FINALLY: GET A Google 100% PAGE Speed SCORE EVERY TIME!

As a relatively new blogger, and by no means a “self-proclaimed” expert, you might ask why I was committed to mastering the tactics of obtaining a 100% on the Google website page speed test for my blog at just about any means possible?  As this article was a few years in the making, it seemed that now was a perfect opportunity to explore this quite thoroughly!

Simply put, any new subject matter that I find myself getting very passionate about, I always try to comprehensibly master. Working on WordPress was a bit hard but ultimately rewarding. Admittedly, sometimes I can go a bit overboard, but I knew that I had to get a solid grip on this process; that is just my nature.

At the same time, I was adamantly driven to keeping every part of my site as fully intricate as needed while it proceeded to grow larger. I was uncompromising in my insistence to maintain the site as close to perfect standards as possible while more blog material, plugins and photos were added. Eventually, the capability to make a bit of money was my ultimate challenge while keeping the site as close in proximity to that Google 100% page speed score goal.

Having been constantly told by the ‘experts’ that “the bigger the site becomes, the more trouble I will have in maintaining and keeping these standards up to par”, I saw a challenge ahead that was a bit confusing, to say the least. Let me now state quite decisively: as I currently see it, the above information could not have been further from the truth! (Do some speed tests on the blog sites you commonly read on this subject matter and you will see that many of them do not practice what they preach) On the other hand, I urge readers to speed check every page of my blog site with a variety of web page speed tools currently available; see what you find!

AN INTENSELY PASSIONATE JOURNEY

There are virtually zillions of great blog posts from fine, dedicated web designers, WordPress technical wizards and enthusiasts on the internet currently. Most of these people may be more “technically” experienced than myself. However, having now become somewhat of a dedicated enthusiast, I intensely read, reviewed and learned just about everything on the web I could get my hands on over the past few years. I kept experimenting with every move I made; even as I was writing new posts.

As many of you out there have done, I changed WordPress themes, added and removed plugins, played around with opt-in forms and learned a bit of coding. I then proceeded to literally re-read almost every tutorial that was available from the “professionals”.

For this article, I have asked an associate of mine to proof read this article. Jonathan Chandler is a WordPress consultant and in turn, he has ONLY helped me in offering a few of the technical assessments needed to properly write THIS TUTORIAL. Otherwise, all the ideas and advice I will be sharing with you here is from my personal learning experience and experimentation!

The final results have turned out to be immensely rewarding and dare I say, maybe some of the best you will find on the internet.

There are a few caveats readers should observe here. I am in the midst of trying to put in Affiliate advertisers and/or maybe display ads. I have again been advised that this will undoubtably bring even the most ideally set up blog sites and speed scores to a slightly lower scoring standard. As of yet, I cannot confirm or deny this. (Therefore, it should be noted that there are no affiliates currently being employed by myself and as such, had nothing whatsoever to do with the information in this article!)

Having put this to bed now…let us continue with the meat and potatoes you will need to getting a perfect Google Website speed score every time! (amazing as it might seem, it can work!)

Google 100% page seed score

FIRST OFF: GET RID OF THE FAT!    I cannot overemphasize the fact that although the fewer plugins and additions of any kind added to your WP theme will be a key to obtaining our goal here, the main and most important fact is to find ones that have a small and LIGHTWEIGHT footprint! Additionally, every plugin you may personally need should be as simple as possible and up to date! Remember that please!

I have done loads of basic testing in this process, repeatedly adding plugins, testing them and deleting them and man was I particular that every plugin addition should not have the usual symptoms: No CSS render blocking JavaScript; no leverage browser cache problems, minimization of Html, compression of images, defer parsing of JavaScript, remove query strings etc.…!  However, at this point in time, I have found that it can be done if you are overly discerning as to what you use. And now let’s proceed.

The MAIN INGREDIENTS

 1.GENERATEPRESS

Google 100% page speed score
Finest, lightest and ultimate WordPress Theme available

For six months I searched for a theme, and while initially, some of this was fun, after a while it became very tedious. I started out with ‘My Themeshop’s’ immensely fast and capable theme called ‘Socially Viral’. It was really good and coded for speed. However, I believed I could do a bit better. Then, some six months later, I stumbled across GeneratePress.

