Come May 2021 and Google is expected to roll out a new ranking factor, called Core Web Vitals. It was one of those rare instances when Google announced that this would be a ranking factor, sending a thousands of webmasters in search of WordPress speed services.
According to Google, and based on what we know so far, the big G will be basing their metrics off real-world experience metrics. For instance, they will be looking at how fast does the page load? How long is it inactive? Is it stable? Dead or broken links etc. So, anytime a user visits your site from a mobile device or a desktop computer, Google is trying to identify if they have a good experience in terms of speed and quality on your website.
Core Web Vitals will become part of Google’s Page Experience, which is a laundry list of Page Experience metrics like HTTPS, mobile-friendliness, pop-ups, and other intrusive stuff on the page. However, it isn’t as much about text on the page as it is about the experience. We also suspect that Google will be leaning heavily into making sure that websites offer the best experience on mobile devices, at least in terms of speed.
Some of the important Core Web Vitals elements based on information from the search engine will include:
Largest contentful paint (LCP) – It is a measurement of when the content element is visible. In other words, when the main content of the page finishes rendering. Poor LCP can often be caused by a slow server response time.
Cumulative layout shift (CLS) is referred to as the unexpected movement of page elements while still loading. The types of elements that most commonly shift are fonts, contact forms, videos, various buttons, and images, amongst a few other element types.
First input delay (FID) – It is the time from when a user first interacts with the site. Often, they click a link, hit a button, or use some other means of reaching the website to the time the browser responds to the interaction. The higher the delay, the worse the user’s experience is going to be.
You can go here to see how your WordPress website currently performs, it’s probably time for some WordPress performance tuning. If you are like me, and struggle just to keep up with the latest SEO trends, it might be best to outsource to a speed optimization service. Adding a few speed optimizations plugins like Fastestcache and Smush will only take you so far. I personally think you need to be a decent developer to fully understand speed optimization, and that’s not me.
Below we have a couple of services that should help ensure that your WordPress website is ready for Google’s Core Web Vitals update in May.
WP Speed Fix (Editor’s Choice)
WP Speed Fix is one of the more popular WordPress speed optimization services in the industry. Brendan Tully is well known in the industry and has helped a lot of our super affiliate friends achieve lightening speeds.
The company provides a free ‘site speed audit’ service, which tells you precisely what’s bogging down your website. Besides, they provide a pretty long list of services, from quick fixes to full-on training. They also migrate your site over to VPS hosting, which is much faster, so at least your website isn’t bogged down by a slow server.
Now, if you hire them to optimize your WordPress website, you’ll need to provide Admin level asses and access to your hosting’s cPanel, so that they can go into the backend and fix various issues.
The standard turnaround time for WP Speed Fix is around 5 business days once you send them everything they need to get started. However, there are instances where they deliver sooner than promised.
In addition to speeding up WordPress websites, the service also optimizes WooCommerce websites. They charge $249 for business websites which, as mentioned earlier, are turned around within 5 business days.
WP Speed Guru
Run and founded by Alexis Kutsko in 2016, Kutsko uses his years of experience as an engineer to speed up WordPress websites. Incidentally, he is also the author of two very famous guides, i.e., “Killer WordPress Speed Guide for Non-Techies” and “WordPress Speed Secrets.” WP Speed Guru has grown tremendously and now caters to the needs of hundreds of businesses across the world.
One of the best things about hiring WP Speed Guru to optimize your WordPress website is the opportunity to arrange for a Skype session during which you can watch them work in real-time. The DIY Speed Works service costs $349, and Kutsko will share a screen with you to watch as he or one of his engineers work their magic on your WordPress website.
Speaking of magic, WP Speed Guru also has a complete ‘done for you’ type package for $299, during which they won’t share a screen with you over Skype but offer free diagnostics for small and medium-sized websites. Plus, they run through all the standard speed optimization steps to ensure that your website loads as fast as possible, provided that your server is up to snuff.
Most website owners who are frustrated with their website taking longer than it should to load will find that WP Speed Guru is a big help. At least in our experience, it takes them just a few minutes to figure out what’s wrong and a few more to fix the issue. However, your mileage depending on what’s causing your website to be so slow, will vary.
WP Buffs is one of the leading and amongst the most popular WordPress maintenance services. The company offers 24/7 services and a pretty long list of maintenance services that are scalable depending on the client’s needs.
The company says that they can handle up to a thousand websites, if not more. So, users with multiple websites will undoubtedly be interested in what they are offering. Speaking of offering, they also have a pretty flexible pricing plan, so there is something for everyone.
