[FIXED] HostGator Slow WordPress Site, Now Load in 1s [2023]

Experiencing stark or intermittent slowness on Websites hosted at Hostgator?

It may be caused due to-

  • Scarcity of server resource
  • Resource Throttling
  • Bulky Coded Plugins
  • Heavy JS Loads
  • Uncompressed Images
  • Invalid SSL
  • Slow Server Response

Now before initializing speed optimization, let me inform you that Hostgator is infamously slow as a farmer bullock cart.

Check out some fresh users’ experiences of what they had got after using it.

hostgator slow facebookhostgator slow twitter

kamatera

Why such horrible experiences?

The precedent reason is its parent company “Endurance International Group” that has not a good history in acquisition of hosting brands. Ipage and Bluehost are one of their big brands but they are sucked after acquisition. Webmasters regularly shared their bad experiences.

Bluehost FB User Review-1

ipage slow
Read more experience at https://www.webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=1168297

On 26 June 2012, EIG bought Hostgator and the same history repeated.

hostgator slow sml
Read More at https://www.shoutmeloud.com/hostgator-sold-endurance-endurance-group.html
hostgator slow sml
Read More – https://www.shoutmeloud.com/hostgator-sold-endurance-endurance-group.html

Actually EIG is known for downsizing staff including accounting, human resources, customer support, and training staff, closing offices, multitude server migrations and shifting huge websites on a single server to get maximum ROI from acquitted brands.

It impacts not only performance but also R&D work also that amputates brands, they become stagnant and slower to release new security & speed updates like PHP version, server updates, database version etc and solving customer queries.

Popular Techcrunch & Mashable reported that Hostgator suffered massive outages, serious vulnerabilities and was hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army.

Bluehost Hack

And recently Website Planet found Hostgator is easily hackable in their test.

YouTube video

These severe consequences flaunt the miserable policy of EIG. They don’t stop here. They do resource throttling for over selling which blocks you from using 100% of the resource, for what you had paid.

And a lethal hazard is….

Hostgator uses shared IP, which can hurt your rankings (study).  A bad neighbor site can dig a big hole for you. Unfortunately you can’t stop them.

Now run PageSpeed Insight and GTmetrix test to find out real status.

No surprise! You have got a familiar one like other Hostgator users.PageSpeed Insights Report

But how can you qualify for Core Web Vitals? Google advocates TTFB should be under 200MS.google recommend 200ms

Then the best solution is choose Cloudways which gives you full freedom on using resources, having unique IP and already core web vitals optimized host.

Seriously Cloudways’s TTFB has unbeatable speed 🙂 It can beat Cloudflare full page without any cache plugin surprisingly.

Cloudways TTFB Facebook1

Big reasons are…..

1.The premium managed cloud hosting is powered by World’s most powerful cloud infrastructure such as Google Cloud, AWS, Vulture, DigitalOcean and Linode.

2.They have made the fastest & robust server stack with the smart combination of Nginx, Apache, fastcgi and varnish.

3.They have added Cloudflare Enterprise which guarantee ~100 ms around the globe with godfather security.

That’s why it is the no-1 choice in various Facebook polls and my favorite also.Cloudways FB Poll

Cloudways Speed Record

Problogguru PSI Report
Problogguru PSI Report

Now let’s dive into speed optimization.

1.Use Latest PHP

PHP is the most widely used back-end programming language. WordPress like CMSs consist of PHP.

Latest PHP carry out more security and faster performance. If you are still on old PHP. you should update it.

How to Update PHP Version in Hostgator

#1.Login to the cPanel,

#2.Navigate to the Software section.

#3.Click on MultiPHP Manager.Hostgator PHP1

#4.Select the domain which you want to upgrade.Hostgator PHP

5.Choose PHP Version and apply.Hostgator PHP

Currently PHP 8.0 is prevalent and most stable.

2.Deploy Database on MariaDB

WordPress stores post text, plugin & theme setting, username and password to the database.

