Improving the Performance of this Website

When you start with the “out of the box” web hosting experience, there are some immediate changes you should make to improve the performance of your site.

  1. Enable HTTPS
  2. Enable gzip for text, html, xml, css and javascript
  3. Set long chaching (Cache-control) times for images, css, js, etc.

Consult your web hosts documentation for how best to do this.

To demonstrate this, I started this website ( but removing all old files (including .htaccess) and started with a fresh installation of WordPress.

Then I tested the site with Google’s tool which is a website version of the Lighthouse tool that comes with Chrome. Here are the results:

first web dev run

You can see that the Performance number is 66, First Contentful Paint is 3.3s, and First Meaningful Paint is 4.1s.

Then I enabled gzip and long caching times, and saw these results:

second web dev run

You can see that the Performance number is 92, First Contentful Paint is 2.4s, and First Meaningful Paint is 2.9s. Big improvements.

There’s more work to do though, some of which will be difficult because I’m using a pre-made WordPress theme.

There are other issues with the pre-made WordPress theme, such as SEO-impacting deficiencies and issues with the JavaScript library, and I’ll fix them as well (or change themes).

About Dan


This is a photo of me:


My name is Dan Mozgai. I am best known for my cicada website Cicada Mania, a hobby of mine since the mid-1990s. The site allows me to experiment with web development, meet interesting and intelligent people from all around the world, and to educate people about one of the natural world’s insect marvels, the cicada. I’ve been interviewed by Wired, CNN, NPR, the Washington Post, and Tokyo TV.

When I’m not working on websites (cicada or otherwise) I can be usually be found wandering my local shore town or traveling around the U.S.

My interests include, but are not limited to photography, videography, street art, travel, music, and the natural world.

Topics I can talk at length about: cicada insects; the virtues of various convenience stores like 7-11, UDF, Circle K & Quick Check; online marketing; driving around the U.S. east of the Rockies; Ohio; collecting records; food.

List of states I’ve spent the most time in 1) New Jersey, 2) New York, 3) Ohio, 4) Texas, 5) Illinois.


Some papers I’ve contributed in some way to:

  • Discovery of psychoactive plant & mushroom alkaloids in ancient fungal cicada pathogens. Greg Boyce, Emile Gluck-Thaler, Jason C. Slot, Jason E. Stajich, William J. Davis, Tim Y. James, John R. Cooley, Daniel G. Panaccione, Jorgen Eilenberg, Henrik H. De Fine Licht, Angie M. Macias, Matthew C. Berger, Kristen L. Wickert, Cameron M. Stauder, Ellie J. Spahr, Matthew D. Maust, Amy M. Metheny, Chris Simon, Gene Kritsky, Kathie T. Hodge, Richard A. Humber, Terry Gullion, Dylan P. G. Short, Teiya Kijimoto, Dan Mozgai, Nidia Arguedas, Matthew T. Kasson. doi:
  • The periodical cicada four-year acceleration hypothesis revisited and the polyphyletic nature of Brood V, including an updated crowd-source enhanced map (Hemiptera: Cicadidae: Magicicada). Cooley JR, Arguedas N, Bonaros E, Bunker G, Chiswell SM, DeGiovine A, Edwards M, Hassanieh D, Haji D, Knox J, Kritsky G, Mills C, Mozgai D, Troutman R, Zyla J, Hasegawa H, Sota T, Yoshimura J, Simon C. (2018). PeerJ 6:e5282
  • Evolution and Geographic Extent of a Surprising Northern Disjunct Population of 13-Year Cicada Brood XXII (Hemiptera: Cicadidae, Magicicada). Gene Kritsky, Roy Troutman, Dan Mozgai, Chris Simon, Stephen M Chiswel, Satoshi Kakishima, Teiji Sota, Jin Yoshimura, John R Cooley. American Entomologist, Volume 63, Issue 4, 12 December 2017, Pages E15–E20,

News Articles:

  • Cicadas singing across Middlesex County. Sentinel. June 27, 2013.
  • 8 Tips to Survive Cicada Season. Popular Mechanics. May 22, 2013.
  • Spring Warmup Brings Cicadas, Frogs and Worms. AccuWeather. April 24, 2013.
  • The Cicada-Obsessed Prepare to Scratch a 17-Year Itch. Wired. April 9, 2013.
  • Waiting in the wings this spring: Cicadas! USAToday. April 8, 2013.
  • They’re (almost) here! The cicadas are coming. Yahoo News. April 8, 2013.
  • Waiting in the Wings: Cicadas. Weather Underground. April 3, 2013.
  • Cicadas Coming to U.S. East Coast This Spring. National Geographic. March 29, 2013.
  • Midwest braces for cicadas’ song. USA Today. May 17, 2007.
  • Cicadas Respond to Their 17-Year Cue. The New York Times. May 19, 2004.
  • Q&A: Cicada Mania. The Star Ledger. October 12, 2007.
  • Cicadas nature’s current hot ticket. The Chicago Tribune. June 01, 2007.
  • Cicadas: Amazing, annoying, arriving soon “Big brood” emerging after 17 years. May 02, 2004.
  • ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES. Aired May 14, 2004.
  • Cicadas’ return signals a shrill summer season. The Toledo Blade. 4/26/2004.
  • Wedding Day Woes – A Bug’s Life. NPR. May 8, 2004.