One you have a bunch of pages and posts on your site, along with a healthy selection of Plugins you will often have in your first year of blogging, you can find page load speeds start to slow down. Are there any ways to resolve this and get your site loading faster again so visitors are not kept waiting?
There are loads of different resources online with suggested ways to improve the page load speeds on your WordPress site. Many of them will work very well but since this site is aimed at people in their first year of blogging, we want to keep our guide as simple and no nonsense as possible.
To keep things simple and easy there is no better resource we could find than Income School’s video on the topic embedded below. With a few simple tests and the use of a few free plugins, you can easily get your site loading faster in under an hour. It is perfect for people who just want to make a few simple changes and then forget about page speeds and just get on with producing content.
In the video Ricky cuts through all the mumbo jumbo and lingo and boils the issue of page speeds down to a few simple principles and recommends a few simple solutions to make your site load faster. It is the perfect resource for beginners and is kept non technical and brief, with totally free and easy to use resources.
Summary of the Main Points
The video above is a fantastic resource and there is not much we can add to it. It has all the tools and steps needed to get your site running faster in quick time. We will just summarize the main steps below.
- Run a test on a couple of pages and key posts on your site through these three page speed tools – Google Pagespeed Insights, Pingdom and GTMetrix.
- It is a good idea to test your homepage, plus any other pages or posts which have a lot of content or features on them, or big pillar articles that are crucial to the monetization of your site.
- Note down the results each tool gives you. These are the before results to compare with the after results once you have made the changes.
- Download 3 free plugins for WordPress – Imagify (if you haven’t already got it), Autoptimize and WP Super Cache. Go to Plugins….Add New in WordPress or click on the links, download the plugin as a zip file and reupload to your WordPress site.
- Make sure all images are optimized on your site in terms of size. This means making sure images which are too big for the page are deleted, resized using the resizeimage.net tool and then reuploaded to get the file size down. Try to keep the width of images under 1000px. Try to use JPEG format where possible.
- Then if you didn’t already have it installed, use the Imagify plugin to go back over all your old images and re-optimize them. See our article on optimizing images for more on this. This gets the file size of images right down to improve load speeds. If you already had Imagify from the beginning as we suggest in our Setup List then your images should already be optimized!
- Use the WP Super Cache plugin to optimize caching on your site. This stores copies of pages on servers so load times are quicker for users. The plugin is really easy to use with self explanatory menus. Simple enable caching and see the Income School article for more options.
- Use the Autoptimize plugin to further reduce load speeds. This plugin ensures that the items on your pages are loaded in such an order that the main content the user needs is loaded first, with the fancy extra stuff loaded later for a better experience. It also compresses the coding on your site so it takes up less space. Both these things will make your site load faster.
- Again the plugin is really easy to use. Tick the three boxes on the main page and Save. If you runs ads check the Income School article for more options.
- Make sure you don’t have too many plugins on your site, since they are the number one thing which can really slow a site down. Deactivate your plugins one by one to see which are having the most effect, deleting or replacing any that aren’t completely essential.
- Make sure you are using a good host. Our Hosting page has some good reputable companies who have been around a while and have a good reputation for load speeds to choose from.
- Make sure you are using a good theme. See our Themes page for some good free and premium themes, all with a good reputation for fast loading and responsive design for different devices.
- See Income School’s own article on the above video for more information and a full breakdown of how to do each step if you are stuck.
Page Load Speeds Are Important
Page load speeds are a very important factor in the success of your website for a number of reasons. Firstly, having pages loading fast is crucial for creating a good user experience. Users will not sit around waiting for a site to load; if it is too slow they will simply leave and visit another site, especially if plenty of other options showed up in their search results.
Secondly, page load speed is a factor in Google rankings. As long as your page is not catastrophically slow (in the bottom 20%), then you are not in too much trouble here but it can still be a factor in not getting traffic to a certain page because it is too bulky and takes too long to load.
Therefore spending the time to optimize your site for best loading speeds is definitely worth the investment in building and maintaining traffic. We have kept this guide as simple and no nonsense as possible so it can all be done in well under an hour.