One of the factors Google uses in ranking your website is speed. It’s also a very big factor for retaining your website’s visitors. A slow website will drive your visitors away!
Our website has a lot of unfinished business when it comes to optimizing for speed, but we’ve taken steps to improve it by changing our webhost and today, setting up SiteGround’s caching along with WP Rocket’s caching plugin.
Part 1 – The Genesis Framework for WordPress
The first great decision we made was developing our website on the Genesis Framework, by StudioPress. The Genesis framework is one of the most popular frameworks for WordPress, and we use it for most sites that we build (the Equity Framework is the framework of choice for real estate websites).
Besides being great for your SEO, the Genesis Framework is fast. Here’s how StudioPress explains it on their website:
Nothing slows down a site like bloated code, but we obsess about making Genesis cleaner and more lightweight. Web page load times are usually discussed in seconds, but page load times for sites built on Genesis can often be measured and discussed in milliseconds. And in 2014, that’s an essential difference.
Of course, it’s important to use best practices when developing your theme, but having such a solid foundation to start with gives you a big headstart.
Part 2 – SiteGround Managed WordPress Hosting
The next smart decision we made was switching our hosting to SiteGround. Our SiteGround plan is shared hosting, but it’s a managed WordPress hosting plan (GoGeek) that is optimized for WordPress.
SiteGround offers first-class security, customer service and their own caching system, WordPress SuperCacher Dynamic caching based on Varnish. Just this switch alone would greatly benefit your website’s performance.
Part 3 – WP Rocket Cache Plugin
We’ve heard a lot of great things about one of the newer WordPress caching plugins on the market, WP Rocket. Today we decided to buy it and give it a go.
One of the great selling points of WP Rocket is how easy it is to set up. If you’ve ever used some of the other caching plugins, they can be pretty hard to setup correctly. After installing WP Rocket, I have to agree that the basic setup is super easy (that’s a technical term, by the way). Up and running in less than 10 minutes.
Besides being very easy to setup, it has super fast page caching, works with most CDN services, and has the option for lazy image loading (images only load when you scroll to them).
Next week we’ll do a run through on how we set it up everything. Now let’s show the Pingdom before and after results. These are not scientific by any means. We plugged our URL into the Pingdom URL input field, made sure we were testing from Dallas, Texas (click Settings) and waited for results.
Home page test before WP Rocket and SiteGround’s Cache Setup:
Home page test after WP Rocket and SiteGround’s Cache Setup:
That’s a significant change! Page load time has gone from 2.17 seconds to 555 milliseconds, and requests have been reduced by 13. Very impressive. Let’s look at some other pages.
Blog home page test before WP Rocket and SiteGround’s Cache Setup:
Blog home page test after WP Rocket and SiteGround’s Cache Setup:
Are These Worth The Investment?
If you’re using your website for business, or using your website to generate revenue of any kind, I can say without a doubt, yes on all three. Of course there are many things you can do to optimize your website, but the combination of Genesis, WP Rocket and SiteGround will give you a giant headstart.
Come Back Next Week To See How We Set Everything Up
We’ll continue this article next week to go over how we setup WP Rocket and SiteGround to significantly speed up AlphaBlossom’s website. Check back, or if you’d like to receive our articles by email, sign up for our free Newsletter: