We had some misunderstandings on project outcome expectations, I do not think this is Taj's fault or mine. We worked through it as professionals should to create a mutually beneficial outcome. For this I am very pleased.
Rather, the Upwork Project system doesn't allow the level of precision required for this type of Wordpress Performance work to be specified accurately enough to make the expectations of the buyer (me), match the ability of the Upwork Freelancer (Taj in this case) to deliver at the predefined cost advertised. I think in these types of projects, it may be better served if the Upworker is able to examine the website upfront and then provide a competitive quote with negotiated clear outcomes between the buyer and the seller. Essentially, it may be better in some of these performance cases to create your own Upwork Job, clearly define it, and invite contractors to bid on it in the traditional way. I will be doing this for some of my other Websites that need performance boosts in future.
I have provided this feedback to the Upwork team.
I would recommend other Website owners discuss their projects with Taj as he is likely to give a very good outcome. I will be asking him to bid on other projects of mine.