As site speed is a ranking factor, the longer your page takes to fully load, the further down the rankings it will go.

And you can bet that your visitors will not hang around waiting for a slow-loading page.

Don’t believe me? Well here are the facts:

But how do you improve your website speed? Let’s take a look…

Improving Your Website Speed 

There are some ways you can improve your site speed that isn’t going to cost you ANYTHING and can be done relatively quickly.

These are the first steps anyone should take who has slow loading pages.

Step 1 – Testing Your Webpage Speed 

The first thing you need to do is find out what your site speed currently is using these three tools…

You should test a few different pages including:

  • The homepage
  • A page heavy with content/graphics/videos etc
  • 1 other

Make sure you record your findings so you can then compare them against your new site speed after completing the next steps.

Step 2 – Install A Caching Plugin 

When you visit a website, in order for a page to load the server needs to gather all the data/information needed to load up that page.

This happens every time you visit that page, meaning the server often has to download the same images/information over and over again.

Caching works by storing the information on the first visit to a site so that for any following visits the data/images are there waiting without needing to be downloaded again.

Which means a much faster loading time!

And best of all, there is a free plugin that will take care of this for you…

W3 Total Cache

It’s very easy to set up and also very customisable!

Step 3 – Optimising Your Images 

You’ll find that the images you use are the main problem with slow loading sites.

So if you optimise them in the correct way you’ll notice your website speed increasing.

I would recommend these free tools which are used to compress your images:

  1. ShortPixel
  2. WP Smush

They will remove any unnecessary files or bulk which is attached to your images.

Step 4 – Set Up LazyLoad 

Lazy loading means that instead of loading your images and videos all at once when you first visit a page, they are only loaded once the visitor scrolls to that section of the article.

Meaning the initial load time is much quicker.

But you should be careful with this option because Lazy loading has been known to make your page a little jumpy as you read through. Luckily there’s a useful little plugin to help fix that problem.

The plugin Lazy Loader.

You need to make sure it is set up properly for its full effect.

Step 5 – Set Up CloudFlare 

CloudFlare is a content delivery network which has fantastic performance-enhancing features. You can set it up following this tutorial.

Not sure what a content delivery network (CDN) is?

Take a look below:

Step 6 – Test Your Site Again

So now you have completed these steps, it’s time to go back to step one and retest your pages.

Following these steps for my blog made significant improvements for my page speed.

Investing In Your Site Speed

Over the years I have played around with both free and paid tools/plugins and experimented and tested loads of WordPress hosts, and I feel like I have developed a winning combination that I use today.

If you need convincing that investing in your website speed is a good idea then you should take a look at a tool Google developed.

This tool shows you how much your income would increase by if your site loaded faster.

My results were pretty shocking and I got to work on improving my site speed straight away.

If I increased my speed by just 1 second I would generate an extra $28,464 income per year

So if the free steps I showed you earlier in the article haven’t quite done the trick or you just want to pursue an even faster speed then the time has come to invest in some other speed-enhancing tools.

But if you want to take site speed further, then you should invest in some of the premium tools and make sure you have a fast reliable website host.

Wrapping Things Up

Let’s recap.

Site speed is crucial to the success of your website.

The slower your load time is… the unhappier your visitors become. And as user experience is high on Googles priorities, you want to be keeping your visitors happy.

There are a number of things you can do to improve your site speed for free:

  • Step 1 – Testing Your Webpage Speed
  • Step 2 – Install A Caching Plugin
  • Step 3 – Optimising Your Images
  • Step 4 – Set Up LazyLoad
  • Step 5 – Set Up CloudFlare
  • Step 6 – Test Your Site Again

But if you want to take site speed further, then you should invest in some of the premium tools and make sure you have a fast reliable website host.