Refresh time: how to rebuild for speed and performance

The site I built for my client http://goo.gl/yrLUy4 is highly effective for them in terms of sales. It is time for a refresh. My primary concern is speed and performance. On GTMetrix it manages a Page Speed grade of 93% A, but using the Google tool it gets 43/100. GTMetrix shows a horrendous 16.48s load time.

The client LOVES the site and surely won't let me strip away photos, features, or content. It searches very well on Google for it's keywords. But I'd like to rebuild it lighter and faster.

Suggestions? Are some themes slower out of the box than others? How can I tell pre-purchase? What plugins should I stay away from? What are the avoidable things that add unnecessary fat to a site? What is an effective strategy moving forward?

  • Michael Bissett

    Hey @GFujioka, hope you're doing well today! :slight_smile:

    Running that site of yours through Google's PageSpeed Insights, I'm seeing that the first problem is server response time. Don't know who your host is right now, but one thing you might want to consider would be to:

    (a) Increase the amount of memory available to WordPress (sounds almost too simple, but a low amount of memory can be a slowdown);
    (b) Upgrade your existing hosting package, if you've got a pretty small one; or,
    (c) Switch to a different hosting provider

    Some of the providers that our members have liked here in the forums include:
    - Site5
    - Surpass Hosting

    In regards to themes, you make me think of a guide of ours on premium themes, you may find that to be of interest:

    https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/premium-themes/

    Whether or not a theme is slower out of the box will depend on the hosting & the plugins that are in use at the time, but checking out other members experiences can provide insight on that. :slight_smile:

    Regarding the image side of things, you may wish to have a look at our WP Smush Pro plugin, as that would help lessen the impact that images would have on your load times:

    https://premium.wpmudev.org/project/wp-smush-pro/

    Hope this helps clear the situation up! :slight_smile:

    Kind Regards,
    Michael

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