The Flex MLS (FBS) real estate plugin is adding a ton to the load time. Without the plugin activated, it loads in about 2 seconds.
Full results: https://www.webpagetest.org/result/161021_06_1G3K/
Is there a way to speed up this plugin a bunch? I’m open to any suggestions.
What options do you have in your settings for Flex MLS? Do you have the ability to control what it does on the backend?
For example, the First Byte time is high for both the first and repeated views, and that is because you cannot cache that data.
Does Flex MLS have options for caching some data or making any other changes? Things like removing widgets or reducing less critical functionality?
I think you should start there.
If that’s not the case, and no changes can be made, you may want to consider what it does for you that some other plugin can do faster.
Also, you can do a couple of other things:
You should look at reducing the size of your images. They account for almost 80% of your site’s page weight. If there’s nothing you can do about Flex MLS and you want to keep it, you should focus on optimizing other areas, like your images.
You should look at configuring a plugin like W3 Total Cache to asynchronously load your JS and CSS files. The browser doesn’t start rendering until about 5 seconds, and before it does, most of your requests are for JS and CSS.
Hope that helps.
I messaged the plugin developer with your feedback for a future release. They were receptive to the ideas so that is promising.
For right now, I was able to coordinate with my managed hosting provider and have them adjust Varnish caching specifically for the plugin. That helped tremendously!