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How to Improve the PageSpeed Score of a WordPress Site.

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WordPress is known as one of the best content management systems. People can create beautiful websites, regardless of are web server the user is a developer or a non-developer. Anyhow there can be some problems along the way. One of the most disturbing ones can be- Low Google Pagespeed Score. This can decrease your website’s potential traffic and pull down conversion rates.

improve pagespeed score in WordPress

What is the Pagespeed Score? 

Google Pagespeed Score is a bunch of compiled tools that give you an overview of your website’s loading time scores when users click on it. These tools provide two-speed scores- one for the desktop and the other for the mobile. 

The recommended score is over 90. Above 90, all the scores are potentially substantial and will help you not to lose your traffic. Any page speed score below 50 is considered a weak speed score and is urging for immediate action. 

You might be losing the website’s traffic in large chunks as people lose patience and tend to exit. It is highly recommended to keep a constant check on your website’s page speed score and keep working on it, as demanded. 

WordPress provides a fantastic plugin to check your page speed score, which gives results in a couple of seconds- ‘Google Pagespeed Insights.’All you have to do is paste your website’s URL and click on ‘Check.’

Google PageSpeed Insights

Check your Google Pagespeed here for free.

What is the importance of the Pagespeed score?

This is a common trend to hear from the new WordPress users that if their website is running less time, it will run similarly on other people’s devices.

This is, in fact, a wrong assumption. Pagespeed score depends on other various factors like browsing cache, browser location, network connectivity, etc. 

Good page speed scores are essential in today’s fast-paced era. People tend to get impatient if they stumble on a slow loading website and exit the page. Slow pages can cost you a lot of your website’s traffic. 

On the contrary, pages with good page speed scores can award you more conversions, sign-ups, and sales, which increases your sales. To sum up, page speed is a search engine factor. The better the score, the faster the website loads; the higher it will be pushed on the SRP. 

Hence, you should give all the efforts to raise your website’s page speed insight scores. 

Top and most effective ways to improve your page speed score on WordPress. 

Mobiles-first:

improve pagespeed score for mobile sites

Google has documented it officially that most of their traffic surfs from their mobile phones. Thus, it is highly essential to keep your website strongly optimized for mobiles. 

There are several ways that you can help you to increase your website’s load time on mobile phones. 

WordPress’s AMP plugin converts the web pages in its AMP versions. Hence it is recommended to boost mobile speed. Then the web pages load quickly on mobiles and other devices.

Another way is by using highly responsive WordPress themes. This helps you in customizing your web page according to your visitor’s screen sizes and fits in perfectly for smaller screens too. 

Optimizing your images:

Optimization of images

Images make up to 60% of the website’s total content; hence their size and quality positively influence the page’s speed score. Huge images with unnecessary megapixels may pull down your website’s overall performance too.

Smartly put together algorithms can help you optimize your images- resizing and compressing the files to be retrieved easily. It is advisable to scale down the images to optimal width and length so that your WordPress theme works accordingly. Usage of less technical images is better as your images won’t lose the quality even after aggressive optimization. 

WordPress image optimization plugins like Smush can be a great help. Not only this plugin helps in optimizing the images, but it also provides furthermore features for image optimization. 

Here is a step by step tutorial to optimize your images.

Update your plugins:

Update your Plugins

Most of the time, the prime reason for the slow speed of your website could be plugins, which might be pulling down the speed score. 

Duplicate/Outdated/Poorly designed plugins all can contribute to slow load time. You should keep updating your plugins, which are always highlighted in your WordPress dashboard. 

It is considered a good practice to run speed tests on your website before installing your plugins. To check your current running plugins’ impact, go to the Plugins section in your WordPress website backend, deactivate each plugin one-by-one and then run the page speed tests. 

This will give you a clear idea of how impactful your plugins are on your website’s page score speed. 

Learn here to update your plugins step-by-step. 

GZIP Compression:

GZIP Compression in WordPress site

Instead of looking deep into the external factors of low page speed score, you can look inside the code and its packaging. 

The CSS and HTML code of your website can be compressed before delivering on the web browsers, makes your website lightweight and loads faster.  

