As a passionate web designer, one of my goals is to make a website not only look great, but to perform great too.
Which is why when I decided to tweak the design of Magnet4Blogging some time ago, I made improving my page loading performance top priority.
For guidance, I relied on Google’s PageSpeed insights tool.
If you’re not too sure what this tool is all about or why you should care about it, read this first.
In addition, let me tell you briefly why I think this tool is so important for you to to use.
Why you should improve your PageSpeed Insights Score now!
Two very simply reasons.
If you care about your search engine rankings and traffic, you should improve your PageSpeed score.
And if you care about providing your visitors with the best possible experience when they visit your website, you should definitely improve your PageSpeed score.
Any page on your website, or post on your blog that take a long time to load does one thing only, it simply turns visitors away.
That’s right, your visitors will leave, and when that happens you’ve lost the opportunity to convert that visitor.
Currently the PageSpeed Insights score for Magnet4Blogging (Homepage) is 80/100 for desktop, and 67/100 for mobile.
Both of which aren’t bad scores, but they’re not great either.
So the first thing I want to do is get my desktop score into the green.
Let me show you how I managed to increase my homepage score slightly to 87/100 for desktop.
Hopefully you’ll be able to do a few of these for your own website to improve your PageSpeed score.
#1. Optimize my images
So the first step that I took towards improving my PageSpeed Insights score for my homepage was to completely redesign the page.
This isn’t something you have to do don’t worry, I had planned to redesign my homepage from the very start.
If you’re interested in building a clean, clutter-free custom homepage for your website, check out this tutorial video post I put together.
So one of the significant changes that I made when redesigning my front page was with regards to the images.
I both reduced the number of images used on the homepage, and the size of those images too.
Additionally I optimized those images further by compressing them using a cool tool called Tiny PNG.
Once uploaded to my front page, I then added relevant ALT Tags to them.
If you take a look at the screen capture below, you will see how many KB I was able to save optimizing just 3 medium sized images using TinyPNG!
#2. Enable compression
You can learn more about the benefits of compressing compressible resources on your WordPress blog or website, to help reduce the time these resources take to download here.
To enable compression of resources on my website I installed a simple plugin called GZip Ninja Speed Compression.
This is a plug-and-play plugin, it doesn’t get any easier than that and you can find this plugin here.
#3. Minify resources
Another way to improve your PageSpeed Insights score is by reducing the size of your website’s resources.
Again, you can learn more about the benefits of doing this here in much greater detail, but generally speaking, minifying your resources helps to improve your page load time.
To achieve this for my own website I installed another fantastic little plugin called Better WordPress Minify. You can once again grab this plugin here.
As you can see from the General Options above in Better WordPress Minify, I can minify JavaScrip and CSS.
There are also some advanced options that I can make changes to as well.
#4. Leverage browser caching via .htaccess
This was a bit of a challenge at first I will admit to that.
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find a dedicated plugin out there to help me solve the browser caching issue.
What I was able to find however was a great article written by Thomas Griffin detailing the procedures of leveraging browser caching in WordPress via .htaccess.
Don’t worry! It might sound technically challenging, but I found the process relatively easy to do, and if I can do it, so can you. You can read Thomas’s post here.
I was able to apply the code provided in Thomas’s article to my .htaccess file and deal with most cacheable resources, but not all of them, regardless it helped to increase my score slightly, so thanks Thomas.
OK before you jump up and down with joy thinking I’ve found a solution, I’ve not been able to completely resolve this issue.
I’ve checked the forums over on WordPress.org and no one seems to know of a complete solution (Yet).
There are some plugins available but upon testing a few of them, they ended up breaking my theme more than solving a problem, so be careful with any plugins you find.
However, I’m not able to do the same for CSS at this time, I’m still working on that one.
Again this is a plug-and-play plugin, and you can turn on or off the plugin in specified posts or pages if you wish.
Wrapping things up
So there you go, as you can see I’ve been able to do a few simple things to try and improve my Google PageSpeed Insights score overall by pasting some codes, optimising a few images, and at the cost of installing a few extra plugins.
Most of the plugins are plug-and-play, so fairly lightweight.
I will be updating this post in the future no doubt, as and when I find better solutions and tools that I can use and recommend to continue improving my PageSpeed Insights score, there’s always room for improvement, right?
Below is a screen shot of the final website speed test result using the Pingdom website tool.
I hope you’ve been able to pick one or two useful tips from this post to apply to your WordPress blog and improve your Google PageSpeed Insights score.
More tips to help you make your website faster
Before I sign off for good, there’s a very detailed post I want to recommend you read over on dmarketer’s website. The author share’s a very interesting case study as well as tips and strategies.