Are you looking for simple ways how to improve WordPress website speed performance free? How to improve page loads on WordPress? Wondering why the wordpress website speed matters? If so, then you have come to the right place!
Obviously you realize how important having a fast loading website for our friend Google. In order for you to improve your SEO rankings in Google, Yahoo and Bing, then you MUST look for ways to increase website speed. This is a very important factor that Google uses to rank all websites online. Today, I will show you some of the best practices for speeding up your website for free in minutes!
Table of Contents
What to Expect Today?
We all want and need websites that load fast! People are impatient these days and don’t want to for anything. Fast loading websites are proven to promote a better user experience online. In today’s post, you will learn a few basic ways to increase website speed. These tips that you will learn can be implemented within a few minutes and do not require you to have ANY techie experience at all.
Ready? Okay, let get started?
SEO stands for search engine optimization. It’s a simple process that involves improving the quality and quantity of web traffic from search engine like Google, Yahoo & Bing. In short, it’s the ability to rank for certain generic or long tail keywords that people use to search for specific things online.
Being that there is a lot of competition online, your WordPress website needs to stand out from the masses. Great content is key to ranking higher in the search engines and getting more page views.
However, there are other important metrics that the Google considers to place you on it’s 1st page. One of these that is very critical to your WordPress website is the website speed performance. Google uses a new metric called Core Web Vitals that will evaluate user experience on your websites as well to then rank it. Taking into consideration this will help you to make certain changes needed on your website to match user intent and improve SEO rankings.
What Is Website Speed Performance?
Notice some reasons why WordPress website speed matters and why you should care about it.
When it comes ranking high online, Moz highlights how Google uses your page speed as a key factor to rank pages of your website. Why should you care about this? Because slow loading websites affect your SEO ranking and user page experience. Websites that load over 3 seconds tend to have higher bounce rates. The end result of this is that your visitors will leave your website and go somewhere else. Obviously you don’t want this to happen, right?
The truth is that people today are very impatient and can’t even wait for a tv dinner to cook in the microwave. How much more so a super slow performing website? This is why you should know about things that affect your page loads and speeds. Once you know this, then you can see thereafter how to improve WordPress website speed performance.
If you don’t, then it will affect your search engine rankings, decrease site revenue and conversions. The end result will be a complete loss of visitors and customers and bad user experience. These are things that no website owners wants to experience online with their business.
Somethings That Affect Your Website Speed Performance?
Although there are several factors that can essentially affect the speed and performance of your website, the following are the most common to look watch out for. After covering a few that affect your website, we will review ways how to improve WordPress website speed performance free.
What are they? This occurs basically when someone comes to your website and the leaves quickly. Google measures bounce rate as a single-page session on your website.
According to Go Rocket Fuel, the average bounce rate of most websites online fall between 26% – 70%. This percentage can go up or down depending on several factors. It could be your content in some cases. For example, today you wanted to know how to improve WordPress website speed performance free. So as a result this content is focused on this very topic providing you a few ways simple ways to achieve this.
Let’s suppose that you got here and my page was talking about “the best pizza on the planet” and has nothing to do with ways to increase website speed or performance. In this case, it would cause you to quickly bounce off of my page and go somewhere else, right? When content doesn’t match user intent, this causes bounce rate increase.
However, in most instances this bounce rate increases when your website speed performance is not fast enough. When websites don’t load fast enough, then visitors become impatient & abandon your website and go to your competitors. You see if people can wait even a few seconds for their microwave to warm up coffee, then they are definitely not going to wait for a slow website to load. Again, they will will bounce off and go to your competitors.
So the key is to lower your bounce rate of your website and this will improve your website performance.
Shared Web Hosting
Although there are some advantages of using shared web hosting like costs, there are disadvantages to consider. Once benefit is that they are cheaper on your pockets, but one downer is that security and page speeds often suffer. This is why you should make sure that you use a super 100% reliable web hosting provider that has great page loads, uptime performance and security.
