Last Updated on May 9, 2022 by Scott Charleboix
A great amount of gratitude to Hugo Guerreiro, he helped me for how to improve your blog’s page speed. He provided me with the initial settings for his blog (on Facebook, May 21, 2021) to improve his page speed to 99 on mobile and 100 on desktop and for me to change mine to 21 on mobile and from 38 to 84 on desktop (see Google PageSpeed Insights section on How to look at the Effectiveness of your SEO below).
This post contains affiliate links, I’ll make a commission at no extra cost to you should you click through and make a purchase.
Using WP Rocket tremendously transformed the page speed for my website. I’m confident that if you get it and set it with the settings outlined in this blog post that you’ll be able to improve your blog’s page speed as well.
What I’ve done is to refine and tweak the settings for people like myself that want to improve their SEO and new bloggers who want to have faster speeds. With this blog post, you should be able to make your changes in WP Rocket in no time at all.
If you would like to see “all” of the before and after changes (for my SEO improvements from October 2020 approx. to present) see my post called How to look at the Effectiveness of your SEO. (for the good and the bad). To me improving SEO (for all of its factors that programs provide) remains to be a mystery.
What I’m doing with this blog post is provide you with the settings that will help increase your page speed. The easiest way to change all of these settings is in WP Rocket. WP Rocket doesn’t have free versions but they do have a 14-days money-back guarantee. So give it a whirl and see if it works for you and cancel in 14-days if you’re not satisfied.
I’ve put all of the settings that you need to change in alphabetical order (that way you can use these as a checklist. Below I’ll add an image to where you can find each of the settings in WP Rocket. And they’ll be laid out as you find them in each tab.
Suggested changes to make in WP Rocket
- ☐ Activate Preloading – see Preload
- ☐ Activate sitemap-based cache preloading – see Preload.
- ☐ Combine CSS files – see File Optimization.
- ☐ Control Heartbeat – See Heartbeat
- ☐ Enable Caching for Logged in WordPress Users – see Cache.
- ☐ Enable Caching for Mobile Devices – see Cache.
- ☐ Enable for Iframes and Videos – see Media.
- ☐ Enable for Images – see Media.
- ☐ Enable Link Preloading – see Preload.
- ☐ Minify CSS Files – see File Optimization.
- ☐ Optimize CSS Delivery – see File Optimization.
- ☐ Replace YouTube Iframe with Preview Image – see Media.
- ☐ Separate Cache Files for Mobile Devices – see Cache.
One item that wasn’t in the suggestions from Hugo (in case your HTML file is too big and surpasses the minimum average size is to use a plug called autoptimize. I was in the middle of updating the SEO Audit file when this was brought to my attention. I ran the autoptimize and mobile changed from 21 to 30 and from 84 to 86 on desktop. To me and from what I’ve been told by my host provider (SiteGround) PageSpeed Insights is one of the best indicators for your true speed.
This is the results after running the autoptimize plug-in.
The last time that I ran page speed insights the list of things that I had to do was running off of the page. I’m no expert when it comes to SEO so proceed carefully with these settings, especially the ones that heed a warning.
The things that I need to improve on my website (for desktop) are:
Opportunity Estimated Savings
- Preload key requests 0.99 s
- Remove unused CSS 0.44 s
- Eliminate render-blocking resources 0.19 s
This is what I need to change to improve the mobile speed.
- Reduce initial server response time 2.82 s
Cache > Mobile Cache
- Enable Caching for Mobile Devices
- Separate Cache Files for Mobile Devices
Cache > User Cache
- Enable Caching for Logged in WordPress Users
In the settings of file optimization is where you need to be the most watchful so that you don’t affect the way that your text and/or images are sent in your website. So if there’s a problem, it’s usually a simple matter of unchecking the box. So be mindful in this section for the items that you check and then check your site’s performance and images too.
File Optimization > CSS Files
- Minify CSS Files
- Combine CSS files
- Optimize CSS Delivery
Media > Lazyload
- Enable for images.
- Enable for iframes and videos.
- Replace YouTube iframe with preview image.
Preload > Preload Cache and Preload Links
- Activate Preloading
- Activate sitemap-based cache preloading
- Yoast SEO XML Sitemap (if you’re using Yoast SEO)
- Enable Link Preloading (under Preload Links)
Heartbeat > Heartbeat
- Control heartbeat (don’t reduce activity because that could break your plug-ins or your API).
Images – I used to use ShortPixel then when I changed to SiteGround now I use the SG Optimizer plug-in. I seem to remember getting notified when I enabled WP Rocket that there was a conflict so I had to turn one or the other off.
Update: I learned the hard way that you don’t want to use two caching plug-ins at the same time, therefore, I no longer use the SG Optimzer plug-in. There’s a program that is compatible that you can use with WP Rocket to optimize your images called Imagify. It costs a little bit extra to optimize your images, but in the long run of things I truly believe it’s a good investment for your blog to make it faster when you optimize your images. It’s another way for you on how to Improve your Blog’s Page Speed.
CDN – I don’t use CDN. Although it’s free with SiteGround I had a problem that my images weren’t loading properly so I’m not messing with it. It’s not worth messing up the website that I’ve spent so much putting together. I’ll worry about that when I sell my blog to someone else who wants to buy it and knows what they’re doing. (like that will ever happen).
How to Improve your Blog’s Page Speed
Please consider looking at these other posts on my website: