other unnecessary characters from the files that makeup the website making the files much smaller
- page and post caching – when a web page is called by a browser the server has to build the page from scratch, there are many files that have to be opened, analyzed, and called, and there are database calls etc. while caching a page means that the server can display the cached page instead of compiling a new page with every call, the cached page keeps a ready to view version of the page that can be sent to the browser without delay.
Compress JPEG & PNG images
“An image can say a thousand words” – this is certainly true when you take into account the size of images used on your website and how your images compare to the amount of text on your website. Images in most cases are the largest resource that the browser has to download when opening a website page. This is why it’s important to optimize your images and here’s where “Compress JPEG & PNG images” can help you.
After installing the compress images plugin, you will need to go to settings and register for a free account to start using the plugin. After registration, check your inbox for confirmation and copy your API key to the plugins settings and that’s is all you need to do in order to start using the program. When you upload a new image to your website your new compression plugin will automatically optimize your new image for faster loading speeds.