Increase wordpress speed for google pagespeed insight

Increase wordpress speed for google pagespeed insight

As mentioned in my initial audit of the site there are substantial performance issues that need to be rectified for best performance. Given that the site is performing so poorly in this area I’m going to recommend some pretty significant changes in an attempt to turn things around. Of course how many, if any of these changes you choose to implement will be up to you and your team.

Why load speed is so important;

I’m sure you’re aware Google is now running mobile-first indexing so a strong desktop load speed is no longer enough. More importantly the Google page experience algorithm update due sometime next year has the potential to severely impact this site. I want to stress that while page speed has already been an important ranking factor, this update will make it critical. We must dramatically improve the site’s mobile page speed before this update drops. Read more about the page experience algorithm update here https://searchengineland.com/the-google-page-experience-update-user-experience-to-beco me-a-google-ranking-factor-335252# Equally importantly, slow load speed affects real users. Plenty of studies have shown a direct correlation between slow load speed and user drop off. The site’s analytics data proves this point. The majority of the site users are mobile-based accounting for 67% of all users. The average session duration for these users is only 41 seconds. Given that time to interactive is at 29 seconds this is essentially a bounce. Basically the majority of the site visitors are receiving a poor experience and abandoning the site because of it. We must better cater to this audience.

Hopefully, I’ve conveyed the importance of rectifying these issues. Below are my observations and recommendations.

The SSL certificate has lapsed or was never set up. This is an important signal to Google and users that the site is trustworthy and is an absolute must for all sites.

Is a CDN in use? I see a Cloudflare plugin in the CMS that is inactive. If a CDN is not currently being utilized I would strongly advise in doing so. With a widespread user base it has the potential to offer some Page speed improvements. I can Install and set up Cloudflare if you wish.

Page Speed is TERRIBLE!
I highly suggest sitting down with your dev team and going through the site’s mobile Page Speed Insights results so everyone is aware of where and why the site is failing so it can be addressed and avoided in future builds.

Mobile

Mobile

Desktop

desktop

The site does not pass core vitals which to put it simply means the site is not ready for the page experience update. Problems here are mostly concerned with load times. Read more
about the core vitals here https://web.dev/vitals/ Remove Unused Javascript – Huge potential for speed improvements. This could be the theme or specific plugins that are causing issues. Use this dev tool to discover problem areas https://developers.google.com/web/updates/2017/04/devtools-release-notes?utm_source=lig
hthouse&utm_medium=unknown#coverage

PSI suggests Youtube and Facebook as some key offenders Eliminate Render Blocking Resources – WP Rocket (currently inactive) may be able to help here. Read more here https://web.dev/render-blocking-resources/?utm_source=lighthouse&utm_medium=unknown
Remove Unused CSS – Again the dev tool can be used to discover problem areas
Minify Javascript – WP Rocket
Ensure Text Remains Visible During Load – Follow this guide
https://web.dev/font-display/?utm_source=lighthouse&utm_medium=unknown
Reduce Impact of 3rd Party Code – Youtube again is the largest offender
Read more here
https://developers.google.com/web/fundamentals/performance/optimizing-content-efficiency/l
loading-third-party-javascript/?utm_source=lighthouse&utm_medium=unknown
Avoid document. write – This is an interesting one. PSI states the offending delay is deferring to googleleadservices.com. When looking at the dev tool it showed multiple blocked by client errors leading to a similar site

Minimize Main Thread Work – This is one of the more complex issues but has some pretty
significant impact. It’s possible that this is an issue with the theme itself. Read more here
https://web.dev/mainthread-work-breakdown/?utm_source=lighthouse&utm_medium=unkno
wn

