The upload speed of your site matters… a lot. Have you published a WordPress theme with a great design and marketing content that appeals to your audience, but the number of organic visitors is still small and your pages still don't appear on the first page of Google?
46% of online shoppers say they would not return to a site that loads heavily and if we have not already convinced you, the SEO score depends a lot on the loading speed of your pages. A good SEO score gives you more traffic than a weak one, which means that a site with long loading times comes with a double impact: not only will you have a high bounce rate, losing existing traffic - users who will prefer the site more powerful, but you will be harder to find in search engines, being prioritized to display the results sites with shorter loading times.
first step is, of course, a current diagnosis of the website. In order to know and constantly study the loading times of each page, we recommend theplugin G Site Kit - being the official reporting package of Google. You will have a dashboard with the most important indicators of your site, easy to understand and with links to detailed reports in the following areas:
Google search console: monitor how many people saw the site in the search results and what query they used to get to your site.
Analytics: Investigate how users navigate your site, set goals, and track their performance. Also here you will be able to monitor the impact content of marketing, understanding which articles / pages attract the most users, from which pages you lose users (high bounce rate) and which are the pages with the highest / lowest times spent on the site.
AdSense: Track revenue if you show ads on your site, revenue generated by user traffic.
PageSpeed Analysis: Compare how your site's pages work to other competing sites. Improve performance with the practical tips in this report.
Tag Manager: Easily configure Tag Manager - no code editing required. Then you manage the tags in the Tag Manager.
Optimization: You can easily set up A / B tests to see which settings improve your metrics the most.
After installing this plugin, check out the top 3 upload speed indicators, displayed in the second tab of the 'Page Speed and Experience' report:
Where longer times appear, Google comes up with important recommendations to reduce upload times if you follow the link to more details PageSpeed Insights.
Increase your website's performance
As soon as you find out what recommendations your site has received in Google PageSpeed reports, you can address them systematically.
The most important thing you can do is make sure you have a quality hosting package that allows your site exceptional load times - so we even invite you to take a test by loading the site on any of the packages NSHOST hosting on a domain taken for free. If your page load reports show better results than your current hosting plan, it's worth making the decision to move as soon as possible.
The next step will be to make sure you always have the latest versions of your WordPress and plugins installed. Uninstall any plugins you are not using.
It is important to set your version of PHP 7.4 for your website domain, from the chosen hosting provider. More details about the advantages of using the latest version of PHP in our article: Is PHP 7.4 worth the effort?
It's time to install a caching plugin, where you can configure what elements you want to streamline and thus improve your site load indicators. For this purpose, we recommend the LiteSpeed Cache (LSCWP) plugin - which is an all-in-one site acceleration plugin that contains an exclusive server-level cache and a collection of very important optimization features. LSCWP supports WordPress Multisite and is compatible with the most popular plugins, including WooCommerce, bbPress and Yoast SEO.
In this plugin you can make some of the most important configurations that will greatly improve your loading times, starting with Cache settings: enable Cache, including for favicon, login page, PHP resources and other advanced cache settings you have available. Then you will be able to change the default code retention times in the TTL Cache tab, but we recommend the default values. After each content change on a web page, you will need to remove the code saved on the server from the 'Purge' tab of the LSCWP.
The next critical settings tab is Object Caching, where you can configure the cache settings of objects and pages loaded in the browser (Browser Cache) to reduce the number of repeated requests to the server for static files. Object caching can greatly reduce the loading time of the site, but we recommend activating it only when: 1) you have memcache or redis installed on the server and 2) there is a lot of dynamic content or database queries.
Among the most important performance optimization settings are in the submenu of 'Image Optimization':
Send the optimization request - click on the blue button to request free image compression.
Drag compressed images - original images will be placed in a backup directory - most likely somewhere in "wp-content / uploads"
Clean up unfinished data
Calculating backup space on disk - images should be downloaded from the server to a hard drive and be deleted from the server to save space.
Remove the original backups of the images after you have successfully backed up using the previous option.
(Re) scan new thumbnails - if you have made changes to existing images.
Then make sure that in the settings page 'Image Optimization' you activate the cron that automatically does the above steps, check the optimization of the original images and especially check the creation of images format 'WebP' - being a modern format dedicated to pages web, which allow image compression at 26% less than other formats.
As for page optimization settings, we recommend that you enable HTTP / 2 push that takes over resources, minimize CSS, JS, and combine multiple files into one - but we recommend thorough testing if the experience of certain pages is affected, return to certain initial settings and compare features. We also recommend checking the 'Lazy load images' upload.
After all these configurations, we believe that you will be ready for a new upload test of your site! From now on, you can also test the loading times for each page using the "plugin Query Monitor"and thus, you will be able to deactivate certain slow plugins, installing the fastest ones.
We hope we've helped you optimize your site's performance, and we're here to help you test your upload speed on an NSHOST hosting plan as well. For best performance, we recommend one of the VPS plans - if you have server management experience.