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How to Use GTMetrix for WordPress to Improve Performance

How to Use GTMetrix for WordPress to Improve Performance

Since performance has contributed to the success of a website, every webmaster is pursuing an effective method to achieve the fastest speed. Fortunately, if you are running a website based on WordPress, and then there is nothing to worry about. This powerful site building platform enables a large number of plugins for speed enhancement, among which GTMetrix for WordPress is selected in this guide.

GTMetrix is a great plugin designed for page loading speed analysis, with which you are able to know your website status clearly and check if there is something wrong giving rise to bad performance. In this post, we are going to talk about how to use this plugin to improve site speed.

Install GTMetrix for WordPress

GTMetrix for WordPress is included in the plugin category of WordPress.org. You are allowed to download this plugin and then upload it to your website. Another way to realize the goal is to finish installation through your WordPress dashboard. Go to Dashboard > Plugins > Add New and enter GTMetrix for WordPress in search bar. Find out this plugin and click Install Now.

install gtmetrix

Activate GTMetrix to make it work on your website properly. And then, go to GTMetrix settings.

install gtmetrix

And now, you are required to enter GTMetrix account email and API key. If you don’t have one, then you should click “Register for a GTMetrix account now” to sign up an account.

install gtmetrix

Here is the GTMetrix official site. Click Generate API Key and click the Create an Account shown in the popup. Enter your personal information in the blank and click Create Account button to confirm all changes.

install gtmetrix

You will receive an email including the validation link and a user’s guide. If you wish to know more about this tool, then you can click the link to get detailed information. If not, click the Generate API Key button again and then get your API details.

install gtmetrix

Go back to WordPress Dashboard > GTMetrix. Enter your email account and API Key that you have acquired just now. Finally, click Save Changes to confirm filled information.

install gtmetrix

Bring GTMetrix for WordPress into Use

After finishing all procedures mentioned above, you are required to pitch on a page or post included in performance test. Go to Dashboard > GTMetrix > Tests and enter the page URL or the title of this page in the blank. And then, decide a label for this test.

You are allowed to analyze your website page loading speed from 7 regions worldwide, including Canada, USA, UK, Australia, India, Brazil and China. Besides, the Adblock Plus is used to block the ads in any forms, like pop-ups, banner, video or even malicious software. Thus, we suggest you to go with this extension. Click “Test URL now!” to confirm all settings.

set up gtmetrix

Wait for a moment and then you will get the latest front page score as the following example. From this report, you can get a brief analysis about page loading time, total page size and a total number of requests. What’s more, by cooperating with Google Page Speed and Yahoo! YSlow, GTMetrix also shows you the Page Speed Grade and YSlow. Certainly, the A grade is ideal for you.

set up gtmetrix

For detailed information, you are required to click “Detailed report” to enter GTMetrix official site. Here, a Breakdown list includes particular information of Page Speed, YSlow, Timeline and History Data. Firstly, the Google Page Speed page comes out by default, from which you can view the grade of leverage browser caching, minify CSS, optimize images, and so on so forth.

set up gtmetrix

The A grade and B grade stand for a good condition while the grades lower than B means that the tested items fail to perform well. To get the reasons that result in bad performance, you can click the item to view an analysis in detail. And then, suit the remedy to the case.

The next tab is YSlow. YSlow is a great tool designed for performance analysis, with which you can get comprehensive statistics about the page, in the aspects of Javascript, CSS, AJAX requests, the use of CDN services, and so on. According to the following example, we can find that the first three recommendations called Add Expire headers, User a Content Delivery Network (CDN) and Configure entity tags (ETags) have failed in this test. Likewise, click the name of each item to get specific reasons that result in failure.

set up gtmetrix

And then, move on to Timeline. There are two forms available for page loads showcase, including Filmstrip and Waterfall. To make the Filmstrip work, you are required to create a video of the page loading speed at first. If you have not created one, turn to the Waterfall that can also make a big difference.

Here, the first thing you need to focus on is the item with purple color fill, which stands for the waiting time of a process. Later, you need to set your mouse onto this item to check what the file is. Click the item and get in-depth resource analysis. If there is no need to do all processes, then you should stop the extra processing so as to improve speed.

set up gtmetrix

The last tab called History is used to check historical data, which shows you the history during the past 30 days if you have not signed up an account on GTMetrix. If so, you can view the history generated over 30 days ago and then send the data to you via email. Note that, you can sign up a GTMetrix account without paying extra money.

All generated reports are shown under the Reports option. This is where to schedule tests or delete reports. Besides, it also shows you the report date, Google Page Speed, Yahoo! YSlow and page load time.

set up gtmetrix

To enable regular performance test, you are required to click the button of Schedule Tests to go to the next page. Here, you can decide how often the test should be and there are four options available for you, including monthly, weekly, daily and hourly. The “Enable notifications” helps you receive an email about poor test results in time. If checked, you need to adjust the options of “Email admin when” and “Status” as well. Finally, click the Save button to confirm all changes. You can edit, delete, or pause the event in anytime.

set up gtmetrix

If there is a need to change default location, notifications email, front page URL, or something else, you can go to Dashboard > GTMetrix > Settings to modify the given options. Note that, the last option called Reset is the one to flush all GTMetrix records from your dashboard. Thus, you have to think twice before clicking the Reset button. Once have all settings done, click Save Changes at last.

set up gtmetrix

Summary

GTMetrix for WordPress is a great tool for page analysis, which helps you get the latest performance statistics about the website and then take measures to improve page loading speed. In addition, some WordPress cache plugins are also available for speed improvement, like W3 Total Cache.

Author

Lucy has been a very experienced SEOer, technical writer, web developer, c# developer since 2002. Now she owns a startup in San Francisco, CA, focusing on running a couple of blogs to share knowledge and experience with global readers and deliver exceptional results to global sponsors by leveraging the power of Internet.

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