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).