After a few weeks of learning the themes ins and outs, I can now state, undoubtedly, that GeneratePress will become your INITIAL key to success in our WP speed race to perfection! It provides you with outstanding layout flexibility, responsiveness, a plethora of lightweight add on modules as well some outstanding and personal customer service.

GeneratePress provides a free theme, but I urge you to buy their Pro offering which will provide you with everything you will ever need for a measly $39.00 lifetime buy!  Most importantly though, it is easy to understand and fun to customize as well as being a featherweight in size (less than 30kb!).

Generatepress has exceptional acceleration and simplicity thanks to its founder, Tom Usborne’s intuitively smart and dedicated use of coding. He has given the theme as small a footing as possible.Though initially quite unassuming, GeneratePress is a David in Goliath’s clothing and a powerhouse in actual use! It is arguably, the best WordPress theme on the market! (It must be stressed that just about everything else recommended in this tutorials goal is based on the use of this exceptional theme.)

2.SITEGROUND HOSTING (Alternative: KINSTA)

Google 100% page speed score

Everyone has a somewhat different opinion as to the best hosting service. In my case, starting with Site ground’s medium-priced plan, I found the value for money to be excellent, even if you decide to move up to the slightly higher priced ‘Go Geek’ plan. Siteground’s  amazing, live customer service is only outdone by its cutting edge solid state drive technology.

Siteground is perfect for beginners as well as full fledged experts. It’s overall performance is fantastic at the prices and it is a ‘true managed WordPress host’. I did experiment with In-motion and A-2 hosting but ultimately, had to come back to Siteground.

Why Siteground: They were the only hosting company that provided a consistently superior “server response” time which was as fast as they come with the best WP themes and particularly with the GeneratePress theme. This keeps Google Page test abundantly happy as well as Pingdom and GTmetrix.Google 100% page speed score

If your monetary funds are a bit more sufficient, you may want to explore the simply magnificent, Kinsta. Although Kinsta is a fully dedicated managed WordPress host, it has now expanded its resources with options for managed hosting albeit at much more reasonable pricing. Even with their cheaper plan, each WordPress site is housed in its own isolated container; 100% private and never shared. They use the Google Cloud platform and in almost every way, you cannot beat this truly eclectic hosting site!

Google 100% page speed score
The ultimate in dedicated WordPress Hosting

3.KEYcdn (content delivery network) As most of you reading this will already know, a Content Delivery System is mandated if we want to achieve the perfect speed results outlined in this article. I suggest you try KeyCDN for a few reasons. First off, it is a service developed by the people at Kinsta Hosting and right there you know you’re starting off on the right foot!

A CDN for a Google 100% page speed score
A fabulous Content Delivery System for WordPress

It is a great value service that offers very low prices (depending of course on you’re traffic volume) and a free SSL option. The set up for newbies is quite easy and believe me, the performance is exceptional. Here is some information on KeyCDN and how it can bring your website to its full fruition.

I currently use KeyCDN for this blog site. (When using KeyCDN, you will be asked install their CDN Enabler plugin from WordPress.) This plugin was developed to link your content to the CDN URLs. The plugin has been specifically designed to get the best hookup to your KeyCDN account.

Another fine CDN is MaxCDN. It is great for the novices out there and quite easy to set up. The pricing of this product is a strong point once you get moving and it has just about everything you will need to get the perfect page speed score. I use KeyCDN because of its introductory no cost pricing until you start to gather a larger amount of traffic. Even afterwards, KeyCDN is as competitive in pricing as anything out there, if not more so!

THE PLUGINS

When last checked there were over 27,000 WordPress plugins available a blogger could choose from. Way too many, wouldn’t you say? Particularly frustrating (as I later found out) is the fact that primarily speaking, it’s not the number of plugins you use but the quality that keeps your blog site running close to perfection! Having said that, I still believe that less is better!

Now that we have established our hosting site, WordPress theme, and a good CDN, the work will become a bit more of simple testing and hit and miss exploration. Mind you, it was not all fun and games at the beginning but when you hit on the proper plugins, as explained above, you will feel satisfaction that you rooted out this plethora of add-ons to the best of your ability.

Some of the early testing can be fun, particularly when you hit that 100% mark on a plugin combination. Even as you follow this article, you will most likely test more than your share of plugins and combos. On the other hand, here I have done some of the hardest work for you!

