When it comes to websites, performance matters. Visitors to your website expect a speedy experience. If your web pages load slowly, visitors will leave and sales will dwindle.
It turns out that speed matters to the search engines as well. Google is in the business of rewarding performance. Google has developed several tools to evaluate the performance of a webpage including PageSpeed Insights, Web.Dev, and Core Web Vitals in the Google Search Console.
There are a few challenges when it comes to speed and SEO:
- The reports from tools like PageSpeed Insights are highly technical. Sure, we can all understand that 99/100 is a better score than 21/100, but the recommendations on how to go from 21/100 to 99/100 by “Serve images in next-gen formats” or “Eliminate render-blocking resources” are outside of the skills of most website owners.
- The game keeps changing. Should you focus more on First Contentful Paint or Cumulative Layout Shift? What scores are good? Will they still be good tomorrow? Google evolves quickly and when it comes to speed, it feels like we are chasing a moving target.
So now what? You know that speed is important, but what are you to do to fix it?
If your website is built on WordPress, NitroPack is here for the win.
How to Speed Up Your WordPress Website using NitroPack
1. Benchmark Current Performance
Before we get started improving any site we need to know where it currently stands.
For this, we suggest running your homepage and any other major pages through PageSpeed Insights and noting your scores. Here’s a snapshot of our WordPress homepage before NitroPack:
The opportunities seemed endless:
2. Backup your WordPress Website
Before we do any tinkering around in your WordPress site be sure to check that everything is up to date and that you have it backed up.
Need a hand here — check out BackupBuddy from iThemes.
3. Determine Your Package & Sign Up
With your site backed up, you are ready to dive into NitroPack. Start by determining which package is right for your website.
NitroPack charges monthly and bases the price of the packages depending on your average pageviews.
Log into Google Analytics and navigate to Behavior. Select all pages. Open your date range to explore your average monthly pageviews.
With this information, you can determine which package is best for your site. Sign up for NitroPack.
4. Install & Connect NitroPack
Now that you have a NitroPack account we need to get it hooked up to your WordPress site. This takes two things. Installing the NitroPack plugin and connecting it to NitroPack.
First up, head over to the Plugins section on WordPress and click the “Add New” button at the top of the screen. From here you can search for “NitroPack”. Make sure it is compatible with your current version of WordPress and hit install.
After you have activated your plugin you will need to go into the settings and connect your API from NitroPack. This info is available in the settings on the NitroPack site. It may also auto-connect if you have it open in the same browser and logged in.
5. Select your Optimization Mode
After you are connected you will have some options to consider before NitroPack gets to work. This includes which optimization mode you would like to go with. The default is something called “Ludicrous Mode” and let me tell you, they mean it!
There are some other options you can change, but we went with default on everything. If you would like to delve into those other options be sure to check out the NitroPack documentation.
After you are settled in with your setting choices, NitroPack will start the optimizations. This can take a few minutes, but at Pathfinder we saw results almost instantly. This is a great time to see if anything on your site is broken now or if you are having any other usability issues. Tinker around on your live site and make sure everything is still in good working order.
6. Check your Results
With the optimizations completed, you are ready to see what this plugin did for your site. It’s time to check the new stats against your initial benchmarks.
Fire up PageSpeed Insights again, plug in your website URL, and wait for the results.
You can see our post-optimizations scores below and understand why we had to do a write-up on the NitroPack plugin!
Make WordPress Lightening Fast with NitroPack
Wow! After years of making small, incremental improvements to our WordPress website’s speed, we are thrilled to have deployed a solution that gave our site a huge jump! And the timing couldn’t be better with Google’s Page Experience algorithm update.
If you’re looking for a way to bump up your PageSpeed Insight scores and in turn increase your page’s usability, check out NitroPack!
Overwhelmed by SEO?
Follow our step-by-step process and take a guided approach.