How to boost WordPress performance with the A2 Optimized plugin
The A2 Optimized for WordPress plugin combines custom A2 Hosting settings and functionality from third-party plugins to provide speed and security optimizations for your WordPress site.
You can install the A2 Optimized for WordPress plugin using Softaculous. You can also install and configure the A2 Optimized for WordPress plugin manually if you already have an established WordPress site.
Here are some of the optimizations and security features the A2 Optimized for WordPress plugin provides:
- Page caching.
- Database caching.
- Image compression.
- Page compression with Gzip.
Gzip compression is enabled automatically. For more information about what Gzip compression and the mod_deflate module do, please see this article
- CAPTCHAs on comment forms and login pages.
- Randomized login page URLs.
Installing the A2 Optimized for WordPress plugin using Softaculous
If you are installing a new WordPress site, you can easily install WordPress and the A2 Optimized for WordPress plugin at the same time using Softaculous. To do this, follow these steps:
- Log in to cPanel.
If you do not know how to log in to your cPanel account, please see this article
- In the SOFTACULOUS APPS INSTALLER section of the cPanel home screen, click any of the options under Categories. The Softaculous installer page appears.
It does not matter which option you click under Categories. All of them start the Softaculous installer.
- Under Top Scripts, click WordPress - A2 Optimized.
Alternatively, you can use the navigation pane on the left side. To do this, click Blogs, and then click Wordpress - A2 Optimized.
- Click Install. The installation page appears.
- In the Choose Protocol list box, select the protocol.
If you have an SSL certificate installed on your site, select https:// or https://www. If you do not have an SSL certificate installed on your site, select http:// or http://www.
- In the Choose Domain list box, select the domain for installation, or accept the default value.
- In the In Directory text box, type the directory where you want to install the application, or accept the default value.
If you want your domain name to go directly to the application, make sure the In Directory text box is blank.
- In the Database Name text box, type the name of the database to create for the application, or accept the default value.
- In the Table Prefix text box, type the database table prefix, or accept the default value.
- In the Site Name text box, type the site name. By default, the site name appears in the title bar of users' web browsers when they visit your site.
- In the Site Description text box, type the site description. By default, the site description also appears in the title bar of users' web browsers when they visit your site.
- In the Admin Username text box, type the administrator username.
- In the Admin Password text box, type the administrator password.
Make sure that you choose a strong password! The Softaculous installer provides a ranking for your password's strength, and turns green when the password is strong. Alternatively, you can click the
icon next to the Admin Password
text box, and Softaculous generates a strong, random password for you.
- In the Admin Email text box, type the site administrator e-mail address.
- In the Select Language list box, select the default language for the application.
- Click the icon to expand Advanced Options.
- If you do not want to receive e-mail notifications when application updates are available, select the Disable Update Notifications Emails check box.
A2 Hosting strongly recommends that you receive e-mail notifications when application updates are available. Keeping your site updated helps prevent unauthorized access attempts and data loss.
- To receive site configuration information after the installation is complete, type an e-mail address in the Email installation details to text box.
The e-mail message includes important details about your installation, such as the administrative username, password, and login URL.
- Review the installation options and settings, and then click
. When installation is complete, Softaculous provides information about the application's configuration. Softaculous installs WordPress and the A2 Optimized for WordPress plugin.
- Click the Administrative URL hyperlink, and then log in to WordPress using the username and password you specified in steps 13 and 14. Make sure that you also type the CAPTCHA correctly, or you will not be able to log in.
To enhance security, the A2 Optimized for WordPress plugin changes the default WordPress administrative login URL to a random four-character sequence. The default WordPress administrative URL (wp-admin) does not work! When the WordPress Dashboard appears, there is a message at the top that reminds you to bookmark the login page URL so you can easily log in again.
Installing the A2 Optimized for WordPress plugin manually
If you already have an existing WordPress site, you can install the A2 Optimized for WordPress plugin manually. To do this, follow these steps:
- Log in to WordPress as the administrator.
- Under Dashboard, click Plugins, and then click Add New.
- In the Search Plugins text box, type a2 optimized and then press Enter.
- Locate the A2 Optimized WP plugin, and then click Install Now. WordPress installs the plugin.
- After the plugin is installed, click Activate Plugin. You are now ready to configure the plugin.
When the A2 Optimized for WordPress plugin is activated, it prevents you from installing certain plugins that can cause compatibility problems. These plugins are:
If you try to install one of these plugins while the A2 Optimized for WordPress plugin is activated, it will block installation and display the following message:
The Plugin you are trying to install has been flagged as incompatible with A2 Optimized.
Configuring the A2 Optimized for WordPress plugin
When you install the A2 Optimized for WordPress plugin using Softaculous, all of the optimizations are enabled by default. When you manually install the A2 Optimized for WordPress plugin on an established WordPress site, you can selectively enable optimizations.
To configure the plugin or view its current settings, follow these steps:
- Under Dashboard, click A2 Optimized.
- Three tabs appear on the A2 Optimized page:
- Optimization Status
- Advanced Optimizations
The Optimization Status tab allows you to enable and disable specific optimizations:
- To enable an optimization, click Enable.
- To disable an optimization, click Disable.
- To learn more about an optimization, click Learn More.
When the Lock Editing of Plugins and Themes from the WP Admin
security optimization is enabled, you cannot modify plugin or theme files by using the WordPress administration interface. To modify these files, you can use a text editor from the command line, or use one of the editors in the cPanel File Manager
- The Warnings tab displays WordPress settings that may affect site performance or security. To address these issues, click Configure.
The Advanced Optimizations tab contains three options:
- The GTmetrix and P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler) options are for advanced troubleshooting. They should not be used during normal site operation, because they will slow down your site.
- Cloudflare is a content delivery network that can increase your site's performance. For more information about what Cloudflare is and how to activate it, please see these articles.
Updating the A2 Optimized for WordPress plugin
The A2 Optimized for WordPress plugin updates itself automatically. You do not need to do anything to keep the plugin running at the newest version.
Removing the A2 Optimized for WordPress plugin
If you want to remove the A2 Optimized for WordPress plugin for any reason, follow these steps:
- Log in to WordPress as the administrator.
- Under Dashboard, click Plugins, and then click Installed Plugins.
- Under A2 Optimized, click Deactivate. WordPress deactivates the plugin.
- Under A2 Optimized, click Delete.
- Click Yes, Delete these files to confirm the deletion. WordPress removes the plugin.