Creating a Lightning Fast WordPress Site out of the box

This covers what I learned when trying to get the best page speed results from stock plugins. Honestly, The purpose of WordPress is to create an extremely easy to use content management system, so, one should be able to get great results with little effort. This leads to more time on content and less time on configuration.

Step Number 1

It is extremely important to consider how your pages are loaded. There are many themes on the market that feature great themes, but it is important to remember that for every additional feature, there is a trade off cost that normally comes in processing time. If you are looking for lightning fast and you have tried every combination of compressing, minifying, caching, recaching, optimizing, etc. then this is by far the easiest and first thing to consider on page speed.

Where it Ends

I took a day or so to investigate getting great results and in the end I had maxed out Google’s Page Speed Test . I was happy to see that it is possible to have a Lightning Fast WordPress site.

For Example if we look at a fully optimized version of WordPress as Shown here:

Mobile hits 98 and Desktop hits 100.

To show how additional enhancements can cause processing increases and inevitably lead to poor scores, we can look at another example that shows a “fancier” theme that has many custom JavaScript enhancements.

First The Beginning

Before the beans are spilled per-say, I think it is important to start at the beginning. When I truly took the time to start optimizing, My WordPress site was thrown together with roughly 25 Plugins. I had not spent much time building anything of my own. On one hand there are some great plugins that can add great benefit by having them, but more often than not a “fancy” plugin often comes with alot of custom scripts that can

  • Cause too much stress on the Main Thread
  • Cause great amounts of Render-Blocking Scripts
  • Minimize Critical Requests Depth gets out of hand

Here is CelleSports.com Fully optimized on a poorly programmed custom theme in terms of speed.

The Key Takeaway

If you take nothing else from everything you have read to this point, it is most important to consider the features and enhancements you want in comparison to the resources needed to load your page. A happy medium must be made if great speed is one of your primary goals. I will likely write something up on why speed is so important and link it here when I do.

Blah, Blah, Blah… Just Show Me!

Your Site configuration aside, the Plugins that can be used to enhance your site Are:

  1. EWWW Image Optimizer
  2. Autoptimize
  3. Autoptimize – Async JavaScript
  4. Fast Velocity Minify
  5. WP Super Cache Settings

EWWW Image Optimizer

A Great Plugin used to compress your Images. It is free, and requires no signups or anything of that nature. It is straight forward, and should be a plugin that you are thrilled to have.

A solid feature is the “bulk optimization” tool. This can be found in “Media” after this plugin is made active. It will optimize Media Images as well as Folders you specify.

After all of your images are optimized, it will optimize your image when the image is added to the media library, in WordPress, automatically.

Little optimizations can amount to great Savings!

I am not going to show any configurations of this plugins as what your images represent relate to how they should be configured.

For example if the images on your site are more related to photography or live image, you will likely want to configure in relation to optimization of .jpeg, where as if most of your images are more in the realm of clip-art or virtual graphics you should configure for .png. However, you decide to configure, it will greatly assist in serving relatively optimized images.

AutOptimize

This plugin is good because it will greatly assist in deferring and loading scripts in Asynchronous ways.

For this one, do not aggregate all linked files as this will cause unnecessary stress on the Main Thread. Otherwise optimize everything else.

AutOptimize also has an additional Plugin…

Autoptimize – Async JavaScript

This plugin can easily be configured by clicking the “Apply Async” in Settings. Thats it.

Fast Velocity Minify

AutOptimize does minify scripts, but Fast Velocity Minify brings even more script size reduction and creates an optimized version of your pages from First Autoptimize and Fast Velocity Settings.

WP Super Cache

Lastly, A cache is important. Simply go to WP Super Cache Setting and enable.

And There you have it

Minimal Effort and a Lightning Fast WordPress site without signing up or paying for any additional services.

I hope this helps. If you have any beneficial pieces to add, please contribute to this topic.

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