On each request WordPress has to scan & retrieve the whole database to fulfill the request.

The database is generally made of MySQL. Most web hosts are using it. But now it is outdated.

Thankfully we got MariaDB as a new player. It has more storage engines which makes it 2x faster and safer than MySQL.

Check Site Health>Info> Database in your WP Admin areaMariaDB

If you don’t find MariaDB, just contact your host.

3.Get A Robust Cache Plugin

When someone attempts to access your blog. A server performs PHP processing and database queries in order to generate server responses that are returned to the user’s browser.

If another user makes the same HTTP request, the server must repeat the process.

However, if we duplicate the same HTTP response, the server only needs to deliver it. Except for data delivery, the same processes do not need to be repeated. As a result, server responses can be 10 times faster and handle more traffic pressure.

All you need is a powerful cache plugin. WP Rocket is the best option available.

WP Rocket Cache Plugin

It is the smartest and fastest because it has a feature that automatically gets rid of CSS.

It improves performance by creating and caching static HTML files. The entire world is well aware that it is the best way to cache and speed up web pages without putting additional strain on the origin server.

This is the reason. It is the most lovable among pros.

WP Rocket Polls

Some Incredible Speed-Boosting Features of WP Rocket

#All JS except essential JS is automatically delayed.It improves FCP and LCP.

#Reduces, asyncs, and combines CSS and JS files to reduce their size, avoid render blocking and layout shifting, and generate fewer HTTP requests.

#After flushing the cache, it can deliver cache versions even when the first request is created. It’s known as the preload cache.

#Especially for mobile devices, preload cache to ensure faster loading in desktop mode.

#Amazingly, optimise the heavier resources of YouTube videos. 13 HTTP requests are reduced to just two.

4.Speed Up Images

The best way to remember something for the longest time is through images. As a result, we must include images in our posts to make them more user-friendly and informative.

However, the image is larger in size than the text. When using high-quality images, it can take much longer to load than Javascript, making web pages 2–3 times slower.

Before uploading, you should optimise and resize them. Adobe Photoshop is a useful tool for this.

And for online optimization, try Shortpixel Adaptive Images, Shortpixel Image Optimizer or Flying Image Plugin.

5.Install Premium Lightweight Theme

Themes are similar to our clothing. Wear well, look well, and make a good first impression last longer. Many bloggers prefer themes that are well-designed and visually appealing.

But these themes are heavier because they have a lot of JSs and CSS codes for things like box shadow, border, buttons, widget box, navigation shadow, and so on.

The situation worsens if themes are available for free. Free theme projects are frequently completed by newly learned developers who want to put their skills to the test and include them in their CV to impress their future boss.

As a result, most codes are cluttered and do not receive security and speed updates. It eventually became a hangout for hackers and a bullock cart for visitors.

As a result, you should consider purchasing a premium lightweight theme. Even with a modern design, it will provide more safety, speed, and SEO friendliness.

GeneratePress theme is the best for producing high-quality results. Because it is already core web vitals optimised and is only 935 kB, it can load like an alien’s UFO.

GeneratePress Theme

And many modern inbuilt design templates give privilege to deploy eye catching designs in a click.Site Library GeneratePress

Why Choose Generatepress Theme

#It has a leaf weight, just 935 KB.

#Codes are well organized, already minified and stored in separate blocks. So only related block code file loads, not all.Generatepress JS

#It uses the system font that doesn’t create any HTTP request and gets rid of multitude heavy google font requests.

#many pre-made professional looking templates.

6.Make loading of Ads Code Lazier

Every blogger blogs for money. You have Adsense ads enabled on your blog. It loads a large number of resources, resulting in 15–25 HTTP requests.

It has an effect on both FCP and LCP. Even full-page loading time increases dramatically. As a result, lazy loading is preferable. It will be extremely beneficial to give your blog a green FCP+LCP score.

How to Lazy Load Adsense Ads

#1.Install Perfmatters Plugin

#2.Go to Assets > Delay Javascript Boxperfmatters JS settings

#3.Add “adsbygoogle.js”

#4.Set Delay Timeout to 5 seconds and save changes.

