Far-futures expiry date should be set for cached assets. With no “max age” set in the .htaccess file, assets are stored for too short of a time. We recommend a 1-year expiration. The HT Access file is full of code. We don’t like seeing this much code in this file. It’s not a danger. It is indicative of plugins reading and writing to the server. This can cause delays. We include the contents for your inspection. We don’t make code alterations to this file.
WP Forms Lite This is the site’s heaviest and popular form plugin. The heaviest plugin are usually the most popular. Why? We don’t know. But there is a direct correlation between plugin size and active installs. A PDF download explains form options.
We realize you may use this plugin for business reasons beyond email correspondence since it is a programmable plugin. How we would speed up your site depends upon how and where you are using the forms.
There are animated GIFs on the site. We recommend compression using online compression tools and reduce the weight. For example, Coastal.gif weighs 6.1 megabytes. It can be compressed to 1.8 megabytes using ezgif.com.
This is not a preferred host for speed. Their server overhead (TTFB) is about 800 milliseconds. A good TTFB (time to first byte) is 100 to 200 milliseconds. The average is 500 milliseconds. Poor is 750 milliseconds and bad is over 1 second. Other hosts like SiteGround have erratic TTFB which sometimes is 200 milliseconds – but most often is 1.7 seconds. So they claim the better specification and ignore the speed errors.
The7 theme uses a pagebuilder and has a heavy slider that loads globally on all pages and posts of the site. The theme was originally created in 2013. Things have changed. The7 wasn’t built to specifications for today’s fast mobile websites. But rebuilding this site would not be cost-effective.
The current speed strategy is using a lightweight theme, like Astra, GeneratePress, or Twenty Twenty One default theme. These themes do not use Google fonts. Instead, they load a mobile system font stack. There are no slow requests to remote servers but resident fonts are used depending upon the user device. If built cautiously, the site may not even require activating jQuery since these speed themes don’t require it.
Really Simple SSL may or may not be needed any more. Most likely not. If so, it can be deleted. It is used to eliminate mixed media errors. Those can be handled by media library changes. Then the plugin can be deleted.
When the theme is Genesis Studio Pro. It slows down every page by 65 milliseconds. A fast theme is Twenty-nineteen default. It loads in 15 milliseconds. Most free default themes are fast. Other fast free themes include GeneratePress and Astra. These all load in around 20 to 40 milliseconds. The pro versions are twice as slow (about 50 milliseconds). But we don’t recommend changing your theme at this time. A bad theme is Divi. It loads in 1 second.
Your site uses a preloader. The preloader spinner is indicative of a bloated page. When people see it spin, they will click away. It’s a crutch and shouldn’t be used. Desktop pages load slow – but we tested the homepage on a “live” mobile device connection. Not a simulator. We timed the spinner for over a minute before the page rendered. Very bad mobile UX.
The theme appears to create 10 different images sizes for thumbnails. This can bloat up the media library. It is only a problem if the media library becomes so bulky it affects backup restorations. Just be aware. They are hidden files and not shown in the media library by design. They are on the server regardless if they’re used on pages or post.
We use a plugin to suppress backing up thumbnails and then rebuild them with a plugin after restoring aback.
Some fonts (ITC Galliard, a serif font, specifically in the header and signage) are loaded from remote third-party servers. This technique is causing 700-millisecond to 1-second delays on some pages. We can’t fix this. We recommend your designers find alternative fonts and eliminate Typekit usage. A good choice would be Georgia serif websafe font. A design compromise.
Duplicate Post This plugin allows users to clone posts of any type, or copy them to new drafts for further editing. We wonder if you are using it. If not, remove it. It’s usually only used during maintenance or migrations.
Stream This plugin gives traceability of administrative site changes. It maintains a database on the server. If you need it, keep it. But be aware it will slow the site. How much? It depends upon site activity. So we don’t know exactly.
Enables SVG uploads and sanitizes them to stop XML/SVG vulnerabilities in your WordPress website. We don’t use SVG vector-based images on speed websites. There is no provable advantage or support data this format is better than other conventional image formats. We consider it faddish. It takes specialize knowledge to create and babysit SVG. Are we recommending you stop using SVGs? No. We just don’t find it best practice. It’s overkill. This plugin may no longer be used. If so, remove it.
Site Origin CSS SiteOrigin CSS is a CSS code editor for WordPress. It gives visual editor controls in real-time. This is unnecessary when using the WordPress Customizer in combination with Simple CSS plugin.
We use this plugin. Redirects slowdown page load time but they can’t be avoided to maintain a site and stay sane. Redirects can be handled in the server .htaccess file. We don’t recommend this method unless you understand how that server file is used and edited.
This plugin adds a few milliseconds to every page and post of your site. We recommend disabling it. Only activate it during maintenance to add internal links. It doesn’t need to be activated all the time. This is how we use the free version of this plugin. Only activate it when needed for troubleshooting.
Podcaster is a fast theme. It loads in about 61 milliseconds. For comparison, a fast theme is Twenty-nineteen or Twenty-twenty-one default (but not Twenty Twenty theme!). Twenty Nineteen loads in 15 milliseconds. Most free default themes are fast. Other fast free themes include GeneratePress, Kadence, and Astra. These all load in around 20 to 40 milliseconds. The pro versions are twice as slow (about 50 milliseconds more). A bad theme is Divi. It loads in 1 second. We wouldn’t change your theme at this time.
TTFB time to first byte is server overhead. Your TTFB is 235 milliseconds or better. The bulk of the delay is SSL handshaking.
“On average anything with a TTFB under 100 ms is fantastic. Anything between 200 – 500 ms is standard and anything between 500 ms and 1 s is less than ideal. Anything greater than 1 s should likely be investigated further. Jan 28, 2020” – KeyCDN
We like this plugin. We use it on PagePipe. We like the ShortPixel company. Their people are nice. Keep this plugin deactivated until needed for maintenance or media repair work. That’s how we use it. It slows down the site while not doing anything. The same as leaving the light on in the attic.
The same goes for disabling other maintenance-related plugins. Turn them on only when you need them.
We’ve never seen a chat plugin that doesn’t slow down pages big time usually 1-second addition to pages. This is our first encounter with Olark. It’s on our list but we’ve never tested it. We do have data from others who have (see link below). Some site owners confess they only put chat on the site to appear cool and trendy. They then dump it when they find out the speed cost. If you’re making money with it, fine. Keep it.
Litespeed Cache This plugin is deactivated. We recommend using it and not using Cloudflare free services. We use LiteSpeed servers when we build speed sites. It requires server account access to make the settings. We don’t do this as part of speed tuning.