However, one that I have creating more sites online with that I highly recommend looking at is A2 Hosting. They are known primarily for their turbo servers and great uptime performance. You can learn how to create WordPress blog on A2 Hosting.
A2 Hosting is amazing shared web hosting provider that is great for helping you to skyrocket your website speed performance. To find out how to get started right now for only $2.99/month use this special link here!
Managed WordPress Hosting
If you have been online for quite some time and want to upgrade to a more robust host, then I recommend using Managed WordPress hosting. There are many providers that will managed your website online with automatic updates, strong security, while delivering blazing fast page loads such as Devrims and Liquid Web.
One though that I highly recommend you consider is Rocket Managed WordPress hosting.
Rocket Managed WordPress hosting is amazing provider that is great for helping you to skyrocket your website speed performance. To find out how to get started right now for only $1.00, use this special link here!
When you create your WordPress website online, there will be a never ending list of WordPress themes that you will have access to. With this said, it is very important to use WordPress themes that are SEO optimized, lightweight and don’t any coding issues. I like to shoot for themes that have at least 5 stars.
You will notice in your dashboard that there are many featured or popular themes. Typically these will have great ratings by users and also frequent updates by the designers. I recommend looking for these things because it lets you know if a creator is responsive to bugs and fixes them. If not, then you might face problems with faults or security issues which essentially can slow down your website speed and performance.
Some great ones to consider are Astra, Neve, Blocksy, PopularFX, and Freddo. There are many popular ones that have good ratings by users that are also lightweight. Currently, the blog learnanet is using the Astra theme which is really lightweight and very SEO-friendly.
If you want to add more functionality to your website, a good way to do this is by adding WordPress plugins. Once you log into your dashboard, there are literally over 58,000+ to choose from in the depository. Obviously you don’t have time to search through all of them. You can search for plugins using keywords in the search bar that describe the function that you would like your website to perform. [Examples: social media sharing, anti-spam, caching, broken link checker, etc]
However, something that I have learned is that although most plugins are great, some will affect how fast your website loads. So what I recommend doing is not to install too many WordPress plugins as this could bog down your server’s resources. Only install the essential plugins that you need. If there are any plugins that you are NOT using, do yourself a favor and uninstall them!
How to Improve WordPress Website Speed Performance Free
Before you learn how to improve your WordPress website speed performance, let’s talk about how to check your website speed performance?
One of the best ways to check your website speed is by using GTMetrix. This is a free tool online that allows you to see how your website is performing and suggest specific changes to implement. By implementing these suggestions, it will help you to see how to improve WordPress website speed performance free.
Something that you will notice upon landing on the GTmetrix website is that you will first enter your domain name. After entering the name of your website, then simple click enter button. Thereafter GTmetrix will start scanning your website to provide you with a performance report.
This report below is from GTmetrix based on some changes made on this site.
The first report below that I got was with a WordPress theme that I really liked, but I realized that it was slowing down my site. As you can see the overall performance and load time were affected by the theme.
Once I changed the WordPress theme to a different one, you can see that the performance went from a page load time improved from 1.3 seconds to only 992 ms!
Also you will notice below that the overall Lighthouse performance score is 96% with a 97% structure score. This taught me that not all WordPress themes and plugins are created equal and that they do affect your website speed performance. I implemented some of the recommendations by GTmetrix and changed up one of cache plugins and reran the test. I got this report below.
After making several recommended changes, again you can see above that my website speed performance improved greatly.
Gtmetrix is just one simple tool to see how to improve WordPress website speed performance free. There are always different things that you implement to improve your site performance.
In addition to Gtmetrix, some other great ways to test website speed are PageInsights, Pingdom, Uptrends, WebPageTest.org, and DotCom-Tools. With these tools, you will not only be able to test page loads, but also can monitor the uptime performance of your website online. This is extremely important because website speed performance is affected by this also.
Another way how to improve WordPress website speed performance free is with caching.
Of course there are several popular WordPress caching plugins available that you can use to improve website speed such as LiteSpeed Cache, W3Total Cache, WP SuperCache, Hummingbird and others. All of these are great and have millions of installations by users.
