MemberJanuary 11, 2021 at 5:02 pm
I’m working on improving my Divi mobile PageSpeed Insights scores, especially Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). I wouldn’t worry about this much except for Google’s upcoming mobile-only indexing and recent emphasis on page speed as part of a good user experience. I’m wondering what others are doing and what kind of success they’re having.
I’ve had some success by removing some above-the-fold images, not using Google fonts, and playing with different caching plugin settings. Still not getting great times if I have any images above the fold (even if hidden on mobile, as it still loads the image and then hides it with CSS) with section dividers set to show behind content, for instance.
What tips and tricks have you found, and what sorts of speed improvements?
MemberJanuary 14, 2021 at 11:51 pm
Yes, I use either WP Rocket or Swift Performance Pro on all my sites, and since posting the above I’ve managed to get one of the worst offender (in terms of CLS) down from around .7 to .1 or just under for CLS. PageSpeed Insights speed score is now about 65, up from around 15-20. Of course, my Gutenberg sites get 90-99 for speed scores with CLS of 0-.03 or so with nothing more than my usual optimization setup – none of the extra tweaks and tests needed for my Divi sites. Divi is still MUCH nicer to work with for me, though!
MemberJanuary 15, 2021 at 8:21 am
Oh, great, I also use WP Rocket but badly I think.
I don’t get good results.
Would it be possible to get some help?
Do you use their CDN?
MemberJanuary 16, 2021 at 12:53 am
I don’t use their CDN – I’ve used BunnyCDN in the past, but I’m not using one currently.
Each website is its own beast, but in general:
I make sure I’m doing image optimization – Swift Performance Pro has that built in, but otherwise I use ShortPixel. I have it serve images in webp format. We want them the be responsive as well. Again, Swift Performance Pro has that built in, but ShortPixel has a companion plugin called ShortPixel AI which can handle that. Honestly, I’m not as fond of that one, as it uses ShortPixel’s CDN by default, and it often adds an unacceptable delay.
Lazy loading images can sometimes help with perceived page load time, but it needs to be tested to be sure it works OK and looks OK on a given site.
If you have woocommerce or a membership plugin, there will be things that shouldn’t be cached. WP Rocket is pretty smart about excluding them automatically, but check to be sure your combination of plugins is supported for that – if not, exclude them manually.
Make sure gzip is enabled for the site.
Each version of PHP is faster than the ones before. I’m currently using 7.4. Similarly, be sure you’re using the current version of WordPress, Divi, and other plugins.
Divi is a pretty heavy theme in terms of CSS & JS loaded for every page, and child themes add their own on top of that. Not much we can do about that without doing a lot more work, but we need to be aware of it. For instance, in order to get the site I mentioned down to a decent CLS score, I turned off section dividers and used background colors instead.
Hosting is important, of course. I’ve tried a number of hosts, and my current favorites are Web Host Python for shared hosting and Cloudways for a vps running on Digital Ocean or Vultr High Frequency (but I’m just getting ready to test that one, so my preference for Vultr HF is based on specs).
I think that hits the low-hanging fruit, but I’m a little brainfried tonight so I might have forgotten something. One of these days I’ll finish up the site speed course / workshop I’m working on & will have things organized and laid out nicely. 🙂
Let me know if you have questions…
MemberJanuary 16, 2021 at 1:05 am
Argh – almost forgot to mention critical things!
– Make sure you have at least 1, preferably 2, good full backups!
– Make sure you have access to the website files via ftp or your host’s File Manager app, in case you need to make changes outside of WordPress.
MemberJanuary 16, 2021 at 10:27 am
Oh thanks for your feedback and advice on how to improve the speed of his site.
I also use ShortPixel in its pro version, but I don’t trust it because when I put it on, my site was dead.
MemberJanuary 16, 2021 at 9:55 pm
Did you get in touch with ShortPixel support?
Speeding up Divi can get really frustrating and time-consuming. I just finished playing with some optimizations on sites running Divi, Astra Pro 3, Blocksy Pro, and Kadence. (The Astra, Blocksy, and Kadence sites were cloned from one of the Divi sites and then converted to Gutenberg. All sites were identically provisioned on my reseller hosting account on Web Host Python.)
The Gutenberg sites all scored in the 70s & 80s on PageSpeed Insights’ mobile test without any optimization, and just turning on either WP Rocket or Swift Performance Pro using the default settings put them all in the high 90s. The Divi sites took a half hour of testing various combinations of settings to get scores in the mid-60s.
I really hope Elegant Themes focuses on front-end performance for a while… If I didn’t find Gutenberg such a PITA compared with Divi, I’d have jumped ship already. I’m still tempted – the pain would be short-lived, but the speed would be forever… 🙂
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