102 total views,  1 views today

Online Media Masters

25 Ways To Fix A Slow WordPress Site And Pass Core Web Vitals (Complete Guide Updated For Changes In The WP Speed Industry)

Have a slow WordPress site?

This tutorial has been a work in progress for years.

It covers core web vitals and fixing specific items in the new PageSpeed Insights (PSI) using things like defer/async, delaying JS, and font optimization. It also covers new optimizations found in Elementor, Divi, Cloudflare, LiteSpeed, SiteGround Optimizer, FlyingPress, WP Hive, and other tools. You name it, it’s here. And if it’s not, drop me a comment with your suggestion.

This post includes affiliate links. I did my best to keep it unbiased by citing reliable sources on things like SiteGround’s slow TTFB, Hostinger’s fake reviews, NitroPack being blackhat, EIG + Clearlake acquisitions, Elementor/Divi bloat, and why StackPath/RocketCDN isn’t great. Most bloggers/YouTubes only recommend tools that pay commissions (most of their sites don’t even pass core web vitals). Other tutorials are written by host/cache plugin companies themselves. That’s why I recommend joining Facebook groups to get unbiased feedback from non-affiliates.  You won’t find 1 affiliate link on my website to SiteGround, Hostinger, Bluehost, NitroPack, etc.

1. Testing Tools

Tools to learn what’s slowing down your website.

  • PageSpeed Insights – Google redesigned PageSpeed Insights which is the main tool you should be using to pass core web vitals. Some things are still tested on a 3G network, otherwise the results are similar to Lighthouse and the core web vitals report in Google Search Console. Thanks Google for finally updating this.
  • Chrome Dev Tools – find your largest CSS/JS files under Sources → Coverage, third-party domains (Sources → Page), and other performance issues like when fonts are preloaded but aren’t being used (learn how to open Chrome Dev Tools).
  • CLS Debugger – view a GIF of your site’s layout shifts (CLS) on mobile/desktop.
  • GTmetrix – similar recommendations as PSI with a Waterfall chart which can help you find slow CSS, JS, fonts, images, third-party domains, other large files.
  • KeyCDN Performance – test TTFB/DNS lookup times in 10 global locations.
  • Query Monitor – find your slowest plugins. Install it, view any page on your website, then go to Queries (shown in admin bar) → Queries By Component.
  • WP Hive – Chrome Extension that lets you search the WordPress plugin repository and see if a plugin impacts memory usage and PageSpeed scores.
  • Wordfence Live Traffic Report – view bots hitting your website in real-time (great for checking whether bad bots are hitting your website and consuming CPU). Uninstall Wordfence when you’re done since the plugin increases CPU.
  • WP-Optimize – clean your database of unused tables left behind by old plugins you uninstalled. Some plugins/modules add bloat especially when they have to process data (Rank Math’s Analytics module) which you’ll see in WP-Optimize.

By wit