Personal SEO ~ Website Marketing and Content Writing

How to Speed Up Your WordPress Site to Rank Better

I am the technical/web developer at Personal SEO my face isn't that pretty so that is why you all know my wife Tammy. While we are the first to say that we do not know everything, we are experts when it comes to Organic SEO. One of the major issues that I have been struggling with was site speed and Google's page insight.

In the past at the most I have only seen a 10 point raise in the sites that I have tried to speed up. Now ten points when the site already gets an 80 is fine but recently I had the experience of a site that only received 15 points. So I did what any person would do, I Googled How to speed up a WordPress site. I found tons of pages that all said the same things and what was more confusing all of these pages either suggested competing plugins and if they had the same plugins totally different settings.

In spending hours in trying to just increase our site from 77 to 91 I learned an invaluable lesson. There is no one size fits all to increasing your Google Page insight Score and not all of the plugins that I have in the videos may work for you.

 

I have created two video's on how to increase your insight score. I mention in the video's that you have to keep checking your score after every change and this is the case. Once the video's were complete I realized that I did them out of order. Video 2 should be the first Video and Video 1 should be the second (this is the way that you see below.)

We all know that page speed increases rankings so taking a few hours to make a few changes to your Wordpress site is worth it. Preparation: (Here is what you need) FTP access to your site (your host, username and password) FTP Client or Filezilla is free - https://filezilla-project.org/download.php?type=client (if you have a Mac or running Linux click on other download options). Admin access to your Wordpress site. A CloudFlare account at www.cloudflare.com A Beer or Glass of Wine and some time

(Most important Item, this could be a horrible drinking game 1 shot per point your raise your site but I fear it would end horribly.) Patience (That is why there is beer or wine)

Here is the first video the highly technical one where you are going to need FTP access. 

REMEMBER TO CHECK YOUR PAGE SPEED AFTER EVERY LITTLE THING YOU DO!

speedupsite2.mp4 from Tim Emineth on Vimeo.

Here are the show notes:

.htaccess edits: (These edits just need to be copy and pasted in)

Header set Connection keep-alive

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/plain

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/xml

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/css

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xml

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xhtml+xml

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/rss+xml

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/javascript

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-javascript

RewriteEngine on

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www\.)?personalseo.com [NC]

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www\.)?google.com [NC]

RewriteRule \.(jpg|jpeg|png|gif)$ - [NC,F,L]

ExpiresActive On

ExpiresByType image/gif A2592000

ExpiresByType image/png A2592000

ExpiresByType image/jpg A2592000

ExpiresByType image/jpeg A2592000

"END OF CODE! Do not copy this line"

Plugins

Here is the list of plugins that I use but advised that you can not just use all of them and then magically your speed is increase to 99 when you started at 60.

The plugins you should try is:

  • W3 Total Cache - Install it and use the settings in the video.
  • WP Smush - bulk smush all images (use the free version and smush 50 at a time until all smushed)
  • Wordpress firewall 2
  • WP-dbmanager
  • BJ Lazy Load - Settings= Yes to load options and theme loader function wp_footer (Just to make sure I think this default.)

Video #2

This is more of the quick 20 Mins that you should just install and try these plugins to get the number to move. My biggest mistake is setting up cloudflare first when it should be last. Luckly this is at the beginning of the video so just skip it and come back to it.

speedupsite1.mp4 from Tim Emineth on Vimeo.

Other changes that can be made in W3 total Cache

Under General Settings (Minify) change it form Auto to Manual. Then go to Minify on the left menu bar.

Under JS or JS minify settings a new area will appear under operation in areas change all settings to NON-Blocking Using ASYNC (you can also try combine)

WARNING: make one change then refresh your site to see if it is working. If all is good then make another change. This will mess with heavy javascript sites so find the settings that work for you.

Below that under CSS make sure the box to check combine only is checked at @import handling is set to process.

How I did it.

In the first video you saw that I was struggling with raising the score on personalseo.com. These are the steps that I took.

I didn't use W3 Total cache I used WP Super Cache for some reason it raised my score just a little more.

This is the blog I followed:

http://mygenesisthemes.com/best-wp-super-cache-settings/

He also has one for W3 Total Cache:

http://mygenesisthemes.com/best-w3-total-cache-settings/

As I said I used the WP Super Cache it worked better for me. WP Performance Score Booster this gave me 3 points (check all boxes)

Async JS and CSS - check all of the boxes (css loading method is the default one)

One of the more painful items that I had to do was to manually fix the images on my home page (I used photo shop) This is how I took care of the Insight error on Optimizing Images.

The error happens when you are using HTML to reduce the size of the image. On personalseo.com we have three images in dark grey near the bottom of the screen and here is the code for one of them: 

The image " src="//personalseo.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/social-icon.png">" was a 417 by 417 pixel image and as you can see above that we set the width to 200 by 200

To correct the issue you just need to match the image size with the html size, so I just put the images in photoshop and shrunk them and that removed the Optimizing images area.

One more thing with images, if you just redesigned your site make sure you run the Regenerate Thumbnails plugin. This will recreate all of the thumbnails for your site that your new theme is going to use.

 

Aren't you glad you brought that beer or glass of wine with you?

If you have any questions about this process or need help please shoot use an email or comment. If you don't drink or have the time then we can do this for you has well. (insert shameless plug here.) This post is for Wordpress sites only. Just do one thing at a time and always go back to page insight and check after every change.

 

ActiveRain and SEOTammy Emineth is an expert in custom content and original articles for blogs, website, press releases and more. Contact me anytime and feel free to subscribe to this blog to stay up to date on my latest blogs and informative information. Email me or contact me for Real Estate Website Marketing and SEO Content Writing.

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The information contained in this blog is believed to be true and correct and while every effort is made to assure that the information is as accurate as possible, the author of this blog, and its comments disclaim any implied warranty or representation about it's accuracy for any particular purpose. All information is copy written and the property of Tammy Emineth.  

Comment balloon 42 commentsTammy Emineth • June 22 2015 02:02PM
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