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Wordpress Speed Optimization Articles, Google Adds Mobile Responsive Ranking Signal - Optimization Week of June 18, 2015

Optimization Week Issue #134, June 18, 2015

In this issue we've got three articles on speeding up your WordPress site, plus an article on Google's new mobile responsive ranking signal. WordPress is the most popular CMS on the Web, and having a fast site is essential for high conversion rates and search rankings.

First up, a series on optimizing a complex site for speed. Part I shows how to use mod_pagespeed, some manual tweaks, and an optimization plugin to boost your Pagespeed scores into the green. In Part II we show how adding a caching plugin can reduce time to first byte time by 83% and cut load times nearly in half. Caching plugins like W3 Total Cache, WP Super Cache, and WP Rocket Cache cache pages to avoid the overhead of Wordpress, making your site nearly as fast as a static site (once it is cached and unchanged).

Surprisingly in our testing, we found that boosting Pagespeed scores doesn't always mean faster load times. It appears that the overhead of some optimization plugins (that optimize content on the fly) outweighs the benefits of content optimization. So be sure to test one change at a time when you are optimizing your Wordpress site.

Next Google has added a ranking "signal" for mobile responsiveness. If your site isn't mobile responsive, it could be penalized in mobile rankings (and soon perhaps all rankings).

Finally we tested the effects of streamlined WordPress themes and improved hosting on speed. By switching to a fast WordPress theme and improving hosting we decreased page load time by 74% and start render time by 83.4%.

Optimizing a Complex Site for Pagespeed II
In Part II of our series on speed optimizing a complex site we explore caching plugins. Adding page caching to a Wordpress site nearly halved load times, and more than halved start render and TTFB times.
Optimizing a Complex Site for Pagespeed
No matter how complex the website, it can be speed optimized. In this article we show how to boost the Pagespeed scores of mymanhattancosmeticdentist.com with mod_pagespeed, some manual tweaks, and the WPOptimize Speed Plugin.
Google adds Mobile Responsive Ranking Factor
With Google now factoring in mobile responsiveness to search rankings, making your site mobile responsive has just become more important. Not only will your mobile visitors stay longer and convert more, Google will bless your site as mobile friendly.
Case Study: WordPress Theme Optimization
This article tests the benefits of optimized WordPress themes and hosting. Switching to a fast WordPress theme and optimizing hosting improved page load time by 74% and start render by 83.4%.