One of the things that I’ve been learning about lately, is speeding up websites as a component of search engine optimization. There is debate about if your Google Pagespeed score matters, as it measures lots of other things besides page speed and usually suggests impractical and impossible changes. Sadly, I didn’t make “before” screenshots of the actual page speed and load times as measured on Pingdom tools (as WPRocket and other experts advise) before I started speeding up my sites and a client’s site. You’ll have to look at the “before” screenshots, and trust me that both sites measured load times at about 10-15 seconds before I went in and made changes to speed them up.
What I did included:
- Regenerating media, recompressing, resizing, and optimizing images. I installed and configured a plugin on SharSomQuilts that will automatically do this for future images.
- Added some code to the htaccess file to enable browser caching and set expires headers
- I optimized the databases. As you add and delete content and plugins, the database can become larger than necessary and affect page loading times. On VintageReveries, I decreased the database size on VintageReveries from about 35 megabytes to about 24. I could have deleted plugins, disabled the ability to save post revisions, and further decreased the size of my database, but I like the “image search” and other features on the site.
- I changed the lightbox plugins. Sometimes plugins go out of date and don’t use the latest technology to load their code in the footer.
Interestingly, Google did NOT detect these changes, although they drastically affected the page speed load time as measured.
Check out the screenshots below, and feel free to leave a comment!