1.CACHE ENABLER  

100% on the Google website page speed test
Finest Cache for WordPress

It is quite rare when you find a cache plugin that is virtually perfect; Cache Enabler is! Cache Enabler is a free lightweight and unbelievably simple cache plugin for WordPress that generates static HTLM files and is one of the first to make use of the new WebP image support. (see image optimization below) and boy does it make your site fast!

This essential cache plugin will initiate the predominant beginnings that will start you on the way to reach that perfect Pingdom or GTmetrix Web Page mark! The plugin will truly minimize HTML and inline your JavaScript. It is HTTP/2 focused and the disk cache engine is simply stunning!

Cache Enabler works even better if you are using a host that incorporates NGINX servers which both Siteground and Kinsta do. (I was actually told that Siteground uses some combination of Nginx and Apache). With its all-round power and straightforward accessibility, this plugin works profoundly well!

After having used Cache Enabler for over a year, I recently downloaded and installed another great choice, namely Simple Cache by WordPress developer Taylor Lovett. Having just compared the two side by side, it was intriguing to note that on my site, Cache Enabler speed bettered Simple Cache by a ‘cinch’ more or less. (I will be re-evaluating this plugin as you read this. Try it out anyway!

100% on the Google website page speed test

There is no doubt that these two Cache Plugins are currently the best available! (Remember: with Cache Enabler… always check the Cache Minification Box; — Inline Html and JavaScript) for optimum results

2.FAST VELOCITY MINIFY

I proudly proclaim Fast Velocity Minify as the new ‘King of WordPress Minification Plugins. Is that an overstatement? I do not think so!

Google 100% Page Speed Score
Minify JavaScript and CSS

Having now overtaken Autoptimize, Fast Velocity Minify will do everything that the former plugin has done; only BETTER! Although minifying your code does not always make such a huge difference in WordPress page load speed times, a couple of points goes a long way when we are aiming at that 100%-page speed score. Use this plugin with its simple, default settings and you will see what I mean. (>keep emojis and smileys UNCHECKED; you don’t need them) Together with the optional Asynct Java Script plugin below, you are about three quarters of the way home!

3.ASYNCT JAVASCRIPT (optional- try it)

This free plugin will totally eliminate any Render -blocking JavaScript in the “somewhat” problematic” above the fold content warning that Google Page Speed Insights often produces on test. This supremely easy to use plugin meshes and combines amazingly well with Cache Enabler as well as Simple Cache. Ironically, I found that Asynct JavaScript was needed when using Cache Enabler, (as opposed to Simple Cache); the plugin thereby putting you “over the top” on your Google Page Test score.

As we enter the complex subject on above the fold contents (almost always noticeable on Mobile) diminutive point deduction scoring by Google, we have a somewhat questionable amount of differing opinions to deal with. Nevertheless, you will observe that when using most if not all of my recommendations, google may still drop you about 5 points on the Mobile Test. What you should predominantly be looking for here is a minimal style sheet for the header section that will make everything above the fold make sense; conforming to your theme’s design and layout (though it may not necessarily respect it 100%) As should be apparent at this stage, the importance of above the fold design is essential but somewhat complex. As a result, it’s prudent to be wary of any advice that deals in absolutes.

However, have no fear. The desktop Google Page Speed Score will remain at 100% while GTmetrix and Pingdom will keep everything at the 100% MARK! By the way, when using ‘Simple’ Cache, I found that my scores remained at the 100-point mark without Async JavaScript installed. This plugin is a great option, if you need it. Test it out!

IMAGE OPTIMIZATION and COMPRESSION – The Biggest Enigma!

It took me a while to completely understand the intricacies involved here and admittedly, I’m still learning. With many trials and errors, I realized that there are many misconceptions and startlingly varied ideas as to how to accomplish this. However, I believe I have conquered most of the basics; although there is still so much to learn when applying proper image compression and size formatting. Without a question of a doubt, this is a huge key to perfecting your blog optimization, particularly when pursuing that perfect page speed score.

Let me start with a few mandatory assertions:

Ideal image optimization usually demands only two types of image formats: JPG and PNG. About 95% of the time you will be using the JPG format for photos and images that have a varied color gradient and many colors. The PNG format will be used for any image that contains drawings, graphics and particularly, your website logo.

I always resize and compress my images before uploading them to my WordPress site. There are a few great online and free optimizations download tools you can use that do this job superbly. It will take a little bit of time, but in the end, it is much better than using the familiar (although quite good) image optimization plugins you can get from the WordPress directory.

