Over 59% of websites use WordPress as their primary content management system (CMS). From informative articles and blogs to press releases, it’s important to optimize your WordPress site for Google PageSpeed. This powerful tool enables you to make important decisions that increase the performance of your pages. Here are some essentials of PageSpeed for webmasters looking to increase their page rankings as well:
- PageSpeed recommendations – for webmasters – are based on current SEO industry trends and developments.
- This valuable tool is designed to increase performance for your desktop- mobile websites and WordPress CMS pages.
- PageSpeed features advanced data visualization, along with tagging, filtering, and snapshot technologies.
- This is a comprehensive and cohesive platform that enhances a visitor’s browsing experience while increasing your search engine rankings.
Google PageSpeed is truly an important metric in the SEO realm. This is both for SEO and user-friendly purposes. Similarly, WordPress is now facilitating CMS sites for over 59 percent of web users. With this in mind, Google even has a special engineering team that handles anything and everything WordPress.
PageSpeed and not Page Speed
It is important to understand the difference between PageSpeed and page speed. PageSpeed is a Google metric, which includes a number of tools designed to increase and enhance the output of your WordPress pages. The PageSpeed numbers are ranked between 0 and 100, while page speed simply refers to the real-world speed of a web page. While both terms are different, they are interwoven – in some cases – when it comes to overall page performance and delivery.
With this in mind, here are some ways to increase your Google PageSpeed for all your WordPress sites and forums:
Switching to HTTPS
Hypertext transfer protocol is one of the protocols utilized in application layer of layered architecture. This protocol is commonly used before website URLs and helps expedite data communications so users can reach desired web addresses. The “S” is HTTP refers to secured communications, which prevent unauthorized usage or intrusion of financial, medical, and mass-industry sites with discreet or private information.
However, HTTPS also refers to safe sites that have stores, financial portals and other areas where B2B or P2P communications take place daily. When it comes to enhancing PageSpeed for WordPress, it’s important to get your site switched over to HTTPS. This ensures safe and secure certificates while helping Google cache and page logs for future customer and visitor use. Similarly, switching your addresses to HTTPS creates convenient 301 redirects, and your settings (on average) immediately jump to:
- Mobile: 61/100
- Desktop: 0/100
In a recent testing switch on WordPress, a user’s page loading speed was around 10.1 seconds. This was the median loading page for all worldwide users and visitors, and the site was based out of Denver. After switching to HTTPS, the page speed bumped up to 9.4 seconds. This is a great way to reduce bounce rates while keeping your visitors and customers on pages longer.
However, if your WordPress site does not automatically redirect, try using the Force HTTPS plugin to get the job done right.
Images are notorious for slowing pages down in WordPress. In fact, you can use over 15 unnecessary MB with image uploads and resizing. With this in mind, it is crucial to optimize your images to prevent slow and sluggish pages. This will secure faster-loading pages while keeping your visitors, blog subscribers and guests on your pages longer.
It is best to use the image editing tools, which allows you to optimize large images without losing visual quality on your pages. For example, image optimization can help your pages load at 5.5 seconds as opposed to 9.5 or other readings. In the digital age, even a few seconds makes a huge difference in user and customer retention. You can also use external image hosting sites, which also helps increase the performance of your pages and images with inbound or outbound links.
Here are some essentials of image sizing in WordPress for Google PageSpeed:
Resizing and Compressing
With resizing and compressing, images are larger than they need to be. This occurs in WordPress quite a bit – especially when images are added to the Media Library. However, they do not need to be added or linked natively, which results in larger-than-needed dimensions that take up page room and slow down loading times.
Image compression allows WordPress users to place images on all their pages. However, these images can be reduced in size, but without losing visual quality. Unless you resize the DPI (dots per inch) to desired settings, you should not experience a visible degradation in quality. Compression also allows more freedom to place images in multiple sizes for blog posts, banners, and integration with social and mobile media links.
Browser caching may or may not be an issue for WordPress users. However, Google does suggest webmasters to tell your visitors how long their browsers should keep specific resources. This is why you see older pages that get cached, but with visible previews that almost mimic Meta descriptions. With this in mind, here are some ways to avoid caching issues with WordPress for optimal Google PageSpeed results:
- You can easily send messages to browsers that images can be cached for two weeks. This is only a suggestion and not the desired number of weeks per user.
- If opting for two weeks, returning visitors will see the same images, but with faster loading times for sites and pages.
- You can set time limits for caching of other sources as well: scripts, style sheets, CSS and other image types.
- You can set up browser caching in the .htaccessfile or the W3 Total Cache plug-in.
Adding codes directly to your .htaccess file can also enhance your browser caching experience. However, if you are not too familiar with file coding, it’s best to use the plug-ins to improve overall Google PageSpeed performance in WordPress. Simply access the WP File Manager, which governs the access to the files within your CMS platform. These are but some of the ways you can improve user experience with Google PageSpeed and WP. However, you need a seasoned and reputable SEO agency that can take care of all these WP particulars and metrics for you in a timely and expert manner.