Joost de Valk
Joost de Valk is the founder and Chief Product Officer of Yoast. He’s a digital marketer, developer and an Open Source fanatic.
Site speed is one of the factors which determines whether you get a good ranking in Google. Site speed is a ranking factor, and its importance keeps growing.
For starters, a fast website provides a much better user experience than a slow one. Research has shown time and again that people don’t buy as much from slower sites, and don’t read or engage as much on slower sites. That in itself should be enough reason to make sure the speed of your site is as good as can be.
Beyond just being better for users, faster websites can be easier for search engines to crawl, process and index. That means that your posts will take less time to show up in the search results, as well as performing and ranking better.
Read more: How site speed influences SEO »
The best site speed measurement tools
When analyzing the SEO of a website, you should always check the site speed. But which tools should you use, and, which metrics should you be looking at?
Speed tests may vary based on the location of the test, environmental influences (like the time of day), and other factors. This is just one reason why speed tools do not always provide the same results. Different tools may measure speed differently, and may even use completely different metrics.
That’s why we recommend using all of these tools when testing a site (and do not rely on just one):
Each of these tools has a slightly different approach when it comes to measurement, reporting, and making suggestions for improvements. To get the most out of them, you’ll need a good understanding of the different metrics they measure, and to understand how best to interpret the results. That’s why we’ve put together a guide on how to check your site speed.
The best WordPress plugins to speed up your site
Broadly speaking, there are three categories of things which WordPress plugins can do to speed up a site. They can:
- Implement caching (server-side and/or client-side)
- Alter the way in which your theme (and/or database) works/loads
- Optimise the deliver of media
There are some speed optimisation plugins which are very specialised, and focus on doing a very good job on just one small part of these categories. Other plugins may tackle most, or even all of these areas, but do so more generally. It’s rare to find a single plugin which solves all of these problems.
We have some recommendations, but you should do your own research and testing, as performance may vary significantly based on your hosting setup, location, theme, and other plugins. Be sure to test thoroughly, as a purely configured performance plugin can very easily break a website.
In most cases, installing
This article was written by Joost de Valk and originally published on SEO blog • Yoast.