The idea being is to keep your images on the smaller side, if at all possible. Though all themes are different as to their layout dimensions and your preferences, try keeping your ‘featured’ image no more than say 1020 px in overall width. Height can vary but keep them in that 16x 9 style format.

I almost always stick to no more than approximately 900 x 400 pixels, particularly for the featured image. I will go down in size somewhat when inserting images into blog posts. You must experiment in detail to obtain the ideal image size visa compression if you are going to master this battle with Google Page Speed. At times, it can be a very trying excursion!  What’s more, if you eventually go into using display ads for monetary needs, some experimenting will be demanded, which is not in the scope of this article.

Once you have your image selected to your computer, resize them to your liking with Microsoft Paint application in either of the two formats mentioned above. You can also use Photoshop if you have access to it.

COMPRESSION

As for ideal image compression, we are now venturing into a zone of pure experimentation as well as a ‘hit and miss’ trial and error situation. Once again, in my opinion, it is better to do all your image compression before uploading the image. The most trying and tedious learning experience about compression is that you have to depend a lot on your own judgement in obtaining the so called ‘ideal’ settings we are trying to obtain. What I have found out after many long and trying examinations is that the applications listed here need not be a plugin uploaded to your WP site.

Quite naturally, well need some basic applications to proceed efficiently. What I have finally discovered is that these applications need not be WordPress plugins uploaded to your site.  Quite honestly, many of the following WordPress image optimization tools are fine– even great products. They are well-engineered and precisely coded and may be helpful to you in the long run or as a backup for re checking what you have done before your images have been uploaded. These plugins include, but are not limited to: Shortpixel, Imagify, Kraken, EWWW Image Optimizer and Optimus; the latter of which I am currently testing. (I keep Imagify on my site but it is usually deactivated.)

WHAT YOU REALLY NEED!

Let’s start out by using these FREE, online services to perfectly compress your images for Google Page Speed and GTmetrix. As we go through these programs, there will be some learning curves, some of which I have conqured but may take some time to understand in detail. I use these 3 free online programs as a combination in order to re-evaluate the absolute lowest file size each program gives me in comparison to photo quality. I’m listing them in the order that I use them, although this is by no means mandatory. However, they all do their jobs correctly!

1.FILE OPTIMIZER – Javier Gutiérrez Chamorro

This brilliant little online application will be the first of three programs that I have found to bring me to the lowest compression size visa vie photo quality. Go to the site, drag your photo(s) inside the app, hit compress and they will download to wherever you want within 5 seconds. I have found this to be a good ‘starter’ in evaluating the best compression to apply to images.

Now see the reduction in size your image has become. In many cases it may well be enough for you. However, further testing has shown me that this is a great initial ‘play it safe’ beginning. We can, indeed, get that file size down more, without losing much, if any quality

2.RIOT (Radical Image Optimization Tool)

As luck would have it, a blog post I read gave me the chance to download this free image optimization tool and damn, it has been a god send to work with and to use.

Google 100% page speed score
Outstanding image compression application

This tool can optimize almost any image format and it works in a dual view: (the original on the left and the optimized image on the right. What is really the life saver of this plugin is that you can adjust the level of compression as you watch it change in size and quality. Just slide the lever down for more compression and up for less. Here you can use your instinctual judgement as to getting the ‘largest’ amount of compression (which you always want) while viewing the image quality at the same time.

Remember, the higher the quality of the image the bigger the file size will be. If you bring the size down to its smallest size without noticing much of a quality degradation…you are SET!  And all the Web Page Tests will show it in the scoring. I always use Riot after I have reduced the size a bit in File Optimizer (above). The plugin works amazingly well with JPEG’s and PNG, however…. the PNG images need us to go just ONE STEP FURTHER…for the ideal and ultimate compression of our graphics or website logo.

3.TINY PNG ONLINE APPLICATION

Google 100% page speed score
The Ultimate PNG and JPEG application for a Google 100% page speed score

Here is the free online compression optimizer that you MUST use at the very end of your mission just to see if your jpeg or png images are compressed to their ultimate and smallest file sizes, which in this case means, zero! (0). (***preferably — PNG images)

Most of the time Riot will do the job amazingly, but there are a few occasions when I just want to see what Tiny PNG has to say. Just drag the image into its online page spot and see if there is ANY MORE compression available on the image. Open the image up and see the quality. Naturally, if its distorted or not to your liking, you know Riot has done its job.

