PHP 8 Is now available – Chance to win 6 Months of free hosting

PHP 8

We’re happy to announce that we have deployed the latest release candidate version of PHP 8 on all our servers. PHP 8 is expected to facilitate developers to write cleaner code with better quality that gets executed faster. Since release candidates are not suitable for live sites, we invite you to try it out on a staging copy of your site or on projects that are not live yet. We’ll give away 6 Months of our Deluxe shared hosting to 10 of the early adopters who share their opinion about PHP 8 with us. 

What are the PHP 8 improvements and features

Faster code execution

The latest PHP version brings a lot of new things but the one we are obsessed with is JIT (just in time compiler). It is the first time that PHP version has a compiler – JIT – that caches a version of your already interpreted code and generates a machine code as an output (machine code is on with 0’s and 1’s only). The “just in time” compiler promises speed improvements for complex tasks and algorithms and opens new opportunities for the PHP language to broaden its reach and applications. 

Some of you may wonder how JIT relates to the Opcache, which brought significant performance gains to many websites? The main job of the Opcache is to cut the processes of tokenization, parsing, and compiling of Opcodes, which then get processed by the Zend engine. The role of JIT is to save on the execution of the Opcodes by the Zend engine, so it joins forces and intervenes to spare resources where the Opcache cannot help.

It’s worth mentioning a few downsides we have noticed so far:

  • Running PHP 8 with JIT might make it harder for you to troubleshoot code errors because it may be harder to locate which piece of your code in this interpreted version is actually at fault.
  • If you are running a WordPress site you may not be able to note significant performance improvements thanks to JIT. The WP developers are still working on making WP compatible with PHP 8 and are now calling for testers, meaning you won’t be really able to test PHP8 on your WP site right away. Also, because of the way WP interacts with MySQL, a lot of the waiting time does not come from the PHP compilation, but from the MySQL response time, which cannot be solved with the help of the JIT compiler.  

Code with higher quality 

One of the major differences that you will notice is that many of the warnings and notices that weren’t catchable are now exceptions or errors, which can be caught and logged. It is possible that due to this change, a lot of problems that remained hidden with the previous PHP versions will now surface. This is a great improvement, as it will allow developers to spot potential issues easier. However,  have in mind that it may be a good idea to set display_errors=Off if you decide to use PHP 8 on a live site to not show such errors to your site visitors.

Cleaner, shorter code

Some of the new elements, such as the nullsafe operator, greatly improve the readability of the code, making it shorter and neater.  Instead of nesting several “if’s” you can use the “null” operator to write all those in just 1 line of code. 

The “type” trend

For several versions now, PHP has been trying to define the arguments that each method could adopt and become more of a typed language. In this latest release, there is a feature called “union types” which allows you to define 2 value types for each function, which is a natural continuation of that trend. As the example below shows, the function can return an integer or a float: 

public function getNumber(): int|float {
return $this->number;
}

The list of new features keeps going and we suggest this article as a good reference point for PHP developers:

https://stitcher.io/blog/new-in-php-8
https://stitcher.io/blog/php-jit
https://wiki.php.net/rfc/nullsafe_operator

How to take advantage of PHP 8 on our platform?

All our clients can change the PHP version of their sites from their control panel – For Managed WordPress Clients, Go to your Control Panel, Select PHP Settings, Then change the version – For Shared hosting, cPanel Control Panel –> MultiPHP Manager to change your PHP Version. With PHP8 still being a Release Candidate, we strongly advise that you do not enable it for your live sites, but run tests with it on our staging environment (Staging environments can be created on any plan, If you have trouble doing this, please feel free to reach out to our support team for information on how to do this.), or create copies of your sites in your accounts if you do not have the staging functionality. 

Currently unavailable in PHP 8

The following extensions and modules are not currently available for PHP 8:

Incompatible with PHP 8

The following software currently does not work with PHP 8. This list is not comprehensive.

  • DSO — cPanel & WHM does not support the DSO handler with PHP 8.
  • The XMLRPC extensions — This extension moved to PECL.
  • The JSON extension — This functionality is included in PHP 8 by default.

Tell us what you think and win 6 Months of free hosting

We tried to give you the big picture of what the new PHP8 is all about. Now we would like to hear what you actually think about it, once you get the chance to try it out. What do you like and what do you dislike? How does it work on your website? Do you see any performance improvements? We are looking to explore how our more experienced users take advantage of this early release candidate before it becomes official.

To encourage you to share your tests and opinions with us, We will be giving away 6 months of our Deluxe Shared Hosting service (Normally $9.99 a month) to 10 random users who share their thoughts on PHP8 by December 31, 2020 in a comment under this post, or on Facebook or Twitter, tagging @TheCoreHosting1 and using the hashtag #PHP8 in their post.

A Beginner’s Guide to Website Speed Optimization

website speed optimization

Website performance optimization, the focal point of technologically superior website designs is the primary factor dictating success for modern online businesses. After all, unimpressive website performance kills a businesses’ bottom line when the torture of waiting for slow Web pages to load frustrates visitors into seeking alternatives – impatience is a digital virtue!

And speed sells!

We created the following six-chapter in-depth speed optimization guide to show you how important it is to have a fast loading, snappy website! Countless research papers and benchmarks prove that optimizing your sites’ speed is one of the most affordable and highest ROI providing investments!

In the following guide, we’ll try to explain the technical details while at the same time provide you with easy to follow instructions that you can start implementing right away! We hope you’ll find it valuable and perhaps share-worthy! 😄

Lightning-fast page load speed amplifies visitor engagement, retention, and boosts sales. Instantaneous website response leads to higher conversion rates, and every 1 second delay in page load decreases customer satisfaction by 16 percent, page views by 11 percent and conversion rates by 7 percent according to a recent Aberdeen Group research.

Highlighting the Key Aspects of Website Speed Optimization:

Chapter 1: Introduction to Website Speed Optimization

What Exactly is Page Speed?

The term page speed essentially refers to the length of time at which web pages or media content is downloaded from website hosting servers and displayed onto the requesting web browser. Page load time is the duration between clicking the link and displaying the entire content from the web page on the requesting browser.

Page load time

Page load time

There are three core aspects necessary to understand page speed in the context of user experience and website performance:

  • The view of time taken in delivering the requested material along with the accompanying HTML content to the browser.
  • Browser response to page load requests.
  • The view of end-users as the requested web page renders on the browser – this is the ultimate empirical measure of page load speed.

Website performance subsequently impacts rankings in search engines developed under proprietary and undisclosed algorithms, incorporating key factors including page speed, user experience, website responsiveness, and a whole lot of other website performance metrics.

The absolute critical principle in maximizing website performance is to focus on page speed optimization from the ground up. Performance optimization plugins, server-side scripts, and final tweaks have minimal – however noticeable – impact on page speed and load times. Yet, Web developers and online business owners tend to overlook page load times in their website development and design strategies.

Slow? How Slow?

Anything slower than the blink of an eye – 400 milliseconds. Engineers at Google have discovered that the barely perceptible page load time 0.4 seconds is long enough to cause users to search less.
Technology has come a long way in improving the internet experience. The over-crowded cyberworld of the 1990s was often labeled as the World Wide Wait, but innovations in communication and networking technologies have revolutionized the way digital information is transmitted across the internet. The next generation of online businesses have all the resources they need to deliver content instantaneously, but to leverage and complement these resources, businesses need speed-optimized websites that deliver the best user experience.

Microsoft speed specialist and computer scientist Harry Shum believes 0.25 seconds of difference in page load time – faster or slower – is the magic number dictating competitive advantages for online businesses.

And what happens when they don’t?

1 in 4 visitors would abandon the website if it takes more than 4 seconds to load. 46 percent of users don’t revisit poorly performing websites. Website owners have a mere 5 seconds to engage visitors before they consider leaving. 74 percent of users accessing the mobile site would leave if it takes longer than 5 seconds to load. Every one-second delay in page load time could lead to $1.6 billion in annual losses for online merchants as big as Amazon.

Slow load times

Slow

47 percent of eCommerce customers expect page load times of less than two seconds before they consider leaving – 40 percent of users would abandon the site at the third second of waiting before a performance analytics tool even captures their presence on the site. The average peak load time for conversions is mere 2 seconds – faster than millions of websites out there.

And what happens when they speed up?

When Mozilla increased page speed by 2.2 seconds, Firefox download figures rose by 15.4 percent or 10 million per year! Walmart saw a 2 percent increase in conversion rates for every 1-second improvement in page load times. The numbers don’t lie!

Speed increase

Speed increase

Acceptable Website Performance – The Neuroscience and Rhythm

100 milliseconds. That’s how long the Occipital lobe in our brain stores visual information as a Sensory memory.

Google researchers suggest page load times of less than 100 milliseconds give visitors the illusion of instantaneous website response as the visual Sensory memory processor in our brain works in bursts of 100 milliseconds. The memory store clears itself after 0.1 seconds as photoreceptor cells in the eyes transmit more information to the Occipital lobe.Acceptable website performance

Acceptable website performance

1 second of page load time does suffice in maintaining a seamless flow of thought – users feel in control of their Web browsing activities, and the mental stress is not aggravated unless the website fails to respond as desired.

At 10 seconds of delay, visitor attention is barely kept. The sensation of impatience, frustration, and feeling of abandonment is usually strong enough to keep visitors from revisiting such slow websites again.

The Pragmatic Psychological Conundrum

However, abandoning a website due to slow page speed is not always the quickest path to access the desired information on the web. An average user would spend several extra minutes browsing fast-responding but irrelevant websites, instead of waiting a few more seconds for sluggish relevant websites to respond. Struggling with downtime and WordPress problems? The Core Hosting is the hosting solution designed to save you time! Check out our features

And considering the sea of resources on the web, users eventually find the required information on some website or the other. But the eventual losers are online businesses unable to reach their online customers fast enough, despite hosting the exact information and services being sought.

Strange enough, visitors would rather spend excessive time browsing for the information elsewhere than waiting a few seconds for the right website to load. The experience is similar to the Houston airport incident from a few years back that led to a clever solution.Play with human psychology

Play with human psychology

Passengers at the airport had to take a 1-minute walk to the baggage claim and waited there for 7 minutes to receive their bags. The customer relations center was ultimately inundated with complaints about the slow service.

So the airport executives came up with a cunning solution to “resolve’ the issue. They moved the arrival gates far away and routed the luggage to the outermost carousel.

Passengers now had to take a 6-minute walk to the baggage claim area where they received their luggage within 2 minutes. The result? Zero complaints. Absolutely no passenger left unsatisfied – except with some tired legs.

Similarly, elevators contain mirrors so the passengers keep busy in styling themselves and not thinking about the time spent traveling. This passenger behavior is analogous to that of website visitors in the cyber world. And the same general principle applies for online businesses as well: It is the objective length of wait that defines the experience of waiting.

Now, online businesses can play with human psychology like the Houston airport executives and speed up evolution, but with virtually no specific formula to make website response times bearable for every individual visitor out there. Or they can actually reduce the objective length of wait in delivering the requested content to their online visitors with a fast responding website – whichever is possible when the website is designed to deliver instantaneous response and high quality, seamless user experience.

This guide will focus on the latter practice, and will actually help you maximize the potential of your online business by optimizing website performance and thereby enhancing customer satisfaction, retention, and loyalty.

Core Components of the guide include:

Chapter 2: Website Performance Impacts Business Success

Performance Impacts Sales

Website performance is user experience – the power of page speed, translating into an attractive online shopping experience inspires sales figures and eventually determines online business success. The industry kingpin Google began factoring page speed into its proprietary search algorithms ever since it experienced the compelling repercussions of website performance lapses impacting sales. The search engine giant once experienced a 20 percent slump in traffic resulting from half a second delay in page load times.

While Google was quick to resolve the issue that barely crippled its market share, the same is not always the case with online businesses yet to establish their presence in the competitive online marketplace.

Q: So how does website performance affects sales for an average online business?

A: Dramatically, is the only answer!

Forrester consulting firm recently studied the state of consumer online shopping expectations and evaluated how underperforming websites kill business bottom line whereas high-level website performance rapidly boosts sales.

The research finds 88 percent of internet users choose online retailers delivering a high-performance and user-friendly website experience, and almost 50 percent abandon websites that fail to load within 3 seconds.

These actions consequently impact sales. 79 percent of dissatisfied customers no longer revisit underperforming websites – except when you’re Google or Amazon. 46 percent of dissatisfied customers develop a lasting negative impression and 44 percent share their shopping experiences with the rest of the world. The implications go well beyond the cyber world as 87 percent of customers shop in online as well as brick-and-mortar retail stores.

Abandon slow websites

Abandon slow websites

While service and product quality apparently has the biggest impact on business sales, converting website visitors into purchasing customers in the cyber world largely depends on developing a positive customer impression. And this is where ecommerce website performance parameters such as ultra-fast page speed and rapid check-out processes come into play, ultimately giving customers a positive psychological impression encouraging sales and customer loyalty.

Performance Impacts Conversion

As the most important and powerful internet metric for online businesses, conversion rates holistically depend on website KPIs in establishing competitive advantages for online retail platforms.

In the cyber world, traditional marketing campaigns alone do not boost conversion rates without improvements in website user experience – comprising of page speed and website responsiveness.

Obama’s fundraising campaign during the 2011 Presidential Elections raised an additional $34 million when the Obama for America website shrunk page load time from 5 seconds to 2 seconds – that’s 14 percent increase in donation conversion with mere 3 seconds of website performance improvement!

Fast load times equal better conversions

Fast load times equal better conversions

Bringing potential customers to the doorstep of brick-and-mortar retail stores often requires a thoroughly planned marketing and advertisement campaign. And once customers enter the shop, they usually don’t leave without a purchase.

It takes far fewer efforts in bringing online customers to visit an online retail store – internet users don’t mind a few wayward clicks to open the Web pages they’ve never visited before. Search engine optimization and social media adverts often do the trick.

Equally convenient for visitors is to leave the site if the required information is not made available within a bearable few seconds – for unimpressed visitors, that doesn’t take a lot more than a few wayward clicks either!

User experience in terms of website performance and responsiveness, therefore, becomes the ultimate factor impacting conversion rates in online marketplaces. Ecommerce is first and foremost all about customer convenience and reaching potential customers efficiently with the right information, products, and services at the right time.

Neither of which is possible without page speeds faster than users abandoning visits due to website performance concerns. Not aware of your website performance impacting conversion rates? Tools like Google’s Test My Site tool can help answer that question (see example below).

Conversion speed calculator

Conversion speed calculator

Performance Impacts User Engagement

User engagement statistics feed the cauldron of website analytics in developing the best strategies to optimize online sales. Online businesses established in the competitive cyberspace well understand the importance of website performance and tools that analyze and predict next-best actions correlating page speed and revenue.

Enhanced user engagement information with responsive and fast-loading websites is often seen as a proxy for online business success. User engagement is highly dependent upon human limitations in storing short-term memory beyond a few seconds, and human aspirations of feeling in control over the machine under all circumstances.

