Mashable.com, the largest independent technology website, receives over 50 million pageviews a month. Mashable’s founder, Pete Cashmore, is one of Twitter’s 40 most followed pages, with 3.1 million followers. Why wouldn’t you want one of the largest names in tech to tweet you out to the masses? Because your server may not be ready! Pete Cashmore, more like Pete Crashmore, amirite? Thank you, I’ll be here all week.
Choose Your Hosting Plan with the Future in Mind
Step one if you plan on reaching the front page of Mashable, Reddit, Drudge, or a similar aggregate news site: get good hosting with multiple options. There’s plenty of places to save money, don’t settle for cheap web hosting or you’ll be sorry in the long run.
Say you are trying to bring in heavy viewership via great content, an advertising campaign, an iPad giveaway, or your new widget takes off like a pet rock. A shared server will be no match for this massive amount of concentrated traffic. An overloaded server can mean poor page load times, or no page at all. You need to plan for about 50 thousand page loads an hour if you get lucky enough for high, quick exposure.
“But I’m not getting a huge amount of traffic yet!” It’s better to have too much than too little when it comes to bandwidth and website capabilities. Think of it like buying a child a big coat so he can wear it for a few years. Your site has a reputation to uphold as being reliable. If someone goes to your site and it’s down, not only are they less likely to come back, your competitors benefit from your lack of planning.
Plan for an influx of traffic by upgrading to a Virtual Private Server or a fully managed dedicated server. This will guarantee faster website performance in each and every way. These powerful servers will match whatever Mashable throws at you.
Optimization for a Faster Page
Increased viewers can slow down your site. 40 percent of people will abandon a site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Each delayed second causes a 7% decrease in your conversion rate, so money is being lost literally by the second. Here’s a few helpful tips to optimize your page for faster speeds, most of which apply to WordPress users.
Upgrade Your Account and Plug-ins
Every updated version of WordPress should have installed software that optimizes your site faster than before. Make sure you test your site speed after a new WordPress update to make sure your site is functioning at it’s best.
Check your plug-ins with every new WordPress update. Separate them into two categories, needed and unused plug-ins. Make sure the plug-ins you need are updated and working properly. Unused plug-ins should not just be turned off, but deleted completely. Rogue plug-ins can be tough on performance, so delete them from the plug-ins directory. Eliminating third party services and widgets is another easy way to speed up website loading.
Display Page Loading Time and Number of Queries
An easy way to keep up with optimization is copying this simple code on your footer.php file. This lets you know how long it took for your page to load and how many SQL queries were executed.
< !–? php echo get_num_queries(); ?–> queries in <!–?php timer_stop(1); ?–> seconds.
Reduce PHP and Database Queries
PHP and database queries add to the load time of a site as there’s a constant back-and-forth between the server and client. Replace these queries with a static HTML page.
Disable Post Revisions
Your numerous rough drafts build up in your database and eventually slow down your whole operation. If you don’t plan on using your revisions, disable them completely by posting this line to your wp-config.php file:
define (‘WP_POST_REVISIONS’, FALSE);
Other ways your website may not be loading as fast as you want: large media on the page, corrupted code, iframes, or bad database design. Type your website URL into Google’s PageSpeed Development Tool to see how to improve performance and analyze where the problems lie. Google will give you a page speed score out of 100.
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