Tips for achieving a high Google PageSpeed score with WordPress

Tips for achieving a high Google PageSpeed score with WordPress post images

Written By : Liam Webster

Posted 18/04/2019

If you haven’t already heard of Google PageSpeed Insights, it’s a fantastic tool from Google that looks into your site and its performance, to then offer suggestions for optimising the front-end and the overall speed of your website. Speed scores range from 0 to 100 and it’s said that anything over 85 is a page that’s doing what is should be.

Here are just a few ways you can work towards achieving a high Google PageSpeed score on your WordPress site and to boosting your site’s performance with its end customer.

Use Litespeed Cache

If your first attempt at assessing your site with Google PageSpeed Insights hasn’t quite gone as well as you’d hoped, chances are you’ve also been given a list of recommendations to work through. Litespeed Cache is a WordPress plugin with the features and functions needed to make your way through a site speed optimisation checklist.

The Litespeed Cache plugin is essentially an all in one site speed tool, with plenty of features to help you work on your site speed. From image optimisation to database cleaning, even features that help prevent your site from loading unnecessary scripts, this is a tool that is certainly worth considering.

Compress all of your images

One of the common reasons for a slow page speed is that images on a site haven’t been compressed. With excessively large images, your server is having to load much larger files than it would with a simple compression of these images. You won’t lose out on the quality of the image, but you and your customers will benefit greatly from around 50% less image size.

Luckily for WordPress site owners, there are tonnes of plugins designed to compress multiple images in a short space of time. The likes of WP Smush Image will help you to compress and optimise your images, as well as reducing site page speeds.

Use browser caching

Whenever a page on your site is visited, the server it is hosted on has to gather each content component on that page, every single time. This can lead to some lengthy load times, especially if there’s a lot of content that hasn’t been optimised properly. By caching your website, your server will remember a page’s content when it is requested, rather than having to collect the content every time – all in all, this can help to reduce page speed significantly.

We would recommend adding browser caching to your website manually as many of the plugins which do this can be bloated and adding it couldn’t be simpler. All you need is ftp access to your website which you can get from your web host and using an ftp client, such as Filezilla, you can access your .htaccess file which will be in your websites root folder.

Once you have access to the .htaccess file all you need to do is copy the following code and then reupload.

<IfModule mod_expires.c>
ExpiresActive On
ExpiresByType image/jpg "access plus 1 year"
ExpiresByType image/jpeg "access plus 1 year"
ExpiresByType image/gif "access plus 1 year"
ExpiresByType image/x-icon "access plus 1 year"
ExpiresByType image/png "access plus 1 year"
ExpiresByType text/css "access plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType text/x-javascript "access plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType application/x-shockwave-flash "access plus 1 month"
ExpiresDefault "access plus 2 days"

Or if you’re struggling you can always send this on to your web developer who should have no problems sorting this out for you.

Minify your site’s HTML

If you can minimise the amount of space that is taken up by your site’s HTML code, you’re bound to see a different in your site’s page speeds. This involves fixing any errors in your site’s code, formatting or shortening code and removing unnecessary data without impacting the way in which your browser processes HTML. Together, all of this makes for one of the best ways to improve page speed and bag your site a brilliant Google PageSpeed Insights score.

Again, there are a number of plugins available to help you do this, including HTML Minify, which is free to download and does exactly what it says on the tin.

Use Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

AMP is something which Google introduced as a way of making mobile web pages load quicker. This is particularly important in the age of mobile and when mobile pages are indexed and assessed ahead of desktop pages.

AMP removes irrelevant content on a page which helps to make mobile pages load almost immediately. There’s very little formatting involved with AMP content, which helps the page load much faster and deliver what’s needed by the consumer, as quickly as possible.

AMP is a very popular method for speeding up site pages and many businesses are making use of its technology. If you’re hoping to keep your business’ site ahead of the curve, this is definitely worth considering.

If you’ve been through these suggestions and made the changes required for your website we’re sure that you will see a huge increase in your Google Speed Score and if all has been implemented correctly we’d expect your WordPress site to now be showing 85+ on the test.

If you’re still struggling with your speed scores or need help making any of these recommendations then you can get in touch with Identify team or give us a call on 01924 911333. Our team will be more than happy to see how we can help.

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