Under performing websites

Underperforming websites

For underperforming websites – notice underperformance being a relative term – page load times exceed human limitations, whereas failure to process user requests gives the false impression of ignorance or incompetence in delivering the desired response efficiently and accurately.

High-performing websites

High-performing websites

High-performing websites on the other hand – notice high-performing being a relative term as well – impact three parameters that determine user engagement: user feelings, user mental states, and user interactions. These three aspects create an emotional, cognitive and behavioral connection between human visitors (can’t say much about bots!) and the website.

With this connection in place, online businesses can exploit user engagement characters such as focused attention, motivation and trust in converting visitors into customers, repeat customers and even brand ambassadors generating leads across the social media and outside of the internet world.

Performance Impacts OpEx and Revenue

While investing in website performance optimization adds to the CapEx in favor of shaving off a few seconds in page load times, the return is inevitably seen in the shape of rising revenues and shrinking operational cost and hardware investments.

Ecommerce giant Shopzilla saw a 50 percent reduction in its operational budget by shrinking page load times from 7 seconds to 2 seconds. Performance improvements with a website design overhaul enabled the company to utilize the same hardware resources to efficiently in processing the same amount of website user requests. The improved website responsiveness also increased revenues by 12 percent as the retail store accommodated expanding web traffic without prompting additional investments in consequently expanding hardware resources.

Improvements in website KPI also lead to a better Google AdWords Quality Score and therefore reduce the Cost per Click (CPC). Online businesses with a high-quality score and page speed are able to spend advertisement budget efficiently and effectively, thereby maximizing reach and attracting customers without necessitating additional OpEx.

A slowdown, on the other hand, minimizes resource utilization. Bing conducted an independent study on its website performance affecting revenue and found a 2 seconds delay in delivering search query incurred a revenue loss of 4.3 percent per user.

And customer behavior doesn’t alter drastically when the delays are removed. When Google removed a delay of 0.4 seconds in providing search results, users still made 0.21 percent fewer searches even with the web page performing optimally.

Additional efforts in enhancing website performance may stretch CapEx temporarily, but the tradeoff is ultimately justified as the extra investments translate into higher bottom line, increased revenue streams and minimum operational expenses.

Performance Impacts Usability

Websites with the steepest learning curve achieve the highest customer lock-in. Internet users consider the time taken in learning to use alternate websites as a significant switching cost, which acts as a mechanism to lock them into online services offered via high-performance websites.

The relationship elements between website usability and customer loyalty are tied down to website KPIs, including page speed, load time and website responsiveness to user requests. A hypothetical model of website speed optimization puts these elements into consideration, with characteristics such as Site Trust, Interactivity and Information relevance considered as a subset of website usability by end-users.

Similarly, web crawlers and search engines measure website performance in terms of page speed, navigability, user experience, responsiveness and reachability to a global audience as a subset of search engine optimization impacting search rankings.

Usability traits

Usability traits

End-users expect the following traits affecting the usability of websites:

  • Easy to operate, navigate and understand.
  • Directly deliver relevant information and controls being sought.
  • Accessible across all device form factors, machines, operating systems, browsers and geographic locations.
  • Delivering legitimate, credible and high-quality information, products and services with minimal clicks and browser requests.

Fulfilling these intents is vital to maximizing website performance, usability and customer loyalty, all of which are the overlapping elements of the single system that works as a channel to online business success.

Chapter 3: Speed Optimized Mobile Website Overshadows Desktop

Mobile is the future of everything wired. Adoption is skyrocketing as the mobile device onslaught looks to encompass the entire human race – 2.32 billion smartphone subscriptions, around thirty percent of the global population in 2017. And the booming tides of stimulating repercussions continue to disturb online businesses barely making inroads into the mobile internet marketing segment.

Success in the cyber world depends on the ability to embrace a mobile-first approach in reaching the exploding population of mobile subscribers. And for organizations pushing to reach the massive mobile population effectively, the unimaginable awards emerge just around the corner.Mobile vs desktop

Mobile vs desktop

Desktop internet marketing, on the other hand, is so last decade-ish. Google the terms “Post PC Era”, “freefall of PC sales” and the “death of desktop machines”, and what returns is a myriad of journalistic fodder portraying a bleak future for organizations still lingering around the desktop internet user-base only.

For such industry laggards, it’s not too late to embrace a mobile-first strategy, yet. However, this approach doesn’t always pay off for forward-looking online businesses either when they fail to optimize their reach to a mobile user-base.

That’s not as much for taking a false direction in going mobile than missing a few vital steps and not filling the void in reaching mobile customers efficiently and effectively. These gaps center on the lack of responsive and high performing mobile websites.

Mobile vs. Desktop – Why does it Matter?

Because everyone else is doing it, to start with. Competition for the mobile space is intense and back in 2014, the Yahoo CEO labeled it as the “tipping point” for the internet. And she was right! Stone Temple pulled some statistics from Similar Web in 2017 and not to our surprise, but mobile accounted for over 50% of the traffic based on 77 billion website visits.

Aggregated total visits on desktop vs mobile

Aggregated total visits on desktop vs mobile (Img src: Stone Temple)

Here are a few additional statistics:

  • 87% of U.S. citizens own mobile devices.
  • 45% of these own smartphones.
  • 90% of these go online via mobile.
  • These mobile users average 1.4 hours of mobile internet browsing every day.
  • 74% would abandon mobile websites that don’t load within 5 seconds.

The entire focus should lie on treating the two entities – mobile and desktop – separately, at least from a website design standpoint. Without this strategy, mobile user experience in accessing desktop versions of websites is usually compromised in terms of page load times, usability and functionality. Compromising these core aspects of mobile websites can force online businesses into facing the obvious negative implications including:

  • Low Mobile Purchases: Mobile internet shoppers have a shorter attention span and lower patience than desktop internet users.
  • Losing Competition: According to a survey of over a thousand U.S. adult smartphone users, almost 75 percent of the respondents said they prefer revisiting mobile ecommerce sites that deliver high-end mobile user experience.
  • Losing Brand Value: Poorly designed mobile websites that simply shrink the HTML of full desktop website version for visitors to zoom in and out in navigating through mobile Web pages makes users less likely to engage with the company in the future.

These consequences negate the following primary objectives of reaching customers via mobile internet:

  • Expanding customer-base.
  • New advertisement options.
  • Offering quality services efficiently at user convenience.
  • And most concerning, the inevitability in productively embracing mobile web for business development.

Desktop and mobile differ in technology resources, form factor and user interface – all aspects governing website performance optimization implementations. Without optimizing mobile websites separately to deliver the best mobile website performance, several website KPIs degrade and negatively impact mobile user-experience.

And since mobile technologies give users the ability to search the web on-the-go, while standing, walking or even lying comfortably on the couch, the hunger to feel in control of website operations drives user expectations beyond conventional standards applicable only in the desktop arena. The ability to deliver mobile website content within this short attention span of around 2 seconds makes all the difference in winning customer loyalty and long-term business relationship with mobile internet users.

web objectives

Web objectives

High-Performance Mobile Website and the Competitive Space of High Conversions

Considering the high volume of internet traffic using mobile devices for ecommerce purchases, high-performing mobile websites is an evident priority for ecommerce organizations. A recent research study reveals ecommerce businesses could miss out on millions of mobile shoppers with the potential aggregate revenue per conversion of mobile shoppers averaging around 80 percent of the same among desktop users purchasing online.

The conversion rate among small ecommerce businesses operating on low-performance mobile websites is typically 0.6 percent in comparison with the 1.6 percent conversion rate of desktop ecommerce providers in the same size segment.

Tablet users, on the other hand, spend 20 percent more than desktop users. By capturing this audience, online businesses making inroads into the mobile internet marketing segment can expect high revenue streams that could potentially replace desktop audience one day – although that day currently seems to be a bit too far into the future.

Website revenue streams

Website revenue streams

Nevertheless, the demand to satisfy the needs of mobile users will continue to rise exponentially. Search Engine Optimization of mobile websites is now a separate trade – and so is mobile website speed optimization, which constitutes of:

  • High page speed
  • Low page load times
  • Efficient delivery of media-rich content
  • Download speed
  • Optimal site format
  • Easy navigation and usability across the website
  • And a fully functional website requiring minimal user-input in performing an otherwise complex task of mobile internet usage.

By addressing these issues, micro-sites in the mobile internet sector can hope to compete with their larger counterparts enjoying up to 1.2 percent conversion rates (that’s twice as much as desktop-site conversion rates!), and well over 80 percent of revenue per conversion achieved with the desktop versions of their sites.

Fastest to the Finish Line Stand Tallest on the Podium

It, therefore, is no surprise that Fortune 100 companies average 5 seconds in page load times for their mobile websites – that’s two seconds faster than the average acceptable standards (7 seconds max).

Average page load times

Average page load times

For ecommerce merchants, however, 5 seconds of page load time is perhaps sufficient to put visitors off toward a faster alternative. And in the retail segment, some websites load as fast as Google – page load times as low as 1 second!
Strikingly fast, perhaps a bit Google-like focus on page speed and website responsiveness. That, however, is the average page load time of 16 of the top 100 multichannel retailers reaping the rewards of an insanely-fast mobile website and thereby yielding multi-billion dollar revenue figures from mobile customers.

Google describes a number of changes (here and here) in mobile website design to render Web pages on mobile screens well within 1 second – that’s even if you’re not a Fortune 100 company or a Top 100 eCommerce retailer!
For those uber-geeks taking mobile Web development matters into their own hands, the non-profit World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) provides a handful of best practices (here and here). It’s a long read, demonstrating how important and intensive mobile website optimization really is!

And for business owners employing Web developers to design highly responsive and speed-optimized mobile websites, the improvements should be sought in the following three ingredients of mobile website anatomy:

  • Fluid grids
  • Flexible images
  • Media queries

And a design focus on the following mobile website elements:

  • Masthead
  • Image gallery
  • Product description
  • Auxiliary information
  • Footer

Customers appreciate fast responding websites and ultra-low page load times. Mobile technology and the innovation coming along with increasing reliance on smartphones and tablets are showing no signs of slowing down. Top online retailers understand the need to deliver website content efficiently from Web servers to the tiny real estate of mobile screens. Getting it right with thoroughly designed websites dedicated to mobile platforms enables customers to make quick and educated purchase decisions that ultimately create never-ending revenue streams for online businesses.

Mobile purchasing

Mobile purchasing

60 percent of consumers use mobile devices exclusively to make quick purchase decisions. Mobile devices and desktop computers or laptops are considered equally important as the media source of information – 42 percent of internet users favor of mobile as opposed to 43 percent for PC/laptop – but the convenience in accessing the Web via mobile devices is driving mobile internet usage and business opportunities.

And if you still plan to overlook mobile website performance, you might want to reconsider the opportunities and success otherwise achievable mostly with a dedicated, speed-optimized mobile website.

Chapter 4: Common Business Mistakes that Kill Website Performance

Online marketplaces – like battlegrounds of the ancient Greeks – are high-stake competitive platforms where only the most diligent survive. And as with all high-stakes battles, human factors (decision errors, blunders, and ignorance) contribute significantly toward the outcome of online business competitions.

Yet, online businesses and webmasters responsible for maintaining high-performance and fully-optimized websites tend to overlook crucial web design elements that cripple site load times. And the consequences are usually as hazardous as the Trojan Horse penetrating through fortified defenses and taking full control over the City of Troy, despite the size and dominion of the Trojan Army.

Competition for online business success is just as intense if only a bit less violent. The fight for customer attention boils down to delivering the requested content most efficiently and accurately, irrespective of the company size and past laurels. And just like human blunders and ignorance dictating the outcome of the Trojan War, common mistakes killing website performance tend to determine the outcome of online business competition – fastest to the finish line wins the race!

The fastest website load time wins

The fastest website load time wins

The aptly named Gap of Death, the interval between expected page load time of under 2 seconds and average site load time of 5 seconds expands or contracts due to surprisingly neglected website optimization tactics and business decisions. Contrary to the popular sentiment, speed optimization is ideally implemented across all stages of website development, and not just after building the entire site, which is only when website owners realize the need to push for website performance optimization.

Final tweaks and speed optimization add-ons implemented after developing websites does improve page speed though, bringing down the load time to at least reach the Gap of Death. But even within this performance zone, conversion rates go down by 7 percent for each second of delay after the expected page load time of 2 seconds.

On the other hand, website owners wary of speed optimization tactics can aim for higher website performance by avoiding the following deadly mistakes as well:

Mediocre Web Hosting Service

The mistake of opting for a mediocre Web hosting service can live forever. With over 1.8 billion websites online as of 2020, the web hosting space is both crowded and fractured. Global availability of a vast array of hosting options is pushing businesses and hobbyists to establish their presence in the cyber world. The demand for cost-effective web hosting services is rising exponentially, and hosting providers are more than willing to compromise service quality in accumulating market share with low-cost tiers.

Mediocre web hosts selling cost-effective services continue to maximize profitability by hosting thousands of websites on single instances of bloated Apache stacks. Un-optimized servers running thousands of public websites on a single server stack is particularly harmful to ecommerce websites characterized by uncontrollable web traffic spikes, multimedia content and large website files.

Web hosting and development companies with a common response to speed optimization concerns that “everyone’s got broadband these days” translates directly into financial losses and damaged brand reputation for online businesses. Attractive website performance is critical to the success of ecommerce businesses since websites taking more than 3 seconds to load immediately lose 40 percent of the traffic. 79 percent of dissatisfied visitors almost never return to slow ecommerce sites!

Web hosting services

Web hosting services

Perhaps then, investing time and money in pursuing the highest quality web hosting services is key to maintaining high-performance websites generating vast revenue streams by attracting visitor attention efficiently and accurately.

Giving Way to Bandwidth Thieves

Website speed optimization is an ongoing and evolving process and goes well beyond subscribing to the best web hosting services in the world. Some business decisions intended to maximize revenue by altering website design and features adversely affect website performance by stealing size-able chunks from the bandwidth allotted to each individual visitor.

Too Many Widgets or Plugins

Additional features and functionality always pleases website owners and developers. Widgets and plugins enable convenient changes to existing websites along with a slight burden on website performance. Even with the smallest of widgets such as the Google+ button box, the burden to website performance in terms of page load time can increase by as much as 2 seconds in some instances.

The Facebook like box is another common slow down as it has been known to easily add 40+ HTTP requests (as seen below). On a clients site, we saw that it added 700 KB to the overall page weight, which is not good!

facebook widget requests

Facebook widget requests

Keeping add-ons limited to a bare minimum is essential to maintaining optimum website performance – even plugins installed to the same website core compete in delivering the quickest response to browser requests, ultimately draining bandwidth.

Sometimes the quality and functionality of plugins installed matters far more than the number itself. Plugins that query large streams of data to perform complex operations should do this off-server, and not within the website hosting environments such as WordPress.

Too Many Ads and External Services

Tempting as it may seem, selling too much real estate to third-party advertisers drastically degrades website performance. Too many ads or slow loading ads drive bounce rates and negatively impact online marketability. The financial losses that come with high bounce rates outweigh the monetary benefits of handing over vast website spaces to advertisers.

pingdom external services

Pingdom external services

External services typically bring with them two problems. One is brought about by sheer volume, the other has to do with waiting until they load.

