WordPress Page Speed Tune-UpMichael of Direct Inspections contacted WPTechGuru several months ago because he wanted better SEO results. While his website was somewhat well optimized there were many areas that could be improved.

As part of our cursory review we suggested that Michael consider redesign of the website to improve site speed because that was an obvious problem based on how the theme was designed. This was a custom designed theme that was inefficient, used too many plugins was therefore slow loading. Of course a full redesign would be much more expensive than keeping his current website so it was understandable when Michael opted to have us speed up his current site vs. rebuild it.

We reviewed his website thoroughly and made the following changes for SEO (this is a partial list)

  1. Improved the hierarchy of the pages
  2. Changed page titles
  3. Added headings to specific pages
  4. Merged posts into a page because the subject matter was static and shouldn’t be part of an “archive page”
  5. Improved alternate text

For Page Speed we performed the following tasks (this is a partial list – page speed also improves SEO performance)

  1. Removed unnecessary plugins
  2. Replaced plugins that are slow loading with many requests with plugins that are lightweight
  3. Compressed Images
  4. Removed background images that could easily be replaced with CSS colors
  5. Removed button images that could be replaced with ordinate links with CSS styles
  6. Added HTAccess optimizations
  7. Moved the website to our dedicated server

Results: We made a significant difference in Page Speed and in SEO performance.

Page Speed

  • Initially DirectInspections.com routinely took 5 – 10 seconds to load, we reduced it to 2.5 – 3 seconds without caching and with caching reduced the speed to 2 to 2.5 seconds. A respectable result – under 3 seconds is good, under 1.5 seconds is ideal.

Request Counts

  • Initially the website had over 50 requests and we reduced it to 40, with caching we reduced it further to 38 requests. We chose to take advantage of parallelization for page speed over reducing the number of cache files to lower the request count even further.

SEO Performance

  • In a year over year comparison the acquisition rate for organic search increased by 93% (July 2016 vs. July 2015)
  • Improved the bounce rate by 10% from 70+ to 60%.

Special Notes:

  • We also made usability improvements to this website as well as dramatically increased security which was poor before we took over the hosting.
  • A website built and optimized for speed by Frank’s Designs typically has 18 – 30 requests without caching and 11 – 20 requests with caching and loads in under 1.5 seconds (WPTechGuru is a service of Frank’s Designs).