Page speed is a Google ranking factor. And that is what keeps bugging in my mind that how to speed up my slow WordPress site & get 100/100 in GTMetrix & Google Page Speed Insight Tool? After putting a lot of effort, I got that mark and with that, I have realized certain things as well.
I have noticed people got 100/100 scores in GTMetrix & Google page speed insight tool, which looks very cool actually. But in reality, if your website is loading under 2 seconds, that is absolutely fine. But there is always room for improvement.
Why is Page Speed Important 2020?
Do you know how long should it take for a website to load? There are multiple discussions and proofs available and it is confirmed that page-speed is really important in 2020.
The average website load time in 2020 is improving as everyone is understanding why page-speed is the top priority. This is the question of eating my brain and that is why I write this SiteGround review around their SPEED technology only.
- How can I make my website load faster?
- How do I reduce the loading time of my WordPress website?
- How to fix a slow WordPress site?
- How can I improve my WordPress website speed?
Google has also produced the following infographic on page load industry benchmarks:
That’s why I started reading and experimenting with my website speed and finally able to touch the expected mark of 100/100 in both Google Page-Speed Insight Tool & GTMetrix. But, this was not an easy journey for me.
As I said, I had to compromise a couple of features and plugins to get this page speed score. In this WordPress speed optimization guide, I am going to share the exact steps to follow to get 100/100 in Google PageSpeed & GTMetrix.
Note: This page-speed optimization guide is exclusively for WordPress sites. So, if you have a website on other CMS or another platform, this may not work for you.
How To Improve WordPress Website Speed? (Get GTMetrix Score 100/100)
One thing you have to understand that, people are getting very impatient and they will not wait for even 2 seconds if your website take more time to load. And everyone is aware of the importance of page-speed and accordingly investing to improve website speed. So, if you think that you will be able to get a good speed without investing any money then you are wrong. Blogging is pure business and you have to invest in your blog to make it noticeable among the competition.
So, let’s explore all the important points to speed up my WordPress site.
Buy A Fast SSD Web Hosting
The very first thing I want to say is that your web hosting company plays the most important role to make your website loads faster. Thanks to SiteGround WordPress Hosting for giving me the perfect platform to start this website speed optimization task. This website is hosted on SiteGround GoGeek plan, which has lots of high-performance features to speed up my website.
SiteGround has been consistently voted #1 Best WordPress hosting in many Facebook Polls. I have shared many such proofs on my SiteGround Hosting Review 2020 guide.
Why SiteGround is a unique shared hosting service?
I have shared a detailed review of SiteGround. So I will not tell every single thing about SiteGround. But few of the awesome features due to which your website loads fast on SuiteGround.
- They use the latest PHP. In case your hosting servers are not updated to the latest PHP, you are compromising with the performance.
- SiteGround has its inbuilt-server side cache system. With SG Optimizer & Super cacher, you can get website speed easily less than 2 seconds and GTMetrix scores more than 90+ easily.
- You can integrate your website to FREE Cloudflare quickly through SiteGround cPanel. That will make sure your website speed will improve further.
- SiteGround talks about SPEED. Yes, their latest SPEED technology will make sure your website is hosted on trusted servers.
- SiteGround offers free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates in every plan. This is a good deal for eCommerce websites.
- SiteGround offers 4 different Datacenters to choose from. They are again unique on this point compared to their competitors like Bluehost, HostGator, A2 Hosting, etc.
- You don’t have to go for high price VPS plans, as SiteGround has an almost semi-dedicated feature plan within the shared hosting plan only. You can check the features of their GoGeek Plan once.
Read more about SiteGround WordPress Hosting from My Blog
- Why SiteGround GrowBig Plan is the best for Bloggers
- SiteGround Vs Top 22 WordPress Hosting Comparison
- Best SiteGround Optimizer Settings (SiteGround Cache)
- Which SiteGround Plan Is Best in 2019 (StartUP Vs GrowBig Vs GoGeek)
- SiteGround Pricing 2020: How Much Does It Cost You?
