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.
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 nasty experiences.
On 26 June 2012, EIG bought Hostgator. But the same history repeated again.
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 and they become stagnant and slower to release new security & speed updates like PHP version, server updates, database version etc and solving customer queries.
And recently Website Planet found Hostgator is easily hackable in their test.
These stark consequences flaunt the miserable policy of EIG. They don’t stop here. They do resource throttling for over selling and up-selling which stops you from using 100% of the resource.
And a lethal hazard is….
Hostgator uses shared IP, which hurts their rankings more than helps (study). Because 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.
But how can you qualify for Core Web Vitals? Google advocates TTFB should be under 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.
Seriously Cloudways’s TTFB has unbeatable speed 🙂 It can beat Cloudflare full page without any cache plugin surprisingly.
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.
That’s why it is the no-1 choice in various Facebook polls and my favorite also.
Now let’s dive into speed optimization.
Table of Content
- 1.Use Latest PHP
- 2.Deploy Database on MariaDB
- 3.Get A Robust Cache Plugin
- 4.Speed UP Images
- 5.Install Premium Lightweight Theme
- 6.Make loading of Ads Code Lazier
- 7.Locally Host Google Analytics
- 8.Localize Google Font
- 9.Serve Critical CSS
- 10.Defer Non-Critical CSS
- 11.Lazy load Youtube Video
- 12.Remove Unused CSS
- 13.Remove Unused JS
- 14.Stop Useless WP Features
- 15.Replace Heavy Plugins
- 16.Stop Clouflare’s Useless Feature
- 17.Control Heartbeat Frequncy
- 18.Minimize Spam Bot Traffic
- 19.Fix Invalid SSL
- 20.Fasten Up WP-Admin Dashboard
- 21.Go For Pure Cloud Hosting
- 22.Stop Automated Background Processing
- 23.Clean up Database
- 24.use Premium DNS
- 25.Enable Full Page Caching
- 26.Deploy Closest Server
- 27.Free Up Unnecessary Backups
- 28.Do Website Compression
- 29.Avoid Heavy Page Builders
- 30.Avoid Useless WP-Include Resources
1.Use Latest PHP
PHP is the most widely used backend programming language. WordPress like CMSs consist of PHP.
So the latest PHP means more secure 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.
#4.Select the domain which you want to upgrade.
5.Choose PHP Version and apply.
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 area
If you don’t find MariaDB, just contact your host.
3.Get A Robust Cache Plugin
When a user tries to access your blog. A Server runs PHP processing and database queries to make server responses which return back to the user’s browser.
If another user makes the same HTTP request, the server needs to run the same processes again.
But if we make a copy of the same HTTP response, the server just has to deliver it. Don’t need to run any back-end processes, except data delivery. That’s why the server response would be 10x faster and capable of handling more pressure of traffic.
For it, you just need a Powerful Cache Plugin. WP Rocket is the best option out there.
It is the most intelligent and lightning fast because it is the World’s only one cache plugin which has an automated removal of unused CSS feature.
It boosts speed by creating and caching static HTML files. World knows well that it is the best way to cache and speed up without putting extra pressure on the origin server.
That’s the reason. It is the most lovable among pros.
WP Rocket’s Some Astonishing Speed up Features
#Delays all js automatically except essential jqueries. It boosts FCP+LCP.
#Minifies, async & combines CSS + JS files to light up weight, avoid render-blocking & layout shifting and create minimal HTTP requests.
#Among the few cache plugins that can deliver cache versions even when the first request is created. It’s called Preload Cache.
#Especially preload cache for mobile devices to ensure faster speed as desktop mode.
#Amazingly optimize heavier resources of Youtube Video. 13 HTTP requests turn into 2 requests only.
4.Speed Up Images
Image is the best way to keep things remembered for the longest time. So we must use images in our posts to make them more intuitive and informative.
So you have to optimize and resize them before uploading. Adobe Photoshop is a handy tool to do that. And for online optimization, try Shortpixel adaptive images, Shortpixel image Optimizer or Flying Image Plugin.
I love the Flying Image Plugin which does optimization by Statically CDN. It doesn’t put any load on the origin server.
5.Install Premium Lightweight Theme
Themes are like our clothes. Wear good, look good and make a first impression last longer. So many bloggers prefer designed and attractive looking themes.
But these themes are heavier, because of many designed CSS codes of box shadow, border, buttons, widget box, navigation shadow etc and many JSs.
If themes are free, the situation gets much more bitter. Free theme projects are often done by the new learned developers who just want to test their skill and show them in their CV to impress their future boss.
That’s why codes are mostly cluttered and don’t get security and speed updates. By the time, it became a love place for hackers and bullock cart for visitors.
So you should invest in a premium lightweight theme. It will return more safety, more speed and more SEO friendliness even with modern design.
Generatepress theme is the best to get the quality outcomes. Because it’s already core web vitals optimized and it is just 935kb which makes it possible to load like aliens’s UFO.
And many modern inbuilt design templates give privilege to deploy eye catching designs in a click.
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.
#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 does blogging for money. You have enabled Adsense Ads on your blog. It loads many resources that add over 15-25 HTTP requests.
