How do I go about with the speed and optimization of a site, with around 40 plugins?

(Utsav Singh Rathour) #1

Not sure, if it is the right group, please assign to the right group if not.

I have been having this issue for long and I really think, I might be doing something wrong or something not right. My client wants me to use page builder plugins like and mostly Visual Composer. Then there are a few slider plugins, like layer Slider, Revolution slider and so on. For some reason, he wants to use both the slider plugin and visual composer, when he knows, he would never be editing content and I need to be doing it in the future. Also, there are tons of other plugins, mostly using JS. This most often than not, puts me into a situation where I need to work a few days more on the speed based on the gtmetrix and pingdom results (which are generally inifying and making smaller images) but that does not always help as there are a lot of http requests. What am I missing here? How do I speed up the site with those and those many plugins in use? What would be the best way forward?

*Note: The sites that I generally do from scratch are generally fast. Also the client is using a VPS to host his site and the VPS is decent enough as well.

While the fixes I make do make it a tad bit faster, but I want to change the approach so this issue doesn’t occur.
How do you guys go on handling this?

(Anthony Pham) #2

Great question!

With a VPS, first you must optimize the server side first.

  • Use Nginx instead of Apache.
  • Optimize PHP. Use PHP > 5.6. increase max_execution_time, memory_limit,…
  • Optimize database - MYSQL
  • Install PHP mod - memcache, xcache, APC,…

About the website side, you can install one of cache plugins: W3 Total Cache, WP Fastest cache,…

I wrote a instruction for W3 Total Cache here, you can check

Hope that will helps.

(Utsav Singh Rathour) #3

Thanks for the reply @tuongpg,
The VPS does have Nginx
Uses PH 5.6
I did try memchache and on website side, I tried with w3Total cache and also WP Rocket. :frowning:

(Leland Fiegel) #4

Yeah, this sounds like a performance nightmare. I’m not really sure how I’d approach this beyond serving everything behind an aggressive caching layer.

But this is the key right here. Why is he so insistent on this? It sounds like you have some more performant alternatives for the functionality provided by these plugins in mind?

In this particular situation, I’d say client education is the best path. Make a case that these plugins are for content editing, which he wouldn’t be doing anyway, and would save a lot of time (and his money) by using something else.

(Utsav Singh Rathour) #5

So basically educating is the only option?

(Leland Fiegel) #6

Didn’t say that, just saying it’s the most pragmatic option. Again, I’ll ask

I guess you could also spend time doing the following instead:

  • Manually dequeuing scripts/styles and only loading them on pages that are needed.
  • Creating a build process (like with Gulp) to minify everything, concatenate scripts that are used in common
  • Setting up something like Varnish on the VPS.

Good luck.

(Utsav Singh Rathour) #7

Why is he so insistent on this?
-> am not sure. He says the main client might want to change something. But it doesn’t generally happen.

Also, How good would setting up Varnish do? I am a novice on this.

(Leland Fiegel) #8

Ah, I see.

For setting up Varnish, try experimenting with Digital Ocean. They have some great tutorials on setting it up with WordPress. For example:

I’ve never seen really experienced “instant” page loads on my sites before like I have with Varnish.

(Utsav Singh Rathour) #9

Thanks @leland, much appreciated. Will try my hands on Varnish. If I am stuck, I know whom to ask. :slight_smile:
Thank you again.


varnish is definitely a game changer and it boosts performance big time. anyway, i’d really educate the client, if i were you and go with fewer plugins. try replacing visual composer with elementor. beside being free, elementor is way more lightweight than visual composer and is generally a lot nicer page builder