When I went on holiday, I got a lot of messages that my website was really slow. So slow that people couldn't even read my articles. Nobody wants to wait long for a website to load and most people just leave the website immediately. This was the case with my website as well. Nobody wanted to wait long for an article and everybody just left immediately. Logical, I would do that as well. When I tested my website, my website loaded for more than ten seconds. Way too long of course! I have sped up my website speed by more than eight seconds! My site speed is now 1.91 seconds. You will read in this article how I did this.
How can you test your website speed?
Of course, we first need to test our website speed. I've done this with two tools. The first one is Pingdom. This site shows a couple of things. Your website speed, of course, your page size and a couple of warnings which make your website very slow. When you scroll down, you can see what other faults are on your website. For me, the pictures slowed down my website most of the time. The second tool I have used is GTmetrix. I thought this site was really handy for my pictures. This site shows me which pictures slow down my website and how I can change this in the best way. The website speed can be different between the two websites because it can't be 100% accurate. When you test your website a couple of times then you will see the website speed will be different.
I think this is the biggest problem among all bloggers. Pictures which are too big. We all want beautiful pictures and we actually don't want to resize them. Logical of course, a blog is actually all about pictures. Still, this is really bad for your website. My website was so slow because of all the huge pictures. That definitely had to change. I resized my pictures to 750px. When you never resize your pictures, then you definitely have to do this. I also came across a function on Photoshop called "save for web". This function makes the file of picture way smaller and will make sure my website speeds up as well, without I lose much quality. Now I hear you thinking, of course, I don't have photoshop. I have found a solution for that. I first recommend saving your picture in jpg. With this website, you can make the file of your picture way smaller.
An Instagram slider. Really nice and beautiful of course, but did you know this makes your website slow? Your pictures get resized with HTML and that makes your website slow again. I have deleted this Instagram slider immediately and my website became faster again. Besides that, it is really important to delete all the inactive plugins. Also, you need to look which plugin is really necessary for your website. For example, I used Commentluv for other bloggers, but I actually didn't need this to improve my website. I immediately removed this plugin as well.
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First I was against cache plugins, but I didn't really know why. I thought my website would become slower, but this wasn't the case of course. You need to have the right settings. I put a couple of options on and off. I have page cache, minify and browser cache on. This makes my website way faster. Before you install this plugin, I recommend making a backup of your website.
I have done a couple more things to speed up my website, but this article is way too long already, so I will divide this into two articles. When you have some specific questions about warnings on the speed tester for example, then you can ask me and I will explain that in the next article.
How fast is your website?