  • If you have a lot of external services, you need to load all of them and wait for information from them on each page load. The more calls you have, the more you wait, the higher the load on your own server, and the higher chance you have of bumping into the second issue.
  • In some cases, the page load will wait until the data transfer is completed between your site and the external service. If the service is called in the header and there is a service interruption your page will simply refuse to load.

According to one research study, the cost of generating revenue with a banner advertisement is almost 33 percent of additional latency. Intrusive pop-up ads further aggravate visitors into abandoning websites at even higher rates.
Affiliate code, even just those few additional lines of the script takes up valuable memory space on the hosting environment and requires additional processing cycles in delivering the content to end-users.

Nevertheless, online advertisement is the primary source of income for many online businesses (think Google and Facebook!), and an optimal website advertisement model goes a long way in increasing website revenue while minimizing the cost of latency and page load delays.

Bloated Design Theme and Incompatible Multimedia

Tempting website design themes and multimedia content are head turners for online traffic. That is if the content even reaches the eyes of impatient visitors fast enough. High-quality images and videos (large pixels, large file size) take longer in downloading onto requesting browsers, whereas low quality, lightweight graphics barely capture user attention despite their lower load times.

However, graphics intensive content is not always the deciding factor in driving conversions and sales. This is especially true for ecommerce websites that must contain fast-loading product images and videos describing the value of products, and not necessarily their visual beauty.

Compatibility issues also affect multimedia and application performance for certain browsers and geographic locations. Take Google Chrome and Shockwave Flash as an example. The two rarely play nice to each other. Similarly, government restrictions can also prevent specific multimedia content from reaching local visitors.

Websites with non-functional multimedia content take excessive client-server communication cycles to reach requesting browsers, ultimately deteriorating website performance. It is, however, up to website owners to ensure streamlined serviceability across all browser platforms, device form factors and geographic locations as government policies and browser compatibility potentially changes over time, and most often, unpredictability as well.

Streamline content

Streamline content

Fast loading and fully functional multimedia content are necessary for eCommerce merchants to keep hold of website visitors. Every second of delay in page load time leads to frustrated visitors abandoning slow websites, and drawing along a 7 percent loss in conversion rates, 11 percent fewer page views, and a 16 percent decrease in customer satisfaction.

And a Bit More of that Code – Sign Up Forms and Analytics

Sign up forms and analytics code add only a few lines to website core files. But when too many single-lines of code take space on the website back-end, web content assets and plugins with lengthy code end up competing for tiny memory spaces in short processing cycles. As a result, the popular physics phenomenon of non-linearity kicks in, and each component performs unpredictably, usually consuming more processing cycles than expected.

From the perspective of end users, excessive services are often unnecessary or at most, considered secondary to the actual content portrayed by the website. Many websites host more than 80 assets (images, plugins, add-ons and other multimedia content), and all of this content is not necessarily delivered to requesting browsers as per user preferences. Additional investments in developing media-rich websites ultimately backfire when the information actually requested to reach end-users is held by irrelevant sign-up forms, analytics code and other content adding unnecessary weight to the website.

Mobile Mistakes and Misguided Redirects

Global smartphone subscription is expected to surpass the 2.7 billion mark by 2019, when 83 percent of internet users will access the internet via mobile devices. 30 percent of ecommerce website traffic in 2016 came from mobile, and this number continues to rise exponentially with the exploding smartphone user-base.

Smartphones

Smartphones

The competition to capture the attention of mobile users is even more intense due to slow loading mobile websites and lower visitor patience levels. 60 percent of mobile users expect mobile websites to load within 3 seconds. And on average, 3 in 4 people will abandon a mobile website if it takes any longer than 5 seconds to load, whereas an average mobile takes even longer periods of 6-10 seconds to load.

Excessive delays in mobile page load time occur mostly when websites are not specifically optimized and designed to deliver high performance on a mobile device interface. Even with dedicated smartphone-optimized pages, mobile users are not always redirected to the intended mobile-versions of desktop website pages requested from mobile browsers.

Redirects are instructions that send users seeking one website URL to another one that (supposedly) contains the exact information requested by users. Redirects are most effective for mobile users searching for desktop versions of website pages that must be mapped well to equivalent mobile versions in delivering the best mobile website experience.

Doing so inaccurately keeps users from switching between unwanted website files until they reach the right one. This causes unnecessary delays in loading the information actually sought by end-users.

This is analogous to finding an empty parking spot in a large, crowded parking lot, and reaching the apparently empty space only to find out it’s occupied by a small vehicle that wasn’t visible from the distance. The process continues until a free space is finally reached – that is if the driver even continues searching for the empty space and isn’t frustrated enough to leave the parking lot altogether.

Bad redirects

Bad redirects

Website owners are eventually responsible for losing competitive advantages in the mobile space when the mobile web traffic is simply redirected toward irrelevant desktop website version, instead of delivering a speed-optimized mobile solution for mobile visitors.

Websites not speed-optimized for mobile devices suffer from common issues hampering mobile user experience. Issues such as faulty redirects, unplayable videos, bloated images and graphics, irrelevant cross-linking and unnecessary assets delivered to mobile visitors degrade website performance and ultimately drive bounce rates.

Only 10 percent of the waiting period is defined by the HTML response to browser requests, and the remaining 90 percent of the delay is caused in rendering pages, parsing HTML, executing code scripts and retrieving embedded assets. Website performance overhaul with optimization tools and script tweaks can scrape off sizeable chunks from page load times, but perhaps not as effectively as developing a speed optimized website from scratch. And the latter is more of a marketing strategy, a business decision and slight awareness in avoiding the most common mistakes that can potentially ruin online businesses by killing website performance.

Chapter 5: Website Speed Testing – Identify Performance Bottlenecks!

Web traffic and search engine ranking is primarily a vanity metric for website performance. Important as they are, neither is more indicative of online business success than sales figures and conversion rates. Putting things into perspective, ecommerce websites with (almost) zero percent bounce rate, 15 percent conversion rates and 10,000 unique website visitors from low search engine rankings fare far better than high ranking sites enjoying 100,000 unique visits with only 0.01 percent conversion rate.

The debate of conversion rate optimization can carry on for encyclopedic lengths, and implementing business best-practices on Frankensteinish websites can take tons of investments with efforts of patient execution spanning across months before any significant conversion rate improvement is yielded.

And there’s more to convincing impatient citizens of the cyber world into purchasing online products and services than implementing passive business strategies to enhance marketability. Online businesses focusing on improving website performance experience immediate results in the form of higher conversion rates and sky-rocketing sales.

Page speed, in particular, fills the void in enhancing marketability by improving website user experience to keep impatient online customers engaged and satisfied. A recent research report published by O’Reilly concludes improvements in website end-user experience by reducing page load time boost sales and conversion rates significantly. The staggering statistics are as follows:

  • +3%conversions per second with page load time improvement from 15 seconds to 7 seconds.
  • +2%conversions per second with page load time improvement from 7 seconds to 5 seconds.
  • +1%conversions per second with page load time improvement from 4 seconds to 2 seconds.

These statistics only describe how page speed impacts business success in the competitive cyberspace. Complicated as it seems, slicing off large chunks of page load time from slow loading websites is a relatively low-hanging fruit IF speed optimization tactics are implemented in the right direction – that’s a huge IF when performance bottlenecks are unknown, too complex or simply too vast and diverse to identify.

The pursuit for speed optimized website begins with identifying critical front-end issues most apparent under standard website performance testing processes. Google’s Head Performance Engineer Steve Souders advises on this matter, saying “80-90% of the end-user response time is spent on the front-end. Start here”.

What to Test?

Before the exploration for page speed bumps begins, understanding the behavior of the most impactful website speed performance indicators helps to accurately identify performance loopholes in websites.

Initial Page Speed

Downloading tons of memory hogging website content within milliseconds of initiating browser requests is not entirely possible without a thorough revamp and speed optimization of slow websites. In many cases, visitors only seek the primary information in the form of content or product information portrayed by Web pages. Add a lot of complementary graphics and website features, and page rendering times rise beyond measure.

Initial page speed

Initial page speed

Keeping the initial page speed high keeps visitors engaged even when the entire website content including bulky graphics takes ages to render completely. Monitoring high initial page speed by tracking parameters such as Time to First Byte (TTFB) or performing ping requests from website servers accurately describes initial page load times and page speed statistics. If these take too long, work needs to be done at the back-end in the form of server-side and website core optimization.

Full Page Load Time

Monitoring the time consumed in rendering entire page content onto requesting browsers is an integral element of end-user website experience testing. This information drives strategic IT decisions in deploying and optimizing hardware infrastructure to maximize website performance.

Regularly monitoring this performance indicator enables website owners to realize how the website performs as it scales in terms of size and content type. With this information, webmasters can cache static content in separate locations such as Content Delivery Network (CDN) while maintaining dedicated back-end servers to efficiently deliver dynamically-loaded content.

Geographic Performance

One of the perks of operating an online business is the ever-expanding global market reach. But this reach is not always equally efficient – and hence effective – across the globe due to the very factors that limit client-server communication. Government policies, bandwidth and technology limitations prevent optimum website performance around the world, so website speed and availability tests should be conducted across disparate locations to determine global website performance results impacting world-wide business reach.

Geographic website performance

Geographic website performance

Load Tolerance

Website performance varies with fluctuations in web traffic. Hosting servers handling the normal load at peak performance may lose page speed under excessive loads. Conducting stress tests, ramp tests, load tests and other performance tests on websites creates an accurate picture of how much web traffic the website can handle before losing performance or going down altogether. Compare the results with the website’s actual usage patterns to determine whether the website needs hardware upgrades to handle peak load as efficiently as possible.

Web Server CPU Load

Shared hosting providers running thousands of websites on single Apache servers fail to deliver high performance even when the website is well-designed with a clean and speed-optimized code. Performance issues intensify during peak load times when insufficient server computing power fails to process website download requests efficiently. Monitoring server CPU load enables hosting companies and IT staff running locally hosted websites to keep a check on back-end hardware capabilities in handling unpredictable web traffic deluge.

Website Database Performance

Database performance is critical for websites maintaining dynamic content pulled from back-end databases. A mechanism should be in place to detect and alert for inaccuracies in data transmission. Keeping an eye on free disk space on servers hosting websites locally helps avoid errors and data losses that lead to broken links and eventually degrade website performance.

How to Test

Website owners can leverage an array of free and premium website performance testing services to analyze web pages and generate tailored solutions to fill the deepest of performance loopholes hampering page speed.

Website speed test

Website speed test

Page speed testing tools powered by search engine giant Google, website monitoring specialists Pingdom and GTMetrix yield valuable insights into website performance indicators for free, and programmatically generate scores and suggestions to educate non-geeky website owners. Check out these in-depth guides to help you get started.

How These Tools Work

These tools use a bunch of browsers to load websites and replicate end-user website experience across disparate geographic locations. Performance bottlenecks are monitored across various elements of the web page under scrutiny including file size, load time, response time and requests pertaining to various website parts (JavaScript, CSS files, HTML, images, etc.).

The tools generate performance scores based on a set of rules developed in the context of Web page performance and user priorities. The principles include resource caching, client-server round-trip times, data download and upload size, and a host of rules impacting end-user website experience in terms of page speed.

Suggestions are generated in anticipation of page speed improvements that should occur by implementing appropriate performance optimization rules. For example, if a large image file is served uncompressed, monitoring tools would recommend implementation of various measures to compress the bulky file. Such issues otherwise go unnoticed due to human errors or plain ignorance, neither of which can be completely eliminated. At the same time, page speed monitoring tools would at least empower website owners to identify the issues and take appropriate steps in eradicating hidden website performance bottlenecks.

Testing Tutorial

The following test was conducted using the free Pingdom website speed test tool. Visit Pingdom and conduct the test selecting various geographic locations according to the options provided, and compare the end-results. Enter your website and hit the Test Now button.

Pingdom

Pingdom

It will then return a summary of your site, including a performance grade, a total load time, the total page size, and the number of requests you have on your website.

Pingdom summary

Pingdom summary

The performance insights section of the Pingdom speed test tool is very helpful. These are all based on the Google PageSpeed Insight rules. Generally, if you improve these on your site, you should see a decrease in your overall load times.

Pingdom performance insights

Pingdom performance insights

The tool lists all downloaded files in a waterfall chart form, sorting it in terms of load order, load time, size, type or URL.

Pingdom waterfall requests

Pingdom waterfall requests

Analyze the performance of each file download by reading results against the key chart provided within the tool:

Pingdom charts

Pingdom charts

The tool helps to identify the next-best actions for website speed optimization tactics. In the sample test shown above, the tested website needs to fix some errors for requests that aren’t being found. However, it’s important to understand that optimizing these website design elements is an ongoing and evolving process that starts from the ground-level of website development and implemented across all new pages as the website scales.

If you need more help troubleshooting your site’s performance on Pingdom, check out our deep dive into the tool.

Which Tool to Pick?

Different tools – Google’s Page Speed Insights, Pingdom and GTMetrix, among others – identify different issues, test different performance parameters and indicators in different ways, from different browsers and geographic locations. Performance ratings and test results are therefore bound to be different, and no single tool identifies every single performance bottleneck in website designs. It is however recommended that you stick with one tool as you make improvements to better monitor your progress.

However, testing across multiple tools, analyzing different website design elements and comparing multiple test results provides reasonable insights for online business owners to devise speed optimization strategies for their websites.

Chapter 6: How to Improve Website Speed?

Developing a great website takes great work. Leading online businesses leverage industry-proven experience, supernatural web development skills and a killer web hosting service to develop websites boasting top-notch performance figures and user experience. But for those who miss this starting point in their pursuit of speed-optimized websites, employing a minimalistic approach in executing simple DIY page speed optimization tactics works (almost) well enough to patch slow websites.

The knowledge of investing in the right set of website speed optimization solutions and services, website management and perhaps downright coding trickery is essential to yield maximum website performance. Strategic business decisions based on this knowledge contribute directly toward enhancing website performance that in turn, lead to better online sales, leads, conversions and ultimately business success.

Website speed optimization

Website speed optimization

Optimization is the buzzword of success in the cyber world. Cyberspace, like the real physical world of planets, stars and galaxies is itself in flux – a state of continuous change and evolution. In fact, change is the only consistent process across both the real and the cyber world. Survival in these spaces depends on how well the inhabitants can adapt to varying resources and environmental circumstances.

And the same goes for website owners competing for online business success amid varying market trends, changing the behavior of internet visitors, advancements in cyber technologies at breakneck speeds under Moore’s Law and varying website performance standards set forth by search engine giants.

DIY Speed Optimization

Online business owners and webmasters adapt their websites to maintain optimal results under the consistent impression of change by improvising and optimizing key elements of website design that make or break page speed.

Image Optimization

As a general rule of thumb, larger files take longer to download than smaller files. Web page download time, also known as the Page Load Time depends on the total size of content assets being downloaded from hosting servers to the requesting browser. High-quality bulky images are the largest contributors to web page size, degrading page speed and agitating visitors eagerly waiting for the web page to load.

