WordPress Speed Improvements
You might have heard that Google are now using page speed as a ranking factor and so it is now important that your site zips along for SEO reasons as well as user experience. WordPress speed for SEO can be quickly achieved by focusing on the big wins. There are lots of tools online to help you with some WordPress speed improvements and it’s something that we do on a routine basis. Check out some of the tools we use below and if you’ve any questions about WordPress speed improvement then please get in touch – it’s what we do :)
WordPress Speed for SEO
Google Page Speed Analysis
Before you can address any WordPress speed issues your site may be having you have to know what big Daddy G sees your site before you try to address and solve. The Google page Speed analysis site will give you a quick snap shot of how Google rates your site as well as a breakdown of WordPress speed for both mobile and desktop.
Pingdom is your new kingdom for WordPress speed testing. Using this free tool will give you an idea of page load times in seconds as well as a break down of areas which should be improved.
GTmetrix is another site which you can use when trying to increase your WordPress speed for SEO as it gives you a further break down of speed issues which may be impacting your SEO. This site pulls in data from Google Page Speed Analysis but also from YSlow so it gives you a nice snapshot of how different algorithms view your sites speed.
W3 Total Cache
After running a few speed tests using the above sites you should have a fair idea of how your site is performing. If it’s time to resolve your site speed issues then one of the best plugins we use to improve WordPress speed for SEO is W3 Total Cache. W3 Total cache is a powerful plugin for caching (browser, page, object and DB) and minification (css, js, html, xml) as well as gzipping. If all that sounds like jargon or buzz words to you then don’t fret, there are many tutorials and guides available which you can trawl through to suss it out (or, you can get in touch with some friendly WordPress developers for help ;)).
SmushIt is a great plugin for image compression. It can compress all of the images currently on your site in bulk and then as you add new images it’ll compress them on the fly. Having bloated images can really slow your site down and when it comes to WordPress speed for SEO they are the low hanging fruit that you want to pick straight away.
When you are working on WordPress speed for SEO it’s quite likely that you’re going to do some minification, be it of css, js or html files. Minification is the process of, like the name suggests, removing unnecessary code/whitespace/comments from files and where possible combing files together so that less server requests have to be made (the fewer files that contain your page info the easier it’ll be for your server and the quicker your site will be). However, after minification sometimes your site can look a little off on some browsers and so it’s important that to see how it looks in all browsers. ScreenFly is a great tool for checking to see how your site is rendering on different platforms and after tinkering with minificaion for WordPress speed improvements it’s advised to check using this tool.
WordPress Speed for SEO – Don’t Obsess
WordPress Speed for SEO – WordPress Speed Improvements
Ultimately you want to focus on the big wins for WordPress speed improvements. If you have some images that are oversized get rid of them first. If you’ve no caching in place then get that sorted. If you’ve identified that your host is particularly sluggish then it’s time for a WordPress site migration. WordPress speed for SEO isn’t a huge mystery and once you get stuck into it you should be able to make some improvements but like I said – don’t obsess on it. Ask yourself, is your time best spent trying to eek out a bit more page speed or is there something else you should be doing?
If you’ve any questions about WordPress speed for SEO or how some WordPress speed improvements can be made for your site then get in touch, it’s what we do :)
Don’t get me wrong here, we’re all about getting 90+ scores across the board but if you’ve run speed tests using the tools mentioned above you’ll see that you’ll get varying results, at varying times from the different tools. As a result of that it’s important not to obsess about your page speed, by all means try make WordPress speed improvements but don’t beat yourself up if it’s not perfect. WordPress speed for SEO is just one ranking factor out of hundreds of different factors so don’t spend all your time on it.