IMWZ Speed Optimization

This blog post is a test case showing how we optimize WordPress websites. In this case one of our affiliate sites IMWZ. We started off with a mobile score of 51 at Google PageSpeed. Which was in the green, but not very impressive

Custom Theme

It is worth mentioning that IMWZ runs on a custom theme based on the Sage starters theme. This is already a very solid foundation allowing you to concatenate and minimize all assets you put into the theme giving you a head start. That is why we had a modest but decent start despite the fallback as IMWZ moved to shared hosting and lost all the managed WordPress hosting goodies at Dreamhost.

HTTP/2 vs HTTP/1

Had WP Rocket up and running but since we were no longer using DreamPress for the site we had to use more of its features. The moval to Dreamhost Shared hosting also dropped all the fancy caching and HTTP/2 features. The latter allows loading of multiple files making concatenation less interesting. Now with HTTP/1 it did become interesting yet again.

So WP Rocket features such as concatenation and minification had become more vital. With the use of the amazing WP Rocket Caching plugin we managed to quickly make solid progress. And as we were no longer loading any other big sites on the Dreamhost shared hosting environment the server did not balk anymore either on possible extra RAM usage.

We activated CSS minification and concatenation and we did the same for JS. That allowed things to load quicker on HTTP/1. Post cache regeneration we quickly gained 56 on mobile and 76 on desktop.

Deferring JS

When we decided to defer JavaScript for deferring and avoiding block rendering scripts we got a 53 for mobile briefly and then we had a 57. Desktop we still had a one point loss though. So overall no gain to be seen. We then however realized cache was still building and that also demands RAM and slows things down. In the end desktop stayed the same and mobile got stuck at 56-57.

Revolution Slider Removal

Though we do see the use of using sliders do show multiple services or products from time to time it did not make much sense for us anymore as IMWZ started to specialize more in DevOps services. And also as we really only showed that we dealt with responsive issues and made all sites look good cross device. So why not just skip it and get right to it with text or a simple hero image? We decided for now to load small image and text. And that my friends made the homepage load way faster.

As we no longer required the images nor the fancy JS to make the slider work we could load home way quicker and cache way less JS. This also allows us less JS execution in general and quicker painting of all that a user sees first visiting the site.


So what did we gain? Well, a lovely 72 for mobile and an 89 for desktop. A huge gain for us and a huge gain for visitors visiting We basically shaved off about 2.5 seconds of our total load and made our site load really well, especially for on running on shared hosting!

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