WordPress website optimization

Every one of us loves our website to load faster, don’t we? I had a plan to achieve some results for my website for the last few months. I am a WordPress Developer, my portfolio is built on WordPress, so I set myself some targets. Some of the wish lists included:

  • Moving website to Amazon LightSail and
  • Load website under a second
  • Get Google score of 90+ on desktop

Spoiler

I was able to achieve all the list above. I am using Pingdom tool for tests and at the time of testing my website speed loads between 877 ms to 1.3s. And the test was performed for Sydney as the location.

I am using WP Rocket as my caching plugin, which does help to optimize the website a fair bit.

Moving to Amazon Ligthsail

I think Amazon Lightsail is a reasonably priced platform for hosting a WordPress website. Installing WordPress is relatively simple. But installing SSL and doing some other minor fixes changes need some idea about the command line.

But I found there were pretty good resources, videos, and community guiding about everything you needed.

My current setup includes 5 USD per month. Amazon Lightsail pricing in here.

Loading website under a second

The average loading speed is under a second around Sydney based locations. So why is this such a big deal for me?

Firstly, my website is built on WordPress and has a page weight of around 1.5M which is a decent size for a portfolio website. So loading this website under a second around Sydney is a really good achievement.

My hosting cost is pretty reasonable too. Its just 5 USD at the point of writing.

It also gives me some advantage over my competitors on SEO.

Google Page speed

I believe Google’s scoring is based on the quality and organization of code. The way WordPress works and keeps on adding CSS and JS, it’s a bit hard to get a good score.

My mobile score is pretty low I would say around 65, but with WordPress websites, it’s not a that bad score. Almost every WordPress scores low. Please keep in mind that the default WordPress theme that comes with WordPress doesn’t count here much as they barely have any content or design involved and have used any plugins such as WordPress SEO, or Contact form, etc. They are just plain flat website that barely makes any significance on the real-life project unless you are blogging only.

Let’s come to the point with my desktop score of 90+. Why does this matter? With most of my website, I was getting around 80+ score, and for sure 90 was a great milestone for me. And also since most of my traffic is from desktop, it was worth targeting it. I did learn a fair bit of optimizing tricks to achieve this goal.

But, to be honest I don’t think one has to worry much about Google scoring when it comes to WordPress website. I trust Pingdom test. Almost every WordPress website scores low on Google’s test.

How did I achieve the results?

One of the main reasons the websites I build are loading at a decent speed is that all my websites are custom built. Custom built websites loads relatively faster than websites built on premium themes.

I am assuming moving to Amazon was also an upgrade for hosting. I was previously hosted on shared hosting, at the bottom tier. Even then my site was loading relatively faster.

I also optimize some of the images on the website. I did notice some of the images I was using were way high resolution.

I also need to give credit to WP Rocket, a premium plugin for website speed optimization. It has added some values on loading time.


About Author

I am Robin - WordPress Developer based in Sydney. I work as Digital Developer. I do some projects now and then, and love blogging about WordPress and Web Design.