In today’s tutorial, I’m hopefully going to help you solve your WordPress speed issues.

Now, a lot of you are like me. You’re a WordPress enthusiast. You’re not a developer. Many of them did not work. I’ve figured 9 steps, mostly all plugins and all free, that you can install. I’m going to give you exactly what to do to speed up your website and it’s going to work. So back your site up before you go and start – even though it’s just mostly installing plugins and things like that. Be safe, and that way there are no issues if something you install causes a bug. Or even better, if you can do it in a staging environment, please test there.

Step 1. Image optimization with ShortPixel

This brings us to our first step, which is to install an image optimizer. I recommend ShortPixel. It is a freemium tool. I have tested a whole bunch, looked at their ability to compress, yet this one does a really great job. You get over 100 free credits a month and if you want to, you can do one-time purchases or a few thousand images – it’s really, really cheap – and then go back to the freemium model.

Step 2. Install a cache plugin like WP Fastest Cache

Step two is to simply install a WordPress cache plugin. There are tons of options out there, but I recommend WP Fastest Cache. The reason why, is it’s dead simple to use and it is very effective.

Step 3. Install and configure Autoptimize

It’s all smooshed together as one word that shares the “O”, but it’s Auto Optimize. It is a fantastic tool and it gives you that control that I mentioned. Once you install it, go ahead and go into the settings and try mimicking this setup. You’re going to want to check mark for it to optimize your HTML. If you have a lot of comments in your HTML, you can enable that as well. And what it’s really doing, it’s minimizing the impact of your HTML, taking out spaces, things like that in your JavaScript, and it’s going to be combining them into – let’s say you have like 7 JavaScript files – it might combine them into just 1.

Step 4. Install Async JavaScript

What you’re going to do is install Async JavaScript plugin. It’s another free plugin. It is going to give us a lot more control, and it’s going to help us with those kinds of nasty render-blocking scripts that are left over and clean up a lot of those. There is a wizard and you can get a GTmetrix code for free.

Step 5. Install A3 Lazy Load

I tried a bunch of different plugins and this is the one that worked best for me. The A3 Lazy Load has a bunch of different settings but they’re all pretty easy and, to be honest, you are best just to activate them all. But it does give you a lot of control, like if you are having an issue with Gravatar images and things like that. Just a ton of control over lazy loading.

Step 6. Install Complete Analytics Optimization Suite (CAOS)

Step 6 is to install CAOS, complete analytics optimization suite. This is for all of you using Google Analytics, which is everyone. So what you’ll find, annoyingly, is that when you run PageSpeed, it complains to you about Google Analytics a lot. And what you are basically doing is hosting it locally. It works great and is pretty fantastic.

Step 7. Install Lazy Load for Comments

Step 7 is a little bit more optional and that is going to be to install Lazy Load for Comments. If you are using comments, it can be very surprising at increasing the page speed.

Step 8. Set up a CDN

Now, this step is not nearly as optional, in my opinion. And I would recommend going to WP Fastest Cache, clicking on CDN, and there are a few different options. If you are just an everyday blogger, that kind of thing, then this isn’t a huge thing for you, I would recommend just using the free option, CDN by Photon. You will just need to install Jetpack.

Step 9. Install WP-Optimize to Clean House

Install WordPress Optimize. This is basically like a house cleaning tool. Clean your database, fix fragmentation plus this and that. It cleans everything up, removes the trash comments and all kinds of things you shouldn’t have to think about.

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