Optimize my website load time.
We all want a fast loading site, but how do we achieve it? What can we do to speed up our website load time.
In a previous post I spoke about the steps it takes to load a website. Here they are again as a reminder.
- A request is made when a link is clicked.
- The page and its resources (files) are downloaded.
- The web browser uses the page resources to build the page.
- The page then is rendered (displayed) to the user.
So where do we start? With the only step we have some control over.
To optimize our website load time we need to address STEP.2
The browser can build nothing until it has the necessary files.
The bigger the files, the slower the transfer, the longer the wait.
We need to optimize our site to keep the data and file size down.
Media files such as Images tend to be one of the major culprits for slow load.
Making sure you format and size media correctly, is critically important. (see my posts on that)
(Getting that Header image onscreen as quick as possible is a priority.)
Generally these are static files. They don’t change once added to your site.
So file size matters, but so does distance, even in the superfast digital world.
Website load time usually gets longer, the further the “visitor” is from the files on your hosting server.
Paying for a CDN (Content Delivery Network) may or may not be in your budget.
It works by having copies of site files on multiple servers geographically spaced.
It is one of the most effective solution to make your website load time quicker for “visitors”.
I love Notepad++ and why you need it
Notepad++ is a must have text editor if you run a website.
It can be used as a replacement for the default Notepad in Windows or used side by side.
This magic little tool understands all the coding languages as well as regular doc format text.
It recognizes .css files, php files etc etc and retains their unique logic and layout. Here is a snippet of a css file opened in Notepad++
Using other text editors tends to lose the logic and readability.
Here is a hypothetical use:-
Easily create a Child Theme
Theres really no trick to easily create a child theme. It is just a matter of creating a folder adding a couple of files to it. Once that is done, it just needs to be uploaded to your server.
(For the example below, we’re going to be using the Twenty Seventeen theme. Where ever you see this theme name replace it with the theme name you are using.)
Step 1. (create a child theme folder)
Create a new folder on your pc desktop .
(in a windows environment right-click to bring up the dialogue box, – Create new – Folder)
and give your child theme a name. For example, ‘twentyseventeen-child’.
It is recommended that the name of your child theme directory is appended with ‘-child’. So whatever your current theme name is, then -child, on the end. Make sure that there are no additional spaces in your folder name. English Grammar plays no part in naming conventions here. In the digital world a space has meaning different to correct English grammar.
Here you see the Themes directory of a typical website. It contains five themes the owner has downloaded.
Obviously only one is active at any one time. They live in the wp-content – Themes folder.
See how “their names have no spaces? One has a dash but that is it’s correct name.
Our Child theme will end up in this folder, below its parent theme.
In this example it will be “twentyseventeen-child”.
We will get to that shortly. Let’s finish the create a Child theme process first……..
Preparing for your Website
Preparing for your website is the one sure way to help the build go smoothly. It will help to give you focus and it will align your expectations for the duration of the build.
Preparing for your website is broken up into a few steps.
- Getting a Hosting account. (takes only a few minutes once you settle on a company)
- Installing the WordPress software on that hosting account. (again takes 5-10 minutes)
- Customizing and personalizing your site. (obviously this takes the longest time and is an ongoing process)
- Deciding what to put on your site. (this is the focus of this article – read on)
Build a WordPress website
To build a WordPress website is a very popular thing to do. It’s probably the most user friendly and effective platform on the internet. With that popularity has come the need for experienced users and developers to answer this question of ” what goes into build a wordpress website”.
The basic things needed to build a WordPress website.
First of all you need WordPress loaded on hosting hosting provider.
Every website on the internet exists as a software package running on a server somewhere.
We need a subscription to one of these servers where we can load an instance of WordPress software.
This will be our site.
WordPress has thousands of free Themes to download and install.
All of which can be fine tuned to give a unique appearance for your site.
The WordPress software makes our website live.
Themes – just like a new suit of clothes – defines its appearance.
Not all themes look like the Thumbnail pictures they show in the theme directory, when you first install them.
(some do and its called “sample data”you can enable or disable).
The thumbnail is just there to show what is possible.
This is intentional or every second website on the internet would look the same.
Some people would never change the colors, pictures etc to arrive at their own unique appearance.
Plugins (Free): –