Improving my site speed has been on my to-do list for a long time now. Mediavine, my ad network, always talks about how important your site speed is for user experience and to help with SEO. Google likes fast sites. Then, I was listening to the Theory of Content podcast and they talked about how important site speed was. I figured it was time to get a site speed audit and see what I could improve.
Once Coupled made my site mobile friendly back in 2016 and I know that Mediavine highly recommends them. They also do site speed audits. I trust them so I decided to get one done. It wasn’t cheap, but it was worth the money and hopefully, I’ll see the payoff down the road.
What I Learned from my Site Speed Audit
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1. Site speed audits are complex. Plug your site into Google Page Speed Insights and see what fixes come up for you. I had a bunch and they were all Greek to me. There was no way I’d ever be able to figure out what the heck to do to fix them. I had quite a few warnings on mine.
2. Site speed optimization is ongoing. It’s not a one-stop and you are good to go forever. The site speed audit is the beginning. You get the issues fixed, but they could come back if you add new plugins, get a new design and add more features to your blog. Getting the audit done is better than nothing, but it’s an ongoing process that you need to take care of.
3. Site speed audits aren’t cheap. At least the place I went wasn’t. It’s an investment in your site. I chose Once Coupled because I knew and trusted them – familiarity is big for me especially when it comes to technical stuff.
4. Hosting matters. One of my warnings was related to server response time which is something that my hosting would need to take care. I haven’t been happy with my current host for several months so am looking to switch hosts soon. I’m going with Randa’s recommendation, Flywheel. I like that they are more of a managed host. With my current host, I get emails about warnings on my server that I have no idea what they mean and I have to contact support weekly about them.
5. Pare down those plugins. One of the suggestions was to get rid of any unnecessary plugins. Some plugins can use up a lot of resources and make your site slow. Keep the amount you use down to a bare minimum.
6. Compress your images. I was not doing this! Once Coupled added an image compression plugin to my site and compressed all my images. It does lessen the quality, but it pays off in speed. I’m using Short Pixel, but another one you could try is Imagify.
7. Remove old giveaway codes and linkys. These will lower your page speed scores. I’ve been painstakingly going through old posts and deleting code. It’s taking FOREVER, but needs to be done.
8. Get rid of Gravatar. If you have Gravatar turned on in your comments, get rid of it. That was the first thing I did to improve my site speed.
If you can swing it, I highly recommend Once Coupled for a site speed audit. I’m staying on with them for their site speed subscription, too. If you’re a member of Food Blogger Pro or Mediavine, you get a discount! Make sure to mention that when you contact them.
Have you had a site speed audit before?