Over the past few years, website speed has become one of the hotly pursued topics under SEO since Google has made website loading speed as one of the most important ranking algorithms. As a matter of fact, websites that have better loading times rank higher than the others. Hence you must pay a careful attention while buying a WordPress theme so that you do not choose one that loads slower than the others and lags behind in performance.
Experts warn that theme vendors can often set up their demos in such a way that their website looks like loading faster than they really do. So, when you shop for a theme, you must make sure to know what is in store for you. Here are a few steps to check if the theme you are choosing will do well in reality.
Step by step procedure to ascertain the loading speed
- Test multiple themes on the vendor’s websites
- Test how fast the theme loads on a shared hosting account
- Test the loading speed of the theme on an economical VPS (Virtual Private Server) that runs Apache.
- Test the loading speed of the theme on a cloud server that runs NGINX and Varnish and located in a reputed data center where the latency is very low.
After you test the theme loading speed in the abovementioned ways, you must also compare the speed between different platforms. Analyzing the source code manually and using an online service to detect the content management systems (CMS) are a part of a smarter approach to choosing the right theme.
How to interpret the results on Google PageSpeed Insights (GPI)
The score will help decide the performance of your website in the following way.
100 to 85
This score is given in green meaning that the website is a well-optimized one. In fact, the websites that score more than 90 are very rare and are in a highly advantageous position with regard to SEO.
84 to 60
This score is presented in orange that suggests the following. If the website has a score on the lower end of this range, it can be labeled as a slow loading one. If the site falls in the upper range, it is relatively quick.
59 to 0
Shown in red, this score implies that the site is a really slow loading one due to poor optimization. Users can experience this even when the connection is fast. News websites loaded with media often fall in this range. Though it is very rare, a website can even get a score under 1.
It is very important not to get cheated by seeing phrases like ‘fast loading’ or ‘well optimized’ while buying a theme. Do an extensive research while trying to choose a theme. Also, base your decision on some reliable reviews on the theme and do some comparison too.