Improving Page Load Times

I'm currently using WP Smush Pro and have smushed over 6K of the 10K images on my site. By the end of the day I'll have smushed all 10K. While this has helped increase my Google PageSpeed score by 2 pts (from 69 to 71) it hasn't provided the lift I expected.

In addition to smushing the images I also installed Hummingbird and activated Minification, GZIP and Browser Caching with limited to no impact. When I activated one of them my home page displayed only text expect for an image of a robot (I don't have any robot images on my site).

I'd like to better understand how I leverage your tool set to increase my Google PageSpeed and Hummingbird score. Please advise. Thank you.

    Milan

    Hello Dinah ,

    Hope you are well today and thanks for asking us.

    It seems to me that you are already using Hummingbird and WP Smush Pro's most of features which is good. As you are using WP Smush Pro to compress your images, have you gave Super-smush my images a try ? If not, would you please give it a try and then test ?

    Further more, Would you please grant me support staff access so that I can check how you have setup Hummingbird and WP Smush Pro ?. You can grant me support access via WPMU DEV > Support > Support Access > Grant Access.

    Looking forward to hearing back.
    Best Regards,
    Milan

    Adam Czajczyk

    Hello Dinah!

    I hope you're having a nice day!

    I accessed your site and checked it with Page Insights as well. One of the suggested issues is compressing some JS and CSS resources. However, Hummingbird shows that some of these resources are not local to your site and they are fetched from external URLs. There's unfortunately no way to handle those.

    There is however still a room for improvement. I can see that you are using GoDaddy's hosting and there's already a server-side cache implemented. The Minification feature of Hummingbird would be of help here but it will require some time to be spent on configuration.

    As you mentioned, it "breaks" your site. That's because the tool is minifying and combining scripts that come from WordPress itself but also from theme and from the plugins. There's no way of "guessing" upfront how minification would affect performance of these scripts so the proper course of an action here would be to go as follows:

    1. enable minification
    2. check what parts of the site breaks
    3. experiment with "minify" and "combine" options for single files until you find a balance between working site and minification enabled
    4. once above is done, it'd be time to again experiment but this time with the third switch (separately for each file) that's moving scripts/styles to the footer of the site

    Points 3 and 4 are most important and I agree it's a daunting and time consuming task but in my opinion it pays off.

    Then, there's another aspect which unfortunately may be a bit more complex. As I mentioned before, some of the JS files (and resources such as fonts, stylesheets etc) are fetched from "outside" of your server. It would be best to "move" as many of them as possible to be loaded from your site/server. This however may require finding alternatives to some of the plugins and even may require creating a custom theme so you may want to hire a developer for this.

    Finally, it may be good to implement a CDN such as e.g. CloudFlare as it usually speeds up the site significantly.

    It's also worth noting that achieving "perfect score" in both Hummingbird tests and PageInsights tests may be difficult if possible. There's too many factors that don't quite depend on what you do and on current configuration of your site. Just a personal remark: site seems to be loading reasonably fast for me. I think that just some adjustments - like setting up a minification and maybe a CDN - would help here enough

    If you have any further questions on this, let me know please and I'll be glad to assist.

    Best regards,
    Adam

    Dinah

    Patrick, thanks for getting back to me. I appreciate the response and your insight. I'm reviewing minification and I'm not entirely sure which levers to pull to improve my load times. Also, when I reach out to my suppliers to clean-up the external calls, what should I request from them?

    Finally, my current "score" in Hummingbird is a 71. I understand I won't be able to reach 100, but what should I target?

    Thanks.
    Dinah

    Dimitris

    Hey there Dinah,

    hope you're having a beautiful day and don't mind chiming in!

    I'm reviewing minification and I'm not entirely sure which levers to pull to improve my load times.

    The safest way to proceed is the one that my colleague Adam mentioned in his previous reply.
    The best possible status would be all assets to be unified, minified and pushed to footer, but this will most probably break your theme or some of your plugins.
    The other way round, could be to de-enqueue all scripts and styles, and enable them in batches, first all the theme related assets, then per a plugin basis, testing each time and revert unify, minify and reorder settings if things get distorted.

    Also, when I reach out to my suppliers to clean-up the external calls, what should I request from them?

    Having assets load locally from your installation (the according plugin folder itself), rather than external sources, are gettings them in Minification process and can be handled the way we stated before, also having the CDN privileges if such method is enabled.

    Finally, my current "score" in Hummingbird is a 71. I understand I won't be able to reach 100, but what should I target?

    There isn't a specific limit that you should reach in this score. Of course a score like 100 would be difficult to achieve and it would most probably required some advanced server and code optimization.
    In your case though, inspecting the Performance report, you could achieve a lot higher scores (from the external assets "issue" we mentioned before) from GZIP compression.
    Some lower settings in Browser caching (more like 8 days as HB proposes) would affect the score also.

    Warm regards,
    Dimitris