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Website Hosting Agency: Website Performance, & Issue Resolution

Web Hosting Agency: Fix Performance; Track & Resolve Issues

Here Are Tips & Plugins That Improve Websites

You might start your search with a website performance test by GT Metrix at

Here is a post on WordPress administration. It lists some settings, themes, plugins, and other baseline installation requirements for speed, stability, security, and usefulness.

Note that my personal website,, is hosted at and that this blog post refers to that site and other sites we own or manage with the open-source content management system (CMS) software from

Many of these tips, such as the plugins, are specific to WordPress.

Website Speed Testing Tools

Here are a few website speed measuring tools:

WEB HOSTING: Stable, Fast, and Secure

I use three hosting platforms right now,, Pantheon, and Amazon Web Services (AWS).

I’m also a fan of Drupal, another open-source, web content management system (CMS). All our Drupal sites are now at Pantheon.

We run all sites in the latest, stable versions of PHP 7.x.

After making a change to a website, we reset file permissions and flush the website cache.

AKISMET: Blog Post Comment Spam Prevention

Akismet is a plugin from the company behind WordPress (Automattic) that screens each comment on a blog post. It is spam detection for a WordPress website and works well.

AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)

The AMP plugin we use is developed by Automattic, the company behind WordPress.

Google reCAPTCHA 2: Form Submission Spam Prevention

Captcha and Google’s new reCaptcha 2 force validation when a web visitor attempts to submit a form. The latest versions have a checkbox that says “I’m not a robot” but can also have no visible validation box. Older versions had simple math challenge questions or showed an image with text that the user had to enter into a validation field.

JETPACK: Multi-Tool Plugin from WordPress

Jetpack is a plugin from the company behind WordPress (Automattic) that provides lots of functionality.

Display Speed & Faster Page Loading with EWWW Image Optimizer Cloud or TinyPNG for Image Size Reduction

I am using one of three plugins for image optimization: JetPack (above), EWWW Image Optimizer Cloud or the one from TinyPNG that uses lossy compression to reduce the file size of JPEG and PNG images, thereby reducing web page load time and bandwidth requirements for image transfer from your website’s server to the web browser of your website visitor.

Mailchimp: Email Service with Great Functionality

We love Mailchimp as our go-to email service provider (ESP). We send newsletters that are generated using the content of blog posts. We can also use MailChimp and their transactional email service, Mandrill, to send transactional or triggered emails. I am also using TinyLetter from Mailchimp.

SMTP Plugin: Lets Your Website Send Emails Reliably

To send informational and password reset emails directly from the website, we use a transactional email service, such as Mailchimp’s Mandrill offering, along with an SMTP gateway plugin.

Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Google Tag Manager

Google Analytics is the default website analytics tool for webmasters. There are open-source alternatives, such as Piwik. Google Search Console validates your site with Google and performs some checks.

Google Search Console, a part of Google Webmaster Tools, validates your site with Google and performs some checks. You register how you want your site indexed by Google’s search engine. For example, does the domain name of your site show http://or https:// (https:// secure sites now rank higher in search results). Does the site resolve to (non-www) or (www)? What is the target country for visitors to your site? Google Search Console also lets you submit a site map of the content you want Google to index.

Google Tag Manager: We use this on some sites.

Forms: Gravity Forms, Contact Form 7, and WuFoo

We use all these form providers Gravity Forms, (not free) and WuFoo. There are also specialized form providers, for tasks such as a poll, survey, or multi-page surveys, like Survey Monkey or Typeform

Settings to Double-Check

Settings->General->Site Address (URL) = make sure this resolves to the URL you want visitors to visit, such as, note the secure Certificate for https

Settings->Reading = uncheck the box, “Discourage search engines from indexing this site”

Settings->Permalinks = best set to “Post name”

htaccess file

Utility Plugin: Search & Replace

Search & Replace plugin: I was in chat with a support guy from WPEngine, who helped me solve an issue where links were created that were not https or were Using the "search and replace" capability, I was able to easily change all the URLs in the WordPress install to Plus, it had a preview feature that let me see the selection results without making the modification, so I was comfortable to proceed with the database changes. Here is a second option that I have not used but had good reviews, Better Search & Replace.

Display Speed: Above the Fold

There are many tricks to speed page loading for a visitor to your website, one is to load only what is visible to that user, the content “above the fold.” Above the fold refers to newspapers (the paper ones) and how they come folded, so only the masthead and top stories are visible. We have used a plugin named Above The Fold Optimization.

Web Accessibility

wA11y -The Web Accessibility Toolbox plugin removes barriers that prevent interaction with, or access to, websites by people with disabilities. The data show 1 in 5 people have a disability, so you may be excluding 20% of your potential web visitors.


To route email to, we use Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) or an offering from Amazon Web Services (AWS). This is not a web hosting issue, but it comes up when you get a new domain name.

DNS (Domain Name Service)

We’ve moved to Amazon Web Services (AWS) for DNS hosting. DNS is the service that points domain names to services like a web site (like or an email address (like

If you have a question or want web hosting simplified, call me, Jim Caruso, at 404.788.0188