However, Tiny PNG is a program you cannot do without and it is infinitely more useful than its sister WordPress plugin. You may be SURPRISED to find you can get about 10 to 20 or more additional kilobytes of compression out of a particular image.

Do not get alarmed when using Tiny PNG. You must keep testing and pulling the image back into the program numerous times and observe how it looks as it goes down to ‘zero’ compression. In all probability, as you gradually increase the image compression, it will look quite good. If it is slightly distorted or you deem it to be too much, then just re-apply the previously compressed image at the higher file size. Or, you can use your lowest compressed Riot copy of the photo. For me, Tiny PNG is an invaluable application to have as it always re-checks the possibilities of getting your image a bit more compressed!

(***Tiny PNG is MANDATORY for PNG images. It will not give you the HIGHEST COMPRESSION rate on first try. Keep resizing the image over and over until it reaches “0” compression. Also try it at the very end with your JPEG images for curiosity. (Ultimately, they all will be perfectly compressed at your subjective and relative quality needs). 

THE HOME STRETCH

Ideally, you’ll probably want some other plugins to add to our site that will make it fully complete thereby enabling readers to acknowledge more of your work. This in turn will enable you to compete in the world of SEO and Google Search. Once you get these out of the way, your main concern will be writing and editing the best articles you can and hopefully, get people to enjoy reading and subscribe to your site.

Let’s start with Social Media. We need to find some Social Follow and Share buttons for the various social media outlets available to us. Namely; Facebook, Twitter, email, Google+ and possibly You Tube and Pinterest.

WordPress offers countless amounts of social sharing plugins. If I say I have experimented with over thirty paid and non-paid social media plugins, it would be an understatement. Ultimately, my goal was the same as I have repeated over and over again in this article; lightweight, excellently coded, and containing the MINIMUM amount of options in order to do the job correctly without adding clutter. This keeps our site swift and fast!

1.LIGHTWEIGHT SOCIAL ICONS

From our GeneratePress theme author, Tom Usborne’s social media plugin is the one to keep everything super-fast and fine-tuned. These social follow buttons use the Font Awesome library and its widget lets you display over 39 icons to choose from in almost anyplace you want on your WordPress theme.

Using icon fonts allows you to choose the Icon size, border radius, color and hover color of your preference. You can open links in new windows, choose your own order and alignment and enable different background colors as well. Let’s just say that every other follow/share plugin I tried added more weight and script problems to fix on my site. Do yourself a favor and end the struggle here!

2.ULTRA LIGHT SOCIAL SHARE BUTTONS

I worked for 2 months trying to find the right Social Share plugin for rawassertions. If you don’t mind paying an arm and a leg for the Monarch Social Share plugin from Divi, then go ahead and buy it. In some cases, you may still get a warning from Pingdom or Google page speed. The above goes without saying with the vast amount of social sharing options available on the WordPress plugin site.

Audition this simple but exceptionally well designed FREE, Ultra-Light Social Share buttons by F5 themes. The plugin does not use JavaScript or images which is the best for SEO purposes. It has most of the essential sharing buttons anybody will need. More importantly, it will not add any weight or excess bloat to your site. Every other sharing plugin I tried (and I have tried them all) has added some kind of render blocking to my pages, except this!

Again; the key here is to keep our pages loading and performing as close to perfect as possible. After futzing around with over forty sharing plugins, this is virtually the only one that I found acceptable.

OPTIN PLUGIN FORMS

Once again, we are fighting the odds when choosing Optin form plugins that are clean, pure and lightweight. Not only do the best Email Marketing Services at your disposal have their own opt in forms, but you can browse maybe 60 more optin plugins in the WordPress directory to choose from.

Sure, it can be quite challenging, (maybe fun?) to be able to have an immense number of fancy extras in your opt in form(s) if you are not too passionate about site performance. As we’ve come to understand what this tutorial is striving for, this search was one of the most frustrating experiences I had yet encountered! Just about every opt in form plugin, free or paid, added many unwanted performance problems to my blog site.

Adding to that, what ever E-mail Marketing Service you choose will have a bunch of subscribe form list options along with their email campaigns plans. I would advise trying them out and then testing your site on GTmetrix or Google. Take my word, virtually all of them will add many unwanted complications to slow down your site.

