Travel Blogger’s 4s DIY Speed Improvement!

Laurel reached out to me on Facebook after I helped answer her site speed questions in a Blogging group we’re both in. She was frustrated with her slow site speed and that nothing she was trying seemed to have a positive impact. She wanted to DIY it but needed help.

What’s your website URL?

Mile Marker Memories Travel Blog

What exactly did you do to your site from the before to the after speed tests? 

I did the Cloudflare from your tutorial a few weeks ago (minus the firewall rules – need to try that again).

I also had optimized photos with ShortPixel shortly before I met you. But all of that was happening when I ran the first speed test that was a C.

Yesterday I went to your site and linked out to buy WPRocket. Then I used your step-by-step WP Rocket settings guide to configure it all. I ran the speed test on the link you suggested. I ran the test before just out of curiosity. I honestly would have had no idea what I was doing without it! I backed up my database before turning on those settings. One thing I had was like 195 revisions, etc. so that was probably majorly slowing things down. I also deactivated my “AutoOptimize” plugin since WP Rocket replaces it. I preloaded my Google Fonts and Amazon Native Ads just like your guide showed me how to do. Love those lists of common preload scripts – I would NEVER have a clue where to start without them. I was also able to link my Cloudflare account thanks to your guide. I found my main site images to exclude from lazy-loading just like you said to as well. I would have never known how to do any of that without your guide. Then I ran the test again and BOOM! Amazing difference! 

Speed Tools & Guides Used:

WP Rocket Caching Plugin // WP Rocket Settings Guide by BlogJolt

Cloudflare CDN & Security service // Cloudflare CDN Settings Guide by BlogJolt

ShortPixel Image Optimization & Compression // ShortPixel Settings Guide by BlogJolt

What had you tried before that didn’t work & frustrated you?

I have been so frustrated with site speed because I don’t understand any of it. When I started my blog, I thought I am finally going to document our family adventures and the advice/tips/info that my friends have been telling me to share for years! I was so excited. I never knew blogging was so much bigger than just writing out our travels. I became so discouraged by all of the information out there and how it feels like I can’t even do one thing well. Everything works together like if I try to master SEO, my site speed may pull me from Google anyways. Or if I try to focus on great pins from Pinterest, and users click to my site but it isn’t loading – they leave. I knew I needed to figure out why my site was loading slowly because the first thing I do is leave a site that is not opening quickly right away. 

As a travel blogger, I have a ton of photos. I initially thought that was my problem. I tried all different plugins that are supposed to fix everything – WPMU Hummingbird, Smush, AutoOptimize, W3 Total Cache, just to name a few. Every time I worked through installing, learning, and attempting to set up a plugin it really did not make a difference. I was overwhelmed by all of the high-priced suggestions coming at me – between new plugins, themes, optimizing, etc. Just honestly did not know where to start. 

What helped you the most that made this time different?

Clearly this site has helped me the most!! Ha. I just would not know how to set up these different plugins without your guides. I am excited to continue learning and tackling all of my other slow plugins, theme, hosting, etc. Your guides provide very easy step-by-step directions that have just been missing for me. I have ZERO coding or web experience so things that other guides assume you know I do not know. Your screenshots make it VERY clear and follow exactly what I will see on my screen. I love the bright pink to show EXACTLY what box, etc. needs to checked. It is beyond rewarding to go through and do the work AND then see true improvement! Especially when I have only done a few of your suggestions so far. So I know there is even more I can do. Shortly before finding BlogJolt, I did start using ShortPixel, so that is one thing I did right. If not, I would have been all over that with your suggestions for it as well. 

Anything else you’d like to say to bloggers that are scared to try?

To new bloggers, I would say DO NOT HESITATE. Follow these directions. It is almost like “site speed for dummies” and I have no problem saying that is exactly what I need! It feels like there is finally a tool to help sort out some of the “tech” side of blogging that many new bloggers know nothing about. The directions are clear and so are the results. I can’t wait to see what else I can do with your guides! So many of my plugins are on your “Sluggins” list (Slow Plugins) so I can’t wait to start using the right plugins for what I am trying to do. Another thing I did not know when I first started was the security risk that plugins can expose you to. I am thrilled to have a list of plugins that function well, don’t slow you down, and are trusted security-wise. 

Speed Optimization Results

GTmetrix Speed Test – Before

GTmetrix results Before

GTmetrix Speed Test – After

GTmetrix results After