Don’t forget to clear the cache plugin’s cache.

7.Locally Host Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a necessary component of any blog. It allows for detailed marketing traffic analysis.

But it is served by Google’s public CDN, which has just a 2-hour browser cache period. So, every two hours, the browser cache policy instructs the browser to download fresh GA resources from Google CDN rather than the local disc (browser cache).

This is why you see an error in the PSI Tool.

“Leverage Browser Caching”

Then, the solution is to just host GA Code on the origin server to leverage their browser caching and avoid extra external requests.

How To Locally Host Google Analytics

#1.Go to Analytics in Permatters Plugin.

#2.Enable Local Analyticsperfmatters GA Setting

#3.Enter Tracking ID

#4.Tracking Code Position – Footer

#5.Script Type- Minimal

#6.Save changes

Don’t forget to remove Google Analytics Code from other places.

8.Localize Google Font

Google font is a great bottle neck choker.

Why?

#A website saves CSS cache of fonts.googleapis.com to the visitor’s browser for only 24 hours.Google Font CSS

The cache policy is set by Google CDN. So after every 24 hours, the visitor’s browser needs to download it. There will be extra load on the website.

#Of course, you must love Google Font? So you might use multiple designed fonts. But you should be aware it adds several extra HTTP requests also.Gstatic Fonts

#Cache partitioning has come into force for Google Chrome in Oct 2020 and Firefox in Jan 2021 for security purposes.

No cache passing!cache partitioning 2

Now a browser can’t use downloaded font CSS of site A for site B. Even though both sites are using the same font family.

These three factors are terrible for speed.

So want full control and set your own browser cache period? You need to host it locally.

How to Host Google Font on Your Origin Server

#1.Click on Fonts in the Perfmatters plugin.

#2.Enable Display SwapLocal Font Perfmatters

#3.Enable Local Google Fonts

#4.Save changes.

9.Serve Critical CSS

Only the CSS codes from above the content section are included in critical CSS. We can refer to it as a summary of the main stylesheet.

Because there is less code, the page loads quickly at the start, turning LCP green.

How to Create Critical CSS

#1.Go to File Optimization and enable Optimize CSS delivery in WP RocketCCSS WP Rocket

#2.Save changes.

10.Defer Non-Critical CSS

To achieve maximum speed, you must defer non-critical CSS when generating critical CSS. All CSS codes, with the exception of LCP CSS, are non-critical CSS.

You just need to turn on Optimize Delivery in WP Rocket, which you already have done, and it will delay.

11.Lazy load Youtube Video

In general, a single Youtube video adds 13 HTTP requests to your blog.

  • 9 JS requests
  • 1 CSS request
  • 2 Image requests
  • 1 HTML request

So you can imagine, How these requests slow down blog speed.

How to Optimize YouTube Video

Enable iFrames & Video and YouTube Preview Thumbnails.

perfmatters lazy loading video

After the optimization, magically the HTTP request will be just one for Youtube video.

First option will speed up other sorts of videos along with Youtube videos.

If you host your own video, don’t waste money on costly bandwidth and put extra heavy pressure on the server. Use third party services like Wistia, Vimeo or Pressplay.

Just like that, you should also have a third service for audio and podcast. Try Anchor or Libsyn.

It will relieve much burden on servers and allow them to achieve maximum speed.

12.Remove Unused CSS

Contact Form 7 and Revolution Slider plugin are so popular. But do you know? These plugins load their resources on all pages, even though you have added them to a specific page only.

The resources are unused for all pages, except the page where these are used. Actually, the resources impact rest pages speed uselessly.

How To Remove Unused CSS

Method-1 [Best for Beginners]

#1.Go to File Optimization> Remove Unused CSS in WP Rocket.Remove Unused CSS WP Rocket

#2.Tick on Remove Unused CSS.

