Speed. Page loading time. Site speed optimization. When it comes to your website, it’s critical you have a fast loading site for visitors. If the page does not load in just a few seconds, don’t be surprised when visitors hop on to the next site instead of yours. Read on and we’ll show you how we optimized a client site who’s on one of our Business Care and Growth plans, to be faster than 82% of tested sites. First, consider the following stats:
- Kissmetrics reports from data by gomez.com and akamai.com that 49 percent of web users expect a site to load in two seconds or less
- Google reports that 53 percent of web users will abandon a site that takes three seconds or more to load
At Webdirexion, we are constantly testing the latest tech tools and gadgets designed to increase page load time and enhance overall website speed. After years of testing different caching plugins, we have come to a solution that is awesome for the following reasons:
- The tools are both easy to use
- If you break something, you can easily fix it
- Results are impressive with huge improvements on site speed
Caching Programs We’ve Used in the Past and Abandoned
So which tools did we decide on? First, I will tell you more about which tools we tried and didn’t like, and the reasons why.
W3 Total Cache
Hands down, we can confidently say that W3 Total Cache is one of the most robust caching plugins available. Other benefits of this program are that it is completely free and there are more than 100,000 users that use and trust this plugin and updates are on point. Why didn’t we like it?
Same thing that makes it great also can be a drawback. Complexity. With so many options on the menu – a user can easily get lost and have no idea which settings they should or should not choose. In fact, if you browse the online reviews, you will see case after case of users whose sites totally crashed because of the plethora of functions that can be switched on and break a site. Furthermore, the plugin (notably the free version) has some compatibility issues with certain website themes and blogs.
Other programs still offer the same caching features, but they are grouped together more, rather than parsed out to every individual option. If something on the site breaks after setting up the caching, it is more difficult to identify which setting caused the problem, because there are so many.
WP Fastest Cache
Furthermore, the times that we attempted to contact the support team for guidance on the use of the plugin – a response was not easy to come by and several inquiries were submitted to get minimal feedback.
Our Go-To Website Plugins for Site Speed Optimization
Below we’re going to tell you about a great combination of WordPress plugins — technology that gives a definite bump in site speed optimization. We have other tactics too including CDN image delivery for global clients, and the optimization that is built into our preferred WordPress theme — Divi from Elegant Themes. Here’s though we share a couple of our primary tactics.
For us, the ultimate combination of plugins to handle all our caching needs for clients and deliver optimal site speed is the plugin WP Rocket for caching and the plugin Imagify for image compression. How do these two programs work in synergy with one another to improve website performance?
WP Rocket is a very robust caching plugin that covers the entire spectrum of caching needs, but with only minimal configuration settings. The pricing for this cutting-edge solution is comparable, and even more affordable than many of the other options in this same class of software.
Built to speed up your site in a matter of moments, Imagify is a thorough plugin crawls every last image on your website and lightens them by compressing them to maximum capacity. We have seen remarkable and Pingble results from this particular program.
How to Install and Configure Settings in WP Rocket
Join Us as We Implement the Plugins on a Website and Walk You Through the Steps as We Go
Feel free to skip the steps and go straight to the video:
Tools we use to test the of our clients’ site both before and after the implementation of the plugins are ManageWP and Pingdom. ManageWP is the program we use to manage all the WordPress sites for all of our clients in one spot. From the dashboard, you can test each site’s performance and measure the page loading time. Pingdom is a free website that allows you also to test the page loading time from several locations around the world.
Step One: Initial Speed Tests
Test baseline site speeds and compare.
Step Two: Install WP Rocket
When you purchase the license for WP Rocket you can then download a zip file from their website, which you will upload onto the site you are working on as a plugin. If you have already downloaded the zip file, just go to upload plugins and select the folder. If you need the download, log in to the WP Rocket site and download the file.
Step Three: Activate Plugin and Configure Settings
Step Four: Carefully Navigate the Website
Once all the settings have been applied, and you have already ensured the forms’ images are displaying correctly – double check. Everything. Go through each page of the site and just be sure that the new settings you’ve applied have not affected the site in any way.
Step Five: Retest Site Speed
Return to the tools you used to test the speed of your website to test again. It is important that you run a test at this point in the process before you implement Imagify. This way you know exactly how much improvement happened from each tool.
In conclusion, don’t settle for a site that loads to slow. You’ll lose visitors and get a down bump in your SEO. Instead, contact us today and we can help with the above process — and more for site speed optimization.