According to HTTP Archive, as of December 2017, images make up on average 66% of a total webpage’s weight. The following image optimization best-practices go a long way in reducing the negative impact of images on website speed:

  • Format Selection: Use JPGs when quality is a high priority and image modifications are not required before uploading it. JPGs can take limited processing and modifications before image quality degrades sharply. For images with icons, logos, illustrations, signs, and text, use PNG format. Use GIFs only for small or simple images and avoid BMPs or TIFFs.
  • Proper Sizing: Save valuable bytes of image payload and match the dimensions (width) of your Web page template. Use browser resizing capabilities to make images responsive by setting fixed width and auto-height instructions.
  • Compression: Image compression should be a thoughtful tradeoff between image size and quality. For JPGs, a compression of 60-70 percent produces a good balance. For retina screens, increase (JPGs) image size by 150-200 percent, compress by 30-40 percent and scale it down again as per the required dimensions.
  • Fewer Images: Keep the number of images to an absolute minimum.

WordPress Solutions:

Leverage image optimization plugins such as ImagifyShortPixel Image OptimizerOptimus WordPress Image OptimizerWP SmushTinyPNGEWWW Image Optimizer Cloud. It’s even better if you go with the ones that compress and optimize images externally, which reduces the load on your own site.

And for more tips check out our in-depth image optimization guide.

Optimize CSS Code and Delivery

Not so long ago, 30 KB was considered as the ideal web page size. And that included images, content, graphics, and code making the entire page. The popularity of CSS and JavaScript ripped apart the ceiling of 30 KB page size in delivering enriched website user experience.

Yet, modern websites coded in CSS are better at downloading content from hosting servers to requesting browsers efficiently and accurately. Optimization, therefore, isn’t all about minifying file size. The following best practices ensure a speed-optimized CSS delivery:

Optimized CSS delivery

Optimized CSS delivery

  • Shorthand Coding: Cut down the size of your code by using fewer declarations and operators. Fewer lines of code mean fewer processing cycles and efficient delivery of website files to requesting browsers.
  • Axe Browser Specific CSS Hacks: CSS is in danger from endlessly complicated browser specific hacks – or correctional declarations as they’re called – adding unnecessary weight to CSS script files. Speed optimized CSS code is both light and simple for servers to process efficiently.
  • Minify CSS: Almost all website speed monitoring tools give a common suggestion of reducing the weight of CSS code to improve speed. Lightweight and compact code helps to speed up downloading, parsing and execution to drastically reduce page load time.
  • Code Positioning: Load CSS code inside the <head> and JavaScript inside the body, as referencing CSS outside of this section prevents Web browsers displaying CSS content immediately after downloading it.
  • CSS Delivery Best Practices:
    • Do not use @import call.
    • Remove unused CSS.
    • Do not use CSS in HTML such as H1 and DIV tags.
    • Use inline small CSS.

WordPress Solutions:

Tools such as AutoptimizeWP RocketCache EnablerCloudFlare CDN, and W3 Total Cache are some of the most popular tools available for minifying JavaScript and CSS.

Minification – JavaScript, CSS, HTML

Indeed, speed optimization isn’t (just) about shrinking page size. Reducing the number of client-server requests in delivering website content to Web browsers is an integral part of website speed optimization. Webmasters can achieve this by not making too many folks with CSS, HTML, and JavaScript requests. Although the number of requests isn’t as important as they used to be thanks to improvements with HTTP/2. That is to say, optimize, minify, and squish all unnecessary and compressible code lines.

Minification is particularly important for inline JavaScript and external files not cached. Google recommends minifying all JavaScript files over 4096 bytes of size, and a shaving off a minimum of 25 bytes to produce any noticeable difference toward page load time.

Compression

Compression

A rigorous approach toward designing speed optimized website would incorporate a strong intent on eliminating unnecessary bytes from the code. Utilizing all the coding space available, deleting extra spaces, indentation and line spaces while maintaining readability of the code reduces the overall size of website core and front-end files. And for websites already developed without this strategy in perspective, combining multiple server requests (for HTML, JavaScript, and CSS) into single ones effectively slashes sizeable chunks from page load times.

However, overindulgence in HTML Minification potentially leads to loss of fidelity of the website code, with user agents taking excessive memory cycles and CPU power in “guessing” the missing resources required to parse HTML files. Monitoring page load performance changes in response to implementing each minification process individually ensure that only the unnecessary code and spaces are deleted.

Minification of CSS, JavaScript, and HTML share common benefits: reduced network latency, fewer HTML requests, enhanced compression, faster browser downloading and execution, ultimately boosting page speed and yielding higher scores on website speed measuring tools.

Plugins – Less is More!

Additional website functionality with plugins comes at a price: performance degradation. Unfortunately, webmasters deploy a myriad of plugins to add attractive but often unnecessary features such as gravatar, profile tools, website stats and font tools – some even use 10 different plugins for social media integration. The only benefit here is successfully avoiding manual coding.

Many popular websites carry as much as 80 plugins. Yet, the number is not entirely a concern if the installed plugins are developed well to avoid complex actions and expensive server processing.

Number of plugins

Number of plugins

Four major areas to look at when it comes to selecting high-quality plugins:

  • Does it perform complex operations?
  • Does it load many content assets and scripts?
  • Does it increase the number of database queries to each page request?
  • Does it perform requests to external APIs?

If the answer to all these questions is YES, your reaction to the plugin in question should be a huge NO!

Now to the big question, how many plugins is too many?

While there’s no comprehensive answer to this question, limitations are unique to every website and plugin. A lot of WordPress experts recommend not using too many plugins. But many well-performing websites host over 80 plugins until they install one low-quality plugin that adds half a second to page load time.

Similarly, using 10 plugins for simple and unique tasks is much better than deploying one plugin to perform all of the complex tasks by itself. Exceptions include high-quality SEO plugins by credible developers, such as Yoast SEOAll In One SEO Pack (free WordPress SEO plugins) and the likes.

WordPress Solutions:

Use the following solutions to keep a check on WordPress plugins performance:

  • NewRelic – application performance profiling solution
  • Query Monitor

Limit/Disable WordPress Revisions

Revision management is one of the perks that WordPress has to offer. The CMS automatically keeps track of the content created on the CMS and makes all of it available for future changes. To the server, this costs unnecessary processing through additional database entries not actually required in the first place. Controlling the number of revisions stored relieves the website core of useless burden.

WordPress revisions

WordPress revisions

Writing the following code snippets in the wp-config.php file helps to get around this issue:

Disable Revisions:

define( 'WP_POST_REVISIONS', false );

Limit Revisions:

define( 'WP_POST_REVISIONS', 10 ); // limited to 10 revisions

Check out our in-depth guide on how to optimize WordPress revisions for faster performance.

Optimize Databases

WordPress CMS stores posts, comments, pages and other forms of textual and encrypted data within a single database – except for images and videos that are stored in the ‘wp_content’ folder instead. This database gets crowded over time, not only with unnecessary content and post revisions, but also with garbage data.

Garbage content includes:

  • Comments in the spam queue
  • Unapproved comments
  • Post revisions
  • Trashed items such as posts and pages

Database optimization revolves around getting rid of garbage data and useless content from cluttered databases, shrinking them in size, and making it easier for website hosting servers to fetch requested content efficiently, within minimum processing cycles. This can also involve ensuring that you are using InnoDB for your MySQL database tables, as opposed to MyISAM. Learn how to convert MyISAM to InnoDB.

The wp_options table is also often overlooked when it comes to overall WordPress and database performance. Especially on older and large sites, this can be the culprit for slow query times on your site due to autoloaded data that is left behind from third-party plugins and themes. Check out our guide on how to clean up your wp_options table.

WordPress Solutions:

  • Limit, disable and delete post revisions.
  • Automatically purge trash by adding the following code in the wp-config.php file:define('EMPTY_TRASH_DAYS', 10 );10 is the number of days before garbage data is automatically deleted. Change as appropriate.

Compression

According to Google, every day the cyber world sees 99 years of human years wasted due to uncompressed Web content. And although most of the latest Web browsers support content compression capabilities, not every website delivers compressed contents. Visitors to these bandwidth-hogging websites experience insanely slow interactions with Web pages. Primary reasons for this unfavorable (and mostly unintentional) website behavior include misconfigured hosting servers, Web proxies, old or buggy browsers and antivirus software.

Uncompressed content hurts bandwidth-constrained users receiving the Web content in agonizingly lengthy page load times. Here’s the transcript of a common browser-server communication in delivering uncompressed content:

HTML compression

HTML compression

Browser: Hey, GET me /HeavyWeightChampion.html!

Server: On it! *server skims through the server and finds the file*

Server: There you go, 250 KB of response code.

Browser: Ouch! *end-user sweats, ultimately receiving the requested content in a few tens of seconds*. (Okay, client-server communication is perhaps a bit more formal and less dramatic than the above narrative.)

Most of the problem lies in the way client-server communication goes in the HTML world. HTML files (making almost the entire Web content) includes several redundant code instances. <Tags>, <Alts>, <HTML> and the likes are all the same stuff materializing repeatedly.

Google recommends the following compression tactics to deliver website content efficiently:

  • Minify JavaScript, HTML and CSS
  • Ensure consistency in CSS and HTML code with the following techniques:
    • Consistent casing – mostly lowercase.
    • Consistent quoting of HTML tag attributes.
    • Specify HTML attributes in the same order.
    • Specify CSS key-value pairs in the same order by alphabetizing them.
  • Enable GZIP compression. GZIP finds similar strings and code instances, replaces them temporarily with shorter characters. Browsers decompress gzipped files, bringing them back to their original shape.

A few words of caution though:

  • Do NOT GZIP (already compressed) images, PDF or other binary data.
  • GZIP data only in the range of 150-1000 bytes in size. The speed of compression must be faster than the time taken in delivering the content uncompressed.
  • Do NOT compress content for old browsers.

Not following the above recommendations actually increases file size and page load times due to the overhead of compression and decompression.

WordPress Solutions:

  • Enable GZIP compression using W3 Total Cache plugin.
  • The best way to enable GZIP compression is at the server-level of Apache or Nginx. Check out our GZIP compression guide.

Cache

Developers crave simplicity in website design code. Website code easier to create, read and maintain leads to efficient website development processes. This includes using the available code functions frequently to cut short extensive coding for specific website functionality.

However, adding too many extraneous loops and unnecessary code lines increases page rendering times by a few milliseconds. Influx a torrent of website traffic, and the milliseconds compound to plunge page speed well below acceptable standards.

Webmasters can reduce these response times by delivering cached copies of the requested content instead of rendering it repeatedly in response to every single user request that pings their server. Web cache is the mechanism of temporarily storing copies of web content to satisfy subsequent user requests from the cache database when specific conditions are met. This process reduces the number of client-server round trips taken in delivering (static) website content to requesting browsers.

WordPress cache

WordPress cache

Website owners can enable caching with the following add-ons and configurations when hosting service providers do not provide server-side caching:

Along with static cacheable content, websites also host dynamic information containing unique attributes changing regularly for every end-user. Storing cached copies of non-reusable dynamic content, therefore, doesn’t make sense, even though rendering non-cached content is a painstakingly slow process.

Fragment Caching

This is the art of caching smaller elements of non-cacheable dynamic website content. When Web pages containing static and/or dynamic content are loaded, hosting servers process PHP code and query MySQL databases to fetch the requested content. These time-and-resource consuming processes are circumvented by delivering the desired output stored as a cached copy.

Fragment caching stores the output of some code blocks that remain unchanged across varied versions of the dynamic content. When the code runs and reaches the code block cached for a predetermined time, the server queries and delivers the cached output of this code instead of executing it repeatedly until the time limit reaches.

The end result is cache-optimized website content for maximum page speed even for eCommerce and membership-based websites handling intensely dynamic content. The Core Hosting actually provides four different types of caching, all of which are automatically done at the software or server-level. So there is no need to mess with third-party plugins.

Content Delivery Networks (CDN)

CDN is an extension of cache optimization designed to supercharge website performance aimed specifically at globally dispersed web traffic. CDNs consist of a network of servers hosting cached copies of web pages. Internet visitors requesting this information are directed to the nearest server within this network based on their geographic location.

Traditional benefits of CDN including performance boost, high availability, and page rank collectively lift the business bottom line. Check out all the reasons why you should be using a CDN. The Core Hosting includes a free HTTP/2 and IPv6-enabled WordPress CDN for all clients!

WordPress CDN

WordPress CDN

Switch to Managed Hosting!

WordPress essentially democratized the web by empowering citizens of the cyberworld to create their own blogs and launch products and services online with minimal investments. In general, website owners leverage one of the following hosting services to keep their websites up and running:

  • Free hosting: Favorite to hobbyists.
  • Shared hosting: Favorite to individuals developing an online business presence at the lowest cost.
  • Dedicated or managed hosting: Favorite to serious individuals and small and midsize firms setting up an online presence.
  • Collocated hosting: Favorite to large enterprises or government institutions with in-house IT teams to manage websites.

Among these, employing managed hosting for end-to-end website development and management services is the most cost-effective and productive option for maintaining an ultra-high performance website. Features of managed hosting services impacting page speed and website performance include:

  • Performance optimization – compression, code minification, server-side caching, etc.
  • Cache optimization.
  • Content optimization for performance – image optimization, controlling garbage data, etc.
  • Search engine optimization.
  • Regular software updates.
  • Plugin compatibility and deployment for best performance.
  • Database optimization.
  • Content delivery networks.
  • Performance testing and monitoring.
  • Lightweight and speed optimized servers.
  • Server and website configuration and maintenance to minimize client-server roundtrips.
  • Latest versions of PHP and MariaDB

WordPress is Faster With PHP 7

With the release of PHP 7 came huge performance gains! So big in fact, that it should be a priority over a lot of the small optimizations you might play around with on your WordPress site. The following benchmarks demonstrate significant performance improvements with PHP 7 over its previous iterations. PHP 7 allows the system to execute twice as many requests per second in comparison with PHP 5.6, at almost half of the latency.php 5.6 vs php 7

PHP benchmarks by Rasmus Lerdorf, PHP Fluent Talk

We also ran our own PHP benchmarks. And similarly to the benchmarks above, we saw that PHP 7.3 could execute almost three times as many transactions (requests) per second as compared to PHP 5.6. PHP 7.3 is also on average 9% faster than PHP 7.2.WordPress 5.0 PHP benchmarks

WordPress 5.0 PHP benchmarks

  • WordPress 5.0 PHP 5.6 benchmark: 91.64 req/sec
  • WordPress 5.0 PHP 7.0 benchmark results: 206.71 req/sec
  • WordPress 5.0 PHP 7.1 benchmark results: 210.98 req/sec
  • WordPress 5.0 PHP 7.2 benchmark results: 229.18 req/sec
  • WordPress 5.0 PHP 7.3 benchmark results: 253.20 req/sec 🏆

Verdict

The performance gap between PHP 5.6 and the later versions of PHP are evident, and that is why The Core Hosting always offers the latest stable version. PHP 7.4, which is even faster, was officially released as of November 28th, 2019 and is now available for all The Core Hosting clients.

