Automatic WordPress optimization workflow with Frank Goossens – SWC 38June 27, 2019 June 27, 2019 /
Who does not want fast loading websites? Optimizing WordPress websites can be tricky as there are so many variables involved in it. Frank Goossens is the person behind the hugely popular autoptimize plugin for optimising WordPress websites.
He shares the WordPress optimization routine for handling key elements like CSS, HTML, JS scripts, Images, Videos and more for an optimized and faster-loading website.
01. Base Infrastructure
- Before you get down with website optimization, how important is base infrastructure components of the website like web hosting, the theme in use, and so on?
- Do you have a few website hosting companies on the “no go” list and do not accept clients for speed optimization using those hosting services?
02. Testing the current setup
- Checking the website for speed score is the first step to get going with the optimization process. Do you use favourite tools like GTmetrix, Pingdom or some secret tool for website speed testing?
- While speed testing, do you pick a random country location for a website or test all websites from specific countries like the USA?
03. Optimizing Images & CSS
- Large size images add a lot of bloat and drag the website down in terms of loading speed. How do you tackle image optimization on the website?
- Besides the default theme CSS file(s), a lot of other CSS files are also loaded by various plugins and page builders. How should a user try to eliminate additional CSS, wherever possible?
- What about combining all CSS Files into one single CSS file? There are two schools of thought, combining slow down website loading in comparison to multiple CSS files loading simultaneously?
04. Handling JS script files
- Optimizing script files can create a few problems in some instances. The suggestion of moving JS files into “head” part, is it recommended in all cases or only where things aren’t working as expected?
- What are a few dos and don’ts in handling JS file minification and methodology to find which JS files to exclude from the optimization process?
05. More items like fonts, videos
- Which is your recommended way of serving google fonts in the most optimized way on a WordPress website?
- What about embedded Youtube videos loading so many files to render embedded video player?
Frank Goossens’s ToolBox
- Love using the Linux operating system on the work laptop.
- I have always been a Firefox web browser user.
- Prefer to use Trello for internal communication within the team.
- Using Beaver Builder page builder on own website layout built.
About Frank Goossens
My name is Frank Goossens, I’m 50 years old, and I live in Belgium (Europe). I started experimenting with website-development way back in 1995 and soon after got offered a job in the emerging web-world. I have worked as a product manager, project manager, technical consultant and web solution architect for more than 20 years now, both for web agencies and companies in the consumer brand business.
I tried different blogging platforms from 2003 onwards and eventually switched to WordPress in 2007. It was just blogging at first, but I soon started doing small tweaks (I wanted a category cloud instead of a tag cloud for example) and I became more and more obsessed with my site’s performance. By 2010 I published my first plugin on the wordpress.org repository called WP YouTube LYTE, which allows you to embed YouTube videos without slowing down page load times.
In 2012, I started using Autoptimize, and in 2013, I took over development from the original author who had lost interest in it. I have been improving and extending it ever since. Autoptimize can do JS, CSS & HTML minification (with or without concatenation), but can also optimize Google Fonts, Images and more. It is currently active on over 1 million WordPress sites and has an average growth rate of 0.8% per week.
In 2016, I decided to start a company for the commercial aspects around my plugins, allowing me to build partnerships with Shortpixel, Optimocha and Critical CSS, to name a few. It has also helped me to offer web performance optimization services while keeping the plugins themselves 100% free and open source.