Now intelligent WP Rocket will optimize CSS code, remove unused CSS code and combine all CSS files to one.

So you can see just one CSS as used.min.css. It amazingly eliminates multiple CSS requests.

Sounds Good!

Method – 2 (Will optimize Contact Form 7)

#1.Go to Assets in Perfmatters pluginperfmatters script manager

#2.Enable Script Manager

#3.Now visit contact us pageScript Manager

#4.Click on Script Manager on the admin bar

#5.Scroll down to the Contact Form 7 section (need to disable /wp-content/plugins/contact-form-7/includes/css/style.css)Contact Form 7 Setting

#6.Location: check Everywhere

#7.Exceptions, Location: check Current URL

Just like that, you can disable JS (/wp-content/plugins/contact-form-7/includes/js/index.js) for the rest of the pages, besides the contact us page.

Now the Contact Form 7 resource will load only on the contact us page.

Method-3 (Developer Level)

Some css files of theme and plugins are needed for all pages. But only some codes are used. Then we have to remove unused code lines.

Easy solution is to use a better alternative which uses less code. Although if you want to keep older. Let’s optimize it.

#1.Scan homepage and a most resourceful page (most designed post) at purifycss.online.PurifyCSS Online - Clean CSS Codes

#2.Copy the used code and paste in its file location.Sassy Social Share Unused Code

Must have backup before playing codes.

13.Remove Unused JS

Unload unused JS by Perfmatters plugin as talked above. But some JS files are needed at initial load. Then delay them by WP Rocket.

WP Rocket Delay JS

Enable Delay JavaScript execution, it will delay JS and LCP will improve.

14.Stop Useless WP Features

You don’t use Window Live Writer to write and publish posts to your blog, do you?

No

But its resource loads on your blog.

Window has completely shut down the project in Jan 2017, but the alcoholic WordPress is still loading.

It is not one, there are 13 others which lessen speed and safety.

How To Disable WordPress Useless Features

#1.Go to Options in Perfmatters plugin.perfmatters useless feature of wordpress

#2.Disable useless features, follow both images.

perfmatters useless feature of wordpress

15.Replace Heavy Plugins

Must check, You may use heavy plugins.

Install WP Hive extension in your Chrome.wp hive insight

Now search your installed plugins at wordpress.org/plugins

If you see red cross on “Minimal impact on memory usage”.

It means it is a heavy plugin and deplete server performance. You should find its lightweight alternative.

My favorites-

:: Be cautious about outdated and deactivated plugins, update or delete them. These make site not only nonperformancent but also vulnerable.

16.Stop Clouflare’s Useless Feature

Cloudflare is the World’s largest internet company which powers and secures billions of websites.

It is the third most popular server software after Nginx and Apache.Cloudflare Server Usage

But some features of Cloudflare have more loss than profit. Because they inject heavy JS to your blog.

These are-

#1.Bot Fight Mode- Wordfence is better. It secures without adding JS.Bot Fight Mode Cloudflare

#2.Email Address Obfuscation – Wordfence handles it.Email Address Obfuscation Cloudflare

#3.Rocket Loader – It causes slowness with render-blocking issues. Better to lazy load JS.Rocket Loader Cloudflare

#4.Web Analytics in Browser Insights – Google Analytics is fully capable of gaining whole traffic data. I don’t think we need another one and add some codes.Web Analytics Cloudflare

17.Control Heartbeat Frequency

In 2013, WordPress had introduced Heartbeat API which helps browsers to connect with the server for data transfer. Prominently it is used for back-end services like auto-drafting and showing plugin notifications.

Some plugins like The Event Calendar plugin load it on the front end. You can see admin-ajax.php in the waterfall.

But it’s not a good sign for speed. You should avoid it.

Although WordPress auto-calls Heartbeat API per 15-50 seconds at the back end side. Bunch of auto-calls in a short period cause high CPU usage.

So you should control it.