Serve Static Assets With An Efficient Cache Policy – WP Rocket Reduce Javascript Execution Time – JS is often a burden on page speed and I would encourage your team to use it sparingly for this reason. Minification with WP Rocket may ease this problem. Again Youtube is the biggest strain. Read more here https://web.dev/bootup-time/?utm_source=lighthouse&utm_medium=unknown Avoid Enormous Network Payloads – Simply put there is too much on the page for it to ever load fast enough. Youtube again is a key offender. Read more here
https://web.dev/total-byte-weight/?utm_source=lighthouse&utm_medium=unknown I would recommend you remove Youtube embeds on key pages especially the home page. I’m not convinced of the value of video testimonials over text-based ones. If you or the client must have video testimonials I would suggest limiting them to the Visa Testimonials page. Plugins – It’s clear from the long list of conflicting plugins that efforts have been made to improve the performance of the sites. However, the problems this site is encountering can’t and won’t be solved by a plugin. Adding more and more plugins will actually hinder performance. Every front end plugin added will have an impact on the performance of the sites and so plugin use should be kept to the minimum necessary on this and every build from here out. I would suggest going through the list and removing any plugins that aren’t crucial to the sites operation Performance Plugin – My recommendation is WP Rocket. Whichever performance plugin you choose to run with be sure to delete all others and ensure the plugin is set up for best performance. I’m quite familiar with Rocket and can set it up if required. Whichever performance plugin you choose to go with be sure to deactivate and delete ALL the other performance-based plugins SEO Plugin – My recommendation is Yoast because it’s lightweight and simple to use. Rank Math seems like it’s your go-to but it is known to cause an increase in load speed. Ultimately Google doesn’t care which SEO plugin you use and one will not give better SEO results over another. Whichever SEO plugin you choose to go with be sure to deactivate and delete ALL the other SEO plugins
Unnecessary Plugins – These plugins in particular will place extra load on the page’s performance and should be considered for removal unless absolutely necessary
● Google Analytics Dashboard for WP
● Google Tag Manager For WP
● Official Facebook Pixel
Inactive Plugins – Once you have determined the key plugins for the site delete all inactive and unused plugins completely Theme – Whilst changing theme would be a last resort or may not be an idea you’re willing to entertain at all, I would recommend lightweight, page speed optimized themes only for all future builds. I highly recommend Generate Press but there are much other speed optimized theme providers with varying degrees of speed benefits.

What will get:

1. Initial Response Time (Jargon: TTFB): Whenever someone visits your website, under the hood, your browser talks to the site and says “Hello”. If the site replies after 3 seconds, that is called a TTFB of 3 seconds.

2. Image Optimization (Jargon: Serving images in next-gen WebP formats, deferring off-screen images): On average, images take up around 70% of a website’s total size. We need to compress all existing images to have the best file size possible, serve a modern image format called “WebP” to the supported web browsers, all while maintaining image quality. We also need to load images as they become visible by user scrolling to them rather than just loading everything at once, which is called deferring off-screen images. And also, we need to set up a system to automatically do these for all future images that you may add.

3. Slowdown by scripts (Jargon: Render-blocking CSS and JavaScript, Minify CSS/JavaScript): In a nutshell, render-blocking scripts are scripts that prevent or block the page from starting rendering. I see a lot of render-blocking scripts on the site that is slowing down the render start time for viewport HTML. These scripts need proper optimization and reprioritization.

4. Bloated scripts (Jargon: Unused CSS and JavaScript): The website is using only a small portion of the script files that are loaded. A large chunk of code from these scripts remain unused, and that is impacting the website performance. If we get rid of these unused scripts, the website will load much faster.

5. Compression (Jargon: deflate, gzip, and brotli compression): Compression is pretty much what it sounds like. Compressing a file makes it smaller. A large percentage of the files on the website are served without any compression technique. Ideally, the files need to be served with gzip, deflate, or brotli compression. Brotli is the most reliable but needs server-level support.

6. Caching (Jargon: Full Page, Browser, Object, and Database caching): You will notice that a lot of pages on your website serve the same content to all visitors. Despite this, WordPress generally discards any similarity and regenerates the same thing from scratch for each new visitor.
Proper caching implementation is crucial for the good performance of any WordPress website. Currently, I see although there are some traces of caching on some of the files on your site, there is no effective caching system in place.

7. CDN (Content Delivery Network): Your website does not seem to be using a Content Delivery Network (CDN). A free CDN like Cloudflare can drastically improve your website’s user experience and performance. A CDN works by offloading the static files on your site (e.g. images, JavaScript/CSS files) to a globally distributed network of servers. It provides tremendous performance benefits to end-users because now the network packet travel path is much shorter since the static files load from the nearest CDN server.

8. HTTP/2: Most files on your website still use the aging HTTP/1.1 protocol to transfer requests. HTTP/2 is the latest version of the web protocol and allows many improvements, including parallel requests, prioritization, pipelining, etc.

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thememetric

thememetric

Passionate blogger. Marketer, web designer & developer Besides writing for this blog, I spend my time crafting research-based contents for HuffingtonPost, Lifehacker & Forbes!