I then took the following steps based on the & suggested by the client's host (Hostmmonster) support:
- updated wordpress, pagelines, plugins
- installed and setup W3 Total Cache
- turned on gzip compression with htaccess
- optimize/repair database
- turned on css minify in pagelines advanced
- ran smushit on images
- setup cloudflare
I did successfully get the site from a D score to an A score with Yslow and a B score with Gtmetrix. However, it seems that there are a lot of errors in reference to CSS problems and the obvious problem is the site is loading way too slow. The load time is not consistent either. Sometimes it is 7-8s and sometimes over 30s!!!
I am at a loss. Obviously a dedicated server would help, but that may not be an option at this time. if I could go back to the host with two A scores, then they absolutely could not blame it on the site.
What do you guys think? I would really appreciate some good advice here.
Here is the Gtmetrix report: