Sooner or later the question arises: How can I improve my WordPress loading times? In addition to good web design and good technology, a quickly loaded website is essential for the user experience. Many visitors are also mobile on the Internet. Nobody wants to wait 10 seconds for the content of a website. It’s quickly clicked away.
In addition, the page loading speed is included in the ranking on Google and affects your placement in search results.
With WP Rocket you can easily improve your WordPress loading times
The loading speed can be improved by many small, mainly technical things. As a non-programmer, it is better to use a WordPress plugin that takes over these tasks.
I would happily recommend this Premium plugin WP Rocket. It offers many features to improve what otherwise could only be achieved by combining several free plugins. But that would be counterproductive, because every additional plugin slows down WordPress. WP Rocket also offers first-class support and extensive documentation.
Determine current loading speed
First, you should get an idea of the current state of the website. Only then can you compare what has improved in the end. A subjective impression is not a valid measured value!
A suitable tool for this is the Pingdom website speed test, which even beginners can handle.
Access the tool via the tools.pingdom.com link.
Measure load time with Pingdom Website Speed Test
You switch the test server to “Europe – Germany – Frankfurt” and you have to do the same for every further test so that you always have the same basis.
After a short time you will get the test result:
First test result of the loading times
In my sample page, these are now the following values:
Performance grade: 74
Page size: 516.7KB
Load time: 556 ms
You save the page in your favorites or better you save it as a PDF file.
1. Install and activate WP Rocket
You can only get the plugin on the wp-rocket.me site. Simply select and order the package there. You can pay with a credit card or PayPal. You will receive a proper invoice, which can be downloaded in the customer account. If you later want to expand the plugin, this can also be done quickly and easily via the customer account using an upgrade.
If the plugin is purchased, you need to download it from there. Then go to “Install Plugins” in your WordPress backend. Upload and install the plugin there using the “Upload file” button.
Install WP Rocket
Then simply activate the plugin, that’s it!
2. Optimally adjust the base of WP Rocket
With activation of WP Rocket the plugin ready to use and the following features are running in the background:
- page caching
- Browser caching (if the website is operated on an Apache server)
- GZIP compression (on Apache server)
- Cross-origin support for web fonts (on Apache server)
- Combination of inline and 3rd party scripts
- WooCommerce support
The following standard functions are active in the settings:
- Caching for mobile devices
- Cache lifetime to 10 hours
- Google fonts are combined if available
- WordPress emoji are disabled
- WordPress embeds are disabled
- Preloading (a cache is created, from all pages, post, ect…)
Now you do a first functional test of your WordPress site.
Is the display the same as before the plugin installation?
Does everything work?
Are the fonts and icons all displayed correctly?
In all projects where I use this plugin, no significant errors or malfunctions have occurred.
After the test, we want to see directly what has happened in terms of loading speed.
First load time improvement
Performance grade: 91 (before 74)
Page size: 528.1 KB (previously 516.7 KB)
Load time: 375ms (before 556 ms, -33%!!)
Requests: 23 (previously 24, -4%)
The page now has a few KB more to load, but will 181ms faster delivered. That may not sound like a lot, but with real, larger projects, you can get even more out of it.
3. Other recommended settings
Now let’s do a little fine-tuning to get the Optimize loading time even more.
You go to the settings page of WP Rocket in the WordPress backend, there in the “File Optimization” area.
This reduces a few more KB, which is a very effective step, especially for larger pages.
Then you should know if http/2 works for your website. You can check this with the online tool gf.dev/http2-test if you are not sure.
Then you should test the website again for malfunctions.
On the Settings page, you should also make a few changes.
lazy load: “Enable for images” + “Enable for iframes and videos” + “Replace YouTube iframe with thumbnail”
emoji: If you are not using the WordPress automatic conversion of emojis, you should select “Disable emoji”, because this is a real resource hog.
embeds: You should also select “Disable WordPress Embeds”.
WebP compatibility: unless you are doing this with another plugin, “Enable WebP caching” should be selected. With WebP you can improve the loading time because the images are delivered in a different, lighter format.
Now that all the recommended settings are done, let’s see the end result.
40% faster loading website
Performance grade: 97 ( before 74 )
Page size: 518.9 KB ( previously 516.7 KB )
Load time: 336ms ( before 556 ms, -40%!! )
Requests: 8 ( previously 24, -67%)
Schwupp you have improved the WordPress loading times – so easy!
With a few simple steps, the website is much faster with WP Rocket. With that you have that Significantly improved visitor experience and also Google will reward you.