How to Speed up Your WordPress Site

By | February 25, 2020


– So Nealey I have this new
exciting blog Alex Eats, but it takes forever for
everything to load, to pull up how do I fix that? – That is such a common problem, but luckily that’s what
we’re gonna cover here on The Journey stay tuned. All right, so slow websites
are just an epidemic online. The slower website is,
the quicker visitors are to just bounce and
never come back again. So it’s such a great topic
that we’re covering today of how to optimize your site speed. Now really to start off is
figuring out what type of hosting do you have. So Alex, what type of hosting do you have? – I use just basic shared hosting. – Okay that’s super common. It’s a pretty inexpensive option for most small businesses. But with shared hosting means
you share their resources with everybody on that server. So less resources for
you means less resources for your website. So we covered a video on the
different types of hosting you can check out right there. All right, so next I
really need to understand why your site’s running so slow with a little site speed test. And really figure out what’s
going on under the hood. – Yeah, let’s go diagnose that food coma. – Let’s go check it out. All right Alex. So I have your website up here. Let’s go ahead and do
one of my favorite tests using gtmetrix.com What you do is you just
copy the URL right here, open up a new tab and go to
gtmetrix.com pretty simple. And then go ahead and add the URL in and choose test your site. This will take maybe
a moment or two depending on their queue and then
how slow your website is. And then it’s gonna give you a test result basically of all the things
that are good and bad with your site and in regards to speed. One second you said it was slow, come on. – [Alex] You only have
people’s attention for so long. – All right so, if you’re
trying to get this even faster or if your site isn’t
one second fast, Alex, there are lots of things on
this page that can help you out in determining what might be an issue. So if you see here, you
have served skilled images, leverage browser caching and all these different things on here. Now this may not mean a
whole lot to you right now, but if you expand it, you
can go, what’s this mean? And it’ll kinda give you a
little bite sized summary of what it is and then
an option to read more. There’s lots of cool tabs on here as well. So “why slow” it has more content,
more suggestions for you so you can figure out what
you may want to update or adjust in your site. I really like looking
at the waterfall tests and this basically shows a
waterfall of all the assets loading on your site. – [Alex] So what does that mean? – [Nealey] So you don’t have
a lot of stuff going on. So with, especially with
WordPress and speeding it up, there are literally hundreds
of files being called to basically prepare your
site up for a visitor. It’s like making a burger. It’s not just one thing. I get the bun and the mayo,
the meat everything else and serve it up. Same thing with your site. So every single basically
script has to load and it’s showing you how long
that script is taking to load. So if you see one that’s
taking just way too long and you know that cool,
that that’s an issue. Deciphering this though,
it can be an absolute pain. Like I’ve been doing this for a while, I don’t even like doing this part of it. So we’re gonna go through
some plugins and stuff to help you out, but
there’s timings on this tab and you can even see
a video if you sign up and create an account, it’s free to use. And then history. So if you can kinda
keep track of how long, maybe day one and maybe
like you have one second, but you start adding all
your plugins and content. Maybe now it’s like 17 seconds then you actually have an issue
not now with one second. – [Alex] So you can see when
things started going downhill. – [Nealey] Right like what did I do? So now when building your website, the one of the first things you do, like we talked about in
one of our other videos is you go to and choose a theme first, Not all themes are created equal. There are free themes,
there are premium themes. What you really want to
do is try to find a theme that’s super lightweight, which
means it doesn’t have a lot of the add-ons and flare that some of the cool premium themes have but you wanna make sure
that they load fast. Because at the end of the day, all that
flare may be for nothing if someone’s not
actually going to visit your site. – So the less add-ons the
quicker the loading time. – Absolutely. – Got it. – Like you have the theme Hestia. Hestia is pretty solid, super lightweight, not a lot of add-ons to it. So it makes it fast. That one second load time like you had. There’s Astra, there’s
Genesis, there’s all sorts of like themes and
frameworks that you can use. But those are some of the
ones that we just had here. – So you mentioned before
plugins they can solve all my problems. – Yes and no. Too many plugins can be an issue. So if you have like say 50 plugins, which I’ve seen on some sites,
that might be a problem. So the very first one that
