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Extremely slow loading website w/drag and drop framework

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I was asked to take over the management of a website recently. I immediately switched them over to the pagelines framework and deactivated as many of their unnecessary plugins as possible.

I then took the following steps based on the info & info suggested by the client's host (Hostmmonster) support:

  1. updated wordpress, pagelines, plugins

  2. installed and setup W3 Total Cache

  3. turned on gzip compression with htaccess

  4. optimize/repair database

  5. turned on css minify in pagelines advanced

  6. ran smushit on images

  7. setup cloudflare

After I ran through all these steps, I contacted hostmonster again and they told me the server was not slow that it is the website. Images too big and blah blah.... There are only a few images on the website outside of the gallery page, and I optimized them with photoshop then smushit. I don't believe this is the problem.

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:


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Another case of over optimisation slowing your site down.

Most cheap shared hosts use NAS file systems, thats over the network.

You have opted for file based objects and db cache, these are thousands of tiny files, so the webserver has to locate these on the filesystem, usually very slowly.

This kind of caching is meant to use a memory cache like APC, or memcached, shared hosts wont let you use this.

Database Caching using disk: basic

Page Caching using disk: enhanced

You can turn on the less file mode, if its supported by adding this to wp-config.php

define( 'LESS_FILE_MODE', true );

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Thanks for the response. I have added the code to the wp-config file but unfortunately there is no noticeable difference.

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Yea, doesn't work on all shared hosting for safety reasons im afraid, if the file cant be written it just does not bother. Sorry about that.

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Also, your hosting account has over 1000 accounts on that IP, and I must say, thats most ive seen this year!!!! So your load time is actually amazing fast considering!!!

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