Developing blessing.icu, we use WordPress as our preferred content management system (CMS) with GeneratePress as a free WordPress theme.
Our invaluable source of information about creating fast sites on WordPress has been http://pagepipe.com/ (free articles). It turns out that not all plugins are good in terms of speed. Many of them simply harm the speed of loading, while others are not needed at all. Also, some parts of WordPress itself slow down the site. All these nuances are good to know when creating a fast site. Oddly enough, many paid themes and plugins are not good for the speed of sites, since they contain a lot of superfluous and unnecessary features. It is surprising that it is free tools that are more acceptable in this regard. It is also astonishing to learn that when the site is optimized at the origin in the sense of speed, it is apparently impossible to make it faster with Cloudflare. The only recommendation of pagepipe.com we did not follow is that we added an SSL certificate despite the fact it slows down the site (we have our reasons).
The beauty of optimized sites is that they are fast even on a shared hosting plan as in our case. Our hosting company is Hawk Host with a server’s physical location in Amsterdam, the Netherlands (you can choose from several different locations). How much does our shared plan cost us? 50.23 US dollars paid biennially for 10,000 MB SSD disk space (with unlimited bandwidth, unlimited databases, and unlimited domains). Since 2 June 2020, the uptime percentage for our site has been 100% (no downtime recorded with 5-minute interval checks). For that purpose, this free service is used.