Conclusion: Website Speed Matters. A lot.

Phew, you’ve made it through the guide! Congratulations and thanks for reading it. We hope you found at least a couple of great bits of advice that you can act upon now! At The Core Hosting, we provide premium managed WordPress hosting services, and with our infrastructure, you can rest assured that all the server-side optimizations are taken care of. If you’d like, give our system a try.

Last, but not least, if you found our guide helpful please share it with your friends and followers!


If you enjoyed this article, then you’ll love The Core Hosting’s WordPress hosting platform. Turbocharge your website and get 24/7 support from our veteran WordPress team. Our Google Cloud powered infrastructure focuses on auto-scaling, performance, and security. Let us show you The Core Hosting difference! Check out our plans

Do I Need Managed WordPress Hosting?

WordPress Hosting

Don’t know which hosting plan is right for you? We’ll present four reasons why managed WordPress hosting could be the best choice for your website and introduce you to The Hosting Guy’s plans.

Choosing a hosting plan isn’t always easy. Even if you know all about the different types and understand their unique pros and cons, you may not be sure how to use that information to make an informed choice. Should you opt for a basic plan or something more advanced — such as managed hosting?

You’ll be glad to know that finding the answer to this question doesn’t need to be hard. In fact, there are a number of easy ways to tell whether a managed WordPress hosting plan is right for you.

In this article, we’ll touch on what managed WordPress hosting is, then present four reasons you might want to try it for yourself. Finally, we’ll introduce our own managed WordPress plan. Let’s begin!

An Introduction to Managed WordPress Hosting

If you’ve never built a website before, you may not know what type of plan to choose. You could start simple and go with shared hosting, or opt for Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting or a dedicated server if you need more resources. However, that’s not the only decision you need to make. You’ll also want to consider whether you want managed hosting plan.

Managed hosting is a service where your hosting provider takes care of your server and all related tasks for you. This typically means they’ll handle performance tweaks, monitor the server for security threats, perform backups and updates, and more. You’ll get the benefits of a hosting server managed by experts, without needing to know anything about web hosting. Plus, if you opt for a WordPress-specific managed plan, your site will be safe in the hands of people who know the platform inside and out.

Managed WordPress hosting is an excellent option, but is it the right one for you? This depends largely on whether any of the following reasons apply.

4 Reasons You Might Need Managed WordPress Hosting

There are a lot of reasons to choose a managed hosting plan, but these are four of the most common. If you’re new to the concept of managed hosting, consider each section below carefully. If one or more holds true for you, you may want to dig deeper into this type of plan.

1. You Want to Ensure Excellent Performance and Uptime on Your Site

Pingdom performance reportIf your website takes too long to load, visitors are unlikely to enjoy their experience.

Performance is crucial in determining how successful your website is. Users who have a good experience on your site are more likely to come back, and they’ll enjoy their visit more if your site runs smoothly. Slow pages drive people away, and you don’t want that to happen. An intermittently live site is even worse — after all, who wants to return to a broken website?

Part of ensuring your site loads quickly (and experiences little to no downtime) is choosing a hosting plan with plenty of resources, so it can handle any level of traffic. If you opt for a non-managed plan, you’ll need to optimize your server on your own and keep an eye on its performance. If you have the technical know-how required, then you’re all set.

With a managed hosting plan, your provider will take on the responsibility of ensuring your site doesn’t go down and always offers visitors a smooth experience. Even if you could take care of this element on your own, it can be simpler (and more cost-effective) to have someone else take the reins.

2. You Don’t Have Much Experience With Web Hosting

Google Analytics Graph shoing traffic spikingIncreasing and unpredictable traffic can require changes to your hosting setup.

As we alluded to above, web hosting can be a complicated business. This is doubly true if you’re planning to run a large or complex site and attract lots of daily visitors. If you’ve never run a web server before, a regular non-managed plan may leave you responsible for tasks you don’t know how to handle.

If you want to get the most out of a non-managed hosting plan, you’ll want to understand how a server works and how to customize it to your specific needs. You’ll have to know how to update it, and how to scale up its resources to handle larger amounts of traffic. There’s also routine server maintenance that has to be performed to keep everything running smoothly.

This is a lot for the average website owner to handle. So if you don’t have the experience required, opting for a managed hosting plan can be a smart alternative.

3. You Want to Start Your Site Out on Secure Footing

Jetpack Kickstarts your websiteJetpack is a comprehensive plugin that provides plenty of security features (and is included with The Hosting Guy Managed WordPress Plans).

It’s crucial that your site is as secure as possible. You don’t want hackers getting in and messing around with your content or stealing private information about your users. Any quality hosting plan will help a lot, making sure your site’s data stays safe as it travels back and forth across the internet. Plus, there are a lot of effective tweaks you can perform on your own.

However, managed hosting usually offers additional security benefits. Your provider will be up-to-date on the latest threats and can monitor your site for suspicious activity and take immediate action if required. Your site will be updated consistently, which is important for minimizing security holes, and you’ll always have a recent backup if something does go wrong. You may even get access to special security features.

While most of these are tasks you can perform yourself, your provider has the expertise required to make sure they’re done right every time. So if security is important to you, managed hosting can be your best bet for starting off on the right foot.

4. You’re Looking for Reliable Support

Do i need managed wordpress hosting
Do I Need Managed WordPress Hosting? 53

Your hosting provider should offer 24/7 dedicated support, so they’re available when you need them.

Especially if you’re new to running a website, you may not know much about web hosting. Chances are you’ll have plenty of questions, and you may run into issues you don’t know how to handle (either while setting up your site or afterward). In these scenarios, you’ll want to talk to someone who can help you out.

Any quality hosting plan should come with solid support options. However, if you’re looking for the best support you can find, managed hosting is a smart choice. These plans typically offer 24/7 support. You’ll be able to communicate your needs to your provider when setting up the server in the first place and easily get assistance when you want something changed or tweaked.

Building and running a website can be complicated — so you’ll want to know that help is available whenever you need it. Managed hosting will provide you with that needed peace of mind.

Why The Hosting Guy Is a Smart Choice for Your WordPress Site

If you’re looking for managed WordPress hosting, you can’t go wrong with The Hosting Guy.

If you do decide that managed WordPress hosting is right for you, the next thing you’ll need to do is actually pick a provider and plan. We may be biased, but we think our own The Hosting Guy plans is an excellent choice for users of all types.

The Hosting Guy is managed hosting specifically designed for WordPress users. It’s a scalable, customizable service that will set up and take care of hosting for your website. If you don’t have the time or experience required to customize your server and maintain it over time, we’ll take care of everything for you. We’ll ensure quality performance, monitor your site for any issues, and perform maintenance, updates, and backups.

The Hosting Guy Professional and Business plans even come with WordFence Professional, which among other things provides plenty of top-notch security features. You’ll have access to reliable support any time you need it, through multiple channels. Plus, you’ll feel secure knowing that your site is being handled by WordPress experts. All of this comes at a surprisingly affordable price with plans starting at just $50.00 per month.

If you’d like to know more about The Hosting Guy and how managed hosting can benefit you, feel free to contact us anytime! We’d be happy to answer all of your questions.

 Conclusion

There is no one type of web hosting that’s perfect for every website. However, managed hosting is an excellent option for a wide range of applications. If your plan is also WordPress-specific, such as The Hosting Guy, you’ll be setting your site up for success from the very start.

The latest WordPress version (September 2020) 

wordpress latest version

WordPress is one of the most popular open-source projects in the world, with 70 developers contributing 4,969 commits to the core in 2019. Knowing that, it’s probably not surprising to learn that there’s usually a new WordPress release every single month (if not more like two or three)! 

Some of these releases are full new versions or critical security patches, in which we recommend updating all your sites to the latest version fairly quickly. Others are minor fixes or even release candidates that are less critical to update right away or even optional (in the case of beta releases). 

How to update WordPress

If your sites are on a managed WordPress host, updates are probably automatically taken care of for you. The Core Hosting, for example, updates major versions two weeks after release and security updates  24-72 hours after release. Of course, you can always manually update your site yourself or opt-out of major version updates if you need more time for testing. 

Click here for more information about how The Hosting Guy handles updates to the WordPress core. 

If you’re not working with a managed provider yet, you’ll likely have to manually update your sites to the latest version via the WordPress admin panel. This is very easy to do, but can be time-consuming if you manage lots of client sites. 

To update WordPress manually, simply log into wp-admin and look for a notification at the top of the homepage prompting you to update. Click that, and you’re good to go!

Even if your hosting provider takes care of updates for you, it’s still a good idea to be in the know about the latest WordPress version. Then you can make sure your sites are ready for the upgrade and can take advantage of any important new features (like the recent Gutenberg Editor)!

To help you stay up to date with the most current WordPress version, we’ve created this changelog where we’ll publish the details of major version updates, security releases, and maintenance releases. 

The latest WordPress version is 5.5.1 “Eckstine” that came out on August 11th, 2020. Other recent versions include:


WordPress 5.5.1 Maintenance Release

Released on September 1, 2020.

This maintenance release features 34 bug fixes and five enhancements. Nothing too exciting in this short-cycle maintenance release except for improvements in user interface functionality. The WordPress core team is working around the clock to ready WordPress 5.6 for its target release in December!

Highlights of this maintenance release include: 

  • Fixing an issue so you can now check your site health by using the [site-status-tests] filter.
  • Fixing an issue with XML sitemaps since they were incorrectly paginated in the previous release (woohoo!).
  • Removing the ability to change the list of environment types with a new wp_get_environment_type() function.

For more information about this update, check out the official release post or the documentation page


WordPress 5.5 “Eckstine”

Released on August 12th, 2020.

This new version of WordPress, named after Billy Eckstine, is bringing improvements to three primary areas of your sites: speed, search, and security.

Speed improvements

Posts and pages now use lazy loading to feel like they load faster to users. This means images won’t load until they’re about to scroll into view, which should give image-heavy sites a nice boost in performance. (In fact, this is one of our recommended steps when optimizing images for the web!)

Search improvements

By default, WordPress 5.5 will include an XML sitemap from the moment you go live. This will help search engines discover your content sooner, and therefore help more people find your content sooner.

Security improvements

Outdated themes and plugins are one of the most common reasons sites get hacked, but it’s also easy to miss an update (especially if you’re using lots or managing several sites). WordPress 5.5 gives you the new option to set themes and plugins to automatically update when a new version releases, so you can automate the process on a per plugin or per theme basis.

A word of caution: Sometimes an update can cause problems on a site, which is why we usually recommend either making updates on a staging site first or using a service like The Hosting Guy’s Managed Plugin Updates Add-on (in which we’ll review the site and roll back updates if anything breaks).

A few other highlights of WordPress 5.5:

  • Create stunning site layouts combining text and media with new block patterns.
  • Looking for a new block? Search the directory right from the editor, so you never have to leave your screen to find what you’re looking for!
  • Edit images right in the image block. You can now crop, rotate, and zoom without leaving the post or page. Plus you can edit images with an assistive device!
  • Copy links in media screens and modals with a button (without trying to highlight the text).
  • Move meta boxes with the keyboard.

To learn more about Eckstine and see what it brings for developers, check out the official release post or the documentation page.

For more information about this release, check out the announcement post.


WordPress 5.4.2 Security and Maintenance Release

Released on June 10th, 2020.

WordPress 5.4.2 features 23 bug fixes and 6 security patches, so it’s recommended you update to the latest version. If you haven’t updated to version 5.4, there’re also updated versions of 5.3 and earlier that fix the bugs for you!

Highlights of the WordPress 5.4.2 security updates include:

  • Fixing an issue where authenticated users with low privileges are able to add JavaScript to posts in the block editor.
  • Fixing an issue where authenticated users with upload permissions are able to add JavaScript to media files.
  • Fixing an open redirect issue in wp_validate_redirect().
  • Fixing an authenticated XSS issue via theme uploads.
  • Fixing an issue where set-screen-option can be misused by plugins leading to privilege escalation.
  • Fixing an issue where comments from password-protected posts and pages could be displayed under certain conditions.

For more information about this release, check out the official release post or the documentation page


WordPress 5.4.1 Security and Maintenance Release

Released on April 29th, 2020.

WordPress 5.4.1 features 17 bug fixes and 7 security patches, so it’s highly recommended you update to the latest version if you haven’t already.

Highlights of the WordPress 5.4.1 security updates include:

  • Fixing an issue where password reset tokens weren’t properly invalidated.
  • Fixing an issue where certain private posts could be be unauthenticated.
  • Fixing XSS issues in the Customizer, search block, wp-object-cache, and file uploads.

For more information about this release, check out the official release post or the documentation page


WordPress 5.4 “Adderley”

Released on March 31st, 2020.

This major release, named after American jazz trumpeter Nat Adderley, is all about giving you more ways to make your pages come to life without sacrificing speed (in your workflow or your page load time). Let’s start with block updates.

Naturally, enhancements to the Gutenberg Editor were a big focus of this release. Here are some of the new things you’ll see!

  • Two new blocks! “Social Icons” and “Buttons,” to increase interactions on your page.
  • New color options, such as gradients for Buttons and Covers and added color functionality for Group and Columns blocks.
  • A streamlined process for placing and replacing media in blocks.
  • The option to have the Media+Text block link to something.

On top of all the block updates, WordPress 5.4 brings cleaner UI and easier navigation. You’ll find things like block breadcrumbs, better tabbing and focus when navigating with the keyboard, and a faster editor load time. (51% faster time to type!)

To round it out, this version also helps with some privacy-related matters (like being able to see progress as you process export and erasure requests), and a number of enhancements specifically for developers.

Here are a few highlights!

  • You can add custom fields to menu items natively, thanks to two new actions.
  • Blocks are easier to style, and no longer have negative margins and default padding.
  • There are two new APIs for block variations and gradients.
  • The block editor now supports TikTok in embeds.

For more information about this update, check out the official release post or the WordPress 5.4 Field Guide


WordPress 5.3.2 Maintenance Release

Released on December 18th, 2019.

This maintenance release features 5 fixes and enhancements. Some high-severity tickets were opened shortly after WordPress 5.3.1 was released, so the team pushed this release to solve those issues.

Highlights of the WordPress 5.3.2 updates include:

  • Ensuring that get_feed_build_date() correctly handles a modified post object with an invalid date.
  • Fixing a file name collision in wp_unique_filename() when uploading a file with upper case extension on non case-sensitive file systems.
  • Fixing PHP warnings in wp_unique_filename() when the destination directory is unreadable.
  • Fixing the colors in all color schemes for buttons with the .active class.
  • Using a proper delta comparison when checking the post date to set future or publish status.

For more information about this update, check out the official release post or the documentation page


WordPress 5.3.1 Security and Maintenance Release

Released on December 13th, 2019.

This update features 46 fixes and enhancements, including a number of security improvements. For this reason, updating is highly recommended!

