Speed up WordPress( or any other) site for Google (2019 updated)

The structuring guide for your blog post

Posted by Adam Leal on May 26, 2019 · 9 mins read

Page speed is one of the most important aspects of Search Engine ranking for a website. If your webpage takes more time to load, then Google will rank you lower as compared to your counterparts. There are a lot of things that you can do to improve your page speed if you own a WordPress site.

2 seconds is the threshold for an e-commerce site. At Google we aim for half a second.

Maile Ohye, from Google

When people from Google come out and start saying such things, you have to know that page speed is important for ranking well in any search engine.

A few days ago, I was hearing to a podcast related to SEO, they were talking about the importance of page speed in the life of a blogger.

One of the guys in the podcast said that the average decision taking time of an average American is 3 seconds. If your website takes more than 3 seconds to load, an American won’t see it.

In this blog post, we will discuss how to improve your page speed and bring it as close as possible to 100.

If you haven’t checked the page speed insight by Google, you have to go and check them out to find your score.

Page Speed Insight shows two tabs, one for the mobile and other for the desktop, check your rank in both the pages.

Page speed insight mobile veiw

The Mobile View

Page speed insight desktop view

Desktop View

If you rank anywhere between 90-100, you are good to go. You can leave the page right now, but if you want to improve it further keep on reading the post.

Why do you need to improve the speed of your WordPress site

Google loves a speedy website.

They have launched a program called Mobile First. In this program, they will rank the websites higher if your website load faster in mobile as well.

If your website takes more than 2 seconds to load, the attention of the user is already gone. They are not going to buy the product, they came here to buy.

Bad speed also makes the user experience bad.

Page speed is directly proportional to the conversion rate of the product that you are selling.

How to improve the speed of your WordPress website

It's not easy to speed up your website.

There can be a million of permutation and combinations which could be making your website slower.

Many times the solution to this is poorly written code. Sometimes it's images making a huge network requests.

Many times its big network calls from bad CDNs or huge database calls.

Now that we agree upon that it's important to speed up our website. We need to talk about the ways in which we can do that. Here are a few ways in which you can do that.

1. Choose your host wisely

We already have discussed this topic in detail in one of our other posts related to doing SEO in WordPress.

There are a lot of people who get this thing wrong. This is one of the most important basics of getting things right.

If you choose a bad host today, you will surely regret it tomorrow. So many leads are lost due to this reason.

A bad host can take your page speed rank from 90 to 70 and rankings from the 1st page of Google to nowhere near the Search Engine.

Choosing a good host will ensure that you will have approximately zero downtime.

Your site will always be up to answer any call coming from search engines.

For WordPress, we recommend Bluehost.

Bluehost: Recommended by WordPress

The Above given link is an affiliate link. When you pay for the service, I will get some money.

Bluehost are the leaders in the hosting providing business and most of the WordPress sites are hosted on their servers only.

2. Choose your theme wisely

Choose a theme with less number of images on the front page. More number of images will lead to higher load time.

Put as much as content as possible on the page and remove the images.

Many of the slow themes come up with the default plugins that you will never use in your lifetime.

Most of these plugins are useless.

Always remember Simpler the website, higher the page speed.

Always keep the bare minimum of what is required.

3. Reduce the size of your images.

Ideally, your page should never serve images that are larger than the version that's rendered on the user's screen. Anything larger than that just results in wasted bytes and slows down page load time.

Properly size your images to get the most out of your images. One of the most important strategies for this is using responsive images.

Read more about them here.

SVGs are the format of the responsive images. They can grow according to the space provided to them in the HTML blocks.

And the good part is, their pixels never breaks. We have used SVG on the home page to show the most important categories of SEOLeal blog posts.

We recommend using Flaticons for using SVGs.

Google came up with a new type of image format which makes them blazing fast and have superior compression and quality characteristics.

These are called the Next-Gen image formats.

Read more about them here.

WordPress provides something out of the box for handling the image compression for you.

It's called Smush Image Compression and Optimization.

It automatically compresses your images whenever you upload them to WordPress.

If you are not using WordPress, you can do it manually. There are a lot of tools out there for this process.

3. Make use of Caching

Caching is a process of remembering something. If a person loads a website for the first time in their laptop the browser keeps a copy of the website according to the caching recommendations provided by the website.

If the user tries to navigate to the website, the browser showed the copy present to itself.

This improves the speed of the website.

The only disadvantage of this is, if you make changes to your website, they won't be visible to the customer until the end of the cache TTL( Time TO Live).

But the advantage of the process is far higher than the disadvantage.

It is the choice of the owner to choose the TTL of the cache.

A long cache lifetime can speed up repeat visits to your page.

Read more about the topic here.

The WordPress users can directly make use of W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache improves the SEO and user experience of your site by increasing website performance, reducing load times via features like content delivery network (CDN) integration and the latest best practices.

They call themselves Web Performance Optimizers( WPO), fancy name, right.

So these were the most important ways to make your site faster. There are other small ones as well.

Please share any of the step that your took to improve the page speed of your website in the comment section below.