WP Buffs offer quite a few services, which include:
WordPress Speed optimization service – The skilled team at the company works to help your website achieve loading times of under 2 seconds. Anything under 2 seconds is excellent no matter how you look at it. Furthermore, the company throws in WP Smush Pro and WP Rocket premium plugins. Both plugins help ensure that your website and all its pages continue to speed through to users’ browsers.
Ongoing Security – WP Buffs work hard to ensure that your website is safe. The company provides clients access to various themes and premium plugins for added protection.
Weekly Updates – Whether it is a core update or running updates for plugins, the company’s professionals have you covered. Regular updates are a crucial part of making sure that your website is as fast as it can be and as secure as possible.
24/7 Website Edits – When you signup for the monthly plan, it includes 24/7 website edits. The company offers unlimited edits, and at any time you want.
Website Backups – WP Buffs being experts, recognize the importance of having core files and data backed up. That’s why the company offers real-time backup of the entire website on their own Amazon S3 servers. If something does go wrong, the one-click restore feature can have you back up and running in no time.
Emergency 24/7 Support – WP Buff claims that they monitor the website’s performance by checking it over a thousand times a day, and they work swiftly to fix issues before they affect a business.
View WP Buffs Speed Optimization Service
Fix My Site
Now Fix My Site offers a couple of services geared towards improving your website’s experience and making sure that it is up and running 24/7, 365 days a year. However, the service that we’ve used and the one that’s relevant to the discussion here is their WordPress optimization service. The company uses various methods to speed up WordPress websites, including installing optimization plugins, reducing the size of images, configuring content and database structure.
As part of their speed optimization, the company will run a speed audit on the WordPress website to determine which plugins weigh it down. Those plugins will be reported to you, and if you decide, they can either be removed or replaced with a more optimized alternative. Most times, in our experience, the plugins are hardly ever used. Not to mention having too many plugins load with the page increases loading times too.
As part of their speed optimization services, the technicians at the company will also find and remove bad requests. Bad requests are primarily content that has either moved or isn’t available on the website anymore, but each time a visitor tries visiting a page, it is sent to a 404 page, not found error; in other words, they have a bad experience. As you recall, Google’s focus now is on making sure that visitors have a great experience. So by fixing these errors, the user’s experience improves, which means a direct net positive impact on your rankings.
In addition to speed optimizing WordPress websites, Fix My Site also works on e-commerce websites running on the WooCommerce platform. Since speed is just as crucial for e-Commerce as it is for any other website’s earnings if you have one, make sure that it loads in under 2 seconds. That said, Fix My Site does state that your website should be running on a good server because, without that, all the optimization in the world isn’t going to make a huge difference, at least to your WooCommerce store.
Fix My Site charges a flat rate of $99 for WordPress speed
optimization, including all of the above. However, for $69, Fix My Site will transfer your website to a new server if the present one isn’t up to the mark in terms of speed and efficiency.
Light Speed WP
Light Speed WP takes a slightly different approach to WordPress speed optimization that’s arguably best suited for business websites. Instead of just the one-off optimization, Light Speed WP promises to make sure that your website is always running at peak performance. While there is a one-off speed optimization package that starts at $599, the company tends to add value in many areas where other similar services don’t.
We were impressed with the fact that Light Speed WP backs their service with a 14-Day Money-Back Guarantee. The guarantee assures businesses that their website will continue to perform optimally, and if there are issues, the company will address them for free. Also, if the company could not improve the speed of a website for some reason, then too your money is returned.
However, business owners will perhaps derive more value from the fact that they can pay $299 a month after their website has been optimized for $599 to ensure that the site continues to perform. The monthly fee ensures that important aspect of running a site like backing it up, improving security, monitoring uptime, and 24/7 support having their back, so the website continues to generate an income on autopilot without being technically involved with it. Furthermore, Light Speed WP sweetens the deal with over $300 worth of premium plugins and the fact that a business owner can call up the company if there is an error or any other issue.
Light Speed WP also offers white labeling, in which case they (businesses) can purchase one of their plans and resell it to clients. Resellers and agencies are treated to a discount each month if they sign up 5 or more clients to the service.
All signs indicate that Google’s Core Web Vitals is going to be a significant ranking factor. If anything, it may only be second to having a mobile-friendly website. That’s why the sooner your website is optimized by a professional with the shortest load times, the softer the blow when the update is rolled out.
In fact, if you have a fast website already when the update is rolled out, you could end up outranking slower competitors if all other things are equal. So, this is a good opportunity to improve your rankings and pull in lots of free organic traffic. Most of all, the services above are the best of the best when it comes to optimizing websites.