Speed Up WordPress Websites
When I decided to jump right back into making websites, I wanted to do everything from scratch. I soon realized that spending an entire 6-months on my fantasy football league’s website would not be scalable. I even made a few client websites from scratch.
What was 6-months worth of work worth? A few hundred dollars?
Even if it was a few thousand dollars, I wouldn’t be able to make a living making these elaborate websites.
Meet Eric Hersey. He makes $6,000 per year.
It wasn’t long that I realized that WordPress was the answer…
This entire month we will be talking about website speed. I’m not sure if you are familiar with running tests, but WordPress sites are not always deemed the fastest. My (made from scratch) fantasy football website is way faster. Truth be told, most websites made from scratch can be faster.
WordPress tends to have features built in that some websites don’t need. This creates additional load time. Unless you want your website to look very basic, you need to add a theme and plugins. These themes can be super bulky (with tons of features). Some WordPress themes allow you to customize everything by dragging and dropping. Other themes force you to use some of your HTML/PHP brain.
I sampled several free themes and then stumbled upon a series of classes on Lynda.com talking about Genesis and StudioPress.
I’m not going to go into a lengthy discussion about child-themes and Genesis. I discuss Genesis on several portfolio posts and why it was super helpful to my development process.
StudioPress is the company that created Genesis – and more importantly – has a catalog of nice WordPress Themes. I decided to signup for their service and had access to all of their themes at a discount. For the first year of development, these were the options I was giving my clients.
Turns out, if you just learn how to customize a theme to fit the customers preference, you can skip months (and months) of development work. This is why I can charge far less than competitors and still give clients fantastic $10,000 websites.
This is how I could scale my business.
- Find a suitable theme for client
- Make special customizations on the theme so it doesn’t look like a cookie-cutter website
- Spend the time and energy in content and functionality
- Make several websites per month
- Eric now makes more than $6,000 per year.
I Thought This Was About Website Speed
One thing I liked about StudioPress and Genesis themes was their flexibility and focus on speed. Yes, you could add all types of plugins but there weren’t a laundry list of required plugins for the site to function. Over the years, I have used plenty of non-StudioPress themes and they were forcing a plugin for everything. This, of course, kills website speed.
The reason StudioPress is even a topic of this blog is because I stumbled upon a podcast generated by their company.
What do you know? They were talking about Website Speed.
The Premise of Site Success Tips
Jerod Morris was the host of the Site Success Tips Podcast (by StudioPress). Notice I said was. The last podcast produced and released was June 2018. This is likely the reason this podcast was not on my radar.
When I was doing my monthly prep work for my Focus of the Month: Website Speed, this podcast was a suggestion. I was excited when I saw the StudioPress logo. I would gladly subscribe to their content.
Instead I was sadden to see that the podcast was no longer producing new episodes.
But that won’t stop me from listening to the 66 episodes on Apple Podcasts.
Although I only sampled the one episode for this article, I thought it was well produced, had great information, and wasn’t too long.
Why Did I Pick a Podcast about “WordPress Website Speed”?
Considering Website Speed is a major factor for ranking your website, I better take notice. More importantly, I make 99% of my websites in WordPress so I better know how to speed them up.
It only makes sense that I MASTER THE ART of WEBSITE SPEED!
Okay – full disclosure – I knew all about the tips on this podcast. This wasn’t groundbreaking news for me, but I also don’t recommend podcasts for myself. This podcast is great for someone using WordPress that wants some quick tips on how to speed up their site. The website covers:
- CDN – Content Delivery Networks and why they help with website speed
- How you can compress your images with ShortPixel
- Tools to test what scripts and pop-ups are slowing your WordPress website down
- What Cache plugins do and suggestions to use
- Why you should disable plugins on your site
It isn’t an exhaustive list, but a great place to get started.
The Podcast: “6 SEO Friendly Tips to Improve Site Speed on WordPress Blogs”
Even though this is from October 2017, all of the suggestions still work. Take this 17-minute podcast and speed up that WordPress Website.
Listen on Apple Podcasts