I’ve been doing this for a long time now, I still use my 1998 Yahoo email address to this day and remember browsing the early internet using Netscape, while being promoted to be Webmaster for a national telephone company. The ‘internet’ was new and exciting back in the day, but things have certainly changed since then..
Using WordPress for many years now, I’ve probably built over 50 sites during that time, even sold a few of those sites, including auctioning off the biggest blog network marketing exchange on Flippa (before it was even called Flippa) and making some decent money along the way. WordPress was never really designed to be fast, it was meant to allow people without coding skills to use a simple WYSIWYG interface and have their own website. That’s the primary reason why WordPress makes up nearly 40% of all the websites on the internet today.
The Reason Why I started WP CoreWebVitals
I’ve toyed with caching plugins like W3 Total Cache and many of the others in the past, but truthfully really never fussed much over all the exact settings you needed or obsessively stressing over actual site speed, other than putting it up on Cloudflare and forgetting about it.
That all changed when I was laid off from a content marketing agency due to Covid-19. I had a ton of spare time on my hands suddenly and decided to start a new hobby site. Viral.Baby was born!
I bought the original theme from Theme Forest (with Elementor of course) to build out my pages, it was something fun to work on and provided me a distraction during the pandemic. I was pretty pleased when it went live, the website looked good on my computer and phone, but that was because I didn’t really know any better.
I eventually installed premium caching plugin WP-Rocket and it loaded a little faster. There were a bunch of settings that I didn’t really know too much about or what they actually did, and that’s where my obsession about page speed and optimization began.
Learning About Optimization
I ended joining every WP speed Facebook group and quickly realized that I knew nothing about this. I spent countless hours on Google and watching Youtube tutorial videos.
Now I was testing my site speed on sites like GTmetrics, testing every image optimization plugin, trying to minimize my CSS and JS — I didn’t know what it all really meant, but I was trying everything.
Viral Baby was fast, really fast. But then I saw something in my Google Search Console that I hadn’t noticed before.
Painful Lessons Learned About Core Web Vitals
I entered my site on PageSpeed Insights and Viral Baby #@$#@$ bombed. It failed miserably..
How could my site do so well on GTmetrix and do so bad on Google PSI?
I ended up dropping WP-Rocket and migrated to a caching plugin called Swift Performance, it had even more settings that I could fine-tune performance on every page.
What I eventually realized over time is that it doesn’t really matter what caching plugin you use, Core Web Vitals plays by it’s own rules and you have to really learn in depth how to properly optimize every aspect of your website.
I’m currently a moderator of one of the biggest Facebook optimization groups called WP Speed Matters, made up of over 12,000 people that are passionate about speeding up their websites.
While there are many new services out there and surely more to come, I personally stamp my name on WPCoreWebVitals and you can find me on Linkedin if you want to connect.
I’ve built a solid team of really talented speed optimists around me that frankly I’m lucky to have, they are the real brains behind the scenes here and they do a great job for our clients.
Feel free to reach out if you want to discuss anything, we’re always here to help.