I just installed WP Rocket on three of my websites (including this one). And the instant and impressive increase in speed is definitely worth a blog post.
What brought this on
I keep seeing news of a big change to the Google algorithm in May this year. (Here’s an article about that.)
Apparently, Google changes the algorithm 500-600 times a year, with a few big changes thrown in for good measure. The coming change is one of the big ones – and a big part of that is going to be speed.
Speed, as I’m about to show you using my own websites, is something I have failed to resolve without spending money.
My sites before WP Rocket were not up to speed
When I created Your Website Course, my emphasis was on building beautiful websites for nothing (or nearly nothing).
As someone who practises what they preach, that is what I did. When I ran my music websites through a speed checker, this is what I saw. I’m sure you can imagine my disappointment.
After all the work I put into each of those sites, to have what appeared to be a “Fail” on page speed felt like a… failure.
These are as bad as my O-Level chemistry results. Which is one reason I never became a doctor. (My biology results were another reason.)
Holding onto the positives
All I could do was be happy that I had a couple of beautiful sites – and that they work. I don’t advertise for these musical activities and yet clients do find their way to the sites. This is probably because of how they are written, how the images are labelled and all the stuff I teach in Your Website Course.
But those speed results… Ouch. Definitely not anything to blog about. And definitely something that would be punished by Google in a few weeks.
Investing in WP Rocket – and myself
Last week, I started looking for ways to speed up those websites. Although the focus of Your Website Course is still to teach people how to create and manage their own websites, it would not be reasonable to leave it at that. Publishing a website is only the end of one phase – and the start of the next.
I soon came across WP Rocket. It’s a paid plugin that is recommended by the sort of people who speak code as a first language. This handy (and short) video extolls its virtues – and talks about how to set WP Rocket up, once you have bought and installed it.
Zoom to the “end” results
Following the recommendations from the above video, here is the effect of WP Rocket on those two websites.
After running that piano website speed test, I noticed the tested url was “http” and not “https”.
So I re-ran the test with the correct url and this resolved something gtmetrix calls multiple redirects.
There’s still more work to be done, obviously. But for the moment, I am more than happy with these results. Credit where credit is due:
I give WP Rocket a solid A grade