Having a website that loads fast has a number of benefits including improved rankings in all search engines, decreases in bounce rates and overall customer retention.
If you have a slow site then the complete opposite will happen and your visitors will leave before the selected page even finishes loading.
Not to mention how these “7 plugins that will increase website speed on desktops and mobile device would be rather beneficial“.
So if you are at all concerned about SEO and your sites traffic then then your sites speed will be very important. Not only do you need to optimize your site to load fast on a desktop but it needs to load fast on a mobile device as well.
If you consider what niche you are in you will probably see a trend of mobile traffic taking up the largest portion in your traffic stats. So having your site loading fast and being mobile optimized is rather essential these days. First thing is you are going to need to assess your sites performance but we will get onto that in a minute.
After Google’s latest algorithm update my testing and data show a clear correlation between site speed, mobile optimization and the sites page rankings.
So How Do You Increase Your Website Speed?
Okay to show you exactly how I go about fixing the site speed and load time I thought I would actually fix an old site of mine so you can see each step I take and each plugin I use.
A Quick Note: Getting a 100/100 score in Google Site speed tool can sometimes be almost impossible unless you are willing to learn a fair bit of code.
You will also need to be comfortable with changing important files and happy to use an FTP client and editor.
All of this is fantastic but here’s the reality I’m not a coding expert nor do I really want to be. So my options are to outsource this work or use certain plugins to get my site speed to a respectable level.
Now because I’m not a coding genius I went ahead and did a little research on how important it is to get a 100/100 score compared to a 60/100 when it comes to rankings in Google.
The results show that over 70% of the sites on the first page of Google for some quite competitive keywords all had a site load speed of 65/100 or higher.
Now it’s fairly clear that a 100/100 is not essential but it would be nice. I seem to be able to get mine in the 70’s or 80’s which does seem to give me a great improvement in ranking and traffic over time.
Not only that it also helps with my conversions as the visitors I’m getting are staying longer and actually getting engaged and therefore are more likely to purchase or subscribe.
The Plugins I Use To Increase My Sites Speed On A Desktop And Mobile
The first thing I do before adding these plugins is do a quick check on the site’s current load speed. To do this simply go to the Google PageSpeed Insights Tool and just enter your URL in the box provided then hit analyze.
Next we need to consider what it is exactly that could be slowing your site down. The first things I always look at is:
Along with this a big contributor is the images on your site but not to worry there is a plugin to fix this as well. So if you have an old theme that is not being used and you have no need for it then delete it.
If you are also using a theme that is not a responsive theme then you should also consider changing it to a more responsive one instead.
The same goes with plugins as well if it’s old an you don’t use it anymore or if it’s deactivated and not used then delete these also. See below:
Now we have a clean slate we need to see if any of our plugins are slowing our site down as well. To do this we will be using a plugin called:
P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler)
–> Grab the P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler) here…
This will assess all of our plugins and how long each one takes to load and the amount of drain it has on your server. This can be a good indication of any plugins that are causing your site to load slowly.
By doing this first we can assess which plugins we should look at removing or replacing with an alternative one.
As you can see below I have one or two that seem to take up a lot of load time and memory.
What To Do If A Plugin Is Causing The Slow Site Problem
There is really only two options, ignore the problem and keep using the plugin. Now you are thinking that’s bad advice but you may find some important plugins are slowing things down.
For instance is your are using the All In One SEO Pack or Worpress SEO by Yoast you will need to keep using the one you chose as it is essential.
On the other hand if there is an alternative that you could try to use then I would suggest doing that especially if it’s not a super important plugin. After you try the new plugin make sure you run another scan through P3 to see if it changes anything for the positive.
So the next step is to ensure your site is mobile optimized as this will greatly increase your mobile site’s load speed. To do this I will be using a free plugin called:
WP Mobile Touch
–> You can download Wp Super Touch here…
To install this plugin you simply go to your dashboard and then to plugins and install it like you would another other plugin. Search for the plugin after you hit add new and you will find it.
Select it and then activate it, once you do you may get a warning note pop up and this is only going to show up if your using the WP Super Cache plugin. The warning is easily fixed and the ntice look like this:
If you are using the W3 Total Cache plugin then you will not see the warning which means you can leave things as they are but I would advise looking inot the addition option for this one.
To finish setting the plugin up for those people using the WP Super Cache you need to go to your WP Super Cache plugin setting page and fill in the following sections:
Next you need to make sure you include these following devices into the section at the bottom of the setting page called “Rejected User Agents“.
The final step is to head to the Contents tab in the WP Super cache and delete plus clear old caches. See below:
Once that had been done select save and you are finished, your site will now be fully mobile optimized. Now even thought the free version of WP Mobile Touch is a very plain looking mobile theme it still seems to convert and yes it loads real fast.
