How to Improve your Website Performance

We all know how important it is to make a good first impression; ‘smile’ ‘eye contact’ you’ve heard it all. However, it’s also important when building experiences on the web. According to Google research, we just have 5 seconds to capture people’s attention and they expect their sites to load in a flash. How fast your website loads is the absolute first impression you make.

Speed matters more than ever today. Over half of our web traffic now comes from mobile. Most of the new users have never used a PC and may never use one. They have a mobile-only mindset.

According to a recent report from Hitwise, nearly 60 percent of all Online Searches are now carried out on a mobile device, with some sectors (Food and Beverage) reaching 72 percent.

The amount of time we spend on our phones isn’t lost on Google. They want to make sure visitors can have a good experience on your site when they’re visiting from their mobile devices! Google announced in March 2018 that they’ll start indexing and ranking the mobile versions of pages over desktop versions. It is important that our website is mobile-friendly and we need to make sure our website load fast on mobile.

What is a fast mobile page load time?

The world’s fastest cars can go from 0-60 in less than 2 seconds, but the majority of mobile sites don’t load that quickly. According to recent research by Google the average load time for mobile sites is still around 15 seconds over 4G.

Web Performance tools

Before we look at how to speed up your site, you should find out how fast your site loads right now. There are several online tools you can use to do this, here are just a few.

PageSpeed Insights

A tool from Google, and it’s really easy to use. You get a nice breakdown of how your site is doing, including a mobile view. Shows speed field data for your site, alongside suggestions for you to improve it.


GTmetrix aggregates multiple tools, including Page Speed Insights and YSlow. It gives you a full analysis, including the “fully loaded time,” which is how long it takes to load everything on your page.


This is the WordPress go-to load time tool, it’s quick and easy and gives you a comparison against other websites they test.


A tool from Google, allows you to test and compare performance of one or more pages in controlled lab environment, and deep dive into performance stats and test performance on a real device.

Chrome Developer Tools

A test tool that sits right in your browser. Open Chrome Developer Tools allows you to profile the runtime of a page, as well as identify and debug performance bottlenecks.


Gives you personalized advice on how to improve your website across performance, accessibility, PWA, SEO, and other best practices.

Key performance metrics for mobile

I wish I could say “X is the best rendering metric”, but it really depends on what you’re after.
Good user experience is not captured by a single point in time. It’s composed of a series of key milestones in your users’ journey. Understand the different metrics and track the ones that are important to your users’ experience.

  • SpeedIndex (target < 3 sec for mobile)
  • Page Size (Target < 500 KB)
  • Server Requests (Target < 50)
  • Time to first byte (Target < 1.3 sec)
  • Load Time (5 seconds or less on 3G)

Now that we have explored measuring our site and knowing what to fix. We can move on to optimizing our website. When you run a page speed report, you will see several action items. All of these are good suggestions, but it doesn’t make sense to start with these. If I minify all of my Javascript files, I may shave off a couple milliseconds from my page load time. If my page takes 10 seconds to load because I’m on a shared hosting plan, a couple milliseconds isn’t going to make a difference.

Another problem is that many of these problems are from plugins, which makes it difficult for me to resolve. Not impossible, just difficult.

Web performance can be a long journey. I will go over some tips that will dramatically increase your site speed on mobile and you can start implementing right away to get results fast!

Let’s look at 5 things you can do right now to speed up your site.

1. Choose a Great Web Host

Choosing a good web host is the most important thing you can do to speed up your site for mobile. When I first started my site I choose the cheapest possible option for hosting. Simply moving my site to a better host had an incredible impact on speed. I’m now using CloudWays hosting for my WordPress sites. When upgrading to reliable web Hosting look if they offer the latest features such as SSL and a modern version of PHP. You also want to consider using a CDN and Migrate to HTTP/2. HTTP/2 addresses many performance problems inherent in HTTP/1.1, such as concurrent request limits and the lack of header compression.

2. Images

There’s plenty of low-hanging fruit to help improve your website’s performance. Simply compressing images can be a game changer—25% of pages could save more than 250KB. When it comes to Image optimization we need to make sure that we hoose the right format, compress carefully and prioritize critical images over those that can be lazy-loaded. You can follow this amazing guide by Addy Osmani: on how to optimize your images. We should all be automating our image compression. I use this plugin to make images lighter without losing quality. This image compression tool makes lighter images without losing quality.

3. Cache and Compress

Cache everything you can cache and compress your web pages. And Turns Dynamic into Static to Speed Up Your Site
You can use a plugin called WP Super Cache or W3 Total cache. These plugins generate static html files from your dynamic WordPress blog.

4. Merge and Minify

Optimize your site by combining and minifying all your html, css and javascripts. Autoptimize can automatically optimize all your code and make your mobile website load much faster.

4. Merge and Minify

What if you could only load what you need. With Plugin Load Filter you can disable unnecessary plugins on individual pages make the load size smaller.

10 easy steps to speed up your website

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