In this tutorial, I am going to show you how to use a great plugin called Fast Velocity Minify to speed up your website and help improve overall website performance.
Maybe even more important is the fact that Google has announced that faster loading speeds directly affect website ranking and overall SEO.
Faster loading times will not only help with overall SEO, but they will give your site users a better experience.
Fast Velocity Minify
When you minify CSS in WordPress using the Fast Velocity Minify plugin, you set yourself up for better SEO ranking and overall speed and site performance.
How the Plugin Works
Fast Velocity Minify shines even further because it includes settings and options for developers and advanced users. However, the default plugin settings will work great for most WordPress sites, so you can easily install the plugin and use it even if you are a beginner.
Main Plugin Features
The FVM plugin offers a ton of features. Some of the main ones that stand out include:
- Merge JS and CSS files into groups to reduce the number of HTTP requests.
- Google Fonts merging, inlining and optimization.
- Handles scripts loaded both in the header & footer separately.
- Keeps the order of the scripts even if you exclude some files from minification.
- Supports localized scripts (https://codex.wordpress.org/Function_Reference/wp_localize_script).
- Minifies CSS and JS with PHP Minify only, no third-party software or libraries needed.
- Creates static cache files in the uploads directory.
- Preserves your original files, by duplicating and copying those files to the uploads directory.
- View the status and detailed logs on the WordPress admin page.
- Option to Minify HTML, remove extra info from the header and other optimizations.
- Ability to turn off minification for JS, CSS or HTML (purge the cache to see it).
Install and Activate
First, install and activate the Fast Velocity Minify plugin on your website. You can do this by searching for it in the plugin repository of your WordPress admin dashboard.
Once the plugin has been installed and activated, click on Settings > Fast Velocity Minify. This will take you to the setup and configuration options for the plugin.
When you get to the correct area, you will see 6 tabs. They include:
- Server Info
Let’s take a look at the tabs.
The “Status” tab will simply list all your processed files once you start using the plugin. It also allows you to purge cached files.
This tab will allow you to configure pro settings. Only use it if you know and understand what you are changing.
The “Developers” tab will present you with even more advanced options. Again, don’t use this unless you are a developer or you know what you are getting into.
This tab provides you with all the server info so you can see that everything is working properly.
The “Help” tab will allow you to reference other helpful links for the plugin.
Basic Configuration Settings
Click back to the “Settings” tab. You can fill out this portion however you want. This will get the plugin working properly and allow you to gain site speed and other functionality.
That being said, here are basic recommended settings that you can choose to get the plugin working. Click on the following options under the Basic Settings.
Use the screenshots for Reference.
Functionality & URL Options
In most cases, auto-detecting URLs should suffice. If you have issues with minifying JS and CSS, you may need to force certain URLs to work correctly. However, you probably won’t know which until you start experiencing issues.
HTML, Font, Google Font Options
Enabling the Cleanup Header option helps streamline minifying JS and CSS. But like above, you can change this option should you experience problems on the site.
In the Font Options, you can manage how FVM handles elements like emojis and Google Fonts. One of the best options is to “Disable Google Fonts merging.”
Speaking of Google Fonts, keeping the selection for “inline” helps with minifying the code. However, some sites may experience better performance through “async” depending on the layout.
Font Awesome & CSS Options
A good practice for performance is to inline Font Awesome CSS elements you might have on your website. This streamlines the effect of CSS. But like the option above, you may experience better performance through async.
In the CSS options, preserving the order, disabling the “Print,” and inlining CSS in the footer all contribute greatly to minifying. But if something on your site breaks after selection, you may want to consider disabling CSS processing and minifying files.
Page Speed Options
That’s it! You can leave everything else unchecked, or fill it out how you see fit. Scroll to the bottom and click on the “Save Changes” button and you are off and running.
Now, you have a fantastic way to do this that requires no coding skills. Simply follow the steps above and you are good to go.
Author: Jeremy Holcombe
Growing up in Hawaii, Jeremy started his freelance writing career doing resumes, business plans, article writing, and everything in between. He now specializes in online marketing and content writing and is part of the Content Marketing Team at GreenGeeks.