Google Insights Site Speed - I'm Dying a Slow Death Over Here!

When checking my site speed with Google Insights I'm measuring at a pitiful 18/100 for desktop.

It's saying my images need to be optimized. That's why I signed up with Smush Pro. Please help me speed my site up!

You have my permission to access my site...do I need to provide any log in details?

Thanks,
Michael

  • Adam Czajczyk

    Hello Michael,

    I hope you're well today and thank you for your question!

    I'll be happy to help you with this. What I would do would be:

    - review your site and its settings in order to diagnose the issue
    - check your site with various performance measuring tools
    - implement some changes in configuration but only some of them, those that I can do securily; others I would list here
    - provide you with some tips and suggestions related strictly to your site.

    This however requires me to access your site and since I have you permission already I would also need a way to access it. You may grant me a support access by following this guide:

    https://premium.wpmudev.org/manuals/wpmu-dev-dashboard-enabling-staff-login/

    Let me know here when you are ready with this, please

    Best regards,
    Adam

  • Adam Czajczyk

    Hello Michael!

    Anyone working this weekend?

    We are working 24/7/year so there's always some of us around. We are however dealing with multiple different questions so it's not a "real time" conversation. I'm sorry for keeping you waiting but I also would like to explain (just for future reference, so we could be helping you faster) that instead of "bumping" the thread its better to just wait for a staff member replay. Posting multiple times "in a row" (with no support replay) moves the thread down the queue automatically and may cause unnecessary additional delay.

    As for the performance grade.

    I checked your site and it seems that the two most "affecting" factors according to Google PageSpeed Insights are images that require some more optimization and so called "render blocking resources" scripts.

    1. Image optimization

    I can see that you already installed and run WP Smush Pro. I suggest taking following steps:

    - review you site and find out what are the biggest dimensions of images that are really necessary; a common scenario is that the picture of e.g. 2000x1800px is uploaded while the biggest size on the site is 1200x800;

    find out that maximum size and in WP Smush settings use "Resize original images" option (you may also want to use "Make a copy of original images" in case some image was "overoptimized" and you'd like to bring back the original);

    - (optional) use "super-smush" feature

    Then run bulk smush again and this alone should improve the performance grade a bit.

    There's another issue though and it would require changes in theme code so you may want to either create a child-theme of your current theme and re-build it or hire a developer for help. The thing is that PageSpeed Insights tool is reading not only the dimensions of images but also their containers (HTML elements) size. If the image size is bigger than the container size (so image was resized by CSS or JS or just "width" and "height" html attributes) it lowers the performance score.

    The perfect case would be if e.g. element holding an image that's displayed as 640 x 480 px would be loading an image that's physically 640x480 pixels in size. That may unfortunately be very difficult to achieve and it will require heavy customization of the theme but it would increase performance and performance grade significantly.

    2. "Render blocking resources"

    These are scripts that temporarily "stop" loading of the site while they are being loaded/executed. This slows down the site.

    Our "Hummingbird" plugin would help you with this. The procedure of making it work would be like this:

    a) clear all cache on site and temporarily disable it
    b) install Hummingbird and enable it; let it run performance scan;
    c) enable the "Minification" feature of the Hummingbird plugin
    d) see if the site's working fine; there's a chance that it will break and in that case:

    - go to "Minification" page
    - you'll see a list of files there; most of them can be recognized by the names (to see what theme/plugin they are part of);
    - depending on what parts of the site stopped working or got "broken" switch "minify" toggle for related files off; do this "one by one" each time checking if related aspect of site got "fixed"
    - if necessary do the same for "combine" switches.

    At some point the site should be "up and running" again with "Minification" feature enabled.

    e) once above is achieved go again to "Hummingbird -> Minification" page and use the "Position" switches for each file to move each and every file to the "footer"; this will for sure break the page so moving some files back to original position will be necessary but only some of them; the procedure is exactly the same as in case of point "d" above, except this time instead of using "minify", "combine" switches (they should remain intact) you'd bee using "position" switch.

    Again, at some point the site should be fully up and running with as many files minified, combined and moved to the footer as possible without breaking your site.

    This is the point where "render blocking resources" optimization stops. You can get as far as there unless you go for removing the plugins and building a fully custom and as simple (in terms of code) as possible theme.

    f) turn on cache back

    This should improve both performance and performance score. Please note however that it's a time consuming procedure and may take a lot of "trial and errors".

    Kind regards,
    Adam