2018 WordPress Site Speed Optimization Guide by Coywolf

WordPress Site Speed Optimization Guide

A third of the websites on the internet use WordPress, and many of them have the same problem, they’re bloated and slow. This guide will show you how to fully optimize your WordPress site for speed.

WordPress is an excellent CMS but it has a tendency to become slow depending on the theme you choose, the quantity and type of plugins you use, and where you host it. That’s why I’ve spent years trying different themes and plugins, tweaking code, and testing different hosting providers in a quest to crack the code on how to make the fastest WordPress site possible. My efforts were accelerated after Google declared site speed as a ranking factor.

I’m happy to say that I’ve finally found the solution. In fact, you’re currently using the solution. This site is the fastest WordPress site I’ve ever created. Using Lighthouse – Google’s preferred and most modern performance measurement tool – I was able to achieve a First Contentful Paint (FCP), First Meaningful Paint (FMP), Speed Index, and Time to Interactive (TTI) of 0.8 seconds on a simulated slow 4G network!

Lighthouse Report
Lighthouse performance report for the Coywolf website

I’ve written this guide to walk you through everything I did to achieve those amazing speed results. My hope is that you’ll be able to use this guide to optimize your own site for speed and further outrank your competitors.

Table of Contents

  1. Choosing the right theme
    1. Barebones themes
  2. CSS optimization
    1. CSS frameworks
    2. Fonts
    3. Render blocking CSS
    4. CSS exclusions
  3. JavaScript optimization
    1. Load JS asynchronously
    2. Use Resource Hints
  4. Image optimization
    1. Best formats
      1. Format flowchart
    2. Size reduction
      1. Optimizer apps
    3. Lazy Load
    4. Serve WebP images
  5. Plugin management
  6. Adding Schema.org structured data
    1. WordPress functions for Article
    2. WordPress functions for BreadcrumbList
  7. Multifaceted caching and content delivery
    1. WPEngine configuration
    2. Cloudflare configuration
    3. WP Rocket configuration

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