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I have been working on my first wordpress website trying to move away from Wix. I am using siteground with cloudflare and have turned on all the settings (caching, cloudflare, image optimization etc.) in the SG optimizer app.

I am trying to improve the load time of the site: sweetsmilingsoul.com and have encountered a very long wait time in GTMetrix (over 2sec) for the initial page load.

long load time with cloudflare

Is there any way I can reduce this? I tried turning off the SG Optimizer but that did not improve the wait time.

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The server-side aspect of things is just one part of the speed equation. You need to make sure to optimize the load for the front end user as well. You can see most of the speed issues with a Google Page Speed test for your site.

The main issue is that you have a ton of render-blocking resources that delay the actual initial visibility of the page to the user. These are generally CSS and js scripts that need to load first before everything else can display. To address this without too much custom development you will want to use an optimization plugin for WP that will package all these scripts into one file. I personally use Autoptimze to achieve this quickly.

This plugin will also create cached files of your site that are essentially static versions of your website delivered to the user. This greatly improves the load time but you need to make sure to clear the cache when you make critical front end updates.

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