How to Make Your WordPress Site Load in <1 Second From Anywhere in the World

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Huzzah! The “Holy Grail” of WordPress Configurations for Page Speed!

I didn’t think it was possible. But I finally got my WordPress website to load in <1s from anywhere in the world. It took a lot of time and work to get the moving parts right. And though I’m here to tell the tale of my discovery, this journey was not without cost.

I endured many “flesh wounds” (more like wounds to my pride) while troubleshooting, testing, and retesting over the course of many weeks.

Please say you get the reference

Some nights I barely slept.

I HAD to get this figured out. But not just for my own benefit.

All the time and energy I sank into this project was to be able to share this WordPress configuration with you now.

My hope is you’ll be able to get fast WordPress page load speeds with far less effort than was required for me to get these results.

I’m not a developer. I don’t write custom PHP or JavaScript. I’m just a WordPress guy who gradually acquired some great tools and figured out how to make them cooperate to deliver some impressive results.

Here’s EXACTLY how I did it (short and long videos below)

I used a combination of:

  • Premium managed hosting by Flywheel
  • Premium, professionally developed WordPress optimization plugins
  • FREE, but little known plugin called Flying Scripts
  • FREE Cloudflare account utilizing Page Rules for “edge caching” worldwide

All tools are linked further down this post for easy reference.

The Short Version

The “Holy Grail” WordPress Configuration for Sub 1sec. Page Loads: Hosting, Plugins, and Cloudflare [11:36 duration]

“That’s the short version??”, scoffed the reader. “Sure is”, laughed the author. Clearly uncomfortable with the length of the longer video*

The Long Version

How I Got My WordPress Website to Load in 1 Second or Less From Anywhere In The World (Long Version) [36:22 duration]

The “Holy Grail” WP Configuration – *Premium Tools*

  • Flywheel Managed WordPress Hosting
  • WP Rocket – Page Caching, Asset Optimization, DNS Pre-connect, Pre-load fonts (locally hosted in my case), enable WebP caching
  • Perfmatters – WordPress Script Manager and Performance Booster (it does A LOT of good things)
  • GeneratePress Premium – Ultra Lightweight WordPress theme
  • Toolset Types & Blocks – used to create Custom Post Types and templates, on my site
  • Toolset is not relevant to the “Holy Grail” configuration. But this plugin deserves attention as at the time of this writing (Summer 2020), it’s currently the only Gutenberg-compatible block plugin that supports dynamic content from custom types and custom fields. And I think more people need to know it’s out there.

The “Holy Grail” WP Configuration – *FREE Tools*

  • Flying Scripts – Javascript load-delaying magic – the “Holy Grail” wouldn’t be what it is without this plugin and its developer’s guidance on Cloudflare Page Rules. This plugin and a free Cloudflare account alone are the bare minimum someone could do to improve load times on their site with minimal effort. As of 2021 WP Rocket and Perfmatters each offer this delay Javascript functionality. But at the time of writing this post (Summer 2020), Flying Scripts was the only plugin of its kind offering this functionality.
  • Kadence Blocks – Lightweight Gutenberg Blocks – though hardly, if at all, mentioned in these videos – this set of Gutenberg blocks is killer. Plenty of styling controls and lightning fast. I actually use the Pro version because it comes with some extra pre-styled blocks that saved me a lot of time on my website redesign. If you look through the available Pro blocks, you’ll recognize some of their pre-built sections throughout my site.

How to Make WordPress Load Fast

This is a premium solution for optimizing WordPress load times. So I know it won’t be for everyone. But if you acquire some of these premium plugins over time, you won’t regret the investment.

Again, I can’t emphasize enough how much ANYONE could benefit from implementing the free tools mentioned in this post. You’re leaving seconds on your load times without them.

For further WordPress optimization study, I highly recommend you check out WP Speed Matters. The blog is full of super helpful tutorials, many of which I’ve implemented on this site.

There’s even a WP Speed Matters Facebook group where the topic of discussion is always site speed. All day, every day. Swing by and see what you can learn from or teach the group. Everyone there has a need. A need for speed.

Comparing the “Holy Grail” WordPress speed configuration

I think a fair comparison between my setup and anything else should include images and text on the page. If you try this or a similar configuration on a different host or with some different tools than I’m using, I’d love to hear about it.

I’m looking to make this configuration better over time. So I’d love to hear if you would do anything differently.

Do you have a similar, nay I say, better cocktail of hosting and plugins? Do you have any recommendations that might make this stack better?

Drop your comments below and let’s talk shop.

Keep in mind, this site is not a static WP site. So I’m not necessarily looking to compare speeds between this setup and static WordPress installations.

But if anyone happens to try this configuration on a static WP install, I’d be interested to hear your results.

The “Holy Grail” WordPress Speed
Course is Coming

Be the first to know when the FREE mini video course is available. It’ll walk you through every step of the “Holy Grail” configuration. Hop on the interest list below to be notified when it’s ready.

This course is perfect for anyone who’d like a step-by-step walkthrough of how to implement the more manually-intensive components of this configuration (for their own or clients’ sites) including:

  • Locally hosting and preloading Google fonts
  • Cloudflare Page Rules setup
  • How to read a waterfall chart to find opportunities for DNS pre-connect for 3rd party external requests
  • How to identify Javascript that can be delayed until after page load

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