Some of the most popular plugins are currently acclaimed by many of the WordPress aficionados; these include, but are not limited to Optin Monster, Ninja Pop Ups, SumoMe, Pop Up Domination, Thrive Leads, Lead Pages and a host of others. With a few exceptions, they all work wonderfully and will satisfy just about every enthusiast out there.

Regrettably, most, if not all of them will leave a footprint on your site that is by no means as small as we are looking for in order to obtain that “100” point score. You can try them out and see how your speed optimization and recommendations turn out once you have installed them and set them up.

On the other hand, you can jump right over and purchase WORDPRESS SUBSCRIBE PRO, for $20.00 a year (or a onetime purchase without support) from My Themeshop. With this plugin, you will be able to obtain the most uncluttered and responsive opt in form plugin currently available to attract new email subscribers. It is simple to use, beautifully designed and will not add one smidgen of a second to your site speed!

Google 100% page speed score

WordPress Subscribe Pro works with EVERY, and I mean every Mail Service currently available. With a bevy of great options including animation, colors and pop up settings, this plugin is a pleasure to use and then forget about; allowing you to pay more attention to your writing. Go to My Themeshop to purchase it and you will not regret it. As for the other choices above, you are on your own!

ODDS AND ENDS

When setting up your blog each of us will invariably need different options and settings to subjectively implement cosmetic ideas to use in the effort to improve the beauty of our website. In such cases, you may need to add some custom CSS to your site to implement these changes. There is really only one to choose:

SIMPLE CSS

Here again, Tom Usborne of GeneratePress has come to the rescue. Just read the reviews! Tom has designed the most basic, yet prolifically efficient way to add some custom CSS to your blog site.

Simple CSS features a full Administrator CSS editor, dark or light color schemes, a Metabox for specific page /post CSS and most importantly, the CSS editor is in your Customizer, so you can live preview the changes. Simple, lightweight and beautiful!

SOME NOTES ABOUT “YOAST”

Anyone who is blogging is well aware by now that SEO optimization is the most pertinent factor in getting your posts and website as quickly and accurately listed in the Google Search Engine. Yoast is ‘the’ all powerful tool that will help make your site as search engine friendly as possible. Yoast is by far the most popular of these applications and I have found that if used properly, is arguably, the best.

I will not go into all the settings available as there are many tutorials available on how to set this program up correctly.  Admittedly, Yoast is a peculiar beast to master and there are a few things you must realize when using this important plugin.

You may initially find that Yoast is overtly strict and confusing concerning its corrections on your particular blog post and may indeed give you some false negatives as to particular keyword placement, intensity, and paragraph placement. Eventually, you will learn that you must rigorously read and re-read your post many times before publishing in order to correct these warnings. In some instances, you may not be able to correct everything that Yoast advises; but these minuscule problems will have absolutely no negative consequences to your SEO set up.

Getting that “green light” from Yoast is a process of mastering the applications strict demands. If and when you do, you will remember and observe that most of the problems Yoast will show in your blog post are things that YOU have done wrong; not the plugin. As such, scrutinizing over every part of the post is mandatory in getting the plugin to acknowledge the corrections you may have overlooked.!

The free edition is all you really need while remembering that your specific “keywords” (always use long-tail keywords) and how and where they are placed in your blog post will be the ultimate test of how well the google algorithm and your ultimate ranking is analyzed by the Yoast plugin.

Having said that, if you can get a minimum of 7 or 8 positive “green” light notices when doing your work on Yoast, you are in great form! Another thing to remember is that even while acknowledging the above, this will not necessarily put you on the first page of Google, particularly if you re website is new and you do not have many posts at the moment. What it does do quite well is give you a better than average shot of moving way up the latter.!

REVISIONIZE

Assuming you are serious about getting your blog posts permeated throughout the net, thereby gaining more subscribers, this plugin is the only one currently available that will properly correct your “live” posts while not altering your SEO ranking.Google 100% page speed score

 

It will clone your post, page or CPT draft so to give you the freedom to tweak and edit your content. As it allows you to preview your draft changes, it is immensely helpful and will eventually prove to be an invaluable resource when you have put much hard work into your writing, particularly if you have already published it. For the serious writer, it is a must!

