5 tips to speed up your blog for Google’s new mobile speed update
July 9, 2018
We all know how much Google loves its algorithms and they have just announced that its latest update, “Speed Update”, is now being rolled out. This change means that the speed of a mobile website will now be a factor in where the site is ranked in the search engine results when doing a search via mobile.
This news isn’t surprising as desktop speed has been a ranking factor for a while and Google has previously stated that 53% of mobile site visitors leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load.
These changes will mainly affect the slowest sites so it’s important to make sure your blog isn’t running too slowly on mobile devices. If you’re unsure how fast your blog loads on mobile, give it a quick test on Pingdom. If it is loading slowly then read on for some tips on how to improve the speed of your blog.
If you’ve visited Wake up and Blog before you’ll know that we’ve already mentioned that the speed of your blog can improve your SEO, and we’ve also included a few WordPress plugins that will help to improve the loading time of your site.
In this post, we’re going to let you know exactly how you can get your blog ready for Google’s mobile speed update with 5 tips to speed up your blog…
#1 Choose a mobile-friendly theme
Have you checked recently what your blog looks like on mobile compared to desktop? If some elements don’t look right it could be because your theme isn’t mobile-friendly. Many bloggers make the mistake of only looking at their blog on a desktop when they’re building it, whereas most of your readers (probably around 60%) will be visiting on their mobile.
Paid-for themes tend to be more responsive and are usually better coded than the free themes so if you have the budget try to stick to those.
#2 Review your hosting
A good hosting company can significantly improve the speed of your website so don’t just opt for the cheapest hosting option you can find.
Shared hosting (where your blog shares a server with other websites) can slow down website loading times so you might want to look into switching to dedicated hosting.
We’ve used several hosting companies in the past and highly recommend Siteground who we now use. They have options from just £2.75 per month and we can honestly say we haven’t experienced any issues since switching to them earlier this year.
#3 Smush your images
If you have a lot of large images on your blog this could be one of the main factors that are slowing down your site. Optimising your images can really help your blog to load faster. Rather than compressing images and then uploading again, you can install a plugin to do the work for you. We use WP Smush, you can set it to ‘smush’ all of your existing files and then compress new images automatically as you upload them going forward.
For future blog posts try to remember to reduce the file size as much as possible before uploading your images.
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#4 Remove extra widgets and plugins
Yeah we know we’ve said that WordPress has loads of amazing plugins but while it’s tempting to install as many as possible on your blog, too many widgets and plugins can really slow down your site. Remove any plugins that you’re not using or that you don’t really need.
If you’re unsure, try deactivating one at a time to see if removing the plugins will have an effect on the speed of your blog.
#5 Cache your content
Caching is the storing of data temporarily so that your site loads faster the next time the user opens up the page. This is one of the best ways to improve the speed of your blog as pages that load faster perform better in the search engine rankings.
If the mere mention of caching confuses you don’t worry, the plugin W3 Total Cache will do the work for you by reducing page loading time.
Try some of these suggestions and then check again how quickly your blog loads. If you have any other suggestions to speed up your blog for Google’s new mobile speed update let us know in the comments section below!