Step 1: Set a baseline.
Whenever optimizing a website, we always establish where the website stands before any work is done. This not only sets a standard for the client, but helps us set benchmarks for what the final product will be like.
The priority issues that were on the top of our list to fix for Arielle Executive were the following:
- Image Optimization
- Browser Caching
- Scaling Images
- Cloudflare (CDN) Integration
Step 2: Implement changes.
It usually takes 4-5 hours to optimize a WordPress website and Arielle Executive was no different. Almost all websites we work on have a variety of the same issues, but with different hosting configurations, themes, plugins, third party assets, and content. How all of those pieces interact with each other is always different and that is where having a true understanding of the process of how all the pieces interact with each other is crucial. With us, WordPress performance optimization is more than checking a few boxes on a plugin. We find the best configurations that work for your website.
Step 3: Evaluate Results
A lot of our job is helping clients understand the metrics they are looking at and what they mean. In the above image, the fully loaded time is 2.8 seconds, which while not horrible, there are a few things that need to be understood to realize why the fully loaded time is 2.8 seconds.
The fully loaded time occurs after the on-load event has finished. This includes the time it takes for all assets to be loaded, third party or not. Third party assets are services like Wistia, Google Analytics, Advertisements, YouTube videos, HotJar, Drift, Intercom, etc.
For all assets to be loaded, it took an additional 1.7 seconds. This additional 1.7 seconds is not noticeable to the user as after the on-load event occurs, everything else loads in the background.