Speeding up your WordPress site by adjusting the .htaccess file

In order to speed up my companies WordPress site I had to adjust the .htaccess file. This is an advanced skill, so if you are beginner proceed carefully.

I spoke before about using GTMetrix to test your website performance. It helpfully tells you exactly what you need to do to optimize your website. This time when I was working it said that I needed to control the browser caching better. However my plugin WP-Rockit settings were already set and they weren’t doing a great job. This meant that I needed to make some changes manually.

I made a backup of the .htaccess file by downloading it to my desktop. Then I made the suggested changes that Wp-Rockit the cache performance plugin suggested. I tested it with GTMetrix and it worked. It was a small improvement but any improvement is welcome. As you know Google ranks webpages based on speed as well as content.

One of the most amazing things happens when you start to understand and feel comfortable asking for changes to this file. When I switched hosting providers, the previous one had made a change to my .htaccess file that resulted in problems with the new provider. GTMetrix showed that I had the problem and I had to contact the technical support for them to make the change. Some changes require changes to the programming of the website beyond what you are able to do through CPANEL. For example some require certain modules to be on/off and this varies depending on the hosting provider.

Normally you can ask a hosting provider to turn modules on/off if needed by plugins, and they are happy to do so with dedicated websites. This is another disadvantage of the low cost websites. They don’t have the option to enable modules and that makes working with some plugins not possible. I learned this first hand when I managed a website through GoDaddy. They don’t allow many popular plugins and they say its because they have problems with the modules. So my current provider A2Hosting has worked with every plugin I have used. I am just thrilled to have such good service!

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Danni Mei

I am a knowledgeable, detail and goal-oriented professional with 8 years of experience who is seeking to leverage a diverse skill set centered on communications. My thirst for excellence compels me to read professional publications, expand business relationships, and research current trends in content creation, marketing and technology.