So I set up a fantastic membership site using Membership 2 Pro, plus a bunch of other plugins (mainly WPMU Dev plugins to ensure they play well together!) - after all a membership site which only allows people to meet each other is hardly earth-shattering!
Unfortunately, page load time is still over two seconds, despite working with my developer AND server management team to reduce it (it was over 9 seconds!) and even keeping the theme to the default 2016 theme (I built it last year). And this is from a regional server - I will probably need CDN before I launch globally, as the load times are still high from more distant servers.
I have lots of plugins installed, it's true, though many are actually, in theory, optimisation plugins. The actual functionality is mainly BuddyPress, bbPress and Jobs & Experts to provide a compelling reason to join (I have MarketPress installed to allow paid memberships too).
Am I being too ambitious? I don't think so - after all, what is the point of these plugins if they slow everything down so much? And I am told the server, while not a big one, is adequate (and fairly empty) to handle this.
Any help you guys can give would be much appreciated!