Is your website loading slow as a turtle?
What if I told you my site loads in <1s with 100% GTmetrix scores? And that I’ve already written one of the most popular WordPress speed guides online with over 400 comments?
So if your website is slow, I assure you, you’re in the right place.
Some optimizations are specific to WordPress, others are universal. But they are all best practice even if you’re using Squarespace, Shopify, Wix, and other website building platforms.
If you have questions or need help, drop your GTmetrix report in the comments and I’ll give you a few pointers. You can also hire my website speed optimizer if you’re using WordPress.
1. Test Website In GTmetrix
GTmetrix shows you:
- Load time (primary metric)
- Which images need to be optimized
- Which plugins are loading slow (check the Waterfall tab)
- Your time to first byte (indicates the speed of your hosting)
- Whether your cache plugin is doing it’s job (I recommend WP Rocket)
- Whether you’re using a content delivery network (I recommend Cloudflare)
- Slow loading external resources (AdSense, Maps, YouTube/Facebook embeds)
Hosting is the #1 factor in the official WordPress optimization guide (by far). It may not improve GTmetrix scores, but it can improve load times by multiple seconds especially if you go from a slow host (Bluehost, HostGator, GoDaddy) to a fast host (SiteGround, Cloudways). These two hosts were rated highest in 40+ Facebook polls I collected from Facebook Groups.
Cache plugins have the biggest impact on scores and also improve load times. WP Rocket is better than W3 Total Cache or WP Fastest Cache as it has more features (like lazy loading, database cleanup, and Google Font + Analytics optimization) while other cache plugins do not.
WordPress Speed Video Tutorial
If you’re using WordPress, I spent many hours creating this 42 minute video on speed up WordPress sites. You can use timestamps in the video description to jump to specific sections.
The proof is in the pudding:
2. Resize Large Images
This is what serve scaled images means in GTmetrix.
It means you’re uploading large images with incorrect dimensions. Each section of your website has specific dimensions (sliders, thumbnails, carousel, fullwidth and sidebar images).
For example, I know my blog’s content body is 680 pixels in width. Any fullwidth images I use for my blog should always be resized to those dimensions.
GTmetrix shows you all unoptimized images (and the correct dimensions they should be resized to) but only for the single page you test. All you have to
This article was written by Tom Dupuis and originally published on Tom Dupuis.