- SiteGround StartUp Plan Review: Is It Better Than GrowBig?
- SiteGround Vs Bluehost 2020: Which Is Better?
- HostGator Vs SiteGround 2020: Which One Is Best?
Install A Fast Loading WordPress Theme
There are so many good quality & SEO optimized WordPress themes available. But as per my experience, when we talk about fast loading theme GeneratePress, Astra Theme & Genesis Framework are 3 honorable mentions. You will easily get a very low HTTP requestGTMEtrix.
I am using the Authority PRO theme from StudioPress powered by the Genesis Framework. You can find my GTMEtrix HTTP requests are less than 25 only. Simply amazing.
Although I love StudioPress Themes, I have to accept that GeneratePress is outstanding when we talk about SPEED. I heard good about the Astra Pro theme as well, but I have not used it yet. So, I can’t comment on this.
But for me, a page speed less than 2 seconds with a GTMetrix score of 97+ is very good. When I did this experiment with GeneratePress, I found the GTMetrix score touched 98-100 as per the plugins I was installing. So, you can choose any theme as per your preferences.
- GeneratePress Theme ($49 Only + Renew Every Year )
- Astra Pro Theme ($59 Only + Renew Every Year)
- Genesis Framework ( One-time FEE $59 + Extra For Child Themes)
Get The Best Cache Plugin For WordPress
After theme & hosting, you need a good cache plugin. Although SiteGround has it’s own cache system which is definitely an additional advantage compared to other web hosting companies. But they can’t cover many advanced-cache options.
I am using WP Rocket Plugin for this blog and I have to agree that WP Rocket is the champion product in the WordPress cache category. I got the 100/100 Gtmetrix score because of WP Rocket settings only. But this is a premium plugin, you have to pay $45/year for 1 website. This is a very popular cache plugin.
There are a couple of free cache plugins that you can use. But you will not get the best SPEED features like WP Rocket. You can save 10% on the WP Rocket plugin using this WP Rocket Coupon Code.
- WP Fastest Cache (View Guide)
- SG Optimizer (For SiteGround)
- Swift Performance (View Guide)
- W3 Total Cache (View Guide)
- WP Super Cache (View Guide)
Install Additional SPEED Plugins (If Require)
Besides these tools, I also use another plugin called WP Disable. Although I got 100/100 without this plugin, I used this plugin to improve my Yslow score from 95 to 97 by disabling few of the settings. There are many such plugins that you can install and experiment to improve your WordPress site speed.
A fast loading website can only rank higher in Google (of course you should have quality content on your blog). Check out my website SPEED after upgrading to SiteGround GoGeek Plan. I am also using WP Rocket Plugin and WP Disable for improving further speed. You can watch this video for a live website speed test.
Note: WP Disable has not updated for more than 1 year. I am looking for a better plugin. If you want to avoid that plugin you can skip that and also keep a track of my website or YouTube channel for further updates. And I took the speed keeping the optimum usage of plugins & website design which may change by the time you are watching the video.
Useful Tips To get 100/100 in Google PageSpeed & GTMetrix
So these are a few of the major steps that you have to take to get a 100% score in the GTMEtrix & Google Page Speed Insight tool. But this is also not enough always if you don’t follow a few of the WordPress optimization tips mentioned below.
Don’t host many websites on a single web hosting
Most of the time, we buy a web hosting plan with multiple website host features. The reason behind that is to save money as buying multiple plans for multiple websites will cost you more. But if you don’t know how to grow a website from scratch, then what is the need of starting many websites at the same time.
E.g. In my SiteGround GoGeek hosting plan, I have 30GB space and a lot of resources. But I am using this entire account for this blog only. Although I have started 2 more sites on this plan, I am not working on them and will remove them in the future.
If you host 1 website on a single host, then your website will be able to utilize the entire resources properly and always loads faster compared to a plan with multiple websites. For that, you can start with the SiteGround StartUp plan @ $3.95/mo only. It has a traffic limit of 10,000 visitors/mo which is quite good. When your website will grow, you can upgrade your hosting plan.
