Archive for the ‘Wordpress’ category

Should You Upgrade to SSD Hosting?

December 9th, 2013

Have you ever visited an online store and felt like you were waiting for an eternity for the images to load?

For your own website, it’s crucial that you minimize your initial loading times so that impatient visitors don’t leave your site. While you can increase storage space, bandwidth, and RAM, that sometimes might not be enough. How fast your hard drive can actually access its memory can be the key to increasing your website speed.

What is SSD Hosting?

blog-ssd_YBSSD stands for Solid State Drive, and it’s the “next-generation” alternative to HDDs, or “Hard Disk Drives” for storage. The best way to understand how Solid State Drives work would be compare how it DOESN’T work like a traditional Hard Disk Drive.

Hard Disk Drives store information on rotating disks. When a visitor enters a website, a moving arm with a “read and write head” is used to access the data stored in the disks. The reason why visitors would see a delay when the webpage is loading is because it takes time to move the head to access information.

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Traditional HDDs with “read and write head”

On the other hand, a Solid State Drive has no mechanical moving parts, and instead uses microchips. What this means is that SSDs can read and write data almost instantly, so initial load times of your website will be significantly faster than with HDD storage. Other handy benefits include more reliability and stability of performance because of the sturdier construction.

Is SSD hosting right for you?

SSD hosting is moving towards becoming the new industry standard because of its efficiency, reliability, and speed. However, one factor you may need to consider before making the switch is the price tag. SSD hosting is traditionally more expensive than hosting with other storage methods.

However, if your website is heavy in graphics, content, or database-heavy applications, it would be well worth the investment to switch to SSDs. Imagine one of your potential customers at the checkout of your online store, waiting to see if the transaction went through. The last thing you want is a confused customer that thinks your site is unreliable or difficult to use. It would be valuable to have quick load times to make sure your visitors are relaxed, happy, and willing to stay on your site!

Another factor to consider would be that typically, SSD hosting plans will have a cap on storage space because storage is more costly with SSD hosting. Because of this, consider how much storage space you’ll actually use. If you don’t think you’ll exceed the given cap limit, don’t compromise your speed and performance for storage space that you don’t need.

SSD hosting is becoming more popular but is currently offered only as a premium service by most hosting providers. Right now at Doteasy, we want our clients to be able to experience the high performance of SSD hosting without having to take a blow to their wallets. The future is moving towards SSD hosting, so why not get ahead of the game? We’re offering complete SSD hosting for our shared hosting plans at only $4.95/month for the first year (with renewal rates as low as $10.95/month only). If you have any questions, we’re here to answer them! Drop us a line in the comments or contact our customer support! (https://www.doteasy.com/support/)

Trend Spotlight: Scrolling Websites and Parallax Design

October 28th, 2013

If the Mid-Autumn Blahs (translation: gray skies, rain, and a diminishing justification for ice cream) are getting you down, you might be needing something to perk up for spirits. We know just the thing… a web design revamp! In this article, we’ll take a closer look at one of the growing web design trends of the season: a scrolling website.

What is a Scrolling Website?

A scrolling website is one where visitors can simply scroll down (or across, depending on the design) to reach each section of your site and see new content. Rather than having to load a new page, the motion is continuous, and users will see the images move incrementally.

Take a look at an example of a scrolling website here:

Oakley: Fear and Loathing in Australia

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Many scrolling websites use a parallax scrolling technique. These designs are dynamic because the background image of the website moves slower than the foreground elements. A great example of a parallax design is here:

SOS Global

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PROS:

Guide Your Visitors

A scrolling website can help you take your user through the entire story of your site – you guide their experience and the order of how they view your content.

Unique

At least for now, a scrolling website is not yet the norm. Your site will stand out as cutting edge and on-trend. While it’s not the norm; however, scrolling is becoming a more popular navigation technique. Because scrolling is becoming more common with social media giants such as Facebook and Pinterest, the idea is not too far-fetched for users to grasp.

