The Need for Speed - How Fast Is Your Website

We all know that our websites need to be as fast as possible, but sometimes it is tricky knowing where to start to make them faster. That’s the problem this post aims to solve.


1. Know the Size of the Problem

You need to know how fast (or slow) your website actually is. Relying on your own feeling isn’t a good idea, especially when there are simple to use and free tools that will let you measure site-speed. GTMetrix is one that I use. It’s free, fast and you get detailed reports. You can register (free) and get extra benefits.

GTMetrix reports tell you exactly what the issues are on your site. The company makes its money if you ask their engineers to fix the issues, but you can fix most of them yourself very simply.

My tech ability is not high, I can install WordPress, add plugins and change settings and that’s about it. However I managed to take my site from a C score 76% to an A score 97% by making a few simple changes.

2. Cut the Plugins

Deactivate every plugin you have installed – Every single one. Register for GTMetrix so you can save the results. Test your site speed.

Re-activate the plugins you REALLY need one at a time, testing the speed after installing each one. Plugins are a major cause of WordPress sites being slow.

3. Install a Caching Plugin

There are many free WordPress cache plugins. I use WP Autoptimize because I like its simplicity. This plugin will solve most of the issues that GTMetrix detects.

4. Experiment with Themes

You will find that when you run speed tests on different themes that there are big differences in site load speed. You can always pay a coder to tweak the theme you find is fastest.

5. Consider a Content Delivery Network

Cloudshare’s CDN is free and might make a difference. It didn’t for me, but I have just changed my web host, so I will try using it again.

The AFTER Shot

You can see exactly how easy it is to make a big difference to your site’s speed, even if your technical know-how is limited.

Your Turn

Do these ideas sound simple enough to put into place? Please share your speed experiments results in the comments box below.


Written by Phil Turner who uses his teaching skills from a career in the classroom to pass on his knowledge to others. Communicating is Phil’s passion. His objective is to pass on as much of his own knowledge to as many people as possible, in the hope that one or two will pass it on to people they know.

Phil is the webmaster of and MidlifeAnswers.comand applies his life experience in his writing on these two very different sites.


  1. Brenda Lee

    Oh I totally failed miserably with my new site! Thanks for reminding me about page speed. Looks like I have some tweaking to do. :(

    Passing this along!

    1. Ali Lawrence (Post author)

      Haha there is always room for website improvement :) I’m sure Phil would be pleased to hear how helpful his article was for you.

  2. Pingback: Not a Good Day | Membership Diary

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