In the following article, we will explain how to speed up your WordPress website by 45%, by making just one simple change.
This WordPress speed hack is a recent case study from one of our clients in the i-gaming industry. The website traffic was in fast growth mode, and as part of their SEO audit, we noticed that the speed on the site was slow.
In this case study, we used GTmetrix to measure speed figures before and after the change.
We also base the case study on the website’s busiest page.Keep reading if you want to know how we went from this, 4.0 seconds,
to this, 2.2 seconds,
Why Is WordPress Website Speed Times So Important
First some background into why you need to ensure your WordPress website is optimised for speed.
According to Google they now use site speed as a search engine ranking factor (since 2010).
If your site is slow, then google search engine spiders may not be able to index all of your site within their allocated crawl budget, which directly influences your SEO results.
Not only that but load time can have a huge effect on the end user experience. Slow load times lead to higher bounce rates (the percentage of single page visits where there was no interaction with the page) and lower average time on site.
To compound matters research has shown that a 1-second delay in page load time can result in a 7% drop in conversions (sales, affiliate clicks, email optins, etc.)
This begs the question, what load time does Google advise is acceptable?
Google state that 2 seconds is the far end of the acceptable level for an e-commerce site. Google themselves aim for 0.5 second load time.
However, they did advise to analyse your competitors and ensure that you are at least faster than those to give your online business a competitive advantage.
What Are The Best WordPress Website Speed Measurement Tools?
Here are the three best free WordPress speed measurement tools:
Case Study Details – I-gaming Website, 500+ Indexed Pages
My client’s website is in the ultra-competitive i-gaming niche.
This site already had the best WordPress cache plugin enabled, WP SuperCache as well as all images optimised. However, it was still registering a 4-second page load speed on its busiest page.
A Note About WP SuperCache
This is the best WordPress Cache Plugin as it causes less conflict than the W3 Total Cache plugin. While the W3 Total Cache is a more overall powerful plugin, it has adverse effects on many of my client’s sites and therefore we prefer to use two plugins to take care of Page Cache, Gzip Compression and Leverage Browser cache speed related issues (FarFutureExpiry being the second plugin).
Here are the WP SuperCache Settings to use (Advanced tab) on your WordPress site.
How We Improved WordPress Website Speed by 45%
Now it’s time to reveal what one change we made to improve our client’s website speed by 45%.
We moved hosting company from a regular shared hosting account to a specialised WordPress optimised shared hosting account.
Main reasons to move away from Hostgator were:
- Our client’s website was on a Hostgator reseller account which had a 60GB bandwidth limit
- There were frequent 500 Server Errors daily
- The obvious slow page load time problem, both front end and back
- The lack of a suitable Hostgator upgrade option to WordPress Optimised hosting package
- They removed email customer support lately, resulting in long live chat waits, with less than satisfactory answers
The reasons why we moved to Siteground were:
- WordPress optimised hosting packages starting at €3.95 per month
- UK based server (client has .co.uk extension)
- Amazing customer support, via email or live chat
- Recommended by the leading WordPress SEO expert, Yoast
- Free “Let’s Encrypt” SSL (https) certificate
Regarding SSL certificates, this is now necessary to implement if your site accepts payments. Even if you do not accept payments, your site will lack the extra “trust” value the padlock icon and “Secure” notice, your customers will see when they visit your website.
Most hosting companies charge up to €40 per year for an SSL certificate, when really most sites will do just fine with a free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate on offer by Siteground.
Here Were The Exact Steps We Followed To Move Web Hosts
1. Decide On The Correct Plan
After talking with the client we decided on the GoGeek account as it met their current demands, and the demands based on their growth rate for the next 3 years.
After signing up for the package, you simply go to Support > Website Transfer and fill in the following information and hit reply.
2. Change DNS Settings
Within 3.5 hours, a Siteground technician replied stating, they had taken a copy of the website and migrated to the new server, along with the new DNS settings.
They then gave me instruction on how to preview the transferred website by adding a simple line to my local computer host file, with detailed instructions on how to do it.
Once you are happy with the site, simply go to your domain registrar and change the new DNS settings.
3. Enable The Siteground Optimizer Plugin To Increase Speed Further
Enable the SG Optimizer WordPress plugin in your wordpress backend, then take the following steps.
Enable Dynamic caching (level 2) in your CPanel (found under My Accounts > Cpanel > WordPress Tools > SuperCacher)
Also turn on Level 3: Memcached
Finally, go to the SG Optimizer settings in the WordPress backend and enable the following two features:
- Dynamic Cache
- Memcached Settings
Once all done, test the site speed with GTmetrix and see how it is drastically reduced.
If your website is slow, it usually means an SEO Audit is well overdue. As you can see above, moving to a better hosting account can make a huge difference and this is just one aspect of an SEO audit that can make a huge improvement to your website’s search engine rankings.
Please contact us to request a free consultation if you require a faster website or higher search engine rankings.
WordPress Web Hosting Company – Siteground (currently offering 50% off on annual plans)