Page Speed : Why does it matter ?

Page speed is a ranking factor, it’s a fact. But Why ? First because speed matter for users, no one want to wait too long for a page to be seen. But it also matter for bots, in fact, a fast website will be faster to crawl, isn’t it ? Then it’s become a money saving criteria for those who crawl the web and no one is crawling more than Google. But no matter about SEO, if you want some good user experience, your site have to be fast, speed is also a conversion factor on e-commerce. Being fast is being like Flash Gordon, another hero, so we can say page speed is an SEO Hero Weapon.

How yo optimize page speed on a WordPress ?

This website is built with the WordPress CMS. When I started the challenge i wanted to pull a website faster as i can, and because i’m a lazy guy, i decided to use WordPress + a premium theme to have a ready to go website. Last week, i decided to speed up my wordpress, which had a poor 57/100 rate on Google Page Speed Insight.

There is a WordPress plugin for everything : which one to choose for page speed ?

And when you talk about page velocity, you talk about cache serving first. When you need a cache plugin, you can think about W3C Total Cache or WP super cache. The first one broke a few site of mine with ugly upgrade and i did not ever gave a chance to the second. In France we have WP Rocket, the simpliest cache plugin, with a 1 click install. Problem : it’s not a free plugin and i did not want to paid something for this hero website. Then i had to find something to help me to increase my performances and it appears i needed 3 plugins to resolve the case.

1 – My cache plugin : Comet Cache

After chilling on wordpress blog, i discovered Comet Cache plugin. It’s a one clic install to, and because i was looking for simplicity (i’m not sysadmin) I tried to give it a chance. I decided to trust the plugin and to dont change any option at it. I also modified my htacces to make the cache work (see the code below). At this time i grew to a 63/100 on page speed, still not enough. Google was saying me that i had to minify CSS and Js to make my site faster. And unlike to WP Rocket, Comet dont minify anything.

Comet cache plugin for Hero Website

2 – Minify CSS and JS : Fast Velocity Minify

After searching for the best plugin to minify my files, i discovered the fast velocity minify plugin. It take a little bit more time to set. My settings are Inline Google Fonts CSS, Inline all enqueued CSS and Enable defer of JS files for Pagespeed Insights. Then I had to exclude the style.css of my child theme to converve my website appearance. At this time, i climb to a 76/100 at page speed insight. I had a bad time to first byte, due to my host (and i cant do nothing about that except to migrate) and my images was to heavy. In fact, i did not paid any attention when I created my blogpost.

Fast Velocity : your SEO Hero's weapon !

3 – Imagify to reduce image’s size

Imagify is a freemium plugin, made by WP Rocket team. There is nothing to do but to register, then the optimisation of your images is automatic. I optimized my images in ultra mode => i’m now getting a 85/100 note on Google speed test.

Imagify : To be a goodlooking SEO Hero

Conclusion : you can be faster without spending 1$

I’m still not green on Insight, but i think i did my maximum to have a good performance at it. If I loose this challenge, it wont be because of my webspeed. Does it change anything on my ranking ? So far, not at all. I was used to see fast result improving page speed, but not there.

Bonus : your .htaccess code from W3 Total Cache

<IfModule mod_mime.c>
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AddType text/x-component .htc
AddType application/x-javascript .js
AddType application/javascript .js2
AddType text/javascript .js3
AddType text/x-js .js4
AddType text/html .html .htm
AddType text/richtext .rtf .rtx
AddType image/svg+xml .svg .svgz
AddType text/plain .txt
AddType text/xsd .xsd
AddType text/xsl .xsl
AddType text/xml .xml
AddType video/asf .asf .asx .wax .wmv .wmx
AddType video/avi .avi
AddType image/bmp .bmp
AddType application/java .class
AddType video/divx .divx
AddType application/msword .doc .docx
AddType application/vnd.ms-fontobject .eot
AddType application/x-msdownload .exe
AddType image/gif .gif
AddType application/x-gzip .gz .gzip
AddType image/x-icon .ico
AddType image/jpeg .jpg .jpeg .jpe
AddType application/json .json
AddType application/vnd.ms-access .mdb
AddType audio/midi .mid .midi
AddType video/quicktime .mov .qt
AddType audio/mpeg .mp3 .m4a
AddType video/mp4 .mp4 .m4v
AddType video/mpeg .mpeg .mpg .mpe
AddType application/vnd.ms-project .mpp
AddType application/x-font-otf .otf
AddType application/vnd.ms-opentype ._otf
AddType application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.database .odb
AddType application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.chart .odc
AddType application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.formula .odf
AddType application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.graphics .odg
AddType application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.presentation .odp
AddType application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.spreadsheet .ods
AddType application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.text .odt
AddType audio/ogg .ogg
AddType application/pdf .pdf
AddType image/png .png
AddType application/vnd.ms-powerpoint .pot .pps .ppt .pptx
AddType audio/x-realaudio .ra .ram
AddType application/x-shockwave-flash .swf
AddType application/x-tar .tar
AddType image/tiff .tif .tiff
AddType application/x-font-ttf .ttf .ttc
AddType application/vnd.ms-opentype ._ttf
AddType audio/wav .wav
AddType audio/wma .wma
AddType application/vnd.ms-write .wri
AddType application/font-woff .woff
AddType application/font-woff2 .woff2
AddType application/vnd.ms-excel .xla .xls .xlsx .xlt .xlw
AddType application/zip .zip
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ExpiresActive On
ExpiresByType text/css A31536000
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ExpiresByType application/x-javascript A31536000
ExpiresByType application/javascript A31536000
ExpiresByType text/javascript A31536000
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ExpiresByType audio/midi A31536000
ExpiresByType video/quicktime A31536000
ExpiresByType audio/mpeg A31536000
ExpiresByType video/mp4 A31536000
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ExpiresByType application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.text A31536000
ExpiresByType audio/ogg A31536000
ExpiresByType application/pdf A31536000
ExpiresByType image/png A31536000
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ExpiresByType audio/x-realaudio A31536000
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ExpiresByType application/font-woff2 A31536000
ExpiresByType application/vnd.ms-excel A31536000
ExpiresByType application/zip A31536000
</IfModule>
<IfModule mod_deflate.c>
<IfModule mod_headers.c>
Header append Vary User-Agent env=!dont-vary
</IfModule>
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/css text/x-component application/x-javascript application/javascript text/javascript text/x-js text/html text/richtext image/svg+xml text/plain text/xsd text/xsl text/xml image/bmp application/java application/msword application/vnd.ms-fontobject application/x-msdownload image/x-icon application/json application/vnd.ms-access application/vnd.ms-project application/x-font-otf application/vnd.ms-opentype application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.database application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.chart application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.formula application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.graphics application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.presentation application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.spreadsheet application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.text audio/ogg application/pdf application/vnd.ms-powerpoint application/x-shockwave-flash image/tiff application/x-font-ttf application/vnd.ms-opentype audio/wav application/vnd.ms-write application/font-woff application/font-woff2 application/vnd.ms-excel
<IfModule mod_mime.c>
# DEFLATE by extension
AddOutputFilter DEFLATE js css htm html xml
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</IfModule>
<FilesMatch “\.(css|htc|less|js|js2|js3|js4|CSS|HTC|LESS|JS|JS2|JS3|JS4)$”>
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# END W3TC Browser Cache