Learn how to quickly make an impact on your site speed (and what to let go of). It’s easier than you think to improve your site load time, without trying to get or maintain a perfect score!
Site speed is a big part of having great SEO for your website, making more money on ads, and keeping readers on your site longer.
But, most bloggers are at a loss for how to actually increase the load time and speed of their sites.
I hear it over and over again “How can I make my site faster?!”
I’m sure you’ve thought about it in the last few months, we all have! And while I have a few tried and true tips to share, I want to make one thing super clear first…
Site speed is not the end-all and be-all of making money, getting rankings, or being a good blogger.
Whew. There, I said it. Feel free to quote me on that one 😉
But it’s totally true. While site speed is great, you can’t just focus on that and forsake all the other things that are far more important – like writing great content, serving your audience, and finding ways to leverage your work into cash.
3 Easy Site Speed Tips
“Ok, that’s great, but I still want my site speed to be faster!”
I hear you, so let me share a few things you can do. And then you need to let it go! Don’t let this be the monster that takes over your life! Do what you can and move on!
Ditch the Plugins
While plugins are great for increased functionality, the single biggest thing you can do to increase site speed is to ditch as many plugins as possible.
- Pick a time, either early or late, when there aren’t a ton of people on your site, to disable ALL of your plugins. Clear your caches and check your site speed at https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insi…
- From there, re-enable your most crucial plugins – ads, shop/payment processing, 301 redirects, and so on… be brutal when determining what is crucial.
- Clear your cache and test your speed again.
- Keep doing this until you figure out what you can and cannot live without in the plugin realm as you watch how they change your site speed.
Once you’ve determined what you can live without, delete the extra plugins completely. Don’t just leave them deactivated.
If you haven’t already, make sure you have caching turned on for your site. WP Rocket is a great option for this, as is Autoptimize (though it’s gotten a bit heavy and can cause some site speed issues on its own).
Also, contact your host to see if they will turn on Cloudflare CDN for your site! This is typically free.
Many of us (myself included) started out by using PNG images on our sites. PNG images are really great in the graphics world but are way too heavy for websites.
So now we have really heavy images clogging up our bandwidth!
NOTE: I don’t recommend going back and updating all of your images in one fell swoop. Instead, update the images for any post that you are already going into and updating, AND make sure you are using the proper format and size for any new posts you create.
Current standards are to use JPG images and compress them at around 82% for the smallest images possible while still maintaining a sharp image. You can compress through Canva, GIMP, and Photoshop so you should be able to do it when you save your images in whatever program you are using.
After that, you can also use an image compression plugin like Smush or Shortpixel. This is a great option for your older images – install it, smush your old images, and then remove the plugin.
You don’t need it going forward, just compress your new images as you create them.
As you move forward, remember that site speed, while important isn’t the only part of creating a great experience for your readers.
Do the best you can with your load times, and let the rest go!
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