How to optimise your website for a shared hosting environment

Written on 17 October, 2016 by Diana Le
Categories: General Wholesale, Hosting | Tags: online business, web hosting

A shared hosting environment tends to be the best choice for most businesses, as they are cost-effective and usually more than sufficient for their needs.

While the web host providers are required (and make every effort) to ensure their servers are well maintained and kept up to date with the latest security requirements, it is also the responsibility of the business (or their web developer) to ensure their website is optimised and enhanced in order to get the best performance out of the website and hosting combination.

Here are a few basic tips to help ensure your website is optimised to get the best performance out of your hosting environment.

Remove unnecessary plugins installed on your CMS

With the thousands of free plugins available for popular Content Management Systems (CMS) like WordPress, it’s easy to get carried away and become a plugin hoarder.

However, installing large numbers of plugins (or buggy ones) drains a huge amount of the server's resources, as it requires more processing power to work.

If you’re guilty of this, take the time to find and dump any unused or unnecessary plugins. Your website will run more smoothly if it isn’t wasting resources loading plugins you never use anyway.

Analyse your website traffic

It’s important to monitor your website traffic - not only to track the effectiveness of your online marketing but to understand the performance of your website in general.

Keeping an eye on your website traffic can prevent events like a sudden peak in traffic draining the CPU, memory, and storage space you are sharing with external users, which results in slower performance on your hosting environment.

Google Analytics is one of the most popular tools to monitor visitor activity – and it’s free!

Consider performance when choosing a theme, not just aesthetics

When it comes to website themes, we are spoilt for choice and the process of choosing can be quite a daunting experience. There are thousands available and they can make your site look beautiful.

But one thing that is crucial to consider is no matter how well a host environment configures their server, a theme that is too feature-heavy, has poor coding, or uses large file formats will make for bad user experience.

Check the theme’s update history and details before clicking the install button.

Reduce the size of your images

Images by nature are larger than text. They use up much more space than text and take longer to load.

It’s possible to optimise an image and reduce its size and still keep the same quality. When you save your image, JPEG should be your initial format of choice.

Two tools you can use that are quite effective in image compression are Tiny PNG and Kraken Image Optimiser.

While many assume that optimising a website to get the best speed requires an expert, anyone can boost the performance of their website by understanding the basics and following good practice.