Plain and simple page speed is important for everyone. It is vital for providing a great user experience on the web and important in maintaining a healthy position with search engines. There are several tools online that measure page performance, but my go-to and most reliable is Google Page Insights.
Google enhanced its algorithms in 2021 to reward those sites that perform well. It’s a step in delivering the best possible experience for online users, especially those on mobile devices. Google Page Speed uses Core Web Vitals as a measurement. Here are some more in-depth resources that will explain insights results.
I’ve been using WordPress for several years just based on the popularity of the CMS, and have had some challenges along the way with page speed. Many themes and builders are bloated and create significant drag in load time, so finding a light theme is a must with WP. I’ve had really great results with GeneratePress as a theme.
Like many, I’ve made the assumption that shared hosting was to blame for poor speed, and it can be for the larger sites. Smaller sites however can perform equally as well on shared. The performance really depends on how many plugins, what plugins and themes are used, and the configuration of a good performance plugin. Also, it’s also important to consider what third-party JS and tracking that is applied to the site, and whether or not those scripts are in the header, footer, deferred, or async. Images need to be compressed and saved in a next-gen format like webp.
There are a lot of considerations to take into account and would recommend optimizing your site from the beginning of the build vs going back later on. I’ve had the experience of working on the performance of older sites and there is no out-of-the-box solution. It takes careful consideration and continuous testing to ensure the site doesn’t break.
Site speed is important. There will be some scarifies that will have to be made in the interest of performance, but it is worth it for SEO and UX purposes. Don’t forget to measure your website with Google Page Insights.