© Dan Saelinger
© Dan Saelinger
Did you know that WordPress is the most widely used CMS platform in the world?
Millions of websites and blogs are written every day; competition is fierce which is why you need to give your website a boost in performance. Buzzword – optimisation. Optimising your WordPress website means giving it more speed and exposure. For example, if your site does not open in three seconds, people tend to get nervous and start clicking that mouse for something new. There are millions of blogs and websites out there that are great for learning. This means your site not only has to be good but great; focusing on speed, a responsive design and optimisation.
Of course, you want your visitors to have a great users experience. Moreover, for that fast site is essential. Speed is also crucial if you want to rank well in search engines like Google and Bing because they consider the speed of your pages. This is why you need powerful performance optimisation techniques!
We recommend the following to you:
Adding proper configured dynamic caching to your WordPress site will have a significant effect on its speed. You can use many services like Varnish and APC. However, they need server configuration to work correctly and also tweaking on your application. There is a tool called SuperCacher by Siteground Web Hosting that we highly recommend. All you need to do is install a small plugin and enable the dynamic caching with a single click.
On the other side, your browser decompresses the content before rendering it. Because of this the size of the information that’s being transferred is lowering the loading time of your pages.
CDN (content delivery network) are server systems that clone your site on all of their location nodes. This is ideal for websites who have a global reach. When your visitors request your site, it will provide the closest server location. This will serve content to your visitors with high performance and high availability. It will not offer the primary data centre of your hosting provider. We recommend using MaxCDN.
Every website must have quality images; it is crucial. However, it is important that you optimise them. When building your WordPress site have a mind these few things about the images:
Do not upload big images and then scale them with HTML – use the picture with the proper size instead. Also, make sure that photos and all other images are not larger than the size you are displaying them in. There is a plugin for WordPress called EWWW image optimiser. It will automatically optimise your pictures as you upload them. It has an ability to optimise the images you have already uploaded; convert your photos automatically to the file format of the smallest image size. If possible, use sprites for your themes. That is a CSS technique that uses the single image to display multiple design elements on your website. Thus instead of loading dozens of small images, your site will open a single one, and you will not have to make HTTP request each time. However, always look for themes before you utilise sprites.
This means you can state for how long your visitors’ browsers should cache your CSS, JS and flash files, as well as your images.
However, if any of those resources are not set, your server will notify the visitor’s browser and the cached content/files will be replaced with the new ones.
It is a good practice to tune your WordPress database from time to time. You can think of this as running a disk defragmenter on your local hard disk. A crucial requirement for achieving optimal MySQL database performance is indexing. It is an international MySQL feature that gives you faster gathering of data.
Ok, let’s talk about hosting a little:
With this, you will get pages for multiple websites each having its web domain name from a single web server. The fact is most web hosting companies provide shared hosting. It is a less expensive way for businesses to create a web presence, but usually not sufficient enough for websites with high traffic. If you have much traffic on your web page, you will need a dedicated web server. You can use web hosting services for that or maintain it in-house.
The meaning of a shared web hosting is that one physical server and many users are using the allocated resources that are being hosted. If you have shared hosting platform, then each of your users has his limit on particular services. Like monthly traffic, email accounts, FTP accounts, databases, and disk space.
However, all performance resources on the physical machine (or server) are shared. On a shared basis, we have CPU and RAM, the single MySQL server, the single Apache server and Mail server. It is a fact that shared web hosting is the most economical way of Internet hosting – because more users cover expenses per machine.
Internet hosting providers are offering this virtual machine called VPS. It can run multiple virtual servers within one physical server. VPS also runs its own copy of an operating system, so customers have super-user level access to that operating system instance. They can install almost any software for many purposes while still being the functional equivalent to a dedicated physical server.
Moreover, being software defined they are much more easily created and configured. Also, they are priced much lower than an equivalent physical server. The thing is they share the underlying physical hardware with other VPSs, and, therefore, the performance may be lower. It may also depend on tasks of other instances on the same hardware.
Maybe not everyone understands what VPS is and how it performs. So here is an example:
Think about VPS technology as a block of apartments. There is only one roof, but there are multiple flats. In them, you have separate rooms, bathroom and kitchen and function individually. However, you still enter and exit the same door even if you have separate apartments. On VPS, all traffic goes through one network port.
Everyone goes in and out through the same door of the building though (VPS: traffic all goes through one network port).
If you want to drag resources from networks of web servers, then cloud hosting is the word.
Cloud hosting is following the model of computing that is available as a service rather than a product. Broadly speaking the clients can tap into their service when they want, depending on demands on their web page. The good thing is customers can pay only for what they use.
Cloud hosting is an alternative to hosting website on single servers – shared or dedicated. Think of it as an addition of clustered hosting where websites are hosted on multiple servers. The network of servers is vast in cloud hosting and often used from various data centres in different locations. There are many companies that use cloud hosting today; either directly like Google or Amazon or indirectly like Twitter, as opposed to traditional on-site alternatives.
