Improve ***Page Loading Time to below 1 sec*** using One WordPress Cache Plugin

Google had made it clear that page loading time is a key factor in ranking web pages. Organic traffic is dependent on SERP positions. So the higher you rank, the better will be your blog traffic.

SEO provides different ways to improve your current site from ranking to getting conversions, sales and sign-ups. Though the time taken to load a page depends on various factors like the number of JS, CSS, HTMl resources included in it.

How Page Loading Time is Tested

The best way to measure how fast a page loads can be done using the Page Speed metric. This can be interpreted in “page load time” (the time taken to fully display content on a page” or “time to first byte” (time taken to receive the first byte information from the server).

Tools used to indicated or test Page Loading Time

Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool can be used to measure this parameter. It will test any web page for mobile and desktop version. If you get a high score or green color, it indicates that your page is loading blazing fast.

GTMetrix and Pingdom Tools are other two services which run your website through different servers and spit out the time taken to load a page.

Each tool has its own way of reporting its results. For example, GTMetrix gives page loading time when tested from Canada server. Pingdom Tools has more options to test from USA, Europe etc.

Google has outwardly spoken that site speed is a ranking signal. Research has shown that time to first byte is a key factor in measuring page speed. If you have a slow site, search engines can crawl only few pages. This will have a bad affect on your indexation.

Generally, if a page loads more than 3 seconds, visitor are more likely to leave the site. Quicker the page loads, better rankings in Google and more traffic. So if you can decrease the site loading time to below 3 secs, you are going to have a good benefit in ROI and organic traffic.

Case Study using Two Websites to Test the Efficiency of WordPress Cache Plugins

In this post, we are going to see a WordPress plugin which will reduce the page loading time to less than 1 sec.

To test the efficiency of the plugin we have taken two websites. Initially a web page from each of these sites using a cache plugin is tested. After that, the plugin is deactivated and both the site pages tested with no cache plugin.

Later, loading time with PageSpeed Ninja plugin installed and activated was checked. This will show whether the plugin has improved page loading time or not.

All the plugins are kept same, same theme was used, settings were same and latest WordPress version of 5.2.2 was installed on both sites.

SiteGround Page Cache plugin (SG Optimizer) was used initially. No ads were used on the first website. The second website had Google Ads on both AMP and Desktop version pages.

These two sites are with very few pages. As a result, the page load times were very less initially.

Overview of the Page Loading Testing Tools

Since these page loading time testing tools give different results for each iteration, each page is tested couple of times, to get an average result.

  • GTMetrix tests are done using the Vancouver, Canada server region. The following browser and software were used – Chrome (Desktop) 62.0.3202.94, PageSpeed 1.15-gt1.2, YSlow 3.1.8.
  • Pingdom Tests were done using United Kingdom, London server.
  • In Google PageSpeed Insights tests, mobile score is based on /amp/ pages.

ThinkMinds.co.uk

Active Plugins: Accelerated Mobile Pages, Akismet Anti-Spam, Classic Editor, Lightweight Subscribe To Comments, Contextual Related Posts, Cookie Notice, Easy Table of Contents, EWWW Image Optimizer, Inline Related Posts, kk Star Ratings, Link Juice Keeper, PageSpeed Ninja, Redirection, Schema, TablePress, Thin Out Revisions, Wordfence Security, Yoast SEO, WP Mail SMTP

Thesis Version: 2.9.1
Skin Name: Effectus
Skin Version: 1.2.3

WordPress Version: 5.2.2

S.NoURL for testMobile PageSpeed Insight ScoreDesktop PageSpeed Insight ScoreGTMetrix PageSpeed GradeGTMetrix YSlow GradeGTMetrix Page DetailsPingdom Tools Performance GradePage Results
SG Optimizer Plugin
1https://www.thinkminds.co.uk/2019/03/best-wordpress-plugins-for-blogs-for-effective-blogging7680CB2.0secs, 1.45MB, 48 requestsA630B, 620ms, 1 request
2https://www.thinkminds.co.uk/2016/07/wordpress-security-best-practices7895DB2.1secs, 1.23MB, 47 requestsA630B, 512ms, 1 request
No Cache Plugin
17377CB1.9secs, 1.47MB, 54 requestsA630B, 800ms, 1 request
27490DB1.8secs, 1.25MB, 52 requests A630B, 527ms, 1 request
PageSpeed Ninja Plugin
16884DA1.8secs, 1.44MB, 44 requestsA630B, 529ms, 1 request
26791DA2secs, 1.21MB, 42 requestsA630B, 512ms, 1 request

Conclusion

1. The Mobile PageSpeed Score is the highest when using SG Optimizer plugin.
2. PageSpeed Ninja plugin has a negative effect on Mobile PageSpeed Score, compared to without using any cache plugin.
3. In the GTMetrix test, it is found that both the pages load in less than 2 secs.
4. The GTMetrix test shows that without using any cache plugin, the page loading time is best.
5. Using PageSpeed Ninja plugin has reduced the number of resource requests to the least in GTMetrix test results.
6. Pingdom test results show that both the pages load in less than 1 second.
7. Using PageSpeed Ninja plugin loads both the pages in least amount of time.
8. Testing the /amp/ pages in GTMetrix have given “A” score with page loading times less than 2 secs.
9. Pingdom test results for /amp/ pages give a 100 grade score with loading time less than 1 sec.
10. The speed index for /amp/ pages in PageSpeed Insights tool test shows that speed index is 6.0 secs and is in red zone.
11. The time to interactive, first contentful paint, first meaningful paint, first cpu idle time were more than 3 secs for /amp/ pages.
12. Compared to mobile /amp/ pages, the desktop version loaded quickly giving green score to all the relevant page loading parameters.

BuyWindowsAntivirus.com

— Plugins —
0: Accelerated Mobile Pages v0.9.97.63 https://ampforwp.com/
1: Akismet Anti-Spam v4.1.2 https://automattic.com/wordpress-plugins/
2: Classic Editor v1.5 https://github.com/WordPress/classic-editor/
3: Contact Form 7 v5.1.3 https://ideasilo.wordpress.com/
4: kk Star Ratings v2.6.4 http://bhittani.com
5: PageSpeed Ninja v0.9.38 https://wordpress.org/support/users/pagespeed/
6: Schema v1.7.5 http://zebida.com
7: Wordfence Security v7.3.4 http://www.wordfence.com/
8: Yoast SEO v11.6 https://yoa.st/1uk
9: WP-PageNavi v2.93 https://lesterchan.net

— Theme —
Name: Viral by MyThemeShop
Version: 1.0.9
Author Url: http://mythemeshop.com/
Is Child Theme: No

— Theme Settings —
Lazy Load: No
Async Javascript: Yes
Optimize WC: No
Lightbox: No

S.NoURL for testMobile PageSpeed Insight ScoreDesktop PageSpeed Insight ScoreGTMetrix PageSpeed GradeGTMetrix YSlow GradeGTMetrix Page DetailsPingdom Tools Performance GradePage Results
SG Optimizer Plugin
1https://buywindowsantivirus.com/kaspersky-anti-virus-2014-review/
3275CC3.4secs, 1.96MB, 75 requestsD2.0MB, 1.24secs, 82 request
2https://buywindowsantivirus.com/kaspersky-security-network-review/
4183BC2.1secs, 1.48MB, 61 requestsD1.6MB, 2.42secs, 68 request
No Cache Plugin
17767CC3.4secs, 1.88MB, 74 requestsA552B, 509ms, 1 request
27374BC2.4secs, 1.48MB, 62 requestsA552B, 505ms, 1 request
PageSpeed Ninja Plugin
18494BB2.7secs, 935KB, 39 requestsA552B, 549ms, 1 request
28298AB1.6secs, 525KB, 24 requestsA552B, 513ms, 1 request

Conclusion

1. The Mobile PageSpeed score was the least when using SG Optimizer plugin.
2. In the GTMetrix test results for desktop pages, page loading time was higher when not using any cache plugin or using SG Optimizer plugin.
3. The best PageSpeed Insights scores were achieved when using PageSpeed Ninja plugin for both mobile (/amp/) and desktop version pages.
4. The page loading times were around 2 seconds for desktop version pages in GTMetrix test results using PageSpeed Ninja plugin.
5. Pingdom test results show that page loading time is below 1 sec when not using any cache plugin or using PageSpeed Ninja plugin.
6. The fully loaded time was less than 1.5 secs for mobile AMP pages in the GTMetrix test results using PageSpeed Ninja plugin.
7. The load time was less than 500ms for AMP pages in Pingdom test results using PageSpeed Ninja plugin.
8. Using SG Optimizer plugin show better desktop score in PageSpeed Insights test than not using any cache plugin.

My Final Thoughts …

The above tests were conducted on two websites which had very few web pages. The number and type of plugins were little different in both the sites. The second site was using Google Ads.

This implicates that more Javascript code is installed on the second site. It can be seen that using PageSpeed Ninja plugin has reduced the fully page loading time to below 2 seconds.

The number of requests also drastically came down when using PageSpeed Ninja plugin.

Compared to SG Optimizer plugin, the test results in all the 3 tools show better score and less page loading time, when using PageSpeed Ninja plugin.

Also to use SG Optimizer plugin, you need to have use SiteGround hosting for your WordPress sites. Since these two sites are almost bone structure pages with little JS, CSS, HTML code, the efficiency of PageSpeed Ninja plugin could not be fully tested.

A more robust test can be done on a site having more plugins and JS code, to test whether PageSpeed Ninja plugin gives the same results or not.

One definite conclusion is that page loading time has decreased to below 2 seconds for all the 4 pages tested using PageSpeed Ninja plugin for both AMP and Desktop pages.

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