Nowadays whole Internet business cannot exist without SEO. Many e-business owners do their best to optimize their sites for serch engines. There is quite a lot of guides and tutorials telling what to do to achieve best results. I believe you have just read one or two… or five even? Over the time more and more of these tutorials are stating that the website page speed affects SEO. In fact not only SEO, but also few other things like UX followed directly by conversion rate. So more awareness grows around page speed also among WordPress users. To maintain some order first let me show for these who do not know that yet, a several examples on how to check your WordPress site page speed.
Google PageSpeed is a product provided by Google itself and available to anyone by accessing this link. To view report about your website in the menu on the left hand side click PageSpeed -> Analysis -> Insights. After doing that you will see a simple web page with input field to insert the website address. After doing that and clicking button “Analyze” next to it, and waiting until progress bar completes, you will see the results divided in 2 tabs. One tab is for mobile devices and one is for desktops. There is also a preview of the website both on desktops and mobile, but according to my investigation these happen to be not accurate. Under the score on each tab you can find very useful tips for optimizing you site.
Notice: It is advanced to test not only your main page against the page speed but also other pages that could be slowed down by elements (usually shortcodes ) which are not present on homepage.
Google PageSpeed Insights for WordPress – WordPress Plugin
This is a very nice WordPress plugin which allows you viewing Google PageSpeed data right in your WordPress admin panel. The plugin requires Google API key, but it provides even more data then the Google PageSpeed Insights (only website previews are missing). You will get a whole list of pages showing which are doing good and which are doing…. well, not so good. Worth trying, and it is absolutely free.
W3 Total Cache
The plugin which will be our main point of focus, can also show you your Google PageSpeed result. This is only a very small widget on plugin main page, so you will not learn much from it. But it is useful in checking if all is still good.
Usually the first visit to Google PageSpeed for a WordPress user is very disappointing. A clean WordPress installation on a shared server gave us a result of 77pts | 90pts (mobile | desktop) for max 100pts. It is not perfect, but a bit below from acceptable. But a WordPress site with some more advanced Theme and a dozen of plugins (a quite usual situation) gave us a result of 45pts | 53 pts. Now that is bad.
So what most WordPress admins do? W3 Total Cache.
So here is what you should do. I am assuming you already have W3 Total Cache installed. In your Admin Panel go to Performance -> General Settings, then scroll to section “Minify” and set option “Minify Mode” to “Manual”.
Now is the most important part. In the JS file management section make sure that in the dropdown your current WordPress Theme is chosen. Below the dropdown there is a text saying “No JS files added” and a button below it.
Finished? Rerun you Google PageSpeed test and enjoy the results!