Speedometer

How we reduced load times by 1410%: tips and takeaways

Studies showed that 1 second delay means a 7% reduction in conversions. Decreasing web page load times is key for user experience, conversion rates, and SEO.

loading time
speeded up website

We reduced Image SEO Homepage loading time by 1410%: from 776,50ms to 55,13ms. So if you are looking to speed up your Website it’s your lucky day: we put together a list of actions we implemented to reach that result.

So without further ado…

  1. We migrate our website to a managed WordPress Hosting solution (Kinsta);
  2. We enabled a caching solution;
  3. We compressed all our images (Short Pixel);
  4. We removed all unnecessary plugins.

Get a fast managed WordPress Web Host

Your website is your front store: it’s not an expense, it’s an investment.

Kinsta

Now the question is: how much do you want to invest in this front store?

When we started Image SEO Optimizer, a year ago, it was a side project. The website was hosted by OVH on a shared-hosting plan.

We performed a 2 weeks test and the conclusion we pretty bad: the average loading time of our homepage was 776,50ms (without further optimization). This was clearly not acceptable for a growing SaaS start-up.

That’s why we started to look for a better hosting solution. After some searches on the internet, we concluded that a managed WordPress hosting was best. We selected Kinsta. Here is how we came to that conclusion.

How to choose the best managed WordPress hosting service

Uptime reliability

Because the costs of downtimes are tremendous, your uptime rate should never be lower than 99,999%.

For instance, 97% uptime, which actually looks not so bad, equates to a yearly downtime of 11 days. How much money would you lose if you were about to close your front-store for 11 days?

uptime monitoring

We have been monitoring Kinsta’s over the last 3 months our uptime rate is still 100%. This being said, that’s the least you should expect from your web host.

Performance and page speed

Performance is just as much important as uptime.

ping

Since we moved to Kinsta our average loading time in France has been extremely low: 55.13ms.

If you want your website to be successful, you should not tolerate loading times over 300ms. Studies showed that 3s

Check out your website performance with our website speed checker.

If it’s under 300ms, stay where you are. If it’s not, you should maybe consider migrating your website somewhere else.

Kinsta is not cheap (start plan at 30$) but it’s worth it. The support is amazing and they offer WordPress specific features such as page caching

Speed Up Your Loading Time With Caching

impact of caching on load times
Without caching
impact of caching on load times
With caching

Caching is the process of storing copies of files in a cache, so that they can be accessed more quickly. Web browsers can cache HTML files, CSS, JavaScript, and images to load websites more quickly, while servers can cache content to reduce latency. Caching has a significant impact on page speed and it should be at the core of your performance optimization strategy.

How Enabling Caching to Speed Up Your Website

No WordPress cache plugins are needed at Kinsta. They have directly implemented 4 types of cache (bytecode cache, object cache, page cache and CDN cache) at the software or server-level. This is enough to decently speed your website.

If you are using another web host, you must install a caching plugin.

We have compared the best caching plugins for WordPress and we advise you to get WP Rocket.

WP Rocket can be installed in less than 3 minutes. This plugin integrates all what you need to speed up your website: lazy loading of images, deferred loading of JavaScript, minification of HTML code, concatenation and minification of CSS and JavaScript files.

The annual license of WP Rocket costs about 50$.

Kinsta and WP Rocket are compatible. If your budget allows you to take both, you should combine them to get incredible performance optimization results.

Compress your images with image optimizer plugins

Images slow down your site but they are essential, so you can’t just ignore them in the name of performance. So what can you do?

You don’t have to delete your images, you just have to compress them!

Image optimizer plugins list
ThemeIsle made an amazing comparative about image optimization plugins.

We personally use ShortPixel. This plugin is easy to set-up and perfect to reduce images size.

ShortPixel

Unless you have a photography website, always prioritize compression over photo quality.

The fewest plugins, the better

Finally, we get rid of all the plugins that were not strictly essential to our activity.

plugins wordpress

The more plugins you have, the more exchange you generate with your database. This is bad for loading times, but it can also put the security of your website at risk.

Nowadays there are plugins for pretty much everything. You should enable the fewest number of them. Plugins can indeed generate PHP errors and HTTP errors.

For instance, on WP Umbrella, we only use:

  • WP Umbrella: for uptime and performance monitoring;
  • WP Rocket: to speed up our website;
  • SEOPress: to write SEO friendly article and improve our ranking in Search Engines.
  • Image SEO: cause we are lazy with images’ alternative texts
  • ShortPixel: to compress images and improve user experience.
  • Weglot: to translate our website in several languages.

Conclusion

Contrary to what might sometimes be believed, speeding-up a website is easy. You just need a good web host, a caching solution, and something to compress your images. So let’s get started!

Test the performance of your website for free

Test the performance of your website for free