How To Make Your Website Super Fast (Site Speed Checklist)
First, check out the Pingdom website speed test tool to see how your website currently ranks, speed-wise.
1. Use A Fast Host
The hosting provider you choose to host your website with is very important, especially when it comes to speed.
A slow web host means a slow website for you. So this is critical.
I recommend SiteGround to host our website because it comes with an amazing package of free site speed tools.
Click here to get SiteGround hosting for just $3.95 today
2. Enable Speed Enhancing Tools
When you host your website with SiteGround or Bluehost, you get to use their top of the line site enhancing tools for free.
For SiteGround, enable the SuperCacher from your SiteGround Cpanel, and add your website URL.
Then activate the SG Optimizer plugin from your WordPress dashboard. (It is likely already activated when you installed WordPress).
Go to SG Optimizer, and click ‘configure’ to set it up. This will make your website super fast
Bluehost comes with it’s own, similar speed enhancing tools.
3. Enable Cloudflare
Cloudflare is another free tool you can activate via your SiteGround Cpanel, which contains several tools to that speed up your website.
We recommend that you enable the settings for:
- CDN (content delivery network)
- Gzip compression
4. Keep WordPress Updated To The Latest Version
Always pay attention to your WordPress dashboard for notifications about updates and new versions of WordPress.
You can find this info by going to ‘Dashboard’ then ‘Updates.’
Always keep your plugins and theme updated too.
5. Remove Plugins That Aren’t Necessary
Did you know that too many plugins will cause your website to lag… a lot?
The Pingdom website speed test tool will show you exactly which plugins are eating up too many of your resources. GTmetrix is great for this too.
When I did my website speed check, I discovered that one of the plugins that I was using for displaying an Instagram feed was causing my site to load super slow.
I disabled the plugin and saved five seconds!
Do an audit of your plugins and deactivate and delete any that you don’t really need. Keep only a few plugins that really help and improve your website, and always keep them updated.
6. Use WPRocket
I started using the WPRocket plugin, and within one day, my page load time improved by FIVE seconds! That’s huge!
WPRocket is a super lightweight plugin that speeds up your website and handles all of the compression, caching, speed and SEO factors with just one plugin.
This saves you having to add multiple plugins to your site to manage all of these things.
Just some of what this WPRocket does:
- Page Caching
- Cache Preloading
- Sitemap Preloading
- GZIP Compression
- Browser Caching
- Database Optimization
- Google Fonts Optimization
- Remove Query Strings from Static Resources
- Lazyload Images
WPRocket also integrates seamlessly with Cloudflare, so you can have that extra layer of protection and optimization.
If you were looking to invest in one plugin that can take care of it all, this would be what I’d recommend every time.
It costs a one-time payment of $49 (or $99 for 3 sites) for the license, and after the license expires after the year, you don’t need to pay again, you can still use the plugin and all premium features forever. If you wanted to extend the customer support for the plugin after the year, you could pay for that, but it’s not required.
==> Learn more about WPRocket here
If you aren’t ready to invest in WPRocket yet, there are some other plugins that can help, but note, you will need to install multiple plugins to achieve what WPRocket can do, and the more plugins you add, the more your website speed will lag.
For minifying CSS, Autoptimize is a free plugin that speeds up your WordPress site by minifying and compressing all of the scripts and styles on your site, adds expire headers, caches, and can move scripts to the footer.
Other plugins that can be used for optimization are:
- EWWW Image Optimizer
- WP Performance Score Booster
- Lazy Load
- WP Fastest Cache
(Note, some of these don’t work together / can cause problems with SG Optimizer or other caching plugins so use with caution).
7. Compress & Lazy Load Images
Before uploading any images to your site, first run them through Omptimizilla, a free online image compression tool.
This tool shrinks your images without sacrificing image quality.
We shrunk the file size of our ‘WordPress updates’ screenshot from step 4 by 66%!
8. No Sliders
Sliders are one of the biggest page speed killers there is. Do you really need a slider on your website?
Most likely you don’t!
Sure, a slider looks nice on a homepage, but never cool enough to risk the quality and speed of your site.
9. A Premium Theme
Be careful of free WordPress themes, as they can’t be guaranteed to have clean code, and most of the time don’t come with developer support or updates.
You need to make sure that you use a quality, responsive theme that is updated by the developer, whenever there is a new version of WordPress.
We recommend the WordPress themes from:
If you go with StudioPress/Genesis framework, you will be able to use any of the WordPress themes from:
Once you have implemented these steps, do another Pingdom website speed test and see how much your website speed has improved.