6x Free Ways To Increase Website Speed (and search traffic!)

  • Matthew Woodward
  • Updated on Jun 10, 2024

Did you know that a one second delay in website speed decreases conversions by 7%?

But what does that actually mean?

According to Google, if I increased my website speed by 1 second…

…I would make an extra $28,464 per year!

estimated revenue loss

But why does that happen?

It’s because-

page speed statistics

How much money are you unknowingly leaving on the table?

I suggest you run the numbers to find out.

Because with the few simple changes that I am going to share with you…

Anyone can increase their website speed, decrease their bounce rate and give a much better user experience.

6x Free Steps To Increase Website Speed Easily

Increasing your website speed is easy and you can do it without spending any money!

And no matter how fast your site is right now it can definitely be made faster!

You can usually improve things without any help from a developer, you just need the right combination of-

So follow the steps below and your site will be faster in no time at all!

Step #1: Test Your Current Website Speed

Before we do anything else, we need to get a benchmark of where we are right now in terms of our websites speed.

The results of this might be shocking but don’t worry, we are going to take of everything together in a moment.

First – capture data for you homepage and 2x other pages from-

Create a spreadsheet like this one (Template > File > Make a Copy)-

website speed before optimisation

Once you’ve got a baseline of where you are right now.

It’s time to go to work!

Step #2: Install A Caching Plugin

If you don’t already have a caching plugin installed, install one now!

You can use the free W3 Total Cache plugin to enable caching for your blog. Just follow this guide to get it running.

It’s a quick, free and easy way to activate caching on your site and it’s really customizable.

Note: Be careful with minifying or optimising your Javascript files, it will probably break things.

What Is Caching & How Does It Work?

When you visit a web page, the server has to spend time generating the page and then sending you all of the data/images on that page in order to display them.

It does this for every single page you visit on the website which means the server is constantly thinking and you’re often downloading the same images like logos multiple times.

Enabling caching means that-

  1. The server doesn’t have to spend time thinking about generating every page (because it’s “cached”)
  2. Your browser doesn’t have to download things it’s already downloaded before like logos

And that will result in significantly faster load times for your visitors.

Ps. I am using WPRocket and Kinsta (see my full Kinsta review) to power this blogs caching.

Step #3: Optimise Your Images

Images are one of the major contributing factors to slow websites.

That’s because image files are often unnecessarily large and can be compressed to shave off huge amounts of page size.

I managed to shave 46% off my image sizes across the blog-

image compression stats

I use ShortPixel to reduce the size but you can also use the free WP Smush plugin as well which I used for many years.

In fact:

It’s worth noting that all my images were already compressed with WP Smush before ShortPixel compressed them by an additional 46%.

But if you are on a budget, the WP Smush plugin will still do some serious compression for you and it only takes 1 click-

wp smush run time

It might take a while, but once it’s done you will have shaved off significant page size for free!

Step #4: LazyLoad Your Images (and videos)

The next step is to lazy load all of your media.

Now if your the type of person that HATES the lazy load experience because it makes the page jump around – don’t worry.

I hate that as well!

The best free plugin for you to use here is Lazy Loader but make sure it is effective by setting it up like this-

lazy loader setup

Pay close attention to the “Include lazysizes aspectratio plugin” option that will prevent the page jumping around like crazy.


There is one problem with this solution.

If you do choose to deploy WebP images with ShortPixel, the only lazy load plugin I have found that actually works with the picture tag is WPRocket

wp rocket lazy load options

And that’s going to cost you a little, but that is what is powering the lazy load across this blog right now. You should checkout my full WP Rocket review to learn more.

Step #5: Set Up CloudFlare

CloudFlare is a free content delivery network that comes with a bunch of other performance enhancing features.

It’s free and integrates with W3 Total Cache, WPRocket & ShortPixel.

cloudflare set up

Configuring this tool is a little beyond the scope of this article…

So I’ll refer you to this excellent tutorial to get it setup.

I’ll just leave this here in case you are unfamiliar with content delivery networks…

content delivery network

Step #6: Test Your Site Again

Once you’ve made all of these changes…

It’s time to test your site again, so head back over to the tools-

And run each of your URL’s through them again to see if you have improved (I guarantee you have).

These are the results I had before:

website speed before optimisation

But after a lot of testing and tweaking with various combinations of different plugins…

…I was able to make some significant improvements-

after website speed optimisation

Here are the headlines-

  • Average page size reduced by 62% (2,262KB vs 843KB)
  • Average number of requests reduced by 59% (166 vs 68)
  • Average load time reduced by 41% (6.4 seconds vs 3.8)
  • Average mobile Google page speed score increased by 78% (28 vs 50)
  • Average desktop Google page speed score increased by 29% (72 vs 93)

All of these improvements were made with the ultimate setup that I am sharing below.

Please post screenshot of your results in the comments!

The Ultimate Setup To Increase Your Website Speed

If you follow the 6x steps above, you can increase your website speed without spending a penny and also give a better user experience and increase sales.

But if you are serious about increasing your website speed and improving your core web vitals

…you need to invest a little bit of money.

I’ve spent lot’s of time testing different combinations of services and plugins on this blog.