Heartbeat Perfmatters
Perfmatters Hearbeat Setting
WP Rocket Heartbeat Setting
WP Rocket Heartbeat Setting

18.Minimize Spam Bot Traffic

Bots create almost 50% web traffic and are accountable for burning 50% costly bandwidth as well as security theft.how many bot traffic

Deloy Wordfence plugin, activate firewall and cut 40%-50% addition on your hosting bill.Live Traffic WordFence

19.Fix Invalid SSL

Check your SSL? If it is a invalid or self-signed SSL certificate, it will take much time and won’t secure your website.

Install it again or you can use Cloudflare’s Full SSL.

20.Fasten Up WP-Admin Dashboard

I saw my many beginner clients added Google Analytics widget, top keyword report or speed reports on WP-admin. It increases page weight. Of course the page slows down.

And if you post many times in a day. It can affect the whole blog speed. So free your wp-admin from these weighty widgets and visit official websites for traffic reports.

21.Go For Pure Cloud Hosting

It was a good idea to start a blogging journey with a shared host, because of affordability.

But now it’s no longer cheaper.

Notice their renewal fees and I let you know 1GB RAM comes only in their higher level plans.

Ideally we need at least 1GB RAM for a general website and 2 GB RAM for a production website.

And fishing-net like prices are set for a 3 years long contract.

Longer contracts can bring some compromises with quality service and performance. Because by elapsing time, your blog will grow, need more resources and you will learn which type of hosting is actually suitable for you. But you can’t help yourself with a cage like contract.

So always keep a door open, you can control your situation.

If you go for 12 month contract, then renewal fees will be –

Plans Price
Entry Level $8.95
Middle Level $11.95
Higher Level $16.95

And don’t forget every shared hosting does CPU, RAM & bandwidth throttling and uses shared IP that impacts performance as well as rankings in SERP. (case study).

Then go with the latest hosting model which is Cloud VPS, where you will get dedicated CPU, RAM, Bandwidth, unique IP and of course Cluster Feature…

What does this mean?

When your website gets unprecedentedly huge traffic, the cloud server will transfer the load to the next available server in a data center. Your server won’t go down and can perform well under the highest pressure sphere because of Cluster.

That’s why it’s the no-1 choice among pros.

Then you can unlock ultimate cloud VPS performance with Forbes featured Cloudways.

It is the best place to host your blog with World’s top 5 cloud infrastructure (Google Cloud,

AWS, Digital Ocean, Linode & Vulture) in two clicks and experience super speedy performance of cloud host.

It just simplifies cloud hosting for beginners. You will get a simple and intuitive dashboard to launch your blog, tweak performance and handle your server within clicks. No coding knowledge needed.

Moreover, You can enjoy automated backups, CDN, 60+ global data center, Cloudflare Enterprise, Cloudways AI Bot, free site migration and unlimited site hosting at just $10/m.cloudways plan

15 Amazing reasons to choose Cloudways

Servers are powered by powerful Intel Xeon Scalable Processors, built-in AI acceleration and can clock up to 3.90 GHz in turbo mode.
Get a unique IP that keeps you safe from spam neighbour websites & increases rankings.
Fastest & most stable server stack (intelligent combination of Nginx, Apache, Varnish, PHP-FPM and Memcached), without any cache plugin, server(TTFB) responds in just 14-16ms.Cloudways Server Stacks
Free automated backup keeps data of the last 15 days.
Expert level pre-configured PHP-FPM makes 4x faster PHP processings than traditional FastCGI.
Total freedom to choose life of server level cache to achieve best performanceCloudways Varnish Cache Lifetime
World’s first host that provides disk clean feature on server level.
Free site transfer
Free SSL certificate
Unlimited domains on a server
Free Astra Pro Theme Bundle
6G firewall & bot protection to mitigate DDoS, brute force, XSS attacks and spam bots.Cloudways bot protection
Flexible & responsive support team for 24X7.
”Pay as you go” payment mode, pay per month, don’t need to fall in a longer contract.
Pro blogger’s no-1 choice. Even Google’s John Mueller shows their affection.

