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I have nearly a perfect score on Pingdom Results: https://tools.pingdom.com/#!/tU1lz/https://varmag.com/ If I'm not mistaken, it looks like SSL is what's slowing me down? Doing some research, If I'm understanding correctly, the speed of SSL is largely based on the cipher suite? I Googled 'fasted cypher suite' and used the one mostly refereed to around the web, but not sure if I see much of an improvement.

What I've done to improve my score and speed: Moved to a well known low latency host Used Google's mod_pagespeed Switched to http2 Symlinked my theme folder and wp-content uploads folder to a folder outside of my WP install Created a subdomain and separate nginx config for it, removing cookies from static objects

pagespeed results

  • You should know that the scoring has no influence in rankings, the page speed does and even that is so minor its hardly any difference unless your site is over 3 seconds... so a site with 40/100 with 1sec load time will rank just as well. I'd focus more on time and less on score... furthermore, pingdom is absolutely rubbish for speed testing, you need multiple passes, multiple locations, multiple concurrent users and different broadband speeds, use WebpageTest and Dotcom-tools – Simon Hayter Mar 2 '17 at 16:56
  • For concurrent user tests use ApacheBench as you could have 100/100 1sec loading time and then with 100 users you site may suck at 5 seconds... again... its real tests that matter, not score or pingdom tests :) Aim for 1.5 seconds and below, then focus on the things that make the difference, the content. – Simon Hayter Mar 2 '17 at 17:01
  • Thank you. I do use webpagetest yes webpagetest.org/result/170219_PX_CP6 thanks for the info about ApacheBench. Now exactly sure what I'm reading, but I can compare other sites. – Danny Michel Mar 4 '17 at 16:00
  • Funny thing is I got rid of a bunch of pagespeed filters and got a worse score on Google Insights but my speed doubled on webpagetest AB and pingdom webpagetest.org/result/170304_PJ_SPB – Danny Michel Mar 4 '17 at 18:00
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For your site SSL doesn't seem to be much of a problem per-sey as the per request SSL handshake is very minimal (only about 1 millisecond). What I would say is firstly you have 15 404 not found links which should be removed as those are adding to your load time.

Other than that your site seems to be working fine based on some very basic testing.

  • You must have checked the actual site rather than the linked test while I was working on it live. I've just finished, so you can check on that now. – Danny Michel Mar 2 '17 at 14:19
  • I actually did check the linked test but ran a fresh one with it, as well as running my own suite of testing tools from my test environment in Australia which is where I got the information I provided to you. I suspect based on your comment that I may have done it while you where working on the site but the answer is still something to bare in mind as a request for a non existent file can still lock up the browser while it tries to download the file and eventually gets a 404 back. – Chris Rutherfurd Mar 2 '17 at 14:23
  • Thank you. You can test the site now. Should be all 200s. – Danny Michel Mar 2 '17 at 14:24
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It's a common myth that SSL (actually, its TLS, SSL is outdated) slows you down, but with modern day CPU's, the computing power it costs extra is negligable. We own a server with a lot of sites on it, and we do not notice a change in load, even though we implement https more and more

If you have Google Analytics, you should check out their 'Site Speed' section, they list which pages are slow, how slow and why they are slow. This will help you significantly more to find what makes your site slow.

  • The site isn't actually slow. It still gets scored at 99% faster than other tested sites. I'm really just looking to figure out if I can make it even faster than it is, and if TLS/SSL was the thing holding it back. The site speed section of Analytics wouldn't help me much right now, as it tracks past speeds. I'm actively tweaking now, so those results would be different. – Danny Michel Mar 2 '17 at 14:21

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