Speed is one of the most important things for a website, a slow website will cause users to quickly get frustrated or bored and go elsewhere and can now even have a negative impact on your SEO. WordPress is no different and speed is key in having a successful website. There are lots of ways to speed up a WordPress website, through caching plugins, resizing images, correct hosting etc (which I’ll cover in a new post soon) but the first step is analysing your WordPress site speed and finding out where you need to focus your attention.
Google say that for every additional 100 milliseconds their site takes to load they lose 20 percent of their traffic so it’s certainly worth investing some time and effort in making sure your site is as fast as it can be
Here are 3 of the easiest ways to analyse your WordPress site speed and work out your next steps.
Google PageSpeed is a firm favourite among webmasters and developers, Google have now stated that SEO does take speed into account so it’s worth trying to pass as many of the criteria they deem worthy for a fast site. Google PageSpeed will tell you how to fix issues although I find it’s not always clear, especially if you are not a developer – so you may need to seek help from a developer or your website host will often be able to help you with some of the suggestions.
The WordPress hosting company WPEngine have recently released their own WordPress site speed tool geared specifically toward WordPress sites. The WPengine tool works slightly differently: you’ll need to fill in a few details and they’ll email you over a report with the results of the site scan. The report is great and gives you some actionable tasks to speed up your site (If you need it). If you find a lot of the speed issues on your site are server related it’s certainly worth giving WPEgine a look for their managed WordPress hosting as well, it’s easily the best in the business for speed.
GTMetrix has been around for quite a while now and often my go to site for a quick speed analysis. GTmetrix gives you two scores to start with one from Pagespeed and one from Yslow, these scores can vary a fair bit as both analysis your site using different criteria. As with all site speed analysis, you won’t be able to act on all the recommendations but GTmetrix will explain each one to you and give you some information on where and how to change certain things.
GTmetrix also comes with some advanced features such as the waterfall showing you which files on your site load the fastest and the slowest and how they depend on each other to load.
GTmetrix is free but also has paid options which will give you access to more advanced features such as monitoring, reports and API requests.