This security release includes fixes for: 

  • An issue where an unprivileged user could make a post sticky via the REST API.
  • An issue where cross-site scripting (XSS) could be stored in well-crafted links.
  • Hardening wp_kses_bad_protocol() to ensure it’s aware of the named colon attribute.
  • A stored XSS vulnerability using block editor content.

On top of these security updates, WordPress 5.3.1 also introduces several maintenance fixes, such as:

  • Adding Customizer options to show/hide author bio, replace JavaScript-based smooth scroll with CSS, and fix Instagram embed CSS.
  • Fixing Edge scrolling issues and intermittent JavaScript issues.
  • Avoiding thumbnails overwriting other uploads when filename matches, and excluding PNG images from scaling after upload.
  • Ensuring administration email verification uses the user’s locale instead of the site locale.

For more information about this update, check out the official release post or the documentation page


WordPress 5.3 “Kirk”

Released on November 12th, 2019. 

WordPress 5.3, named after jazz multi-instrumentalist Rahsaan Roland Kirk, brings some great improvements to the publishing experience. This version includes the new default theme, Twenty Twenty, which takes full advantage of the block editor to offer new levels of flexibility and design. It also features a variable font for the first time (Inter by Rasmus Andersson), which is easy to read for users and easy to load for browsers.

The block editor was also a major focus of this update, with over 150 new features and usability improvements! 

I won’t list them all, but here are some of the highlights: 

  • Improved image support, specifically for non-optimized, high-resolution photos from a phone or camera. 
  • Accessibility improvements, including a new Navigation mode that will help users jump from block to block when navigating the dashboard with a keyboard (instead of tabbing through every control).
  • Predefined layouts, which makes it easy for content creators to arrange content in advanced designs. 
  • Additional style options, including the ability to control the text and background color of Heading blocks, support for fixed-width columns in the Columns block, and a new Group block that can be used for creating colorful sections throughout the page. 

Beyond the block editor and Twenty Twenty, WordPress 5.3 also introduces some basic improvements that everyone will appreciate. Images will now automatically rotate on upload based on the embedded orientation data – a feature that was first proposed nine years ago! And now when you log into a site as an administrator, you’ll occasionally be asked to verify your email address. This should help reduce the chance of getting locked out in the event that your address changes. 

For more information about WordPress 5.3, check out the official release


WordPress 5.2.4 Security Release

Released on October 14th, 2019.

This security update fixes six bugs that are found in WordPress versions earlier than and including 5.2.3.

This security release includes fixes for: 

  • An issue where stored XSS (cross-site scripting) could be added via Customizer.
  • A method of viewing unauthenticated posts.
  • A way to create a stored XSS to inject JavaScript into style tags.
  • A method to poison the cache of JSON GET requests via the Vary: Origin header.
  • A server-side request forgery in the way that URLs are validated.
  • Issues related to referrer validation in the admin.

For more information about this update, check out the official release post or the documentation page


WordPress 5.2.3 Security and Maintenance Release

Released on September 5th, 2019. 

This security update fixes bugs that are found in WordPress versions earlier than and including 5.2.2, along with a few additional feature enhancements. Updating is highly recommended!

This security release includes fixes for: 

  • Issues where cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities could be found in post previews by contributors, stored comments, and shortcode previews. 
  • Issues where validation and sanitization of a URL could lead to an open redirect or XSS attacks. 
  • Reflected XSS during media uploads and in the dashboard. 

For more information about this update, check out the official release post or the documentation page


WordPress 5.2.2 Maintenance Release 

Released on June 18th, 2019. 

This maintenance release fixes 13 bugs and includes improvements to the Site Health feature released in WordPress 5.2.

Highlights of the tickets completed in the 5.2.2 Maintenance Release include: 

  • Dashboard elements don’t always have clear focus states or tab order
  • Make Site Health page access be filterable
  • Theme update links show in Customizer but don’t work

For more information about this update, check out the official release post or the documentation page


WordPress 5.2.1 Maintenance Release

Released on May 21st, 2019. 

This maintenance release fixes 33 bugs (nice work, core contributors!) and includes improvements to the block editor, accessibility, internationalization, and the Site Health feature released in WordPress 5.2.

Highlights of the tickets completed in the 5.2.1 Maintenance Release include: 

  • Gutenberg right-to-left (RTL) typing issues
  • At least one function in /wp-includes/sodium_compat/src/Core32 that timed out on 32-bit servers
  • wp_targeted_link_rel filter that shouldn’t be applied to “Custom HTML” widget
  • Editor: Update packages for WordPress 5.2.1

For more information about this update, check out the official release post or the full list of changes


WordPress is constantly evolving and improving thanks to the dedicated team of developers working on the core. For more information about any and all WordPress versions, be sure to check out the Release Archive

Introducing PHP 7.4: Performance, Features, Depreciation

PHP 7.4

PHP 7.4 has finally appeared! This version that is new released November 28, 2019, is now available on all The Hosting Guy servers. Developers can expect improvements in code readability, maintenance, and ease of use. Let’s look at some of the features that are new performance tweaks along with other factors why you need to migrate to PHP 7.4.

Table of Contents: 

What Does PHP 7.4 Mean for You?

PHP continues to evolve, by releasing their newest PHP 7.4 up-date, high in brand new features. Like we’ve observed in past PHP 7 releases – speed and performance keep improving. One of the most exciting features that are new*********************)preloading. It can help script that is speed-up also presenting the capacity to have quicker and cleaner rule, as a result of the simplification of typical lines of rule.

The good individuals in charge of PHP have actually heard their audience’s opinions and needs and replied them in complete force. They’ve since been code that is continuously changing become more intuitive and better to switch between development languages.

PHP can be used in over 78.9% of most web sites. According to W3techs, the most used web sites PHP that is using are, Pinterest, and Twitter to call several.

(we can see a double speed increase****************)If we specifically look at WordPress sites running PHP, comparing PHP 5 and 7. WordPress powered websites definitely gain the most by using the latest PHP version out there. The Hosting Guy users can super-charge their WordPress sites to heights that are new simply a click of a button.

PHP Usage Statistics

See each one of these figures that are cool? This graph is spitting some truth about web sites earnestly making use of PHP. Are 39,191,714 live websites enough to seize your attention? That’s exactly how many are utilizing PHP right now. Plus PHP 7.4 is testing a lot better than PHP 7.3 with enhanced performance along with other well being improvements.

The graph below programs the overall benchmark test on new and old variations of PHP. A few of the requirements tested were simplicity of use, rate, and gratification amongst others.

PHP Geometric Mean of All Results

Changing Your PHP Variation

Ready to upgrade? Thought so. The Hosting Guy causes it to be as simple as ever with your four steps that are simple. You’ll be fiddling around with your new-and-improved version that is PHP virtually no time.

  1. Log into your The Hosting man account and hit the Home switch.
  2. On your house page, scroll down seriously to the Hosting section and then click in the Manage icon.
  3. In the search field, key in PHP setup and then click about it.
  4. Select PHP 7.4 and simply click Save.
Enabling PHP 7.4 in Hostinger hPanel

Congrats! At this point you get the best & most PHP that is up-to-date version there.

To check your overall version that is PHP all you have to do is visit the Hosting tab and check out the remaining part panel for PHP variation. If it is anything significantly less than 7.4, go right ahead and upgrade.

What’s New in PHP 7.4?

Since 2016, PHP7 was releasing updates that are annual fail. Each they deliver on new features, additions, and the possibility to write cleaner code that makes the language more reliable and user-friendly for those who run it on their websites.( year*******************)

Let’s dig in and simply take a better glance at a number of the modifications that have been made out of the addition of PHP 7.4. For a list that is full out their changelog here.

Preloading

Let’s talk about rule. When utilizing a framework or libraries, its files need to be linked and loaded on every request. Preloading is when you can load frameworks and libraries into the OPCache. It allows for the server to load the PHP files and store them in memory during startup and have them available for any requests that are future. Mention getting things going fast!

Preloading is run by a specific php.ini directive: opache.preload.This has got the PHP script compiler and executes once the host starts-up. It’s also utilized to preload more files and choose to either include or compile them.

This rocks !, nevertheless, in the event that way to obtain the files that are preloaded ever changed, the server must be restarted. The files that are preloaded remain cached in OPCache memory forever.

However, these files that are preloaded remain designed for any future needs in the event you ever need certainly to utilize them once again.

Spread Operator in Array Expressions

Back whenever PHP 5.6 premiered, PHP started argument that is supporting (spread operator) nevertheless now, with 7.4, we’re able to utilize this function with a selection phrase. Argument unpacking is a syntax for unpacking arrays and Traversables into argument listings. And, to carry out therefore, it just has to be prepended by … (3 dots.) That’s it.

Let’s understand this example:

$animals = ['dog', 'cat'];
$animalkingdom = ['lion', 'elephant', ...$animals, 'giraffe'];
// [‘lion’, ‘elephant’, ‘dog’, ‘cat’, ‘giraffe’];

We are now able to expand a selection from anywhere we wish an additional array, simply by utilizing the Spread Operator syntax.

$num1 = [1, 2, 3];
$num2 = [...$num1]; // [1, 2, 3]
$num3 = [0, ...$num1]; // [0, 1, 2, 3]
$num4 = array( num1 that is...$ ...$num2, 111); // [1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, 111]
$num5 = [...$num1, ...$num1]; // [1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3]

Not just that, you could additionally utilize it in a function. Consider this example:

function getNum() {
  return ['a', 'b'];
}
$num6 = [...getNum(), 'c']; // ['a', 'b', 'c']
$num7 = [...new NumIterator(['a', 'b', 'c'])]; // ['a', 'b', 'c']
function arrGen() {
    for($i = 11; $i < 15; $i++) {
        yield $i;
    }
}
$num8 = [...arrGen()]; // [11, 12, 13, 14]

In addition, you’re now in a position to unpack arrays and generators which are came back by a function straight into a array that is new

A rule example would appear to be this:

function getAnimals(){
  return ['dog', 'cat', 'elephant'];
}
$num1 = [...getAnimals(), 'lion', 'tiger', 'giraffe'];

And with PHP 7.4, it could print:

array(6) {
  [0]=>
  string(3) "dog"
  [1]=>
  string(3) "cat"
  [2]=>
  string(8) "elephant"
  [3]=>
  string(4) "lion"
  [4]=>
  string(5) "tiger"
  [5]=>
  string(7) "giraffe"
}

With this array that is new, spread operators should have means better performance throughout the 7.3 array_merge. The reason being the spread operator is a language structure while array_merge is a function. Additionally because spread operator supports objects implementing traversable and array_merge only supports arrays.

Some considerations to notice, it is possible to just utilize indexed arrays since sequence tips aren’t supported. If utilized, a error that is recoverable be tossed in the display screen, once a string key is available.

Another glorious benefit to 7.4 may be the elimination of the array_merge. Bid farewell to the dreaded index change!

For instance, let’s understand this long array that is winded below:

$array = [‘banana, ‘orange’];
$array[2] = ‘orange’;
$array[1] = ‘apple’; //shifting
var_dump($array); 
// prints 
array(3) {
  [0]=>
  string(6) "banana"
  [1]=>
  string(5) "apple"
  [2]=>
  string(6) "orange"

Another advantage of 7.4 is utilising the generator function. A generator function works exactly like a function that is normal except in the place of coming back a value, a generator function yields as numerous values because it requires to.

Check out of the instance rule below:

function generator() {
  for ($i = 3; $i <= 5; $i++) {
    yield $i;
  }
}
$num1 = [0, 1, 2, ...generator()];

Weak Recommendations

Now PHP 7.4 has a WeakReference class, that will be not to ever be confused utilizing the class WeakRed or the Weakref extension.

WeakReferences let the programmer remember a guide to an item. This is certainly helpful as it does not avoid the item from being damaged. They have been ideal for applying cache like structures.

WeakReference {
/* Methods */
public __construct ( void )
public static create ( object $referent ) : WeakReference
public get ( void ) : ?object

Contravariant Parameters and Covariant Comes Back

Currently, PHP makes use of parameter that is mostly invariant and return types. Meaning, then the subtype parameter or return type must also be type X.( if a method has a parameter or return type of X*******************)

Now, with PHP 7.4 it proposes to allow covariant (ordered from particular to generic) and contravariant (reversing your order) on parameter and return kinds.

right here is a good example of both:

Covariant return kind example:

interface Factory {
  function make(): object;
}
class UserFactory implements Factory {
  function make(): User;
}

Contravariant parameter kind example:

interface Concatable {
  function concat(Iterator $input); 
}
class Collection implements Concatable {
  // accepts all iterables, not just Iterator
  function concat(iterable $input) {/* . . . */}
}

Typed Characteristics 2.0

Since PHP 5, kind tips are an feature that is available you to specify the type of variable that is expected to be passed to a function or class. The addition of the object data type gave hope that more would be available in the future in the PHP 7.2 migrations. The long run is currently.

In this new 7.4, PHP has the capacity to offer the type list:

bool, int, float, string, array, object, iterable, self, parent
any class or interface name
?type // where "type" may be any of the above

Note that the parent type may be used in classes and doesn’t need to own a moms and dad in keeping with the parameter and return type.

Also, note that void and callable are not supported. Void was eliminated as it had not been helpful and had semantics that are unclear*********************)Callable, because its behavior had been context-dependent.

Let’s browse even more examples.

right here is a course, written for PHP 7.3:

class User {
    /** @var int $id */
    private $id;
    /** @var string $name */
    private $name;
 
    public function __construct(int $id, string $name) {
        $this->id = $id;
        $this->name = $name;
    }
 
    public function getId(): int {
        return $this->id;
    }
    public function setId(int $id): void {
        $this->id = $id;
    }
 
    public function getName(): string {
        return $this->name;
    }
    public function setName(string $name): void {
        $this->name = $name;
    }
}

In PHP 7.4, without having to sacrifice any type-safety, a course are now able to be written since simple as:

class User {
    public int $id;
    public string $name;
 
    public function __construct(int $id, string $name) {
        $this->id = $id;
        $this->name = $name;
    }
}

Check out samples of most of the types 7.4 now supports:

class Example {
  
    public int $scalarType;
    protected ClassName $classType;
    private ?ClassName $nullableClassType;
    // Types are also legal on static properties
    public static iterable $staticProp;
    // Types can also be used with the "var" notation
    var bool $flag;
    // Typed properties may have default values (more below)
    public string $str = "foo";
    public ?string $nullableStr = null;
    // The type applies to all properties in one declaration
    public float $x, $y;
    // equivalent to:
    public float $x;
    public float $y;
}

Arrow Functions 2.0

Anonymous functions in PHP are usually wordy and long, even if they truly are just doing operations that are simple. This is partially due to a amount that is large of boilerplate, and partially as a result of the should manually import utilized factors.

This makes rule that makes use of closures that are simple to learn as well as harder to know.