Visual Impact

A scrolling website is a great way to capture attention, especially if your website is visually driven. The fluid motion of one page seeming to transition to the next can give your users a more relaxed and interesting user experience.

CONS:

A scrolling technique can create a stunning site to impress your clients, associates, and hip friends. But before you jump on the bandwagon, consider if the “pros” outweigh the “cons.”

Effects on SEO

Be aware that many scrolling websites have an entire site on one page. However, this could cause trouble for SEO, for a number of reasons. There are many debates in the cyber world on this topic, but one of the most prevalent concerns is that Google Spiders do not know how to scroll to look at new content. Another issue is that Google may not like big pages with a lot of content, as they can take too long to load. There are many different proposed solutions to the SEO problem, so if you do take the plunge into Scrolling Design territory, make sure you do your research!

Here’s an article with some SEO solutions to parallax design: The Perils of Parallax Design for SEO

Text-Based Websites are Not Ideal

Remember when we said a scrolling website would be perfect for image-based sites? The opposite is true for text-heavy websites. Unless if creative typography is your thing, a text-driven website could be messy, intimidating, and not visually stunning.

Navigation

Imagine this dreaded situation: A potential client of your eCommerce site can’t seem to remember where they saw that item they wanted to buy earlier. They scroll a few pages down, get rust rated, and promptly leave. Ouch.

Because scrolling websites often have an entire website on a single page, rather than having multiple pages, it could be difficult for users to bookmark exactly what they want. One solution to this problem would be to include a menu and pagination, while still implementing the scrolling technique.

Wrong Clientele

Sometimes, visitors don’t like change. All of a sudden, they don’t know how to navigate your site, they can’t find the page they were expecting to see, etc. So before you make the leap to a scrolling design, consider what kind of clientele your website attracts. Will they be open to change? Will they appreciate this modern look? Will they stick around to adapt to the new navigation technique? These are important questions to consider.

Conclusion:

So is a scrolling design right for you? It looks great, can create a compelling user experience, and can give your site a clean and modern look. However, be sure to pay attention to the individual needs of your website before making the switch.

If you’re willing to tackle a scrolling design, our hosting includes an instant script install for WordPress, which has many themes to try. If you’re not exactly the most tech-savvy, we’ve got some tech-savvy people at Doteasy to help you implement this design with a website design package only at US$495. Give us a shout if you need help!

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WordPress 3.6.1: Maintenance and Security Release

September 11th, 2013

WordPress has recently released its latest update: WordPress 3.6.1 version. This is a security release for all previous versions. According to WordPress.org, the security fixes include:

  • Block unsafe PHP unserialization that could occur in limited situations and setups, which can lead to remote code execution.
  • Prevent a user with an Author role, using a specially crafted request, from being able to create a post “written by” another user.
  • Fix insufficient input validation that could result in redirecting or leading a user to another website.

To update, log in to your WordPress dashboard and the update button is listed on top of the browser. To learn more about the update, please read this blog post from WordPress.org

Latest version of WordPress 3.5.1 is now available

January 30th, 2013

WordPress has just released its latest update, version 3.5.1. This update is mainly for maintenance and security purposes. Check out this blog post from official WordPress web page which lists the issues that this update addresses.

It is extremely important for you to keep your WordPress website updated to avoid security holes. To update, you can login to your WordPress dashboard and click the “Please update now” on top of the admin panel. Or, contact us by submitting a support ticket or live chat with us if you can’t locate the update button.

10 ways to speed up WordPress load times

January 24th, 2013

The reason why you choose WordPress to build your website is because it is easy to use and you do not need any HTML background knowledge to create your website. So, when your website is done and completed, you work very hard to create more posts and content everyday. Your website traffic picks up and it starts to grow. To enhance your readers browsing experiences, you start using more WordPress plugins so that your website can have a few extra features (i.e. Social Media Share button, different language translators, etc). However, you start to realize that the more plugins and posts you make, the longer load time your website experiences. What should you do now?

