WordPress speed optimization service
Design vs Speed
In fact, if you have already tried speed optimizing your WordPress website yourself, you have probably come across the suggestions of reducing image size, setting up caching and compressing the website code (which would include reducing the number of plugins, setting a lightweight theme, minifying JS and CSS etc.).
Whilst these do help and can go a long way in improving a WordPress website’s performance, the results can be very mixed, especially if you use Google Page Speed and GT Metrix scores as the benchmark. This is because the design of your website and the techniques or page builders used to build the design also affect the scores. Yet, although both the website speed and score on Google Page Speed Insights matter (if you’re doing search engine optimization for your website), the design also matters! If we think of conversions as the end purpose of the website, then both speed and design are very important, and ideally one shouldn’t come at the expense of the other.
If your website design is not modern and engaging, you will find it very difficult to convince a visitor to become a prospect (unless your products and services are so cheap that nothing else matters – i.e. you’re a price leader).
But even if you have a stunning website design that submerges each visitor into your brand, tells your story and guides them through the process of becoming a client but takes 10 seconds to load, no visitor will hang around long enough to actually see the design. So, how can we find balance without having to spend hours toggling one setting or editing a design element at a time and see what improves the score and what doesn’t?
Areas for speed optimization
The length of time it takes for a webpage to load and the Page speed insight or GT Metrix score is directly proportional to the size of the webpage and the speed of delivery.
Caching, compression, image optimization and other tactics mentioned above only focus on reducing the size of the webpage, which is why beyond a certain point it is almost impossible to see further improvements without changing the hosting or using a Content Delivery Network (CDN).
What’s more, good hosting service and a content delivery network (CDN) have a much more predictable and consistent impact on the site performance to the point that our standard WordPress speed optimization services primarily focus on these two aspects (although we can conduct a one off-site compression as well going through our speed optimization checklist)
WordPress Hosting and content delivery network explained
As you probably know, hosting is basically a virtual “computer” just like your PC, where you can store the website (or other) files. Each virtual machine has an IP that helps identify requests coming to it. And how quickly a browser can connect to the virtual machine through the IP (time to first byte) is directly related to the physical distance between the browser and the server.
In other words, if your hosting server data centre is in London and most of your website visitors are in New York, then every time someone from New York tries to load your site, their request needs to travel across the Atlantic ocean and back (which takes a few seconds). In addition to this, there is also the request processing time, i.e. how quickly your server can come up with the reply to the browser (that still needs to travel to the browser).
Just like a more powerful PC with more RAM and cores can execute more tasks quicker, a better hosting server (e.g. a dedicated virtual private server) will generally result in a faster site compared to a cheaper shared web hosting one. Want to find out more about what good hosting is and what is most suitable for your site? Then head here!
So what does a CDN do? A content delivery network is a network of “computers” around the world, each of which stores a “cached” version of your site. So with the previous example, suppose you also have a CDN in addition to your London server.
When someone in New York goes on your website, instead of the request being sent to the London server from their browser, it will first be sent to the CDN, which will then identify the closest “computer” in the network to New York that has a cache of the website and sends the cached version of the site from there!
The result? The request and, more importantly, the data requested no longer has to travel across the Atlantic ocean every time. In other words, everyone in New York can view all static information on your website (images, texts etc.) very quickly, as if it was hosted in New York!
Our WordPress speed optimization service
So what does our service entail? Well, it entails a bit of it all. Primarily, we connect your site to our CDN, which is tailor-made for WordPress! And yes, we have tried it all, Cloudflare, Securi and haven’t seen much impact (if your website hosting server is already powerful). Our CDN also tackles the caching for you, so we won’t even install a separate caching plugin on your site.
In other words, once set up, our CDN will constantly be creating compressed and optimized versions of your website and storing them across the network so whoever requests to view your site can be served as quickly as possible.
What can you expect? Every website set up with our CDN consistently hits 85 – 100 on Google PageSpeed Insights for Mobile and 95-100 for desktop.
What we need to get started
- Details of any prior search engine optimization keyword research (if available)
- Details of any prior search engine optimization tasks and reports (if available)
- A description of your main services and root keywords that your customers may search for.
- Details of any competitors in your niche that you’re aware of.
- WordPress admin (wp-admin) logins
- Hosting logins (Cpanel, Plesk etc.)