Let’s appearance at some rule that you’d utilize with PHP 7.3:

function array_values_from_keys($arr, $keys) {
    return array_map(function ($x) use ($arr) { return $arr[$x]; }, $keys);
}

Now, the following is the more syntax that is concise of 7.4:

function array_values_from_keys($arr, $keys) {
    return array_map(fn($x) => $arr[$x], $keys);
}

Therefore, arrow functions are in possession of this form:

fn(parameter_list) = expr

Below you can observe a good example of two functions $fn1 (7.3) and $fn2 (7.4) side by part. They’ve the outcome that is same look various:

$y = 1;
$fn1 = fn($x) => $x + $y;
$fn2 = function ($x) use ($y) 
{
    return $x + $y;
};

This may also work if the arrow functions are nested:

$z = 1;
$fn = fn($x) => fn($y) => $x * $y + $z;

right here the function that is outer*********************)$z. Then, the inner function also captures $z from the function that is outer. With 7.4, the external range becomes obtainable in the function that is inner. This is certainly one thing 7.3 wasn’t in a position to do.

The arrow function syntax enables many different functions such as for example, variadics, standard values, parameter and return kinds, in addition to by-reference moving and coming back. All while maintaining a clean, readable appearance. Here are most of the valid arrow functions ( that is now available*******************)

fn(array $x) => $x;
fn(): int => $x;
fn($x = 42) => $x;
fn(&$x) => $x;
fn&($x) => $x;
fn($x, ...$rest) => $rest;

One thing to notice is the fact that arrow functions have actually the cheapest precedence. Start to see the example:

fn($x) => $x + $y
// is
fn($x) => ($x + $y)
// not
(fn($x) => $x) + $y

Deprecations

There are numerous deprecations occurring utilizing the merge to 7.4. The list that is following a short overview of the functions targeted for deprecation. You can find a more detailed here:|*************) that is explanation (” class=”synonym”>*************) that is explanation (

  • The real type
  • Magic quotes legacy
  • array_key_exists() with objects
  • FILTER_SANITIZE_MAGIC_QUOTES filter
  • Reflection export() methods
  • mb_strrpos() with encoding as 3rd argument
  • implode() parameter order mix
  • Unbinding $this from non-static closures
  • hebrevc() function
  • convert_cyr_string() function
  • money_format() function
  • ezmlm_hash() function
  • restore_include_path() function
  • allow_url_include ini directiv

Some essential ones to notice would be the after two-step deprecations.

Changing the Precedence of a Concatenation Operator

Currently the precedence of ‘.’, ‘+’ and operators that are all equal. Any combination of these operators will be solved from simply left-to-right.

Let’s understand this rule in PHP 7.3:

echo "sum: " . $a + $b; 
// would be evaluated left-to-right
echo ("sum: " . $a) + $b;
// could also look like this

With PHP 7.4, ‘+’ and ‘-’ would simply take precedence over ‘.’ so that the improvements and subtractions would be performed before always the string. This would look like the ( that is following*******************)

echo "sum: " . $a + $b; 
// would be executed as if the code were as follows.
echo "sum :" . ($a + $b);

This two-step proposition aims become less error-prone and more instinctive. PHP 7.4 presently is within the stage that is first a deprecation notice of un-parenthesized expressions of ‘+’, ‘-’ and ‘.’ While waiting for the vote/change that is final in PHP 8.

Left-Associative Ternary Operator

Unlike almost every other languages, the operator that is ternary PHP is left-associative as opposed to right-associative. Not merely being unusual, it’s also confusing for coders whom switch between various languages. PHP 7.4 proposes to get rid of the left-associativity and needs the utilization of parentheses rather.

Let’s take a good look at the rule below:

return $a == 1 ? 'one'
     : $a == 2 ? 'two'
     : $a == 3 ? 'three'
     : $a == 4 ? 'four'
               : 'other';

In almost every other languages it will be interpreted as:

return $a == 1 ? 'one'
     : ($a == 2 ? 'two'
     : ($a == 3 ? 'three'
     : ($a == 4 ? 'four'
               : 'other')))

whilst in PHP, it really is alternatively interpreted as:

return ((($a == 1 ? 'one'
     : $a == 2) ? 'two'
     : $a == 3) ? 'three'
     : $a == 4) ? 'four'
               : 'other';

This can cause mistakes as it’s generally speaking perhaps not that which was meant.

Through a different two-step proposition, PHP 7.4 has implemented the explicit utilization of parentheses as a deprecation caution and certainly will ideally carry a compile runtime error out in future variations.

Conclusion

Just with time for the holiday season, PHP 7.4 brings features that are new well being improvements for several PHP developers.

WordPress web sites will surely take advantage of these improvements and their users can get quicker execution times much less memory use whenever PHP that is using 7.4 with earlier incarnations.

With the addition of first-class home kind declarations and kind hinting, arrow merging functions, and a ridiculously better rate, the 7.4 will certainly enhance both the rate and quality of one’s workflow.

How to Start a WebHosting company

Everyone has dreams of becoming an Entrepreneur in life and with the developing advancements in technology, it’s fairly easy today to start an online business. You can find countless money making ideas and web sites which can help you to make your extra money. 

Reseller hosting is a real business, a big business with a tiny investment. It’s very easy to begin a Web-Hosting company with a little investment and just a little bit of time. Hopefully, this will help you along the way with How to Start a Webhosting company.

In the industry, you will find many large hosts who provide services to no specific nitch market, so that you aren’t expected to earn money attempting to sell to all potential hosting clients. Alternatively, begin small and specific. Consider the following to determine your hosting brand:

  • What is your target market?
  • What makes your Webhosting service unique?
  • What type of hosting services will you offer? Shared hosting, reseller hosting, VPS hosting, and/or dedicated servers?

Lets understand the steps needed to begin your adventure in the web hosting industry.

Starting Your Web Hosting Company

  1. Get a website name: Your domain is your online business title, such as  Yourcompanyname.com. You want your domain to be Unquie, memorable, but still related to your brand. The Core Hosting not only provides you with your domain name for free with all ReSeller Hosting service, but you can purchase similar domain names, to make sure your name, stays yours, at $12.00/Year.
    Start a webhosting company
  2. Get the right plan: It’s not always best to start off with a fully dedicated server, or VPS Service, mainly due to money constraints, along with the time and technical knowhow it can take. So settling with a ReSeller hosting plan, Such as ones provided by us at The Core Hosting, you can get started quick and easy, with minimal know-how, and low overhead. 
  3. Create your Website: This could be one of the most important steps in developing your new hosting business. Having the proper sites that displays your services and what is provided, a clear price, ease of use, and functionality is important. But you also need to be sure that the site is also pleasing to look at. This is why we recommend Themeforest.com when looking at a place to start for themes and ideas.
  4. Finding the right billing Software: Having a easy to use and secure billing system is key to ensuring trust between you and your potential customers. If someone feels unsafe on your site, or doesn’t understand how to proceed through the steps, it could lead to dropped carts and non-sales. There are many Billing systems in the market for Hosting services, Such as Blesta, HostBill, or the one we recommend, and use ourselves, is WHMCS. We also provide WHMCS along with our Reseller Hosting services to help get you started.
  5. Customer Support: Support is one of the key foundations to a web hosting service. If your customers have issues with their sites, questions regarding the services, or billing-related issues, It is important to be quick and correct in your response. Providing multiple avenues of support is great, but can become confusing, so be sure to find the best ways, and stick to them. A ticket-based support system and live chat would be key starting points to look at. With The Core Hosting Reseller hosting, you can count on our team to help your provide your clients with the correct answers to their issues and always keep your services online.
  6. Finding Customers:-  Once your systems are configured and tested, you can begin marketing your organization and start spreading the word to get clients. Never hesitate to start with your friends and social networking sites. “Word of mouth” sales tend to be critical to a new website hosting business, so make sure every customer receives the best service possible and can go to bed at night knowing their site is well taken care of. It is now time to provide a wonderful service with a smile. It may need several hours of hard work and certainly will mean you’ll be on call and talk to the customers 24×7, but the reward for your hosting company is beneficial. Once you have fatigued your own personal sites, you can try here channels to find clients:
    • Facebook adverts and Google AdWords. 
    • Local printing, newsprint adverts, and appropriate publications.
    • Banner advertisements on websites associated with your market.
Start a webhosting company
  1. Scaling up your Business: So let’s assume you have it all set up and you’re successfully selling shared hosting to your clients. But you’ve outgrown the confines of a reseller account, and you need space to grow. Now would be the time to start looking at what it would take to move to a VPS service or even a Dedicated Server. The choice between the two has many variables to take into account, far too many to go into detail here, but the main things to consider are:
    1. The amount of traffic your clients are getting in total, This can help determine the needs of your services, and help you decide what route to go, VPS, or Dedicated server.
    2. What resources, and how much, are being used. Many reseller hosting services limit your reseller accounts to the amount of CPU, RAM, Bandwidth, Storage, ect. Can be used. 
    3. How many websites you are currently hosting.
    4. Your budget.
Start a webhosting company

Final Words:

Reseller web hosting isn’t only the best place to start in the hosting industry, but also a great way to make an additional income. Getting into the hosting industry doesn’t have to be difficult, and it does not have to cost you an arm and a leg. Let us help you get started with our Reseller Hosting services, and you can get started providing web hosting to your clients. Already running a reseller hosting service and looking to grow? Check out our VPS Hosting and Dedicated server hosting services, or contact our sales department today!

The post steps to start a Web-Hosting Business? appeared very first on Let’s Discuss on the web.

Best WordPress Plugins For Marketing

INTERNET MARKETING builds expert utilizing content to tell and develop trust with customers and consumers.

If you wish to promote your products or services and solutions on the net, you need to follow numerous techniques. There are numerous approaches to promote online. From composing and advertising great material to revealing optimize content for the search engines and welcoming followers and supporters.

Below are a few website marketing guidelines:

Internet Marketing recommendations by workwithraykakuda.com
Website marketing Recommendations by workwithraykakuda.com
  • Begin a blog and supply quality content
  • Optimize content for SEO
  • Regular updates on-page content
  • Include a membership form on your own site
  • Invite followers and followers
  • Offer exclusive provides for followers and customers
  • Promote on social media
  • Target email marketing
  • Utilize the video for marketing

Neil Patel and Ritika Puri also have published a detailed guide about internet marketing at QuickSprout blog site. The Beginner’s Guide to internet marketing has actually 14 chapters, you are able to find out all about online marketing.

Top 8 most readily useful WordPress Plugins for Marketing in 2020

In this essay, I am going to share some most useful free and advanced WordPress plugins for entrepreneurs. With these plugins, you can easily optimize content for better Search Engine Optimization, social media marketing, and produce beautiful landing pages for greater conversion.

These types of plugins are no-cost, you don’t need certainly to buy plugins however for enhanced functions and better conversion occasionally you will need advanced plugins, therefore don’t think twice to spend couple of dollars on advanced services and products.

1. JetPack Video

Videos tend to be one of the better how to promote your solution and service or product, YouTube, Vimeo, and several various other websites enable you to upload videos and you can embed them on the website/blog.

93per cent o entrepreneurs make use of video for online marketing, sales, and interaction.

But often, you don’t desire to use a third-party web site. The VideoPress module of Jetpack plug-in enables you to upload video clips from your own computer for hosting on WordPress.com and inserting on your self-hosted Jetpack site.

VideoPress is present to all people regarding Jetpack Premium program ($99/year) (limited by 13Gb) and those from the Jetpack Professional program ($299/year) that offers endless storage space.

2. PrettyLink Pro Connect Cloaking & Redirection

Affiliate marketing online is quite popular plus one of the best ways to earn cash online. As a newbie or experienced marketer or writer, you are able to advertise various other people’s products on the blog site, mail list, and social networking reports to make cash.

just how internet marketing works infographic
How internet affiliate marketing works infographic – Origin: AvoidOnlineMarketingScams

When someone will buy a product through your affiliate website link, you’ll earn an excellent commission. Dozens of free and premium connect cloaking plugins are around for WordPress.

The pretty website link the most popular and best plugins to cloak your affiliate backlinks. Because of the PrettyLink professional plugin, it is possible to hide/cloak your affiliate link.

For instance, you’ll turn a standard affiliate marketer link like example.com/aff?id=22 to yoursite.com/go/target.

Pretty connect professional is more than a mere Affiliate Link Cloaker or Address shortener plug-in for WordPress. This plugin displays all stats of the cloaked backlinks within the WordPress dashboard.

3. All in one Webmaster

When you yourself have a blog or site, it’s essential to discover exactly how individuals are making use of your site, which content is much more popular on your own blog site, and which kind of devices visitors are using to browse your website.

With much better analytics information, you are able to provide better content and it’d be easy for one to display different proposes to various site visitors.

Google Analytics is a free solution to look at website stats. Bing Analytics WD is one of the most useful plugins to look at web site stats in the WordPress dashboard. (Yes, we’re utilizing this great plugin on our weblog).

One of the better popular features of this plug-in is you can link several websites/blog and you can see stats of any site from your own primary WordPress dashboard.

This effective plug-in shows all important information in graphs and charts look at. A free of charge type of this plugin can also be available but for more information deep stats, you should obtain the pro form of this plugin.

4. Free Landing Pages Creator by WishPond Totally free Advertising Tools

WishPond provides various marketing and advertising tools designed to quickly scale your organization without learning how to code.

Free Getting Pages Builder and Advertising Tools by Wishpond

WishPand has four various advertising and marketing tools to cultivate your email list and advertise your products and solutions.

  • Landing Pages
  • Popups and kinds
  • Contests and Promos
  • Marketing Automation

Using the previously discussed four resources, it is simple to increase your business and income.

With the no-cost plugin, you can easily produce stunning landing pages from your own WordPress dashboard and number them anywhere. You are able observe analytics, accumulate e-mails, improve conversion rates, and much more.

Using this no-cost plugin, it is possible to produce an endless number of getting Pages, Popups, and Forms for FREE.

The no-cost plan permits around 200 prospects (form submissions), after which you can make use of among the inexpensive programs beginning at $49/month.

WishPond has actually a 14-day free trial offer on all yearly plans and you can add up to 10000 prospects.

5. PopUp Domination Ideal E-mail Marketing Device

Let’s discuss some important factual statements about marketing with email first.

The common email available price for greetings email is whopping %50, making them %86 far better compared to mail newsletter. (An automated e-mail is a no-brainer.) MarketingSherpa

%51 of most email is exposed in the smart phone. Design for the tiniest screen first and make use of receptive design themes to make sure your e-mails look great on any display dimensions. Litmus

MarketingSherpa

And here’s a great reason to pay for marketing with email resources and solutions.

For each and every $1 spend, $38 is the typical return on email marketing investment.

66% of customers made an acquisition on the web due to email marketing message.

PopUp Domination may be the leading e-mail pc software to grow business with a message record. This effective plugin features numerous advanced features and works together lots of email marketing solutions like MailChimp, AWeber, InfusionSoft, GetResponse, CaimpaignMonitor, and many more.

You can easily put in and make use of this effective device on all types of sites and blog sites. No matter if you use WordPress, Joomla, Blogger, Drupal, SquareSpace, Tumblr, Shopify, PrestaShop or any CMS to handle your website. PopUp Domination is effective on all types of internet sites.

PopUp Domination has lots of breathtaking and very transforming templates, email motifs, types, and PopUps.

Along with its redirect themes, you’ll deliver traffic to sales and affiliate marketer pages to boost your investment returns. Countdown Themes functions allows you to create scarcity for the provides and boost sales.

