htaccess for WordPress - Speed Optimization

It always seems there is an overkill to optimize a WordPress site with way too many plugins. This often results in a site loosing speed rather than gaining speed.

Often the most simple and elegant solution is to take advantage of server technology, which already exists. 

A simple solution is to leverage the correct htaccess rules. 

Important

Plugins which are installed to do the same job should be avoided, as they will change the htaccess file, often resulting in websites not to load. So ensure you are aware of the plugins and the usage.

Examples below, with comments

When using these commands below, ensure you are testing, as in some cases this may not work on every server. 

# File execution order
DirectoryIndex index.php index.html

# No directory listings
IndexIgnore *

########## CUSTOM COMPLEX REDIRECTS HERE

########## CUSTOM SIMPLE REDIRECTS HERE

########## BEGIN WordPress
RewriteEngine On
RewriteRule .* - [E=HTTP_AUTHORIZATION:%{HTTP:Authorization}]
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^index\.php$ - [L]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /index.php [L]
########## END WordPress

########## Begin - Common hacking tools and bandwidth hoggers block
# The following rules are for common hacking tools:
SetEnvIf user-agent "Indy Library" stayout=1
SetEnvIf user-agent "libwww-perl" stayout=1
SetEnvIf user-agent "Wget" stayout=1
# The following rules are for bandwidth-hogging download tools
SetEnvIf user-agent "Download Demon" stayout=1
SetEnvIf user-agent "GetRight" stayout=1
SetEnvIf user-agent "GetWeb!" stayout=1
SetEnvIf user-agent "Go!Zilla" stayout=1
SetEnvIf user-agent "Go-Ahead-Got-It" stayout=1
SetEnvIf user-agent "GrabNet" stayout=1
SetEnvIf user-agent "TurnitinBot" stayout=1
# This line denies access to all of the above tools
deny from env=stayout
########## End - Common hacking tools and bandwidth hoggers block

########## BEGIN EXPIRES CACHING
<IfModule mod_expires.c>
  ExpiresActive on

# Perhaps better to whitelist expires rules? Perhaps.
  ExpiresDefault "access plus 1 month"

# cache.appcache needs re-requests in FF 3.6 (thanks Remy ~Introducing HTML5)
  ExpiresByType text/cache-manifest "access plus 0 seconds"

# Your document html
  ExpiresByType text/html "access plus 0 seconds"

# Data
  ExpiresByType text/xml "access plus 0 seconds"
  ExpiresByType application/xml "access plus 0 seconds"
  ExpiresByType application/json "access plus 0 seconds"

# Feed
  ExpiresByType application/rss+xml "access plus 1 hour"
  ExpiresByType application/atom+xml "access plus 1 hour"

# Favicon (cannot be renamed)
  ExpiresByType image/x-icon "access plus 1 week"

# Media: images, video, audio
  ExpiresByType image/gif "access plus 1 month"
  ExpiresByType image/png "access plus 1 month"
  ExpiresByType image/jpg "access plus 1 month"
  ExpiresByType image/jpeg "access plus 1 month"
  ExpiresByType video/ogg "access plus 1 month"
  ExpiresByType audio/ogg "access plus 1 month"
  ExpiresByType video/mp4 "access plus 1 month"
  ExpiresByType video/webm "access plus 1 month"

# HTC files (css3pie)
  ExpiresByType text/x-component "access plus 1 month"

# Webfonts
  ExpiresByType application/font-ttf "access plus 1 month"
  ExpiresByType font/opentype "access plus 1 month"
  ExpiresByType application/font-woff "access plus 1 month"
  ExpiresByType application/font-woff2 "access plus 1 month"
  ExpiresByType image/svg+xml "access plus 1 month"
  ExpiresByType application/vnd.ms-fontobject "access plus 1 month"

# CSS and JavaScript
  ExpiresByType text/css "access plus 1 year"
  ExpiresByType text/javascript "access plus 1 year"
  ExpiresByType application/javascript "access plus 1 year"

    # BEGIN Cache-Control Headers
    <ifModule mod_headers.c>
     <filesMatch "\.(ico|jpe?g|png|gif|swf)$">
     Header set Cache-Control "max-age=2592000, public"
     </filesMatch>
     <filesMatch "\.(css)$">
     Header set Cache-Control "max-age=604800, public"
     </filesMatch>
     <filesMatch "\.(js)$">
     Header set Cache-Control "max-age=216000, private"
     </filesMatch>
     <filesMatch "\.(x?html?|php)$">
     Header set Cache-Control "max-age=600, private, must-revalidate"
     </filesMatch>
    </ifModule>
    # END Cache-Control Headers


</IfModule>

<IfModule mod_deflate.c>
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/css
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/javascript
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/plain
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE image/x-icon
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE image/svg+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/rss+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/javascript
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-javascript
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xhtml+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/font
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/font-truetype
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/font-ttf
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/font-otf
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/font-opentype
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/font-woff
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/font-woff2
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/vnd.ms-fontobject
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE font/ttf
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE font/otf
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE font/opentype
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE font/woff
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE font/woff2
# For Olders Browsers Which Can't Handle Compression
BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4 gzip-only-text/html
BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4\.0[678] no-gzip
BrowserMatch \bMSIE !no-gzip !gzip-only-text/html
</IfModule>

########## END

Side note
You do not always need a plugin, when you can solve an issue by using the correct tools.