This is the final combination I settled on and what is currently powering things behind the scenes on my sites to get a faster load speed-


It has a ton of features that you don’t get in W3 Total Cache like combining and optimising Google Font files.

All the way through to optimizing Google Analytics and your Facebook Pixel-

google analytics facebook optimisation

As you can see it’s easy to use and it’s jam packed with a bunch of features all focused on making your website load faster.

Take a look at my NitroPack review if you want a solid alternative.


ShortPixel took images that had already being compressed with the free WPSmush plugin and then compressed them a futher 46%-

image compression stats

Not only that:

But you can shave an additional 25-36% off your images by clicking 2 boxes to deploy the WebP image format-

how to enable webp images

These are also compatible with WPRocket’s lazy loading feature! Double whammy!

Last Resort: Change Your Hosting

Your website’s speed starts with the foundation that your site is built on.

Tweaks and plugins can only get you so far.

So if you are serious about increasing your website’s speed, you might want to consider changing your hosting.

Especially if you’re paying less than $10/mo for your current host because your website is likely stuck on a server with thousands of other sites slowing you down.

I recently built 12 sites on 12 of the “fastest” hosts to find out who really offers the fastest Wordpress hosting.

And surprisingly, the most expensive hosting WAS NOT the fastest Wordpress hosting.

When I switched to WordPress focused hosting a few years back, I instantly shaved one second off my load time AND they did the migration for me:

page speed improvement

There are two hosting services I’d advise you to use-

Recommendation #1: WPXHosting

They boast that they’re the fastest WordPress hosting in the world and my testing confirmed it.

They beat out much more expensive hosts in nearly every test category.

Wordpress hosting speed test results

Their packages start from around $20/month and you can host 5 websites.

Plus they offer free migrations which really takes the headache out of moving host!

Not only are they the fastest Wordpress host, but they also have excellent support!

Plus who can argue with feedback like this from social media-

wpx hosting feedback from other people

And WPXHosting includes a bunch of awesome features like one click backups, a staging site, free SSL AND an excellent CDN service!

Please see my dedicated WPX Hosting review for more information.

Recommendation #2: Kinsta

They are the current host of this blog.
(that may change in the future seeing as WPX Hosting won my test AND are cheaper)

It’s more expensive at $30 per month and you can host 1 website.

But most importantly they have their own server level caching solution that’s built on the Google cloud platform.

They also performed well in my Wordpress hosting test and offer things like free migrations, one click backups, a staging site, free SSL AND free CDN!

The support is top notch as well! I am constantly throwing them weird problems to solve and they go the extra mile to solve them.

They offer services like cloud storage to help reduce the amount of stored information.

Regardless of which one you choose…

 You should definitely consider investing in better hosting for your site.

You will see improvements in page load times across the board if you do.

Wrapping It Up

 Your website speed is paramount to the success of your business.
Not only is it one of Google’s official ranking factors, but it’s one of your customers rankings factors as well but is a common problem in todays digital marketing-

page speed

Even a short delay could cost your businesses thousands of dollars.

On the other hand a small improvement could seriously increase your bottom line.

You’ve got 2 choices on how to do that-

  1. Use the 6x free steps above
  2. Or invest in the ultimate setup to increase website speed

If you follow either of those paths, you’ll see a drastic change in your website’s speed, your bounce rate should decrease and you’ll build a happy customer base who have no reason to leave.

And once you have taken care of that and ensured you can provide a great user experience on mobile devices and desktops…

You might want to take advantage of another confirmed Google ranking factor – HTTPS.

What Are Your Thoughts?

202 Responses

  1. This is a really informative article with lots of great ideas. Could you please tell me what software you use to run your incredibly fast website? I also want to create a simple website for my business, but I need help with the domain and hosting. Asphostportal reportedly has a good reputation. Are there any other choices available, and if so, what would you suggest?

    1. Hi Anna, my website is hosted on Kinsta and powered by NitroPack. I haven’t used Asphostportal so I can’t recommend it but if you’re just starting out I can suggest you A2 Hosting.

  2. You have so much excellent information, and it has motivated me to pursue my long waited goal of starting a blog. However, I still feel a little unsure, so any additional tips on getting started and what to write (I know what I want to make my blog about, just unsure what to say to keep interested) would be appreciated!

  3. i have shopify and need something similar to wp rocket to help. what do you recommend to help with shopify? thanks!

    1. Hey Bryan! Unfortunately, with Shopify, there aren’t many options available. You can add a booster plugin from Shopify, but that’s pretty much it.

  4. Thank you so much for the valuable content! Love your page and your YouTube channel. Do you still use Serped.net for SEO tools? What about ScrapeBox? What are your thoughts on these programs?

    1. Hey Chris! Thank you for reading my blog and following my Youtube Channel- I really appreciate it. I don’t use them as much as I used to, but I still recommend them.

  5. My website was suffering from slow loading times and so was its online presence. But then, just when I needed it most, I found this blog!

  6. Hey. This is really good. Being a digital marketer I completely agree with everything you mentioned above. You explained everything really well. Keep the good work up 🙂

  7. Thanks for sharing this. Wasn’t aware that speed was such a google ranking factor. Ended up using a module for my opencart website that did all in one go.

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