Page speed is not one of my areas of expertise, so I want to be completely upfront with that out of the gate! However, neither is server management or “hard-core” coding. But, thanks to all of the resources available online and innate curiosity I’ve done a pretty good job learning as I go and being resourceful.

So why this post?

In the past six days, I’ve been able to go from this speed

Site speed previously - F's all around

to this

Site speed after optimization - A!

These test results are from GTmetrix, and you can test your site or specific pages here at any time for free!

It’s also important to note that for the second screenshot I did not disable analytics, live chat or anything else like some other people may recommend. All of these things add requests, load time, and size to your pages but they are critical features for me to deliver the experience I want to visitors and to get the insights I need to optimize the site. I’m saying, there is no cheating in the after screenshot, and clearly, there is still room for improvement!

How did I speed things up?

Server

  • DNS Clean up – still work to do here but I’ve got to do some more research
  • Gzip Compression – I learned that this was enabled before but not being used on this website. DOH!

Website

  • Deleted unused plugins
  • Enabled Minification – both within the Avada theme that I’m using as well as within WP Rocket
  • Optimized images with Imagify
  • Purchased and setup WP Rocket – this was the single most impactful step I took

Helpful Resources

As I mentioned, I needed to rely on some help to get here and to simplify things.

Here is a list of the pages I used:

I also attended a meetup last week that focused on this topic, and that kickstarted my focus on optimizing things. The guy that led the meet up gave some great recommendations that I have partially implemented, and you can see in the list above.

Page Speed Next Steps

My page speed still isn’t where I want it to be, yes I’m a bit of a nerdy perfectionist. So I’m currently in the process of implementing CloudFlare and doing some more learning about DNS and considering moving my DNS management away from Bluehost potentially. Overall, I’ve been happy with Bluehost, but from what I see I could take this same site and configuration elsewhere and get better results without the need to tinker. Page speed is indeed something I’m going to consider when renewal time comes around and possibly before by doing a simple blind test.

Who is your favorite web host? Do you think about page speed and how it impacts your search rankings and performance? Speed, size, and load time is particularly critical on mobile devices.

I’d love to know what you think and if you’d like to see more of these “in the weeds” type posts or if you never want me to share this kind of information. Let me know what you think in the comments, chat box on the right, or through the contact form!