Often we get tickets from customers asking why their website is loading slow despite our high-performance infrastructure at GTG Hosting so how do we optimise your wordPress website.
WordPress Speed Test
My favourite “free tool” to conduct such tests is GTMetrix. Unlike many of the other “free” speed tests out there, GTMetrix will actually go into detail about why they gave the website the score that they did. A “brand new” installation without any plugins or fancy themes, looks like this:
Any website with a PageSpeed and YSlow Score of 90% or higher is excellent, especially for a shared hosting environment. This confirms the actual hardware and software of our infrastructure is doing its job properly.
WordPress Speed Test With LiteSpeed Cache
Introduced last year, LiteSpeed came out with their very own WordPress caching plugin that has gained a lot of popularity throughout the community. LiteSpeed has actually benchmarked the plugin along side many of the most popular WordPress caching plugins:
We use LiteSpeed with Keep-Alive enabled. If I take the exact same basic WordPress website I tested above, add LiteSpeed cache, my speed results look like this:
As you can see it’s not a tremendous increase in full loaded time, but percentage wise, it’s not bad!
WordPress Speed Test With LiteSpeed Cache + Cloudflare CDN
Finally, one of the main reasons for the low YSlow Score was not using a CDN. You can fix this by simply enabling Cloudflare inside of cPanel and then loading the site with ‘www’ to activate it:
While the actual fully loaded time didn’t improve, It brought the Yslow score up by 5% using the Cloudflare CDN to accelerate the images. We actually enabled their Railgun which allows us to fetch the image from the server closest to the visitor, decreasing latency. We could then go on to fix the other “minor issues” to try and bring the scores up as close to 100% as possible.
What If Your WordPress Website Isn’t Getting These Results
The number one reason why we see WordPress websites getting lower scores than this is because they’re using custom plugins and themes on their website and we shouldn’t recklessly use the custom plugins and themes.their presence should serve a very important objective. Don’t use them because you have them!
The more plugins you install, the more database calls, and the lack of performance. The same goes for Themes. The majority of WordPress theme developers exist because they’re trying to make money. They’re not actually developing the theme, putting it on a popular website, and then optimising it for the highest load time. They’re developing the theme to look good and to be able to market and sell it to the masses. Therefore you may find yourself needing to consult a professional WordPress developer to help you make some of these optimisations. The good thing about GTMetrix is they tell you exactly what needs to be done!
How To Speed Test And Optimise Your WordPress
We’re a bunch of web hosting geeks here at GTG Hosting. It’s our job to provide the highest performing infrastructure, but when it comes to code, it’s up to the customer to be able to tweak it to take maximum advantage of the tools we have available. If we provided individual site code support, we’d have to charge a lot more because the qualifications for a support job would require much more than server management!
If your WordPress website isn’t loading as fast as you think it should, I would recommend taking a look at your Plugins and Themes after you make optimisations such as adding LiteSpeed cache and Cloudflare. You may want to look for themes that have very high reviews as well as an active community that’s available to help answer questions on making necessary optimisations. What re your experiences as well?