Website Incredibly Slow Following SSL Update

Hi all

Two days ago I received an updated SSL Let’s Encrypt certificate. I’m not sure why this was updated - I already had one running perfectly well. Since this happened, the site has been incredibly slow, almost unusable.

I cannot be certain the two things are connected but the timing fits perfectly, and no other changes were made to the site during that period.

My domain is:

My hosting provider, if applicable, is: Dreamhost

Any advice at all would be hugely appreciated as mine is an ecommerce site, and at the moment I’m haemorrhaging revenue.

Please let me know what additional details are required.

Thanks so much in advance.


Hi @KesterLeek

renewing a certificate has normally nothing to do with the performance of your site.

Ok, you have a RSA 2048, an EC 256 would be smaller. But that’s not really a problem.

There are a lot of online tools to check the speed of your website. Perhaps there are some errors - missing gzip, pictures not cached etc.

And you have 6 MB pictures, 35 css files, 38 js files. That’s a lot of traffic (results from ).

Yep, checked with FireFox - CTRL + Shift + I, then Network + F5:

88 requests, 7,74 MB, 7,72 MB received. So you don’t us GZIP.

PS: Checked a random CSS file.

D:\temp>download -h
SSL-Zertifikat is valide
Keep-Alive: timeout=2, max=100
Connection: Keep-Alive
Accept-Ranges: bytes
Content-Length: 30999
Content-Type: text/css
Date: Thu, 18 Jul 2019 13:24:50 GMT
ETag: "7917-58de7c4dac261"
Last-Modified: Wed, 17 Jul 2019 22:11:03 GMT
Server: Apache

Status: 200 OK

3729,11 milliseconds
3,73 seconds

3,73 seconds to fetch one css file.

Thanks very much Juergen. That was my understanding, timing just seemed strange.

I’m currently compressing file sizes and disabling any unnecessary plugins. Also realised that I had accidentally disabled my Wordpress “super cache”, which has slowed matters down.

Do you have any advice regarding how to decrease the strain here? Afraid I’m a bit of a novice in these matters.

Thanks again


I measured the time it takes to establish an uncached SSL connection to your website, from a server that is nearby yours. The result is only around 20 milliseconds, which is a perfectly good time for a certificate like yours.

I don't think that your certificate nor your SSL configuration is to blame here.

Your site gets very respectable load times (~10 milliseconds for the home page) when WP Super Cache has actually cached a page, but it's very slow when accessing a page that is not cached.

Putting all of that together, I agree that this seems like a matter of optimizing your WordPress installation. You should recruit a web developer, talk to DreamHost, or ask the WordPress community for further help - you might struggle to get any helpful responses on the Let's Encrypt forum for it.

Just a question of network vantage point, I think. I get 9ms TTFB/43ms total for the same request.

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Thanks Az.

I've spoken to Dreamhost, who have given very helpful advice. Agree the load times are dire when loading (especially) the home page for the first time, off-putting for first-time visitors. I'll post on a Wordpress forum regarding advice on that front (as not in a position to hire a web developer at the moment).

Just a question of network vantage point, I think. I get 9ms TTFB/43ms total for the same request.

This may be because I've made pretty significant changes/updates over the past few hours!

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