How to analyze the loading time of your site

You might have noticed that I shifted my business entirely to loading speed optimization services. I'm not building any more websites.

In this email, I want to explain which tools we use for analyzing our clients' loading speed and what metrics we pay attention to.

Hint: it's not necessarily Google Pagespeed Insights.

Caspar Hübinger, an employee at WP Rocket, broke down very well why the average WP user (read, any company smaller than Fortune 5000) should pay attention to Pagespeed Insights. Read his post here (warning, he's swearing).

There you go. Free performance optimization advice: Unless you’re a developer who actually knows how to “eliminate render-blocking JavaScript and CSS in above-the-fold content”—fuck PageSpeed, test load times. - Caspar Hübinger

In our day-to-day analysis, we rely on GTMetrix. With our Pro account, we can analyze up to 200 sites per day.

Their free account gives plenty of information already, along with the exact steps you need to take to optimize your site's performance.

For example: if your report shows that you need to optimize your images, GTMetrix will provide you with optimized versions of your images directly. You can simply download them from inside the free analysis.

How great is that?!

To fully implement their recommendations and to get the best results, it's often necessary to add custom coding to your site. That is, not even using a caching plugin to tweaking the server configuration and theme/plugin configurations directly.

That's what our service specializes in.

However, if you're not at a stage where you can invest in someone optimizing your site, there's a solution too.

We keep recommending the WP Rocket caching plugin over and over again.

It is a fantastic solution because it comes preconfigured for most sites.

While in the past we used free plugins like W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache, we found that WP Rocket comes with multiple advantages over them:

  1. WP Rocket is super easy to configure. Their user experience is top level, while W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache can be finicky to use.
  2. WP Rocket comes with default settings that fit most websites.
  3. The WP Rocket support is there to assist you when things break (ever tried JavaScript or CSS minification before?)
  4. The speed increase WP Rocket brings will increase your conversions and rankings, and thus the plugin pays for itself easily (as does our service).

With plugins like WP Rocket, you can implement the recommendations from GTMetrix to a high degree.

There are other platforms for analyzing your website such as Pingdom or WebPageTest, but we found that GTMetrix provides the most user-friendly reports.

If you simply follow the GTMetrix reports for your website as good as you can, you'll see reasonable improvement in loading speed. If you need a hand, we're here for you.

Let's make the Internet a place of fast-loading websites!

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Jan Koch

I run the Uncommon Solopreneur to help solopreneurs like you and me get paid for our content.

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