Optimize MyListing Websites for Outstanding Performance
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The Optimize MyListing Websites for Outstanding Performance guide will show you practices we adhere to so you can replicate them. We recommend referencing this guide periodically, as things rapidly change in this space.
Content Delivery Network (CDN)
CDNs minimize the distance between website visitors and a website’s server, storing a cached version of a website’s content in multiple geographical locations. Each location contains a number of caching servers responsible for delivering content to visitors within its proximity, providing enhanced end-to-end reachability.
CDNs also provide additional levels of security, via DDoS Protection, Web Application Firewalls (WAF), SSL, etc.
Even if you don’t use the full capabilities of a CDN, consider using a CDN to host DNS services, rather than the domain or website hosting vendor. This may not only speed up DNS resolution, but it makes it easier to migrate websites when/if needed.
Check out our Cloudflare CDN for MyListing Websites guide.
WordPress Website Hosting
Our preferred vendor for hosting WordPress websites is Kinsta, due to it’s simplified management dashboard, high-performing technology stack, and a high level of support.
Kinsta also takes the complexity out of caching, handling it all at the server level. No complex caching plugins required.
There’s an ongoing debate as to whether the number of plugins slows down a website. The simple answer is that it’s not the number of plugins, but rather the quality of plugins that are installed.
We recommend that all website managers do their due diligence before installing plugins. Is there a significant amount of people currently using the plugin? Is the vendor releasing updates at a reasonable interval? Is the vendor responsive in support forums?
After you’ve decided to implement a plugin, it is not a set it and forget it situation. Website managers should always keep an eye on what’s installed, how the site is performing, what other solutions are available, etc.
Recommended Optimization Stack (Shared Hosting)
While we don’t recommend shared hosting for MyListing websites, we do understand that budgets can vary. This is the plugin stack we recommend when budgets are tight, as these solutions have no cost.
Some of the plugins do overlap in functionality, depending on which features you enable for each. It will be up to you, to test the combo that works best for you, as all environments are different.
Recommended Optimization Stack (Kinsta Hosting)
This stack simply replaces Autoptimize, WP-Optimize. and WP Super Cache with WP Rocket.
When uploading images to your website, upload images with dimensions that are appropriate for the various theme elements. In other words, if a theme element wants to re-size an image to 500 x 500 px, upload an image that is 500 x 500 px.
Before uploading images, we recommend implementing a plugin that will automatically provide lossy compression of images. However, if you’ve already uploaded images, ShortPixel will allow you to bulk-optimize images on the fly.
Check out our MyListing Image Optimization guide, which covers how to set up ShortPixel.
This needs to be an ongoing commitment from the website owner. There are so many factors that can impact performance and it’s important to always be testing.
We recommend establishing a performance baseline at the end of every month, that gets revisited on a monthly basis. If performance drops off, we need to figure out where it’s dropping off before we can find out the why.
When it comes to fine-tuning and remediation, there would be too much information to list here and we would still not cover it all. However, we can certainly be a resource for you in this area.
We recommend signing up for a Free account, which allows for changing the testing parameters that we cover below.
- Sign into GTmetrix
- Enter the website address (“Enter URL to analyze’) to be tested (Note: If SSL is implemented, be sure to use the https:// version of the URL)
- Click Analysis Options
- Choose the server location (“Test URL in”) that is closest to the website’s intended audience
- Given the emphasis on mobile devices, it’s best to change the connection speed from “Unthrottled Connection” to LTE Mobile to reflect the speeds that mobile users will experience. (Note: If you’re in a country or region where you know mobile speeds are slow, it may be better to choose a speed such as 3G.)
- Click Analyze
- After the first analysis completes, run the analysis 2 more times, in order for caching to be reflected in the results. (Note: Consider running the tests up to 5 times and taking an average from tests 3-5.)
The real beauty of GTmetrix lies in the Waterfall tab. Here is a guide from the folks at GTmetrix, to get you started.
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