Quick Wins: 3 Simple Speed Boosters for Your Website

Last updated on September 4, 2023 by Cameron Sheppard

Ahh, page speed.

The devil that crushed your spirits after you just spent too much time and/or money designing your website.

Yeah, it certainly looks good! But most visitors click off by the time it loads 15 seconds later to take in all its beauty.

To the business owners reading this who are simply trying to speed up their website without going crazy, these 3 tips are for you. Let’s go.

Tired of a slow, sluggish website?

There’s a good chance your issue is more complex than 3 simple tips. Let me help.

1. Convert your images to .webp

Images probably weren’t your first thought. However, your fancy .png and .jpg/.jpeg images are just taking up too much space.

Most .png files lie in the range of 500kB – 4MB. That may not sound like much, but it certainly is for a website.

Run your website through the Google’s handy PageSpeed Insights tool and you’ll likely see how much your images are slowing you down. But there’s an easy fix that can turn 500 kilobytes into 50. That’s a tenth of the size!

WebP is an image format developed by Google that was released in September of 2010. The main reason we’re using it here is because it has really good lossless compression.

Basically, it makes smaller images than the other image formats but with the same quality.

So, how do you convert your images to WebP? I’m glad you asked.


Screenshot of squoosh.app homepage

Squoosh is an online file compressor that’s completely free. It’s what I use on a daily basis, and it’s how the image you see above this paragraph was converted to WebP. (Yes, I use the techniques I’m listing here)

To convert your image to WebP, all you have to do is either drag your file into the window, or click the image with the plus icon and select one from your file explorer.

For the sake of this article, I’ll be using one of the sample files under “Or try one of these” as an example.

Squoosh.app image file compression tool, editor UI with an "Edit" tab and a "Compress" tab with various image compression options

When you first upload the file it might be zoomed in a bit. So, click on the minus at the bottom middle of the editor.

Squoosh.app image file compression tool, editor UI with an "Edit" tab and a "Compress" tab with various image compression options. Zoomed out

There we go. Now we can see the entire image.

Next, find the panel on the right and click on the “Resize” switch. This should open a whole lotta confusing options.

Squoosh.app image compression tool, screenshot of "Edit" tab with the "Resize" option switched on. Shows image width, height, preset, color settings, and more.

Yeah, I know. You don’t even know what half this stuff means.

That’s fine. The only option we will touch is “Preset”.

Go ahead and click on the drop-down and adjust the percentage until the width listed below it is somewhere in the range of 1,000-1,500.

(That’s pretty much the golden range for small but high-quality images. Once you go lower it starts to look blurry)

We’re done in the “Resize” panel.

Next, under the “Compress” tab, click on the dropdown, which should already have MozJPEG selected, and choose WebP.

Squoosh.app image compression tool, screenshot of "Compress" tab with the "WebP" option chosen. Shows effort, quality, lossless, and more.

Do not choose WebP v2. It’s unstable.

After that, we’re done! You’ve just compressed your image and converted it to WebP. If you take a look at the bar in the bottom right, you should see at least an 80% reduction in size.

Anything less than that and your file probably isn’t that large or you messed up on one of the earlier steps.

All you have to do now is click the download button at the bottom right. You’ll have a shiny new WebP file ready for use on the web. Just upload it to your platform like normal.

2. Download a caching plugin

If you use WordPress or your platform has an option to install plugins, then a caching plugin is imperative to speeding up your website.

While this article is not meant to be an exhaustive deep dive into the world of caching plugins, I will briefly go over some good things to know.

What is a caching plugin?

A caching plugin basically saves resources when a user visits your website again, after visiting once. It’s like a shortcut to the stuff on your website.

When a user lands on your website, their browser ‘asks’ your hosting server for the files that make up your website.

These files typically include code like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript along with resources like images and videos.

But when your website has multiple visitors and some that come back again and again, the requests for files pile up stress on your hosting server, A.K.A. a slower website.

So, caching is a method that stores your website’s files on a user’s device. The next time they visit, a request does not have to be made to your hosting server as they can fetch it from local storage.

So, caching keeps some of the weight off your hosting server’s shoulders while also speeding up your website the next time a user visits.

Sounds good, right? Yeah, I get it if you’re confused. Luckily, you don’t need to understand caching to get its benefits.

What are the best caching plugins for WordPress?

Here are my top five choices:

  • LiteSpeed Cache – Made for LiteSpeed web servers. Feature-rich and completely free other than a paid subscription to QuicCloud CDN that can be easily replaced by Cloudflare.
  • W3 Total Cache – Has a pricey premium version, but is surprisingly full of features on the free version.
  • SiteGround Optimizer – Originally made for websites that are on its web hosting, SiteGround’s caching plugin now works in any hosting environment. Completely free with over a million installations.
  • WP Super Cache – A freemium plugin with a good support team behind it and three different modes of caching.
  • WP Fastest Cache – Claims to be the “fastest and easiest WordPress cache plugin”, which I disagree with, but it’s still a solid option. The thing I love about this plugin is that its premium plans are a one-time purchase, not a recurring monthly payment.

3. Choose a better host

This one goes without saying.

If your website is just genetically slow, and the previous 2 tips didn’t help, then the problem lies with your web host.

Chances are, you’re hosting your website on a shared hosting platform like Hostinger or a site builder platform like Squarespace.

The problem is, those platforms don’t really allocate the resources to support your website among millions of others.

These resources include disk space, bandwidth, CPU cores, files, and more. The more the better.

So, the goal is to upgrade your web hosting to something more…generous. And that usually entails a higher price tag.

To save your wallet as much as I can, I’m going to list my top five bang-for-your-buck web hosting services out there:

  • Stablehost – The platform I use to host the website you’re reading this article on. I’ve never had an issue with speed. The plans are cheap – around $50/year for a website like mine. Plus, it uses LiteSpeed web servers which work great with the caching plugin.
  • Hustly – A bit more of an expensive pick but an amazing one. All plans allow you to host multiple websites on a 20+ GB NVMe SSD, plus a “lightning-fast” global CDN.
  • GreenGeeks – Cheap, scalable, and eco-friendly, if that’s what you’re into. Its team will even plant a tree when you purchase one of their plans!
  • SiteGround – A nice web host, but I would only use it for a year, because its introductory pricing is like 80% off.
  • Namecheap – Really the best long-term pick. Comes with a free domain name and lots of resources. Namecheap is also a well-known domain registrar, so that’s a bonus.

Now, if your current web host is listed below, you might want to consider changing. These web hosts aren’t so bang-for-your-buck:

  • GoDaddy
  • Squarespace
  • Wix
  • Shopify
  • Bluehost
  • WordPress.com
  • Webflow
  • Square Online

Please note that this is my personal opinion and this is not meant to defame any of the web hosts listed above or influence you in any way, shape, or form.

Whatever web host you choose, just make sure it allocates the necessary resources needed to support your website. If you like your current platform, why switch? Most likely, you can upgrade your plan.

Remember, more visitors = more resources. More images = more resources. More plugins = more resources. You get the point.

Final thoughts

I hope these 3 tips help you speed up your website. If you’re still at a loss, it might be best to hire someone to fix it for you.

I help people like you and businesses like yours speed up their website and improve their bottom line. Remember, every second your website doesn’t load is less visitors and customers for your business.

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