It impacts not only FCP but also LCP. Even full page loading time immensely increases. So it’s better to lazy load them. It will help a lot to gift Green FCP+LCP score to your blog.
How to Lazy Load Adsense Ads
#1.Install Perfmatters Plugin
#4.Set Delay Timeout to 5 seconds and save changes.
7.Locally Host Google Analytics
Google Analytics is an essential part of any blog. It makes it possible to analyze traffic in marketing details.
But It is served by Google’s public CDN which has just a 2 hour long browser cache period. So the browser cache policy instructs the browser to download fresh GA resources from Google CDN, not from local disk (browser cache) every two hours.
That’s why see an error in PSI Tool
“Leverage Browser Caching”
Then, the solution is 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 Analytics
#3.Enter Tracking ID
#4.Tracking Code Position – Footer
#5.Script Type- Minimal
8.Localize Google Font
Google font is a great bottle neck choker.
#A website saves CSS cache of fonts.googleapis.com to the visitor’s browser for only 24 hours.
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.
#Cache partitioning has come into force for Google Chrome in Oct 2020 and Firefox in Jan 2021 for security purposes.
No cache passing!
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 Swap
#3.Enable Local Google Fonts
9.Serve Critical CSS
Critical CSS has only the CSS codes of above the content section. We can call it, summary of the main stylesheet.
Because of less code, the page loads so fast on the initial stage and makes LCP green.
How to Create Critical CSS
#1.Go to File Optimization and enable Optimize CSS delivery in WP Rocket
10.Defer Non-Critical CSS
If you generate Critical CSS, you must defer non-critical CSS to get maximum speed. Except LCP CSS, all CSS codes are non-critical CSS.
Just enable Optimize Delivery in WP Rocket (you’ve already done.), it will defer.
And you can also place non-critial CSS to footer by “CSS To Footer plugin”.
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.
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.
#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.
Method – 2 (Will optimize Contact Form 7)
#1.Go to Assets in Perfmatters plugin
#2.Enable Script Manager
#3.Now visit contact us page
#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)
#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.
#2.Copy the used code and paste in its file location.
13.Remove Unused JS
Unload unused JS by Perfmatters plugin as talked above. But some JS files are needed. Then delay them by WP Rocket.
14.Stop Useless WP Features
You don’t use Window Live Writer to write and publish posts to your blog, do you?
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.
#2.Disable useless features, follow both images.
15.Replace Heavy Plugins
Must check, You may use heavy plugins.
Install WP Hive extension in your Chrome.
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.
:: Be cautious about outdated and deactivated plugins, update or delete them. These make not only imperformancable 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.
But some features of Cloudflare have more loss than profit. Because they inject heavy JS to your blog.
#1.Bot Fight Mode- Wordfence is better. It secures without adding JS.
#2.Email Address Obfuscation – Wordfence handles it.
#3.Rocket Loader – It causes slowness with render-blocking issues. Better to lazy load JS.
#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.
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.
18.Minimize Spam Bot Traffic
Bots create almost 50% web traffic and are accountable for burning 50% costly bandwidth as well as security theft.
Deloy Wordfence plugin, activate firewall and cut 40%-50% addition on your hosting bill.
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 –
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 will never 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 but intuitive dashboard to launch your blog, tweak performance and handle your server in clicks. No coding knowledge needed.
Moreover, You can enjoy automated backups, CDN, 60+ global data center, Cloudways AI Bot, free site migration and unlimited site hosting at just $10/m.
14 Amazing reasons to choose Cloudways
22.Stop Auto Background Processing
Setting up an auto-background processing like auto-backup is a smart and time saving task. But if these kinds of processes are deployed in large numbers. It will be more loss than profit.
So don’t be over dependent. They keep engaging your server. Only deploy most essential
Task on pilot mode.
23.Clean up Database
WordPress stores not only post, plugin setting and password but also spam comments, auto-drafts, post revisions, transients database etc to the database. So the space gets filled and impacts 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.
24.Use Premium DNS
Without DNS, you have to type your server IP in order to access your website. Domain name won’t work.
DNS keeps a record of server IP belonging to your domain.
While you type your domain name, the browser connects to DNS to know server IP, then connect server, receive data and website display.
Each host provides general DNS service with each hosting package. Most of them
Use free software and overcrowded servers for the service.
So if you want to unlock maximum performance from the beginning, choose Premium DNS at your host. It will be faster and more capable.
But if you want to save money, try Cloudflare DNS. It ‘s free but one of the World’s fastest 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.
26.Deploy Closet Server
Choosing a far server is beginner no-1 mistake. I also made the silly mistake. Check your server location, if it is not in the mainland. Change it. You will see instant improvement.
But if your audience is global, just deploy Cloudflare full page cache and chill.
27.Free Up Unnecessary Backups
Taking backup on a regular basis is a good habit. But also mind backup numbers and occupied spaces. If it is too much, delete them except for some fresh backups.
Otherwise, use the Updraftplus plugin and store your backups on 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.
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…
So replace it with lightweight page builders like Gutenber or Oxygen. 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.
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.
How were my solutions, is it helpful or your blog is still slow, let me know in the comment box.