You can do this by installing the WP-Optimize Plugin- it comes with the GZIP Compression option. Further, you can either set it up in your .htaccess file or enable it through your caching plugin. 

Learn here to enable GZIP Compression in WordPress.

Alter HTML, CSS and JS Files:

change and minimize HTML, CSS and Javascripts

While we are making changes to the code and packaging, minifying your HTML, CSS, and JS files is highly effective.

Altering your files to break down in non-technical terms means removing all the unnecessary lines of codes from the files like ‘comments,’ which may sound like a tedious process. Justremoves not needed data and hence making all your files lightweight.  

This practice will undoubtedly load your websites rapidly while all the necessary information(code) is retained for the intact display of the website. 

Again, you can do this with the WP-Optimize plugin’s help, which is a free, efficient, and easy to get-around-with plugin. 

You can read this article to minify your files. 

Caching your website:

Caching your Website to improve pagespeed score

Cashing WordPress websites are considered the best way to improve the page speed score by many experienced WordPress users.

When someone visits your website, the browser tries to fetch and load all the information you have set up on the website to your visitor’s screen. 

All the information includes everything from all the images, logos to HTML, CSS files. Sometimes some of these elements can be temporarily stored- which is called cached. 

This puts off some of the load from your website and hence decreases the load time. This method certainly pushes up your PageSpeed Insights score. A large number of plugins are available for cashing of WordPress websites like W3 Total Cache.

Learn here to cache your website.

Web hosting provider:

the right hosting to improve pagespeed of wordpress

There are tonnes of web hosting providers available. To avail of the cheaper options, people buy hosting that provides unlimited domains, space, emails, etc. 

However, sharing hosting and using a provider with multiple domains decrease the load time of your website as you are in the dark about the information related to how many resources the other domains are using, how exactly the servers are optimized, etc. 

Using such hosting providers fail to deliver an excellent sufficient page loading time and are unable to provide 99% uptime in any given month. 

To curb such issues, there are a bunch of dedicated cloud servers available, the prices for them have gone down drastically like- AWS, Digital Ocean, Site Ground, etc. 

Here is a list of furthermore Cloud Hosting Providers. 

Setting up such servers can be intimidating at first, here is a detailed tutorial for so

Multiple redirects:

setting redirects in a wordpress website

It is considered good practice to redirect your website visitors and help them reach where they want to be, yet adding unnecessary redirects just adds up to increasing the website’s load time.

Make sure you imply one redirect to a single URL. This takes off some load from the webserver while loading. Google highly discourages the concept of ‘redirect.’ It feels it’s a temporary thing and not very useful. 

A plugin like Linker can help you out here. This WordPress plugin tells Google that the redirect is not temporary and the visitor will stay here for a long time. 

Hence the browser doesn’t affect the page speed score.

Cleanup WordPress Database:

Clean Database to reduce size of the website

Cleaning up your WordPress Database can give a good boost in speed. If you use your website quite regularly, it is quite evident that it may be clogged up. 

Delete all the fake ids, fake spam comments, not useful plugins and themes, other unnecessary, miscellaneous files that might be slowing down your website’s performance. 

This process reduces the size of your files and WordPress database content, and there are plugins available to ease up your work. 

Plugins like Advanced Database Cleaner or WP- Sweep work automatically in the background and keep all your content up-to-date. 

Conclusion

I hope you have understood the importance of having a good page speed score, above 90 to be precise. It will tremendously increase your customer’s experience, help you increase your website’s traffic, and improve your rankings in SERPs.

You should try using plugins as they will make your work easier and work more efficiently than you will do manually.  

After reading the article, you have decked up a bunch of ways to improve page speed score, it is always better to dive in and start tackling the real issues and you may discover ever more methods. 

You may like to read:

5 Simple and Effective WordPress SEO checklists for 2020: Make your site visible

How to Install and Setup WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast

Author avatar
Tim Michaels
I am into WordPress and web development for the last 10 years. I use my experience to help people just starting with WordPress. Follow my blog at WP Uber for everything related to WordPress.
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