NomadicGamersEh?

A friend of mine from high school recently asked what I thought about her changing her gaming/blog brand and that conversation progressed to me helping her make the switch. She chose a new domain name, after some great back and forth with me tossing ideas at her. I’ll list those ideas at the bottom of this post for anyone that is looking to pick up more domains or is also looking for a gaming brand they can use.

Anyways, she thankfully already had a WordPress powered website, so the transition was going to be very easy for me, as migrating sites is a big part of my job. After over a week of waiting for her host to help with various things, she decided to move her site to a new budget web host. I migrated the site, did some optimization, and forwarded the traffic from the old site to the new site.

Old Site Pingdom Test Results
Score: 85
Load Time: 2.74s
Page Size: 1.8MB
Test Location: San Jose
Link

New Site Pingdom Test Results
Score: 86
Load Time: 2.49s
Page Size: 1.3MB
Test Location: San Jose
Link

After Basic Optimization Pingdom Test Results
Score: 88
Load Time: 1.86s
Page Size: 1.3MB
Test Location: San Jose
Link

Just changing hosts saved an average of a quarter second per page load for her visitors, but after I did some no-cost optimizations, I was able to get the site to load almost a full second faster than it used to on the old host. Sometimes, it would load as quick as 729ms, but that isn’t consistent. The numbers above are pretty average.

Had she the budget to spend on the site, I could potentially have gotten the average to under 1.5 seconds, and if she was willing to switch to a more performance-focused theme, maybe under 1 second in load time on average, but I am pretty happy with what I was able to do without spending any additional money.

I think she is happy with the site as well. It was really nice to get a message from her one evening saying, “jebus the site is fast, lol.”

I really enjoy working on helping people optimize their sites. If your WordPress powered website loads in over 2.5 seconds according to Pingdom, it might be time to contact PressTitan. We can help you do better!

Update: I totally forgot to add the URLs that I thought up for her new brand. These were all available when I mentioned them to Steph.

installepic.com
oncrit.com
goodcrit.com
northgamer(s).com
ehgamer.com
keenergamers.com
looniegamers.com
klickgamer(s).com
looniecommunity.com
looniebound.com
looniesim.com
critloonie.com
critcanadian.com
welovetocrit.com
critrite.com
critright.com
thundercrit.com
critmaven.com
criteh.com
ehbound.com
ehgamerfamily.com
gehmes.com
ehcrit.com
ehquest.com
looniequest.com

5 comments

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  1. Shai (aka Sakaane)

    I tested my site this morning on Pingdomβ€”4.5s! Yikes!! Should probably look you up for some help there! πŸ™‚

    • David Peralty

      Advice is free. πŸ˜‰ For you, I’d start with going into your Jetpack settings and turn on their image speed help (it is called Photon) as that will likely reduce how heavy your homepage is. It is currently clocking in at 5.2MB with most of that being images.

      It looks like you are using A Small Orange as your web host. I used to use them… then they got bought by EIG – https://www.reviewhell.com/blog/endurance-international-group-eig-hosting/

      If you are spending between $5 and $10/m for hosting, there are better budget hosts out there that can provide you with more speed and would do the work of migrating your site. I would look at something like https://www.hostinger.com/web-hosting – Their biggest or second biggest plan on that page would do your site really well. Work with your host (even if you are staying where you are) to setup a free Cloudflare account. It’ll act as a CDN and speed up your site slightly as well.

      Finally, install something like Breeze (a caching plugin) and set it to compress your CSS and HTML and combine your CSS. That’ll help speed up your site as well.

      Even just with turning on Photon, adding and configuring Breeze, and adding in Cloudflare, you could easily save 1 – 2 seconds of load time per page on your site. That’ll increase how many people stick around, how often they are willing to load a second or even third page, and how well you’ll do in search rankings.

      As for hosting… The big issue is that budget web hosting has actually gone down in quality and not up over the past seven years or so, and that makes it hard to find a good budget host to recommend to people. Working partly in hosting myself, it takes a fair bit of work and technology to do it well. Expectations are higher and higher. I was hoping to be able to recommend Namecheap as a good web host, but my experiences so far for NomadicGamersEh.com hasn’t been great. If your budget is in the $15 – $20/m range, then lots of great Managed WordPress options open up for you and your site could probably easily get to the point where it is loading in under 2 seconds on average (maybe closer to 1.5s).

  2. Shai (aka Sakaane)

    Wow, thanks for the detailed reply!

    I tried Photon a while ago but it doesn’t play nice with my gallery plugin so unfortunately that’s a no-go. My images are served back through the plugin with their ratios skewed or dimensions changed which is not acceptable. I imagine the plugin is the issue but it’s the only one I’ve ever found that does exactly what I want for image display so until I can find a viable alternative that will work with Photon I’m stuck. I don’t have the money available to invest in paid support on the plugin.

    Yes, ASO… I know all about the horror that is EIG. 😦 ASO has been on my shitlist for a while and asking them for anything is a major undertaking because their service is garbage since the acquisition. My plan works out to $6.89USD/month which is basically all I can afford given the exchange on the Canadian dollar. I prepay three years at a time so I won’t be in a position to move until my next renewal date. ASO is my domain registrar too and I prefer to keep all the bills in one place so it’ll all have to move at once. My site is tiny (will shrink to about 350MB in the new year, as I’ll be shedding one domain, two WordPress installs, one EVE killboard, and all the associated databases). I’ve become interested in switching to SSL (just not in getting that set up with ASO) and I need domain privacy too as I’ve been (and continue to be) a victim of online harassment, so the new host will have to be ace at both of those.

    I’ll check out Breeze and see how things improve. Thanks!

    • David Peralty

      I totally understand on the gallery plugin issue. It is probably because of how Photon does the resizing by using a query string. Which gallery plugin are you using and do you have an example post?

      Yeah, $7USD a month can be difficult… I’m in Canada too, so I feel the pain of the currency conversion. I also understand how nice it is to have everything in one spot (domain and hosting). I’ll look around more to see what’s decent in that area…

      Glad that one of my tips might help though. πŸ™‚ Don’t forget to turn on CSS and HTML compression and merging CSS files together on Breeze!

      • Shai (aka Sakaane)

        The plugin is called “Huge IT Image Gallery”. I use it for the ability to put long text descriptions in the lightbox next to my images. See here: http://incyanity.net/gallery/ With Photon turned on, some (but not all) of the thumbnails will be skewed and some (but not all) of the large images in the lightboxes will also be skewed. 😦 The gallery plugin is a bit clunky (and the lightbox doesn’t look as slick as I’d like) but I have searched and searched for something that does the same job without success.

        Your earlier suggestion to look at hostinger.com to move to wasn’t bad. I like the fact their business plan includes a free SSL cert…even if I’m not running a business (but hey, I’ve started being asked to do crochet commissions so you never know what I might do with Incyanity in the future!). Mostly I just don’t really want to switch hosts in the middle of my billing cycle, and I want to deal with shedding the EVE website first. ASO owes me money too which I’m sure will be tons of fun to get back from them…

        I did install Breeze and enabled all the stuff you suggested. Pingdom reports Incyanity at 4.24s now so not much of a change that the general audience would notice. Images definitely seem like the big hurdle. I could look at paring down the number of slider images I suppose. Baby steps, either way!

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