- Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) like Cloudflare
- This is a fast, agile, and secure network to deliver your content to people from servers that are much closer to their physical location. The way Cloudflare works is they cache your content on servers all over the world and they deliver your content from the servers closest to people. There are many benefits to using Cloudflare. Open up Cloudflare.com and sign up for free. From here you will then add your website. Select the free plan and click on continue.
To set up Cloudflare you will need to review your DNS records. There are 5 A records, 2 CNAME records, 1 MX record, and 3 TXT records. All of these have to be set up properly. After that then you will update your name servers to Cloudflare. Upload it from Bluehost to Cloudflare. If you stay on the same Cloudflare page and scroll down you will see all the DNS records you need for your website. Switch from your Cloudflare tab to Bluehost and on the back end then scroll down. Click on your website.
- You will then see to the right of the page DNS Zone Editor. Click on Manage to manage the DNS Zone records. Scroll down to Zone File records and make sure they are all set up properly. These need to all match the same records on your server. Go back and forth between Bluehost and Cloudflare comparing the two to make sure everything matches up. Once you see everything matches up you can then click on continue.
The next thing you want to do is change the nameservers for your domain. You want to remove the following name servers. You want to go from using the Bluehost name servers to the Cloudflare name servers. Copy the Cloudflare name servers and switch back to Bluehost. From Bluehost go to nameservers and paste it into the Use Custom Nameservers section. Save the settings and then go back to Cloudflare and click done to update the change. It might take 24 hours for the nameservers to fully process. From here you can click get started on the Quick Start Guide page. Make sure everything is turned on and every box is checked then click save and finish. Everything is now set up.
- Use a free WordPress Caching Plugin
- Go to WordPress and install the caching plugin for Cloudflare. Scroll down and go to plugins on the left side of the screen. Hit add new. Search Cloudflare cache and active the one that says WP Cloudflare Superpage Cache. What you want to do next is scroll down and deactivate the one that says WP Super Cache. You don’t want to have multiple cache plugins because they can interfere with each other. Next, you want to go to settings on the left sidebar. Click on WP Cloudflare Superpage Cache. Enter your Cloudflare’s API key and email. Go back to Cloudflare overview and you should see a note that says great news, Cloudflare is now protecting your site. Scroll down on the right-hand side panel and click on Get your API Token. Hit the API Tokens tab. Scroll down to Global API Key. From there click on view. Enter your password to proceed. Switch back to WordPress and paste the Cloudflare API key then hit update settings. Set your Cloudflare domain name which is your website. Enable Page Caching Now.
- Optimize CSS & JS delivery
- Optimize Images
- Now you will want to set up Smush. Once you have downloaded the smush dashboard plugin you will want to bring up the dashboard on the left side panel. When you are setting up Smush for the first time it will bring you through the steps. Enable automatically optimizing new downloads, enable strip my image metadata, disable lazy loading, and don’t allow usage data tracking. Click finish setup wizard. Now you have successfully set up Smush.
- Optimize WordPress Database
- Accelerated Mobile Pages Plugin
- Search and download the AMP for WP- Accelerated Mobile Pages plugin.
- Enable Text Compression
- To do this you will need to add a code to the .htaccess file on the server. Go to wpbuffs.com then select option number one. Enable WordPress GZIP Compression by Manually Editing Your .htaccess file. Click back into your Bluehost tab and scroll down to find file manager. Usually, any host has this. Find something that says public HTML. Click on settings and then make sure show hidden files is selected. Hit save and then find the .htaccess file. Click on edit and you will see the keyboard shortcuts. On line 16 you will see End WordPress. You want to then copy the .htaccess code from the wpbuffs.com page and paste it right under End WordPress. Next, you want to save your changes.
- Use the latest PHP version
- If you’re not a hundred percent sure if you’re using the latest PHP version it varies for every single host based on the type of hosting plan you have. What you can do to make sure you have the right version is just contact your host directly. Contact customer service and make sure you’re using the latest PHP version. Your host should automatically update you to the latest PHP version. The latest PHP version is a little bit faster and more secure than the previous versions.
- Delete Unused Plugins and Themes
- Anything that you are not using or plan on using soon should be deleted. Not only will it be a security risk it can also slow down your website. This also applies to themes. You only really need the theme that you are using. If you are switching back between a couple of different themes you do want to make sure that they are up to date. Having extra themes take up more space on your server so it is best to get rid of them.
The last thing you want to do is go through some page speed tools. Google page speed insights and gtmetrix.com are some good choices for doing this. Enter your URL guide for both of them on page speed insights you will then click analyze and on Gtmetrix you will click test your site. Depending on your website it will take about 30 seconds to complete. From here you can see where you rank by score for both mobile and desktop. The 90-100 range is where you want to be. 80 and above is good too. ON the google page speed insights you will see a section called opportunities. This gives you suggestions that can make your page load faster. On Gtmetrix you can always re-test your site because sometimes it’s a little slow on the first test that they do. Gtmetrix will also have a section where it tells you your top issues impacting your performance. The impacts will be listed off from high to low impact.