Optimization

There’s lot of factors that can affect your site speed & performance: hosting, theme, DNS, plugins, images.  The Fox theme is one of those factors. It doesn’t hold full responsibility for your site performance but It plays a part in it. The Fox is fast & optimized by itself. However, there’s no themes solely can help you to satisfy Core Web Vitals or have 9x/100 Page Speed or get grade A for GTMetrix.

Howver, in this tuturial I will provide you certain information to get 9x/100 with The Fox theme.

Hosting

Hosting plays an important role for performance. We use Site Ground for our demo. Site Ground is great in general, not only for performance but also for ease of use, support and stability. A good hosting helps you to reduce TTFB, makes your site load faster. With a bad hosting, no matter how hard you try to optimize you’ll never get 9x/100.

Optimization Plugin

Though The Fox is fast by itself, we still recommend you to use an optimization plugin. The Fox alone without any optimization plugin can score 70/100 for mobile and 8x/100 for desktop. However, there’s stuffs that can be resolved within theme scope, hence you need a plugin for it.

We recommend by following order:

  1. WP Rocket
  2. Speed Optimizer of Site Ground if you use Site Ground
  3. LiteSpeed Cache

We use all of them for different demos. WP Rocket for Times Writer. Speed Optimizer for Hawaii. LiteSpeed for Newspaper.

The Fox works the best with WP Rocket + Imagify. It scores 9x/100 for both mobile and desktop with The Fox + WP Rocket + Imagify. The runner up is Speed Optimizer + Cache settings from the hosting of Site Ground.

Image optimization plugin + webp image plugin

You need a plugin for optimize/resize your photos. Photos are often the heaviest part to load of your site. I see sometimes people keep photo sizes like 10MB and 5000px. For the web, we need only 200kb-size photos with resolution 1500px at most.

There’s a lot of image optimization plugins. We recommend Imagify because It has webp functionality as well and It’s totally compatible with WP Rocket. It’s free plugin but you’ll need to pay for the license, about $5-10/month depending on your need.

CDN

Finally, CND is a part of optimization if your site is global. We recommend Rocket CDN or Cloudflare.

The Fox + WP Rocket to get 9x/100

Here’s the guide to get 9x/100.

  1. Choose the hosting Site Ground. We recommend Site Ground but It’s still ok with other hosting like Cloudways, Bluehost.. whatever you choose if your hosting is great.
  2. If you choose Site Ground, go to Dashboard > Speed > Caching and activate all for caching levels. Also, activate memcache.
  3. Purchase and install WP Rocket plugin. Here’s the settings json file, you can go to Dashboard > Settings > WP Rocket > Tools > Import to import it. They’re settings for Times Writer demo.

  4. Install Imagify plugin and optimize your photos. You’ll need to purchase a subscription to use their API.
  5. Go to Dashboard > Settings > Imagify to enable webp for your site.
  6. Go to Customize > Performance tab and config as below, unless you have reason not to check them.
  7. Check all your plugins. Make sure you deactivate all unnecessary plugins. Sometimes, 1 plugin can make your site deadly heavier.
  8. Now test your site speed with Page Speed Insights and GTMetrix. Here’s what we get for The Fox Times

    Normally, when you have good score with Page Speed Insights, you’ll get grade A for GTMetrix