Reduction of costs: The money you have to pay for applications in cloud hosting is probably going to be lower because of the lowered hardware costs due to a more efficient deploying of assets.
Universal access: Employees who live far can access applications and work from home online because of cloud computing.
Up to date software: A cloud provider will also be able to upgrade software keeping in mind feedback from previous software releases.
Choice of applications: Cloud users can choose and experiment the best options for what they need. Also companies pay only for what they use, with a fast implementation time.
Potential to be greener and more economical: On-site deployment takes more energy for a computational action than when you use cloud due to different organisations that can share the same physical resources securely. That leads to a more efficient use of the shared resources.
Flexibility: Users can switch apps rapidly and quickly with cloud computing and choose apps that suit them most. The thing is that migrating data between apps can be a problem.
It is a type of hosting configuration in which server is dedicated to a single organisation, business or a single purpose – such as a website. Dedicated hosting is where the server acts as a host to many users. It is sometimes referred to as a dedicated server. It can be set externally or in-house as a service from within a data centre. This is what it is best for:
Customisation: DC gives you certain freedom and control that other hosting services do not have. Server and overall hosting solution are dedicated entirely to you; there are no other cohabitants. In that way, your needs come first and everything is tailored specifically to your business needs. It also ensures that companies using dedicated hosting select and pay only for the specific features they require.
Up-time: Nowadays consumers are not used to waiting, and convenience is everything. That is why it is essential to ensure that a website is functional at all times. A lower speed for the webpage could lead to customers moving on to competitors. Nobody wants that, right? DC allows stability and high performance, as well as speed on the website to ensure that everything operates 100 percent.
Congestion: With DC, you also have fewer issues with server congestion, especially in comparison with shared hosting options. With shared hosting, because the traffic levels and usage of other web pages or apps that being are hosted on the same server are competing for disk space, CPU usage or bandwidth, you will run the risk of congestion.
Security: Clients using a dedicated platform will be able to deploy website security measures. For example firewall configurations and anti-viruses that can be tailored to suit their own functions.
Support: Customers using dedicated hosting expect a certain level of support because they host crucial computing functions on their websites. The adequate support ensures that site disruption is kept to a minimum. A fully managed hosting provider, for example, may offer support 24 hours per day, 365 days a year. We chose cloud hosting (as discussed) with a CDN with railgun.
A CDN (Content Delivery Network) deliver web pages and other Internet content to a user based on the geographical location of the customer. It also includes the origin of the website and content delivery server, and it is basically a system of distributed servers.
Multiple domains: As you may be aware, browsers limit the number of file downloads to a single domain. They will allow four active connections but the fifth download will be blocked. It will stay blocked until one of the previous files is fully retrieved.
Files may be pre-cached: Someone visiting your pages has probably already been on them by using Google CDN. That means your browser has already cached the file. That also means that it will not need to be downloaded one more time.
High-capacity infrastructures: You may have great hosting, but it probably does not have the strength or scalability offered by Microsoft, Yahoo or Google. With some of the better CDNs, you will get lower network latency and lower packet loss but also higher availability.
Distributed data centres: If your main web server is, for example, in the US, then your users from other continents must make a number of electronic hops to access your files. Many CDNs provide localised data centres, which are closer to the user, and result in faster downloads.
Usage analytics: There are a lot of commercial CDNs that provide file usage reports because they will charge you per byte. Reports like that can supplement your own web page analytics and sometimes offer a better performance of video and downloads. Also, last but not least CDN boosts performance and saves money in the long run!
A CDN can distribute the load, save bandwidth, boost performance and reduce your existing hosting costs — often for free.
Close to two-thirds of requests to sites on MaxCDN are managed directly from cache from the data centre that is closest to the user surfing the Internet. There are MaxCDN centres all around the world, so whether you are in Boston, Belgrade, Bangalore or Brisbane, web pages are delivered efficiently even though the origin web server is thousand kilometres away.
To think a website is hosted close to web surfers is a key in accelerating web searching, and MaxCDN has that ability. It might be hosted in United Kingdom, but is accessed mainly users in US. That is why MaxCDN the site will be served from a US data centre eliminating the expensive delay caused by the speed of hops.
Siteground offers you something different than just fast hosting service providing for your companies – big or small. They offer you a personal touch. Meaning? Whether you are a fashion blogger looking for new ways of promotion or a real IT geek in need of 30GB of web space – they have solutions. Webhosting, WordPress services, Server setup – just to name some of the services they provide. Siteground also gives you security since you can ask for technical support 24 hours 7 days a week. You also do not have to listen to some lame music while you wait – because they reply immediately. All that with 300 phone calls and 800+ chat requests per day. Plus they host more than 320 000 domains, and that number is growing by the hour. To get you hooked to their cool services, they add custom-made solutions. Now your website is faster, safer, and better supported than anywhere else we have found. It does not get much better than that. Houston, we have a problem! Call Siteground!
© Andy Godwin