Remove Unnecessary Plugins
You must check the list of plugins you have installed on your WordPress blog. On top of that, they are all updated or not. As our target is to get a 100/100 GTMetrix score I don’t like to keep any plugin to any design-related things.
Recently I have installed Rank Math SEO plugin which helped me to remove a few plugins. With the installation of WP Rocket, I am able to remove Auto-optimize and Lazy Load plugin. Well, as per the news, from WordPress 5.4 it is expected that Lazy Load feature will be a part of WordPress only (Official Link).
So, make an audit of your list of Plugins and remove the unnecessary plugins immediately. In case you want to adopt new plugins like I did which helped to get multiple functions from one plugin, go for that.
Make the blog design minimalist & clean:
I have removed everything from home page. Yes, earlier it was a custom home page designed with Thrive Architect. But as my target is to get 100/100 GTMetrix score I have to get back to the basics. Thrive Architect has its own codes & request which may not help you to get a 100% fast loading website.
I have also removed my picture from the sidebar and the button to get into my FB group. All the featured images are using lazy load functionality using SG Optimiser. These things help to reduce HTTP requests.
Anyway, my aim is to get the best page loading score for my home page and these are the crucial changes that helped me a lot to improve the website speed on Google page speed insight & GTMetrix.
FAQs: 100% GTMetrix, Google Page Speed Score
GTMetrix is a page speed measurement tool to analyze website speed using Google Page Speed and YSlow. Using this website one can analyze a website and find out how much time it takes to load completely.
YSLOW score is a measurement to find out what are the improvements one needs to take to speed up a website. Mostly browser loading related things are coming under the YSLOW score.
A PageSpeed score needs to have room for all of those kinds of websites to score, so they’re obviously going to be in the upper, 92-100 range. Unless you spend a lot of website hosting, you won’t reach those scores. The best score any normal website can probably expect to achieve is probably 90 or 91.
Whether Google PageSpeed insights score or GTMetrix, both are not accurate. This means these tools will help you to get some idea about the improvements required to speed up a WordPress site. One must not follow them strictly to get a 100% score. If you get a good speed under 1-2 seconds, then it’s perfectly fine.
Page-Speed effects your ranking directly and indirectly also. We all know that this is a Google Ranking factor, besides that if you have a slow website. Your visitors will leave your page quickly and it will increase the bounce rate. That means you will lose rankings.
There are many websites where we can test our website speed. I have mentioned 2 of the popular ones, Google PageSpeed insights Tool & GTMetrix tool. You can also check for Pingdom Tool.
I have shared a couple of ways to speed up your WordPress site. I will write a dedicated article on this topic and mention various ways you can speed up your website.
I have tested SiteGround SuperCacher on another website on my SiteGround GoGeek plan. As the website is quite new, minimalist design with fewer resources, with SG Optimizer I got very good SPEED in GTMetrix & Google Page Speed Insight. But undoubtedly, there was room for improvements which can’t be possible without WP Rocket Plugin.
Conclusion: Is 100/100 GTMetrix Or Google Insights Score Essential?
I am sure you have understood the importance of page speed in 2020. SPEED is an SEO ranking factor directly or indirectly. So, you can’t avoid this. But that doesn’t mean that you have to score 100/100. A good website SPEED with website loading under 1-2 seconds is enough to give a good impression to your visitors.
If you can further optimize and score 100/100 then there is no harm. In fact, as a blogger, I know my limitations and know that this can be done professionally by experts only. Besides that, I am happy to get a decent SPEED score of more than 95+ in GTMetrix.
And I want to say huge thanks to the combination of Fast Web hosting (SiteGround) + WordPress Theme + Cache Plugin (WP Rocket). I have invested for them and I know I did the best thing for my website in 2020. Feel free to write a comment below to share your experience or questions related to WordPress site speed improvement.