Tenko Nikolov, the CEO of SiteGround joins me on the Joomla Beat Podcast to talk all about Joomla site performance. Tenko has a passion for optimising Joomla websites and SiteGround's server environments really shine when it comes to outstanding server environments to get the most out of your Joomla website.
He shares with us a few great tips in regards to optimising your website to help improve the user experience, search engine optimisation and also server performance.
Tenko also shares a few secrets on the SiteGround servers that make optimising your Joomla websites really easy.
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Interview with Tenko - CEO of SiteGround @tnikolov
Thank you to Tenko and SiteGround for sponsoring JoomlaDay Sydney.
Tenko explains about how SiteGround recently opened up to the Australian market with .au domains and billing in $AUD. This is a major thing for SiteGround this year, with the multicurrency launch in such a big market as Australia.
The SiteGround servers for Australian customers are in singapore. Luckily for us in Australia, Tenko tells us that he is looking at obtaining server space in australia to close the gap for Australian customers. Which means faster load times, which means better sites.
Performance is a passion for Tenko. This is one of his favourite things and what he loves most about his job. As he is fascinated by everything fast, and not just cars, fast websites are very important to him.
When he comes across brand new websites that take 15 seconds to load, he gets frustrated and knows how bad the repercussions are from slow web pages. As soon as you open a website that takes this long to load, you're probably gone by then. So keeping users and customers on your site for as long as possible is ideal.
Google does not respond well to slow loading sites, so your page will typically not rank well. These multiple variables affect negatively should you have a slow opening websites. It is important to make the sites fast in the beginning stages of creation.
When should it be optimised for speed?
It is an ongoing process, but it has to start when you build the website. Afterwards it might be difficult to adjust. It is important for all involved in the design and developing process to consider the speed. Multiple large banners can slow down the site considerably, so it can help if a designer takes this into consideration. What you shouldn't do is upload 20 megapixel images to the front page of the website. It is important for people to learn how to resize images for web. Large images can slow down the performance of the website immensely. Ideally 800x600px is a good size maybe slightly bigger and screen sizes increase.
What you can do to optimise?
Keep Joomla and Joomla extensions updated, as a website performs better in a newer version. Another optimisation tool is deactivating extensions you are not using on your site. Extensions slow down a site considerably so if you have 20 or 30 extensions activated but are only using 2, deactivate or delete the ones you are not using.
3 Tips for Optimisation
Simplify the look of your website as much as possible get rid of flashy things such as images and slideshows, make it static.
Keep both joomla and extensions updated
Stick to the bare minimum extensions
Try to use as few as possible external sources, e.g. twitter and facebook feeds. These take time to load from external locations which results in uncontrollable load times
Technical Website Speed Optimisation
Creating a sitemap is very important for all webpages. This way Google and other search engines have an idea of the priority they need to crawl them. This will avoid creating unnecessary I/O load to your servers, this way the website will perform faster. Google will index it right and therefore lead to better search results.
SiteGround Server Tweaks
Includes 4 different parts
Static caching mechanism
Enabled by default by shared hosting user
speeds up the loading time of static content.
Out of the box use
SiteGround was the first hosting provider to provide secure memcache to hosting clients
Enables Joomla users to get performance on the fly
Most complex, gets all the dynamic content from your website and then saves it to a static version
Creating html files from your dynamic content.
Web server is then capable of serving more pages at the same time.
It is created specifically for Joomla users.
Utilises a Joomla plugin for 1.5 and above which automatically updates the html file with the dynamic content
Google Page Speed integration
Plug in for apache, allows the user in a few simple clicks to enable things such as jzip compression and minification of css.
Supports custom rules and works out of the box.
Users should choose between dynamic caching and google page speed because they do not work too well using both
If you already have Gzip enabled on your accounts Tenko recommends dynamic caching. If you have a small website with a few visitors then it might not be needed, so Google Page Speed integration would work well.
Another feature is the staging environment, which allows a client to duplicate the website into a subdomain and play with it without touching the live site. You can conduct a performance test on both live and staging to see what is better.
Takes one click to set it up in cPanel.
Once again I want to give a huge shoutout to SiteGround and thank you for sponsoring JoomlaDay Sydney.
Get the Joomla Beat listener discount at SiteGround for a massive 60% off hosting.
App Shoutout - @christianhent
Christian Hent has brought to us a great app that pulls in all the Jtravel (joomla travel) tweets from conferences around the world. Stay up to date with JoomlaDay on a global scale. It is really cool, check it out at jtravel.zenjiapps.com.