We’ve been talking about this for a while now, but it’s really something that we think it’s important to hit home about — when it comes to your website, speed really is everything.
If you’ve got a slow loading WordPress website, you know awful it is waiting for your pages to load. You wonder whether or not you’re losing visitors, an whether your search engine ranking is hurting because of it.
And you wish there was a simple solution, a simple plugin that just fixed the problem.
Well, we’re excited to announce that development has begun on the WordPress plugin version of the incredible Accelerator website plugin that dramatically improves Google PageSpeed scores.
Accelerator, as a website plugin, installs to a traditional website and in minutes it optimizes the web pages and “ticks off all of the checkboxes” that Google PageSpeed Insights recommends that webmasters optimize in order for their pages to load blazing fast.
All without the webmaster needing to know all the technical mumbo-jumbo.
And now we’re bringing that same functionality to the WordPress platform. Development started April 3rd, and as of the time of this post (April 11th) it is already a week ahead of schedule. Expected completion and release date is July 4th — expect some fireworks!
This plugin will include support for:
- GZIP Compression
- Browser Caching of static resources
- Minification of HTML
- Minification of CSS
- Image Optimization
- Deferral of Render blocking Resources (CSS/JS)
- Automatic detection and injection of critical above the fold CSS
The best part of all of this is that it is expected that you’ll be able to take advantage of all of those features, just as easily as the Accelerator as a Website Plugin version, but right through the WordPress plugin interface.
We are totally killing it this week here in development of our respective projects!
Last week I wrote about the very first thing you should do to speed up your WordPress site: install a caching plugin.
Now that you’ve done the most critical thing that will help to improve your website performance, you should now move on to optimizing your WordPress site for Google PageSpeed.
Every day is, more or less, design and development mode here at i3dTHEMES. But this last week of March we started design and development of two new projects.
I wrote a general checklist a couple of weeks ago on what you need to tackle to make your website load faster, and subsequently score better with Google PageSpeed.
This week, we’ll cover the very first thing you should do, which is enabling GZIP compression.
Well, in a complete opposite to last week, this week was a little less productive. I had to take some time off for the first half of the week as myself and my family came down with the dreaded winter flu starting last Friday. It was horrific.
Some weeks just fly by, and it seems like you got nothing done. This was not one of those weeks. This was a hugely successful and busy week.
When Google PageSpeed first hit our radar, it seemed there was a lot of vague and sometimes contradictory information available on how to optimize web pages to load and render faster.
It was hard to tell where to start, and in which order to proceed. We wish we had had a simple checklist telling us exactly what needed to be done.
If you’re one of those webmasters that loves to follow a checklist, we hope this will help you out.
Google PageSpeed Checklist
- Enable GZIP Compression
- Enable Browser Caching
- Optimize your Images
- Minify all CSS files
- Asynchronously load all CSS links
- Inline any Critical Above-The-Fold Styles
- Minify the web page itself (HTML)
If you can get through that, you should be getting a 95 out of 100 for Google PageSpeed.
In A Little More Detail
Enabling GZIP Compression
With this step, you would turn on your server’s compression technology with instructions in a special control file.
Enabling Browser Caching
Here, you would provide specific instructions in a control file, that would tell the server to tell the visitor’s web browser, how long to keep static resources (JS, CSS, Images) cached.
Optimizing Your Images
This is actually one of the most important and easiest things you can do to improve your PageSpeed score. Run your images through tinypng.com
Minify your CSS Files
This is where you strip your CSS files of any white-space and comments. By minifying, you can often reduce the file size of your resources by half.
Asynchronously Load all CSS Files
Inline any Critical Above-The-Fold Styles
Determine which styles are critical to the rendering of the above-the-fold content, and inline them into the HEAD region of your HTML Page. If done correctly, this will eliminate the FoUT.
Minify your Web Page (HTML)
Last thing to do is to minify your actual web page. This can reduce the size of your web page by 50%.
See How You’re Doing
Each one of the above tasks is worth a different “weight” of score depending upon what else may or may not already be completed. You can test out to see how your page is working by going to superaccelerator.io
Once a year we launch a new design which is so unique and interactive that it becomes what we call our “flagship” design. We’re thrilled to announce that Rasa HD, our brand new website template, has taken over from our hugely popular Blacktop XT design.