However, recently I came an awesome new cache plugin that is not that popular at all and is great for beginners online. It is called Surge by Konstantin Kovshenin. I heard about it initially from a post on WPTavern and decided to test it out and glad I did! Since then, I have installed it on ALL of my sites online and have seen amazing results on those also.
Surge literally works out of the box and you DO NOT have to configure anything at all. Yes, you heard it right. No configurations. All you have to do is install and then activate it and you will notice fast results with page loads.
PageInsights will quickly analyze your website’s content, then will provide you suggestions to make it faster. Also by following the Google Search Central Blog you can learn about core algorithm updates, Google search features and best practices for SEO. By implementing what our friend Google suggest will definitely help your website performance.
With Pingdom you can also monitor your website speed performance and uptime on servers. This is particularly for personal and commercial. Let’s say that you have an agreement your web hosting provider or client for a specific SLA guarantee. It will allow you to monitor your website from over 100+ locations globally. With page speed analysis you can discover why your website is slow and how to fix it. It’s great for digital marketing, web hosting providers, IT, web developers and more!
Uptrends also lets you monitor your website speed performance and uptime from over 226 checkpoints worldwide. The cool thing is that this tool allows you set intervals up to 1 minute. This is great to be able to fix a problem a lot faster and improve your overall performance online.
Both WebPageTest and DotCom-Tools allow you to run free tests from multiple locations around the world using real browsers such as Chrome and Internet Explorer. You can perform simple, advanced testing, visual comparisons, and traceroute test for troubleshooting network and connection issues.
To learn some additional ways how to improve WordPress website speed performance free and optimize correctly, check out this video below. It will go over some key ways to monitor site speed using some Google tools. It’s a great resource put together by Google Chrome developers.
Yahoo Developers: Best Practices for Speeding Up Your Website
Although the Yahoo search engine market share is much lower than Google, there are over 30 best practices and performance rules that their developers recommend as well to implement. To speed up your website, you can:
- No 404s
- Reduce cookie sizes
- Develop smart event handlers
- Avoid filters
- Avoid empty image src
- Optimize Images
- Optimize CSS Sprites
- Avoid CSS expressions
- Minimize HTTP requests
- Flush the Buffer early
- Don’t scale images in html
- Choose <link> over @import
- Reduce DNS lookups
- Make Favicon.ico Small and Cacheable
- Keep components under 25,000
- Pack components into a multipart document
- Gzip components
- Preload components
- Post-load components
- Add an Expires or a Cache Control Header
- Minimize the number of iframes
- Minimize DOM Access
- Make AJAX Cacheable
- Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) [Some managed hosts already include it]
- Use Get for AJAX requests
- Remove duplicate scripts
- Put scripts at the bottom
- Put stylesheets at the top
- Use cookie-free domains for components
- Split components across domains
- Avoid redirects
- Configure ETags
How to Improve WordPress Website Speed Performance Free Conclusion…
In this brief consideration, you have learned why your website speed is so important from Google’s standpoint. Also, we reviewed some simple ways how to improve WordPress website speed performance free using Gtmetrix, Lighthouse tools and others to make necessary changes. If you take the time to make some simple changes, this will help to improve your overall site performance & rankings.
Remember that Google uses your website speed performance as a big factor for search rankings. Also your visitors that land on your website will notice this as well. If certain pages or elements load too slow, then they are likely to abandon your website quickly. However, if your website loads fast then this will create a better experience for them.
Why not try out of these quick tips above and see what results you get by applying them? If you are experiencing some of the common issues that many sites online face, then it’s worth making some changes today to help increase your SEO rankings.
Are there some other great ways that you have learned how to improve WordPress website speed performance free not mentioned here? If so, why not join the conversation and share your ideas below please. We will all greatly benefit from your feedback. I hope that you found this information helpful today. If so, then please share it on social media and link to this post on your site! This way other amazing readers like yourself will discover this content and benefit from it as well!