RELATED POSTS/ RECENT POSTS

Many of the best blog sites contain these additional plugins to gather your audience to look at other blog posts you’ve written, be it your most recent or some that may be in a related category. Either or both of these plugins are a good addition to gathering more sign ups to your site. Unfortunately, there are not too many that are good at keeping your site clean from added bulk and rendering pitfalls.

My strict and discerning demands in finding the right plugin here led me one more to countless numbers of WordPress blog recommendations (sad to say….almost all of them being shill reviews for their affiliate advertisers). The writers have no concern for the size of the plugin, nor its purity of coding and particularly, how the plugins thumbnail sizes may affect your blog performance!!

So I diligently sorted through, scrutinized and quite painfully I might add, installed an overabundance of  these plugins. This is one of a few which will definitely satisfy the above criteria; take my word!

1.RELATED POSTS by WPBrigade

Related Posts by WordPress Brigade was specifically designed to keep your blog site fast and simple. It creates its own cache and keeps all of the hard, heavy lifting in the Administrative panel. In this respect, it does not betray itself in any way.

Otherwise, the plugin allows you to set display settings, custom thumbnail sizes while adding columns under the post with related post title/excerpt under each post thumbnail as well as color and border text sizes and options. It works and looks great and you’ll be surprised how well everything looks and how most of the time, no detrimental effect on your page speed! However, I would advise trying the next plugin; it is flawless! (Check the WordPress Plugin Directory) 

2.RELATED POSTS for WORDPRESS – BY NEVER 5

I discovered this plugin for my site just previous to publication of this article. For me, Related Posts by Never 5  is truly an eye-opener as compared to everything else I have tried! With a simple, easy, 1 click installation, the designer has given you the option of letting the plugin relate posts automatically by tags and/or categories or you can perform them manually.

 

Even better, it is so basic yet comprehensive in design that you will not even notice that the program is installed on your WordPress website It is what anyone looking for speed will need and it has just about everything you could desire. Nonetheless, if you find that it is a bit too basic for your needs and you want a few more options, there is a premium version available as well.

3.RECENT POSTS WIDGET DESIGNER by ONLINESUPPORT

This wonderfully designed plugin is based on the well-known WordPress default widget ‘Recent Posts’ and has since been extended to display more information about your individual posts. It includes thumbnails, date, design, author as well as excerpts and categories.

Although it currently has a small amount of installations, it is a tremendous plugin. Why? Because every other that I auditioned gave my site a slower speed as well as thumbnail, compression and JavaScript problems. Test them out yourself (as well as some others) with Google Page Speed and Gtmetrix.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Although it’s a great feat to be able to achieve that 100-point score on the various Web Page Speed tests, ultimately, the bottom line is that as you start writing some really good articles to ultimately and confidently attract more readers as well as compelling  comments on your blog posts. I have been starting to get more attention on my site although I will state up front that I too have some work cut out for myself in this regard.

Try keeping your comments limited without going overboard. Comments are great but eventually they will add a strain to your sites speed. Ironically, if you follow most if not all of the recommendations in this tutorial, you may find that your comment section on a particular page will still hit that 100%-page speed score!!

Another important point to note is that you should give some thought as to either disabling your Gravatars as they take a long time to load, especially if you have an abundance of comments. (Try running a post through GTmetrix with your Gravatars enabled and see how bad it can get!).

If need be, keep the Gravatars blank and notice that your page will work out perfectly fine, particularly when following this articles recommendation. (Do not bother adding plugins to Cache your Gravatars; they won’t work and are a waste of time and effort.) Keep in mind that the best and easiest loading script fonts will be Arial, Lucida Sans, Tahoma and Verdana.

I ENJOYED writing this article for a few reasons. It gave me the opportunity to show and teach others how I struggled to find the right combinations to optimize my blog while at the same time achieving the highest scores from the most popular and accurate page speed applications available to the WordPress user.

I hope that ultimately, everyone will absorb as much from this article as possible. As you experiment with the numerous recommendations I’ve outlined here, remember that this is a somewhat tedious and continually ongoing journey.

In conclusion, the essential ideas of this tutorial were quite simple: Every application in this article I have worked with and am now using gives me a blog site where just about every page is scoring 100% on the Google Page Speed Test (not to mention, Web Page Test, Pingdom and GTmetrix). As such, I have offered you an opportunity to do the same, if you so desire.

I adamantly invite comments, questions and feedback on this tutorial. There may be some things that I can learn from you.!

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