Nobody likes slow websites. Nobody likes to wait around for websites to load every minute. Your (potential) readers will leave your website when it does not load for 10 seconds which means it is very important to optimize the load time of your WordPress website. Therefore, we have prepared a list with 10 easy tips to speed up your website.

1. Caching Plugin

Caching plugin helps your website improve its load speed because the plugin caches every aspect of your website. As a result, this will significantly reduce the download time. Among the different caching plugins available online, we recommend W3 Total Cache because it is very simple to use (and it’s FREE)!

2. Optimizing Image

Image file sizes are much larger than text files. If your website is image-oriented, it will take a much longer time to load your website. There is a free plugin called WP-Smushlt which can automatically help you reduce the file sizes of your website but does not reduce the quality of the image. Definitely check this out!

3. Another Image-related plugin: LazyLoad

This plugin will not only speed up your website load time but will also help your website lower the bandwidth by loading less data for your viewers who do not scroll down your website. For example, if your website is vertically long and requires readers to scroll down in order to view your entire page, with LazyLoad, the images on the lower side on your website will NOT load until your readers scroll down.

4. Optimizing databases

There are three plugins that we would like to recommend for optimizing your WordPress databases. The first one is WP-Optimize. This plugin, as the name suggests, optimizes your database by reducing the overhead of spams, drafts, tables, etc. Second, you can also consider installing WP-DBManger to help you schedule dates for database optimization.

Last, Revision Control is another great tool that can help you optimize your database. This plugin enables you to set the numbers of revisions you make for each post. WordPress, by default, stores all of your drafts indefinitely. By installing this powerful plugin, your database will be very lightweight compared to other websites without this plugin.

5. Removing unused plugins

The title says it all. If there are plugins that you do not use, simply delete them. Give it a try! Your site will load faster for sure!

6. Optimizing your home page

Your home page is the most important part that requires a quick load speed among all of your other pages because this is where your readers normally enter first. Here are a few tips to optimize your home page

  • - Show excerpts of your posts.
  • - Set fewer number of posts displayed on your home page (we recommend 5 posts)
  • - Set the Social Media Share plugins to only display on the actual post page instead of the home page.

Remember the key: less is MORE!!

7. Enabling hotlink protection

Hotlinking happens when external websites direct a link to the images on your websites making your server load increase. In cPanel, there is a function called “HotLink Protection”. Once you enable the protection, you can eliminate this form of “bandwidth theft”.

8. cPanel “Optimize Website” Feature

Another great feature of cPanel! There is a feature under “Software/Services” in cPanel which is called “Optimize Website”. By enabling this feature, cPanel tweaks the way Apache will handle requests and will compress content before sending it to the visitor’s browsers.

9. Making use of Google PageSpeed Insights

PageSpeed Insights, developed by Google, is a tool that analyzes the content of a web page and provides suggestions to make that page load faster. Check out their official page for full details.

10. Good web hosting service company

A good web host can provide not only stable uptime and connection but also professional solutions and support when needed. At Doteasy, our in-house Customer Support agents are resourceful web technicians and experts. We can provide speedy solutions for WordPress and other website builder programs. It’s our goal to keep our customers up-to-date with the latest web hosting trends through our blog, our Scripts Library, and our how-to video tutorials on the YouTube channel.

Lack of time to complete all these tips?

It takes a great amount of time to secure a website and maintain a quick load time. Therefore, we strongly recommend our customers to perform all of the above tips on your own. But, we understand that many of you do not have the time to do these tasks on your website. In this case, we can suggest to you our Managed Hosting plan which is an ideal solution for customers who need some extra help in maintaining their websites. Our Managed Hosting plan includes automated website backup as well as import, export, and optimization of your MySQL databases. To learn more, check out our Managed Hosting service feature page.