Keeping your site's page speed up is not only a benefit to your visitors but also a benefit to your SEO rankings.
With Google's new Core Web Vitals setting the new standard for how websites should perform, here are some easy and simple things you can do to your site, new or old, to give it a boost and keep it up to date.
Converting your images to WebP image format
WebP is a fairly new image file format, that is now mostly supported by all modern browsers. It is designed to provide lossless image compression while maintaining an image's full quality.
WebP lossless images are 26% smaller in size compared to PNGs while WebP lossy images are 25-34% smaller than comparable JPEG images. This means that your site will see large gains in performance and also rank better in Google's Core Web Vitals for image loading speed.
The easiest way to take advantage of this new file format with your existing WordPress site and images is to download a plugin that will do the heavy lifting for you and also convert your existing images to load WebP when available.
One that we recommend is the “WebP Converter for Media” plugin. With a simple button press all your existing media library will be converted and any new images added will also be converted to WebP.
It is also important to remember to resize your images properly as well, large images take longer to load from the server so the smaller the file size and a smaller resolution will serve the image quicker.
We recommend a resolution of 1920x1080px to ensure the image is full HD and also remember to compress the image as small as possible, this can be done on online converters or in photoshop or equivalent.
Host Video Elsewhere
Just like images, video also has a large impact on your website’s performance.
Depending on how you want to display your video, most of the time it is best practice to have YouTube or Vimeo or any large CDN (content delivery network) host your videos. This means the server is no longer responsible for responding to video requests, and as a result, it will use fewer resources.
You will also have the advantage of seeing viewer metrics and can make use of Google's rich media integration when coming up in searches.
Enabling caching on your website is one of the biggest changes you can make to see performance improvements on your site.
Caching is the process of storing copies of files in a cache, or temporary storage location so that they can be accessed more quickly. This prevents your browser from having to make requests to the server to load content on every visit, speeding up your website.
Keep your site's PHP version up to date
Keeping your site's PHP version up to date is not only keeps your site secure but also improves performance. Nearly all of WordPress is built on this language and keeping plugins up to date and your server update to date ensures that everything is running at its best.
PHP 7.3 offers huge performance gains over PHP 5.6. According to benchmarks done, it is almost 9% faster - a small change that can make a big difference to your site.