In this tutorial, I’m going to show you exactly how to make your website faster than 80% of other sites out there, just like mine. After all, nobody likes a slow website, especially your readers.
Take a look at Aspiring Bloggers’ results on Pingdom, a website speed test tool below:
Not bad, eh?
The test not only shows my site is 80% faster than other tested sites, it also shows that I have a performance grade of 83 out of 100, which is excellent! The performance grade gets pulled from Google PageSpeed so I know if Google’s giving me such a high grade, I must be doing something right.
Website speed is definitely something you should be concerned about, for both you and your audience.
When your audience visits your site, you want them to have a smooth and pleasant experience, not a slow and frustrating one. When you’re jumping around in your WordPress admin panel, you don’t want to be waiting around either.
Here’s how I made my site 80% faster than other sites:
1. I’m Hosting My Site With Siteground
The most important factor that determines your website speed is your web host.
Because this how the internet works:
When you go to a website, you’re actually connecting to the site’s web host, downloading the page content, and displaying it on your screen. That means the slower your web host, the slower the download process and thus, the slower your website.
If you want to make your website faster, you’ll need a fast and reliable web host and I absolutely would not recommend anything other than Siteground for new bloggers.
Siteground is my all-time favorite web host because when it comes to speed, customer support, and security, there’s no other hosting service in its price range that can compare. (Trust me, I’ve tried half a dozen other hosts)
**If you’re already using Siteground, proceed to step 2!**
New customers get a 60% discount off of their price which brings it down to $3.95 per month for 1 – 3 years of hosting, depending on how many years you purchase. You have to pay an annual price which works out to be $47.40 for 1 year and $142.20 for 3. It’s much better to go with 3 years when you sign up so you can get the $3.95 price for that long.
3 years of web hosting for $142.20 is a really low price to pay for such an amazing web host if you ask me.
If you’re worried about the process of moving your site to another host, don’t be! Siteground provides a free professional website transfer service for their new customers and they will transfer all content over in under 24 hours. Your site will remain exactly the same as it was before.
When the transfer is complete, you’ll already start noticing an increase in site speed.
Unsure about Siteground? Read my full Siteground review before proceeding to step 2.
2. I Installed and Activated SG Optimizer
One major perk of hosting with Siteground is the access to SG Optimizer. Siteground Optimizer is a plugin that lets you easily configure three things:
This feature allows you to enable caching on your website. If you don’t know what cache is, you can think of it as a temporary storage space for common requests and recycles them for quicker access. So, if someone accesses your website and makes some page requests, your site will be faster for the next person that goes on your site because the requests will already be stored in the cache.
Siteground’s SuperCacher is the best caching solution I’ve ever used. It definitely takes part in making my website faster than 80% of other sites. You’ll need to turn this on.
This isn’t really a speed perk but it does make a huge impact on your site’s security and SEO. We’ll go over HTTPS another time though.
WordPress runs on PHP and currently, the highest version available is PHP 7.1. PHP 7.1 is multiple times faster than its predecessor PHP 5.6 so configuring this option to make your website run on PHP 7.1 will give a huge boost to your site speed.
3. I Set Myself Up With CloudFlare
Siteground is partnered with Cloudflare to provide you with a free CDN service.
CDN stands for Content Delivery Network. A CDN takes your site’s files and distributes them to servers all across the globe so that your visitors can access your website faster no matter where they’re located.
That means that if your Siteground web server is in the US and a visitor is trying to access your site from China, the person won’t have to connect from China all the way to the US to access your files, but instead, he might be accessing a server in China instead because of your CDN.
Aside from speed, CDNs will also increase your site’s security and speed.
Follow Siteground’s Cloudflare Tutorial to connect your site to Cloudflare right away.
4. I Installed the Autoptimize Plugin
Autoptimize is an amazing plugin that’s used to optimize the code on your website to make your website load faster. It does this by aggregating, minifying, caching scripts and styles, and also a few other things.
It’s not important to know what any of this means. Just know that it’ll quicken things up quite a bit.
You can install the plugin by going to Plugins > Add New and searching for Autoptimize. Install and activate the plugin.
Next, go to Settings > Autoptimize and check off all three boxes. Then click, “Save Changes and Empty Cache.”
All set! Autoptimize is now doing its job in making your website faster.
5. I Tested My Site With Pingdom
Once you’re done all of the steps above, you can now test your website with the Pingdom Website Speed Test to see that your site is also 80% faster than other websites out there now!
Thanks for reading this tutorial and I hope it solves your website speed issue! If for any reason you’re not getting the same results, contact me and I’ll get back to you with a solution.
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