By doing this step alone you will improve your mobile loading speed dramatically and this in turn will help increase your ranking on mobile device and of course your traffic.
Take a look at the Mobile Load speed results now after this step:
Next lets work on your desktop loading speed. To fix this I will be using a few different plugins. By the way you can deactivate the P3 plugin now and keep it aside for future use.
Okay so the first plugin is:
WP Smush is a cool little plugin that will reduce the size of your images and I don’t mean it will make the actual image smaller.
It as you are probably aware will compress the image files and will allow them to load extremely fast. Doing this will have a huge impact on your sites speed especially if you have plenty of images uploaded.
A little note here is to get rid of any images your are not using or have no intention of using anymore. Once you download the plugin and install it you will activate it and then it will work automatically for any new images you upload.
So it’s important to open up the WP Smush plugin in your dashboard and run a full Smush on the current images that are already on your site. See below:
For interest sacks let me check the Google Page Speed tool and see how we are going.
As you can see it did have a little impact but I had very little images so if you had more the impact would be greater.
The next plugin I use is called:
Use Google Libraries
Use Google Libraries is a plugin that will allow you to use Google jQuery libraries and remove the host load off you. So often, you will find some code similar to this when inspecting the source for many sites that use jQuery which is most WordPress setups:
Essentially without getting to technical it’s a Content Delivery Network that allows you to serve jQuery to your users directly from Google’s network of data centers in turn reducing the load time from your site.
Doing this has a number of advantages compared to hosting the jQuery on your own server. For intance it will
- decreased latency
- increased parallelism
- Improve caching.
All you need to do to use this plugin is install it and activate it, that’s it. From there the plugin will take over and do the rest.
The next plugin I use is called:
WP Super Cache or W3 Total Cache
Why are there two Plugin for Caching in this list?
Well this is simple really, they are both awesome plugin that will help optimize your site for maximum speed and either one can be used.
I have no personal preference except the Wp Super Cache is more of a set and forget type of plugin.
But you must be using at least one of these as this is going to be the back bone behind your site loading fast and keeping your visitors engaged.
I personally use both but if you are just starting out then I suggest using WP Super Cache as you really only need to install it, activate it and then turn it on.
On the other hand if you would prefer to have even more control you can mess around with the advanced setting but be Very careful as you may just break your site.
The second option for Caching your site is W3 Total Cache which is a superb plugin but does require a little more setting up and it’s always good to know what your doing when messing with these things.
I wont go into the details of setting up W3 Total cache here but I will more than likely put a step by step guide together in the near future.
Either one is fine but remember you do need to use one at least.
Next is a little compression plugin for our sites http which you would normally need to understand how to use GZip but not when using this little beauty:
WP Http Compression
Firstly let me explain what this does if it’s not already obvious.
This little plugin will compress will allow you to display and out put pages that have been compressed using the Gzip compression format.
By doing this you will compress your site by up to 60% and therefor increasing speed and reducing download times by up to 400%. Pretty impressive really.
Once again just download it, install it and then activate it. That’s all that is required to do with this plugin.
Next, and I believe the final plugin in my list of 7 plugins that will increase website speed on desktops and mobile devices is:
Wp Optimize is a great plugin that will help clean out some old caches that other plugins seem to miss.
When you first install it and activate it you can do a bulk clean and then allow it to schedule a clean every week or month.
What does this plugin clean?
Basically it will remove all spam comments that you did not approve or have been disapproved and not deleted. It will clean out all the old post caches as well which can be quite big. This is generated when ever you write a post a number of revise-able drafts are saved by the system, so these need to be removed.
It also cleans a number of other similar components as well.
When you grab this simply go to the setting page and simple run the process as shown below:
Congratulations – Now For The Final Speed Test
If we go back to the Google Speed insights tool you can see that we have improved the results considerably from it was when we first started.
So to conclude, it’s a vital part of any online site and any online business to have a website that is pleasing, full of great content and is a fast loading site. Humans are generally in a hurry and usually they don’t like to wait.
For instance when you first turn the corner heading for the drive thru of your favorite takeaway place you notice the line goes around the corner.
Well, you may just decide to go elsewhere because you really don’t want to wait. This is exactly the same with website visitors because if they click on your site in a Google search or a banner, ad or other and it loads really slow I can guarantee your visitors will leave pronto.
This will then hurt your rankings and your organic traffic will go down. Even worse if you are spending money on clicks and visitors then you are completely wasting your hard earned money.
Get you site running fast and you will soon see the difference.
Time to get started an sort your site out. I hope you enjoyed this post.
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