Avada is already one of the most popular premium WordPress themes available. We’re going to make it even better by enhancing it with our free optimization tools ? Smush and Hummingbird.

It’s not uncommon for WordPress sites built with Avada to experience page loading slowdowns. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including data-heavy images, lack of caching, CDN quality, and a “host” of other tangibles. (Pun intended.)

This is where two of our optimization plugins shine. Smush and Hummingbird can make a serious impact when it comes to getting (and keeping) your site running at optimum speed.

With a fresh Avada install, we’re going to tweak some settings and run a few tests to see just how much of a (loading time) difference Smush and Hummingbird can make on an Avada themed site.

We’ll also present some additional suggestions that can improve Avada’s overall speed on your site.

When we’re done, you’ll have some great knowledge and resources in your arsenal to get your Avada site to operate lightning fast.

Feel free to jump ahead to any of the article sections:

  • Avada Theme Testing Setup
    • Procedure
    • Parameters
    • Particulars
  • Hitting Peak Speeds Using Smush & Hummingbird with Avada
    • Theme 1 – Avada Spa
    • Theme 2 – Avada Classic
  • Tips for Overall Speed Gains in Avada
  • Fast & Furiously Optimized

Keep reading to check out our process, and the measurable results.

Hummingbird Pro)
  • Turn on FastCGI in the Hub (via WPMU DEV Hosting)
  • Run speed tests, after each step above (no cost)
  • Repeat entire procedure again, using a different Avada theme (no cost if you’ve already purchased Avada theme license.)
  • WPMU DEV Dashboard plugin, as it’s automatically installed on sites hosted by us.)
  • GTmetrix speed testing done using their default server location (Vancouver, Canada), and default browser (Chrome Desktop).
  • different types of caching and compression features on sites. Page, Gravatar, and RSS caching were disabled. Most hosts, including WPMU DEV, typically turn on browser caching and GZip compression by default. Since we can’t turn these off without impacting other settings, they’ll remain on during our tests.

    Finally, as we’ve mentioned in other optimization articles, please note that no one will have the exact same results, because of the variables inherent to each element. Your geographical region, the size of your media library, your hosting provider, all paint part of the picture using very different brushstrokes. But no matter your particular site environment, you are bound to see marked improvement with this process.

    Alright, let’s hit the track.

    Avada Website Builder. You’ll also need the Smush & Hummingbird plugins (both of which are free), but we’ll add those a little later.

    For our speed measurement tools, we’ll be using Google PageSpeed Insights and GTmetrix, so you might want to open those two sites now.

    Make sure you are starting on a new WP site, with no new pages or posts created, and no optional plugins or add-ons activated.

    Next, install the Avada website builder. There are two additional Avada plugins required ? Core, and Builder ? so we’ll go ahead and install them as well.

    Avada Core & Builder plugins.
    Avada’s Core and Builder plugins must be installed to use the theme builder.

    WPMU DEV hosting.

    Turning on FastCGI through WPMU DEV’s hosting Hub.

    Time to put the pedal to the metal and get some new test scores.

    GPSI 97
    Nearing perfection with a score of 97 in GPSI.
    GTM A-92-96
    Yes! We finally got our “A”.

    Alright, I’m super stoked about that. Let’s move on to our second round of testing by installing a different theme.

  • Minify and Defer CSS & JavaScript
  • Use a CDN
  • Fix broken links
  • Optimize your images
  • Update your Hosting Plan
  • That last one can really make a night and day difference. Make sure your hosting provider has a good reputation, and is shown to be fast and reliable. (WPMU DEV hosting plans provide solid, fully dedicated WordPress site hosting, backed by Digital Ocean.)

    Quick note regarding CDN as it applies to our plugins: the settings for the image CDN are located in Smush Pro, while the web object settings are in Hummingbird Pro.

    Fast & Furiously Optimized

    You’ve got all the tools at your disposal now. As your site grows, and you continue to add content and increase your traffic, you should regularly test and reassess your optimization settings.

    As you’ve seen, Smush and Hummingbird are both free, feature-packed optimization tools that will increase your speed. But regardless of what you use, continue to make adjustments so your page loads are never a deterrent to visitors or clients.

    Make Avada your own, and site speed your silver bullet.

    Source: wpmudev.com