I’m going to recommend for you is a plugin called WP Smush and it’s gonna do exactly that. It’s going to smush all
your images on your site so they’re not as big. So to download it, you go
to plugins and add new, then type in WP Smush you’re gonna get some other results here that’ll kind of go by keywords. But here is the Smush Image
Compression and Optimization. Go ahead and install now. And then click activate. And then it’s there. So let me take you through
some of the settings since you do have to
activate some of them. So click on Smush directly. It’s gonna go ahead and
say, “Hey Alex, nice work “installing Smush, hurray.”
– [Alex] Thank you – [Nealey] Go ahead and begin set up. I want it to automatically
optimize new uploads. I want a strip image data. I wannna enable lazy loading. A lazy loading is a cool
new feature WP Smush added. Essentially what that
does is – you blog a lot so you have a ton of posts. So instead of loading all the
images at once on your posts, it’ll only load the ones
the visitor actually sees all that really matters. So that way when the rest
are called or scroll to then they’ll load and
then it has less load on the actual server makes
your site running super fast. – [Alex] Got it. – [Nealey] So next again and
then finish setup wizard and it’s gonna go through
basically checking your images to see what else needs compressing. And then it goes, cool Alex,
you have four attachments that needs smushing. Let’s smush. – [Alex] Let’s smush. – [Nealey] Smush it up. And then it’ll just take a few seconds. We only have four images, so
it’s not gonna take that long. If you have a ton of images,
you’ve been doing this a while, it’ll probably take a while. The free version of WP
Smush will do 50 at a time. So you’d basically do your first 50. Let that go, then smush
again, then smush again. And then we’re done. And then saved us 95.7 kilobytes. That might not seem like a lot,
but it does in the long run. All right, so more plugins. You said plugins fix all your problems? – [Alex] Right. – [Nealey] These ones are gonna
hopefully fix your problems. The next one’s called Autoptimize. It’s like auto optimize smushed. So just type it Autoptimize enter. I didn’t spell that right.
– [Alex] Close enough – [Nealey] Take two Nealey. All right, then it’s gonna pop up here. Same principle, install
now, might take a moment and then you click activate. Cool, almost always
it’s gonna take you back to the plugin screen. This one makes it easy. You can just click settings
right here to go to it. Then it’s gonna give you
a lot of information, so it’s gonna not show you
all the advanced settings, which is fine. It’s gonna keep it nice and basic for you. If you are a little bit more experienced, you wanna check those out. This little button at the
top will do that for you. But I just wanna optimize JavaScript code, optimize CSS, optimize HTML. And then save changes empty cache. Now once this happens,
basically all of these scripts are gonna get smushed. So there’s not that extra space on there. Making them less file size makes them load a little bit quicker. – [Alex] Okay – [Nealey] Onto more plugins. Let’s go ahead and plugin, add new. – [Alex] All the plugins. – So have you ever heard
of clearing your cache? – Yes. – Cool, so the same thing
goes with your website. Browsers, cache data, but so can a website so you can set up a caching
plugin on your site. So instead of all those
scripts being called at once it’ll condense it and basically
give you a copy of your site super quick to your visitors. There are lots of caching plugins and everyone has their preferred. I’m just gonna kind of choose one here, but let’s go with, W3 Total Cache. Why not? It was second in line. So again, as always, install now and then activate when it wants to install and then you click activate. Cool, and then it’s right
here on the left hand side. We’ve got performance. Go ahead and just click that. Now this shows a ton of
options to go through. We don’t have the time today
to go through all of those. You can kinda check them out. Every plugin, it usually has
some type of documentation or a website to go and learn more. So you don’t have to be super overwhelmed, but I wanna set up page cache and it looks like it’s
already done for me. – [Alex] Perfect. – [Nealey] Perfect so now when
visitors come to your site, it’s not gonna take as long to load. You already had a one second
load time so you’re fine, but if your site’s
loading a little bit slow, this definitely helps. – Well, thanks for all
the helpful information. Hopefully my website is super fast now. – I guarantee it is. (laughs) – Absolutely, well, let us
know in the comments below. How fast was your website
when you did that speed test? – Yeah and this is a great
foundation for getting your site a little bit faster. There’s always so much you can do, and we’ll probably cover
it in later videos, but if you got some
value out of this video, make sure you smash that like button. Let us know. Subscribe to our channel so
you can get these videos first. This is The Journey
we’ll see you next time.

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