7 page speed techniques for better UX and higher SEO — the 2nd half

We continue discuss and learn how to craft fast and optimized pages for higher visitor engagement, retention and conversions as well as higher SEO ranking. This is the second session of a new WPTO sub-group, WordPress Pro.

In the April 17th session, we made it through half of the material and speakers planned and the group’s consensus was that we should continue the page speed topic in the next session, May 15th.

We’ll recap the first session both for the benefit of those who weren’t at the April 17th session and to review and incorporate what we learned from the group (some of which was posted to the event page). Then we’ll devote the rest of the session to 2 areas where WordPress can be fine-tuning WordPress for speed, reducing external HTTP requests and database calls. More to follow as we firm up speakers and lightning talks.

The outline for the 2 sessions (from the 17th’s description):

The context 

  • why speed matters and the key trends (e.g., SEO penalties, AMP) 
  • measuring speed 
  • the host issue 
  • plugins to measure, optimize, etc. 

Easy no-code improvements 

  • caching 
  • image optimization 

Performance optimization best practices 

  • content delivery network (CDNs like Cloudflare) 
  • themes designed for speed and optimization 

Fine-tuning WordPress for speed 

  • reducing external HTTP requests 
  • reducing database calls

The presentation in the first session with the introduction to and framework for the topics is available as a PDF, http://bit.ly/wpto-pro-page-speed. That will be updated with new material from the 17th and another URL posted. Other presentations will be available shortly.

Here is a good video presentation on improving page speed issues using the Query Monitor plug-in:

This is the second session of a new sub-group for people who use WordPress professionally and know their way around themes, plugins and so on. Part of each session will be a presentation with open discussion amongst peers. The other part will be a discussion of WordPress from the front lines in which we share our knowledge and experiences.

The first session’s group wanted to continue the venue, Baka Cafe, the location in Bloor-West Village and the day and time of the week, Monday evenings, for the sessions.

We welcome anyone who wishes to contribute to a topic with a 10 minute lightning talk. For each session, we’ll be looking for people to contribute their knowhow and experience.

We’ve published a post, WordPress Pros topics for first 3 Meetup sessions, with a list of topics from which we’ll organize the third session. Comments are welcome.

Your WordPress Pros co-organizers,

Robin Macrae and David Michaels.

The image above is from In Today’s World Website Speed is Critical for Sales | Matt Knopoff.

WP Toronto overview

WordPress Pros is just one group within the WPTO community. WPTO currently has 7 events each month.


  • WPTODoers – Conrad Hall (2nd Wednesday)
  • WPTO North – Alex Sirota (3rd Monday) 
  • WordPress Pros – Robin Macrae, David Michaels (3rd Monday)
  • WPTO Tips & Demos – Jacques Surveyor (4th Monday)
  • WPTODoers –Conrad Hall (4th Wednesday – Jan to Jun) Speaker Training (6 sessions only) in partnership with Toastmasters


Workshops are open opportunities to bring your laptop and questions.

  • WPTO East – Brent Kobayashi & Andy McIlwain (2nd Saturday)
  • WPTODoers – Conrad Hall (3rd Saturday)
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