You are able to build various types of kinds including exit PopUps, OnClick PopUps, PopUp Triggers, Notification PopUps, webpage certain PopUps, Show on object mouse over, Mobile / Desktop only PopUps, an such like.

6. Social Viral Downloader Share or Tweet to install – totally free Plugin

The Social Viral Downloader is a plug-in to operate a vehicle extra traffic towards product sales, provide, or other web page in your web site.

You are able to offer anything exciting ebook, movie, cheatsheet, etc towards visitors. Once installed, this plug-in prompts an individual to share with you an email on their Twitter, Twitter, and GooglePlus account before downloading any file from your own web site.

It’s also possible to add an information along side a title the Twitter post which is shared when a viewer desires to install the file from your website.

Personal Viral Downloader is a “Share to Download” plugin and works for Facebook, and Twitter.

7. MailChimp Subscription Plus Complimentary Plugin

This might be a free of charge MailChimp plug-in for WordPress that can help you to definitely boost the matter of the latest clients for the blog site or web site making use of MailChimp and some professional registration kind.

The theory for this plug-in came up because I created a unique mailing list for my site. Using the RSS-driven campaign feature from MailChimp, it’s possible to send brand-new websites to my website’s subscribers. Olaf Lederer – Plugin Developer

Olaf Lederer – Plugin Developer

You can include the membership kind to virtually any page or post or sidebar by utilizing a shortcode or simply include all websites.

8. Simple Download Track

This is certainly another no-cost and very useful for managing and tracking your electronic file (ebooks, zip files, etc) download matters.

It offers the full control to password protect your downloadable data and documents also (visitors will need a code before downloading the file when you use this program).

With a shortcode, it is possible to show how many downloads towards site visitors and.

Final Words

That’s all for this a number of “Best WordPress Plugins For Marketing”. We now have covered 8 no-cost and advanced plugins to easily market your products or services and services.
You can handle your affiliate’s backlinks, monitor packages, develop a message number, and boost product sales with very optimized mail themes.

We offer some Superbe Hosting services such as our Shared Hosting and VPS Hosting services that work wonders with WordPress based websites. Superpower your WordPress blog or company site today with The Core Hosting!

If you use some other plugin, tell various other visitors of your weblog, and share your important ideas in the commentary below.

3 Reasons to switch from MySQL to MariaDB

In the wonderful world of database management computer software, MySQL remains master. However, there are certain options worth considering – including MariaDB. Like any software, MariaDB includes numerous benefits and drawbacks, therefore it’s important to add some research prior to making a switch.

In the end, your selected database administration software will likely have a big impact on how you function. a better understanding of what each system is offering will make sure you’re having the greatest solution for your site’s particular needs.

On this page, we’ll precisely familiarize you with MariaDB. We’ll then explore some of the reasons you could need to utilize it over MySQL. Let’s get going!

An Introduction to MariaDB

If you’re a practiced webmaster, it’s most likely that you’ll have encountered MySQL eventually inside a career. At first, circulated in 1995, MySQL was made to give you efficient and reliable data management options to both house and professional users:

The working platform has actually since gone onto achieve world-wide popularity, with several huge organizations making MySQL their database administration pc software of choice. However, this began to change after an innovative new company purchased the rights toward MySQL technology.

Numerous consumers had been unhappy aided by the method the brand new owners handled the application. As a result, the first designers of MySQL ‘forked’ it in ’09, creating a version that’s generally MariaDB:

This development caused many companies to ‘switch sides’, and move over to MariaDB instead. Included in this was WordPress, the world’s top information Management System (CMS). Bing, Wikipedia, and Craigslist are prominent MariaDB people, and there are lots of others.

The simple fact MariaDB is a hand of original MySQL software implies that there are many similarities involving the two. Give consideration to their database construction, including. It’s nearly totally exactly the same, which enables you to change from MySQL to MariaDB effortlessly (and never have to alter the job).

The connection between both of these systems does mean that:

The MariaDB designers also do a monthly merge of these software’s and MySQL’s signal. All of this means MariaDB features as an all-natural alternative to MySQL , if you’re looking for an alternate.

3 Reasons to switch from MySQL to MariaDB

Since the two systems are comparable, you’d be forgiven for thinking there’s no part of switching over from MySQL to MariaDB. However, the MariaDB data administration pc software comes with some additional capabilities and is worth at least checking out. Here are three quite prominent reasons why you should make a switch.

1. MariaDB Offers Tighter Protection Actions

Protection is a major issue for a website owner. Hacking efforts take the rise yearly, and a breach may have serious consequences. As a result, it’s crucial that you ensure that your database administration application is precisely guaranteed.

The most up-to-date MySQL up-date performed to add some new security-focused functions. However, MariaDB comes with a much broader variety of extra safety measures, including:

The other unique selling point of MariaDB is its Role-Based Access Control (RBAC). This has already been implemented into the system from version 10.0.5 onward, and eases the management of access rights. To date, MySQL is unsuccessful at implementing similar features, making it somewhat much more susceptible.

2. Performance Is Quicker and much more Efficient

Your site’s overall performance is extremely essential – especially when it comes to running speeds. For example, many users expect a webpage to load in less than two moments. Failing continually to strike that level could cause a higher ‘bounce rate’ (how many individuals who leave your website straight away), and numerous additional dilemmas.

Although both MySQL and MariaDB are efficient, the latter has was able to use the lead-in performance. This can be due to some extent to its huge selection of alternate database engines. Put simply, when optimizing questions, MariaDB considers engine-independent table data.

The MariaDB site offers a variety of helpful sources about how to optimize performance more, also performance approaches for various questions. This includes system variables, buffers, caches, threads, database-type overall performance improvements, and encryption technology. The lay person, this all ensures that MariaDB is a lot less likely to want to have an adverse impact on your site’s web page speeds (and will need a positive impact).

3. You’ll Obtain Access To Better User Help

Whether you’re a newbie or a professional individual, it’s likely there’ll come a time when you need further help. People who hold a license for proprietary MySQL items get access to Oracle Premier Support, which offers around-the-clock help.

The solution provided by MariaDB is similar but is sold with the additional vow of 30-minute optimum effect time. This, plus a notification service, spots, and bug fixes, leave the platform’s user assistance slightly ahead of MySQL’s.

Besides, the MariaDB application is used by some of the world’s biggest organizations – including Nokia, Intel, and Samsung. All these consumers (and more) have gone glowing testimonials, which can be another sign that you’ll be in capable hands.

Although MySQL and MariaDB tend to be both effective database administration solutions, there’s no denying your latter leads the way in many respects. This is certainly evidenced because of the numerous huge companies that have made the switch – including Bing and WordPress.

Let’s recap three of these potential benefits that come with using MariaDB:

Are you experiencing any more questions regarding MariaDB? Inform us of the responses part of the following!

What is dedicated server hosting (And When Do You Need One?)

Much like numerous other new webpage proprietors, you most likely settled on shared hosting when you published your site. All things considered, it’s the least expensive alternative, and the spending plan is significant. Be that as it may, as your site develops, it’s imperative to realize when to move up to something increasingly powerful. There are a lot of choices, and you may have considered, What is a dedicated server – and for what reason do I need one?

The appropriate response lies in the purposes behind needing to update in any case. For instance, you might be seeing a large increase in traffic or foreseeing large development soon. Committed servers are perfect for this, alongside their solid improved security highlights and potential positive effect on page stacking times.

In this guide, we’ll explain what dedicated servers are, then compare this type of hosting to other common types. Then we’ll offer some advice on how to decide whether or not dedicated hosting is right for you. Let’s get started!

What is dedicated hosting (and how does it compare to other types)?

Dedicated hosting essentially means that your website has its own server all to itself. It offers immense power and flexibility but usually comes at a premium. As such, it’s important to do your research before looking at going this route of hosting.

For example, most websites start out with a shared hosting plan but soon grow to exceed that shared plan’s limits. Your options here could include an upgrade to a virtual private server (VPS) or a dedicated server. It’s up to you to weigh up the different options.

As you may be aware, shared hosting stores your site on a server with potentially hundreds of others. For personal blogs or very small businesses, this option is sufficient. However, it’s not the best option for performance, and you also lose out on flexibility because you can’t configure things yourself (since you have to share with others).

On the other hand, a VPS gives your site its own space, separate from other sites, while still sharing a server. Since your site is blocked off from other users, its performance will likely be more consistent. You also get a little more flexibility when it comes to how your server is configured.

These types of plans can offer you the speed you need at a lower cost than dedicated hosting, and represent a good middle ground for those looking to upgrade.

However, dedicated hosting is the plan of choice if you need the most power for your money. However, as you’d expect, the downside is cost, and some run up to three-figures per month. Fortunately, by the time your website needs one to handle its traffic, it may very well be worth it.

Why would you need a dedicated server (4 key reasons)?

As we mentioned, dedicated hosting is one of the most powerful server plans available, along with cloud hosting. However, you may be asking whether you need it. Let’s review four reasons you should consider opening your wallet!

1. Your website is growing and needs to be able to handle an increase in traffic

If you anticipate that your website is going to grow quickly, it might be a good idea to opt for a dedicated server now. For example, if your site is still using shared hosting when your traffic spikes, its performance could drop significantly. This can be a slippery slope of higher bounce rates and loss of revenue. It’s important to give yourself time to migrate your site and ‘settle’ its performance before any potential problems arise.

According to FXBlog, your site should be prepared to handle spikes of up to 30 times your normal daily traffic, to account for promotions and special events. If you’re not prepared, your site could crash or otherwise lead to negative user experience (UX).

2. Security is a concern for your website

Security is important for every website, but especially for those handling sensitive information. This could include confidential emails, credit card numbers, or sensitive customer information. It’s crucial to protect this information and your website from viruses, hacks, and other risks.

With a dedicated server, you’re completely in charge of your site’s security. This means you can optimize the features you need for the specific requirements of your website and stored files. Of course, you’re also responsible for how these features are implemented, but this is one of the benefits of flexibility.

However, some hosts offer fully-managed and semi-managed maintenance plans. In a nutshell, you can often specify what both you and your host will be responsible for, which means you can trust an expert with mission-critical functionality while handling all other concerns directly.

3. You’d like your page loading times to be optimal

Your page loading times can have a significant impact on practically all aspects of your website. Slow pages can lead to low engagement metrics and high bounce rates. A dedicated server can help you to optimize this aspect of your website as much as possible.

On a shared server, you won’t have any insight into when the server’s resources are being used elsewhere, which could make your site run slowly. Opting for a dedicated server will guarantee you have the bandwidth you need to enhance your page loading times.

4. Having control over your server is important to you

The final reason you may want to choose a dedicated server over other options is a simple one: control. We’ve alluded to this in previous sections, but dedicated hosting gives you complete responsibility over how you choose to use your server.

For example, you’re even free to choose the server software you prefer. If you favor the resource control of NGINX over Apache, you have the power to do so. Plus, you can adjust hardware specifications and install your own operating system (OS). Because of this, dedicated hosting may be an enticing option for advanced web developers, and those with unique and specific requirements.

When should you opt for a dedicated server?

Now we’ve gone over some of the benefits of dedicated hosting, let’s talk briefly about how to know if it’s right for you. After all, a VPS provides many of the same features, but at a cheaper price.

First, consider whether your site is receiving more traffic. If the numbers are much higher than previously, it may be time to upgrade from your current plan. Your choice will either be VPS, cloud hosting, or dedicated hosting.

All three offer the potential for large bandwidths and fast page loading times. However, dedicated hosting has an edge over a VPS when it comes to security, if only because you have absolute control over how the server runs and operates.

Ultimately, as with many other WordPress considerations, your decision will depend on the specific needs of your website. Certainly, if budget is no concern, you can’t go wrong with a dedicated server. However, much like choosing your very first hosting plan, cost will become a primary concern when making your decision.

Conclusion on what is a dedicated server

If your website is struggling to keep up with an increase in traffic, it may be time to migrate your website to a dedicated server. This is essentially a server that only hosts your site, and not only can it improve your site’s performance, but also enhance your page loading times and help you optimize security.

To quickly recap, here are some reasons why you may need a dedicated server:

  1. Your website is growing and needs to be able to handle an increase in traffic.
  2. Security is a concern for your website.
  3. You’d like your page loading times to be as optimal as possible.
  4. You want to have control over every aspect of your server.

Which Hosting Plan Should I Choose?

Are you looking for a hosting plan? Confused which one to choose? Shared Hosting, VPS Hosting or Dedicated Hosting? In this article, we hope we help in making the best decision possible for you.

Shared Hosting Plans

These are our most affordable and economical web hosting plans. Shared web hosting means multiple users share one physical server and it’s resources. It is recommended for customers that don’t have a large amount of incoming traffic. Almost every tool and modules required for common web applications are pre-installed here.

Advantages of The Core Hosting Shared Hosting

  • Very economical. Our most affordable plan
  • Our shared hosting is Fully-Managed, This way you do not have to worry about anything server related
  • Easy to use cPanel based control panel.
  • 400+ 1-click install scripts available
  • Our servers run on Raid-10 hardware raids on SSD Drives
  • Our servers are optimized to run your site at its optimal performance, and we never overload our servers, so that way there are resources available.
  • Easily scale your website to VPS or Dedicated Servers with our no downtime migration process.

Disadvantages of Shared Hosting

  • You will not be able to install any modules or programs that require server-side changes
  • Since it’s a shared environment, issues with other sites sometimes will affect your site.
  • It is not suitable for resource-intensive applications.
  • You are not allowed to make any customization that will require server-side changes.

VPS Hosting Plans

A VPS ( Virtual Private Server ) is a shared server platform that mimics all features and functions of a dedicated server. A VPS will have its own operating system and customers will get access with full root privileges. This means you can install anything upon it and can customize the VPS as desired.

Advantages of InterServer VPS Hosting

  • You will get access to the server with full root privileges.
  • You can choose your OS from the list of supported OS’s
  • You can install any applications and can make any server-side changes.
  • You can choose a stand-alone server or choose any supported control panels.
  • You can upgrade or downgrade the resources anytime.

Disadvantages of VPS Hosting

  • You will need a bit of technical knowledge to effectively manage the backend of a VPS server.
  • VPS is a shared server platform that mimics all features and functions of a dedicated server. Instead, physical resources are being shared amongst customers. In rare situations, other server hosted on your same node may affect your VPS’s performance. ( depends on the virtualization technique. )

Dedicated Hosting Plans

It’s an actual physical server with real hardware and resources. Techs at our Datacenter will be doing the server provisioning and upgrades. If you want to know more about our datacenters and network, the details are available in the following links.

Advantages of InterServer Dedicated Hosting

  • Suitable for high resource-intensive applications.
  • Recommended if you are are getting high incoming traffic.
  • You can choose to install any OS’s.
  • Extreme reliability and performance.

Disadvantages of Dedicated Hosting

  • Expensive when compared to our VPS and Shared plans.

I hope now you have an idea about our different hosting plans. If you are still confused about which plan to choose, please contact our sales team and we will help you.