Optimizing WordPress for Speed

So, let’s say you’ve built out your new WordPress site. It’s looking like you want it, and you’ve got your content search engine optimized. Then someone mentions you should check it using Google PageSpeed Insights or some other speed testing service. That’s when you discover your site is lowsy as far as visitor load/render times are concerned.

The next part of the process involves optimizing your WordPress site for speed. Although the process is fairly straightforward, if you’ve never optimized a WordPress site, it’s hard to know where to start. What follows are three plugins I recommend that will get you most if not all the way to scoring 85/100 or above with your PageSpeed scores:

Step 1: Google PageSpeed Insights

Start out by installing Google PageSpeed Insights. You can provide this plugin with a list of pages for regular reporting. Then you can check your PageSpeed scores from directly inside WordPress. The reports generated by this plugin show you exact point deductions for each of the speed issues it finds with your site. Use this knowledge to target various optimizations.

Why I Like It: This plugin is connected directly to the Google Pagespeed Insights engine via your Google Developer’s Key. This means you’re getting your recommended optimizations straight from the source that often matters most.

Step 2: Autoptimize

Autoptimize helps you address many of the issues found from the reports generated by Google Pagespeed Insights.

Why I Like It: Autoptimize is able to quickly handle things like minifying your CSS and JavaScript with much less work required than attempting the same optimizations by hand.

Step 3: WP-FFPC (WordPress Fast Full-Page Cache)

WP-FFPC can utilize your server’s PHP Memcache backend for blazing fast “in memory” caching. Rather than caching your site’s pages to disk, Memcached caches your pages inside your server’s RAM for the fastest possible caching performance.

Why I Like It: See above ↑ (NOTE: To get a server with Memcached installed, you may need to spin up your own server. I like to use a combination of a Digital Ocean server + ServerPilot.)

Leave a Reply