Website Checker GTmetrix

GTmetrix is a great place to check your website performance. Its service is free. If you register, you can modify your analysis option. Or, you can use the default option to test your sites. I submitted some name-brand websites for testing; most only get an average of B grade, I have yet to see any A grade website. Rules and requirements keep changing, unless you follow the trend close, I believe it’s hard to maintain an A grade. Also, many times, delays could be due to 3rd party resources, which is something impossible to control.

For the past few days, I have tried various recommendations from the performance report. Some work out pretty well. There are many free plugins to help to do the job. But as usual, if you want better results, you should upgrade to a paid version.

Avoid multiple page redirects – In Plesk interface, under Hosting Settings of my domain name, there is a setting called Preferred domain. If I select “none”, I get this “Avoid multiple page redirects” recommendation. If I choose the one with www, this recommendation is gone.

Leverage browser caching – There is a WordPress plugin for this task. That plugin is called “Leverage browser caching”. Just install and activate, a whole bunch of statements will be added to your .htaccess file.

Minify CSS, Javascript, etc. – A famous plugin called W3 Total Cache can help speed up the website quite a bit. I run it using most options in default settings, except in browser cache setting, I enable “Add Expires headers” and a few others.

Using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) – I used a free account from Cloudflare. You can also hook up Cloudflare within the W3TC Extensions interface. Somehow, Cloudflare seems to slow down my website. Will a paid account provide a better result?

After playing with the above for three days, I remove all of them, and the GTmetrix score was PageSpeed Score (89%) B, and YSlow Score (76%) C. I’m happy with that. A few minutes ago, I just added a new plugin, and my Score is down to PageSpeed Score (39%) F. and YSlow Score (56%) E. Oh wow, what have I done? I’ll tell you next time.

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