22.Stop Auto Background Processing

Setting up automatic background processing, such as auto-backup, is a wise and time-saving task. However, if these types of processes are used in large numbers, they will result in a loss rather than a profit.

So don’t be overly dependent. They continue to engage your server. Only the most critical tasks should be deployed in pilot mode.

23.Clean up Database

WordPress saves not only posts, plugin settings, and passwords to the database but also spam comments, auto-drafts, post revisions, the transients database, and so on. As a result, the space fills up, affecting database performance.

Now we have to keep it clean on a regular basis. Go to the Database tab of the WP Rocket plugin and free it from trash.

clean up database WP Rocket

24.Use Premium DNS

To access your website without DNS, you must enter your server’s IP address. The domain name will not work.

DNS maintains a record of your domain’s server IP address.

While you type your domain name, the browser connects to DNS to determine the server’s IP, then connects to the server, receives data, and displays the website.

domain name system

Each host provides general DNS service with each hosting package.The majority of them

For the service, use free software and overcrowded servers.

So, if you want to start with the best possible performance, use Premium DNS at your host.It will be faster and more powerful.

However, if you want to save money, consider using Cloudflare DNS. It’s free, but it’s one of the world’s fastest DNS servers.

Keep the grey cloud icon if you only want to use Cloudflare DNS.

25.Enable Full Page Caching

If you are running a global blog, you turn on full page cache on Cloudflare. It works 10x better than ordinary CDN. TTFB would be fastened all over the world and you can save 80-90% bandwidth.

Just set the two page rules to enjoy the awesome feature.

page rules Cloudflare

26.Deploy Closet Server

Choosing a distant server is the most common rookie error. I, too, made the stupid error. If your server is not on the mainland, double-check its location. Change it. You will notice an immediate improvement.

If your audience is global, however, simply deploy Cloudflare’s full-page cache and relax.

27.Free Up Unnecessary Backups

Keeping backups on hand on a regular basis is a good habit. However, keep backup numbers and occupied spaces in mind. If there are too many, delete them all except for some fresh backups.

Alternatively, use the UpdraftPlus plugin and backup to Google Drive or Dropbox.

28.Do Website Compression

You can make your website up to 26% lighter by Brotli compression. It was developed by Google. You should find the option in your hosting panel and enable.

But if you are on Cloudflare, enable it in the Speed tab.

Brotli Cloudflare

29.Avoid Heavy Page Builders

Popular Elementor page builder requires 256MB RAM to run smoothly. But you know how tiny size of RAM shared host offers.

Generally 256MB and 500MB RAM on entry and medium level hosting plans. As a beginner, we often choose these.

And also other plugins, WordPress core and database also need RAM to perform their task.

As a result bloggers often see “PHP Memory Limit Exhausted”.

On the second side, how much does Elementor inject code to our blog? Too much…

elementor mentions

So replace it with lightweight page builders like Gutenber or Oxygen.Page Builder Report But won’t recommend shared hosting, go for cloud VPS.

30.Avoid Useless WP-Include Resources

When you install WordPress, you see the WordPress logo as a favicon. Do you know, from where does the logo load?

From WP Include Folder.

https://domain.com/wp-includes/images/w-logo-blue-white-bg.png

Unfortunately you can’t optimize it.

You have to upload your own favicon.

There are some resource which WordPress also load from WP-Includes

/wp-includes/js/hoverintent-js.min.js – adjust dropdown’s trigger on user’s hoverintent.

/wp-includes/js/dist/vendor/regenerator-runtime.min.js -convert modern JS in old version to run on old versions of browser.

/wp-includes/js/dist/vendor/wp-polyfill.min.js – ensure JS compatibility with older versions of browsers.

Disable hoverintent.js if you don’t use the dropdown menu. Rest JSs should also be stopped, modern browsers don’t need these. Use the Perfmatters plugin.

wp includes hoverintent jswp-includes useless scriptHow were my solutions, is it helpful or your blog is still slow, let me know in the comment box.

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