Optimizing Site Speed Step by Step
Record and screenshot the current site performance in the following tools:
- PageSpeed Insights
Optimizations are usually grouped into a few categories:
- Resizing and optimizing images
- Asynchronous / deferred loading
Our first step with images is to make sure they’re properly sized for how they’re being served (often clients will serve ultra-high-res images at small sizes). This is usually the biggest factor in site load time.
- Log in to WordPress admin dash
- Install EWWW Image optimizer plugin
- Install Enable Media Replace plugin
- Go to the EWWW Optmizer page
- Scan for images to be optimized and run the optimizer. This will probably take some time but other work can be completed while it runs.
- After it’s complete, run PageSpeed again and download the optimized resources at the bottom of the report
- Work through the list of images reported
- Copy the filename from the pagespeed report
- Search for the filename in WordPress -> Media -> Library
- Click into the image
- (1) Download a backup of the original image
- (2) Upload the optimized version you downloaded from the PageSpeed report
Compression and Caching
- Install Hummingbird
- Navigate to the Hummingbird plugin in the WordPress admin interface
- Run the performance test
- Follow the instructions in the Caching and Gzip Compression sections to enable these features
- Install Autoptimize
- Navigate to Settings -> Autoptimize
- Enable HTML, CSS, and JS optimization on the main tab and apply changes
- Double check the website to ensure nothing is visually or functionally broken
Asynchronous / Deferred Loading
- This step is the most likely to screw up the site, so be prepared to visually inspect the site and roll-back changes if necessary
- Install Async JS
- Under Quick Options, select “Apply Defer (jQuery excluded). This seems to be the most consistently effective configuration that tends to not destroy sites.
- Visually and functionally inspect the site to ensure this hasn’t broken anything, be thorough. You’ll want to pay close attention to forms, galleries, sliders, video displays, etc.
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