Podcast Episode 37 – The Importance of Website Speed: Why It Matters and How to Improve It

Join Chrissy Rey in this episode of “Website Success,” where we dive into a crucial aspect of your online presence – website speed. Discover why a fast-loading site is key not only for user experience but also for search engine rankings. Chrissy breaks down common factors that slow down websites, like oversized images and hosting issues, and guides you through easy-to-use tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights and GTmetrix to analyze and enhance your site’s speed. Tune in for tips to create a faster and more efficient website.

Listen to the Episode

Show Notes

In this episode of “Website Success,” host Chrissy Rey delves into the vital topic of website speed, explaining its impact on user experience and search engine rankings. Chrissy offers practical advice and tools to help improve your site’s loading time.


  • [00:00:00] Introduction to the Episode
  • [00:01:05] Factors Affecting Website Speed
  • [00:01:54] Tools to Analyze Website Speed: Google’s PageSpeed Insights and GTmetrix
  • [00:02:21] Top 5 Tips to Improve Website Speed
  • [00:06:26] Maintaining Website Speed
  • [00:06:54] Regular Website Audits and Updates
  • [00:08:43] Closing Remarks and Call to Action

Key Takeaways

  • Website speed is crucial for user experience and SEO.
  • Common speed issues include large images, hosting problems, and unnecessary features.
  • Tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights and GTmetrix are essential for diagnosing speed issues.
  • Top tips include optimizing images, choosing the right hosting, leveraging caching, minimizing HTTP requests, and minifying scripts.
  • Regular maintenance, like auditing and updating your website, is key to sustaining speed.
  • Platform limitations exist with website builders like Squarespace or Wix compared to WordPress.

Resources Mentioned


Hello everyone! Welcome back to “Website Success.” I’m your host, Chrissy Rey, and today, we’re putting the pedal to the metal and talking about a topic that can make or break your online presence – website speed!

Imagine this: you’re clicking through to a website from the search engine results page. You’re excited to see what’s in store, and then… you wait… and wait… and wait. That’s super frustrating, isn’t it? 

In the fast-paced world of the internet, users expect lightning-fast responses. A delay of just a few seconds can lead to major frustration, and let’s be real: we’re all a little impatient online. But it’s not just about user impatience; Google’s in on the game too. Search engines prioritize speedy sites, so if you want to climb those rankings, you’ve got to be quick.

Now, what slows down a website? It could be bulky images, a hosting hiccup, or that fancy slider you love but really don’t need. But how can you tell what’s slowing down your website? Lucky for you, there are some free tools out there that can show you exactly what’s slowing things down. I like to start with Google’s PageSpeed Insights, which you can find at pagespeed.web.dev. You can also use tools like GT Metrix, which you can find at gtmetrix.com. Both of those tools will give you a score on a scale from 0 to 100 that shows the relative page loading speed for a page on your website. They will also give you a list of things you can do to speed up your website. 

One thing to note about those tools: they only test one page at a time. When you use them, you’ll enter a single URL, like your homepage, and the tool will only test that one page. I recommend testing several pages from your website, including your homepage. 

So, what can you do to speed up your website? Here are my top 5 suggestions:

  1. Optimize Your Images: This is probably the most common issue I find when I audit my clients’ sites. Large images can slow your site down. I talked about optimizing images in episode 29, so make sure you go back and have a listen to that for more details.
  2. Choose the Right Hosting: Not all hosting is created equal. Make sure you’re on a plan that can handle your traffic. Oftentimes, cheap, shared hosting is going to cause your website to load slowly, so make sure you get the absolute best hosting you can afford.
  3. Leverage Caching: Caching stores parts of your site so returning visitors can load it faster. Many web hosts have caching set up on their servers so if you’re using a content management system like WordPress, the web server can serve the content from the cache instead of having to get it from the database. If you’re using WordPress, make sure your web host offers some sort of caching.
  4. Minimize HTTP Requests: This one is a little technical, but it’s also one I see quite often when I audit clients’ sites. Each file that needs to load for a web page to load requires a separate HTTP request. That means if you have multiple scripts or stylesheets, each one has to load separately. You can often speed things up by combining some of the files. 
  5. Minify Scripts and Stylesheets: Speaking of scripts and stylesheets, all of the extra spaces and new lines in those files can make them larger than they need to be. Minifying those files can remove all of the extra white space and also simplify the code, which can reduce the filesize, so there’s less to load.

If you’re using WordPress, some of those things are relatively easy to do using plugins like Imagify, WP Rocket, and perfmatters. For example, you can use Imagify to optimize your images as you upload them and perfmatters to minify your scripts and stylesheets. Plus, if your web host isn’t up to par, you can always switch! However, you will not be so lucky if you’re using a website builder like Squarespace or Wix. You can easily optimize your images before you upload them to those builders, but you’re pretty much stuck when it comes to web hosting and caching, and you can’t do anything about the scripts and stylesheets. That’s part of why I prefer to use WordPress to some of the other options out there.

After you make some changes, re-test a page you tested before to see if the score improved. I want you to aim for a score of at least 80 on your homepage but aim for as close to 100 as you can get.

So let’s say you went through and optimized your whole website. You’re done, right? Not so fast! Achieving great speed is one thing; maintaining it is another. Websites are like cars; they need regular tune-ups. Here are some maintenance tips to keep your site running smoothly:

  • Audit Your Website: Make a habit of checking your site speed regularly. That way, you can catch slowdowns before they become a problem. I recommend running at least your homepage through PageSpeed Insights or GTMetrix at least quarterly.
  • Regularly Update Software: If you’re using WordPress, keep it updated, and while you’re at it, keep your themes and plugins updated. Updates often include optimizations that can improve speed.
  • Keep an Eye on Your Plugins and Add-ons: Plugins and other add-ons can add functionality but also slow down your site. Regularly review your plugins and add-ons, and remove any that you no longer need or that are impacting performance.

Before we wrap up, I want to hear from you. After this episode, check your homepage at pagespeed.web.dev. Share your results in the Website Success Lounge Facebook group. If you’re not already a member, you can join us at facebook.com/groups/websitesuccesslounge. Let’s celebrate the wins and troubleshoot the not-so-fast together.

Well, that’s a wrap on the fast track to website success! Remember, a speedy site is a happy site, and a happy site means happy visitors. I’m Chrissy Rey, and I’ll catch you in the next episode. Until then, keep your site speedy and your spirits high!