Improving WordPress Website Speed

How to improve your wordpress website speed

If you are the proud owner of a website running on WordPress, you may be asking yourself how to improve your website speed. The answer starts with: content.

Basically, the amount of data stored on your website affects the time it takes to load. This data can be in the form of images, PDF’s, plug-ins etc. Also important are the systems used to load that information. Aka hosting. Let’s talk about the actual content first.

1) Minimizing Your Plug-ins

WordPress plug-ins are awesome for setting websites up with cool and valuable functionality like social sharing and email list building.

The only problem? There is a ton of data chugging along to keep those plug-ins running. So while useful, the data for the plug-ins and the strain it puts on your server while “executing” plug-ins can get out of hand fast.

You will likely be able to immediately improve your WordPress website speed by cutting out some plug-ins.

2) Optimizing Images & PDF’s

Large files have the biggest drain on your hosting and is the fastest way to not improve WordPress website speed. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to fix. The first step for pictures is to make sure their dimensions aren’t too big.

In most cases, you’ll never need a picture bigger than 850 pixels wide.

A lot of people upload images without ever realizing their dimensions are 2000, 4000+ pixels which can triple file size or more! So get that taken care of first.

3) Reducing Image/PDF File Size

Instead of “saving for web” in photoshop I recommend using “lossless/lossy compression” software which basically means it removes unnecessary data from your content without reducing quality.

Try the following places:

Tiny JPG/PNG also have a plug-in you can download right onto your WordPress site to automatically optimize images when they’re uploaded. Check that out here.

4) Analyze Your Website

Tools like GTMetrix will analyze your website and give real-time advice for areas of improvement. Sometimes you’ll be able to implement these changes yourself (even beginners).

Outside of the easy fixes, you may need to hire an expert to come in and fix your code. At any rate, this a great avenue to see where you can immediately improve your WordPress website speed.

5) Choose a Good Hosting Provider

Even the most optimized website will run slow if the servers keeping it live are slow themselves.

You’d be surprised. The difference between good hosting providers and bad ones can mean a 50% +/- difference in speed. So make sure to inquire about this when choosing a company.

At CanSpace, we’re always working on new ways to improve server speed.

In Conclusion

As you can see, optimizing your website comes down to five major areas. As long as you focus on what we covered in the article, you should have no problem speeding up your website or creating a fast one from scratch.

If you’re interested in getting a website live or want a new host to improve your WordPress website speed, click here to see our web hosting plans.

We’d love to help you get online!


The Best Domain Extension For Personal Websites

the domain extension you need for your personal wordpress website

Want to get your own website or blog online but not sure what domain extension (or TLD – Top Level Domain) works best for a personal website?

There are now hundreds of TLD’s to choose from. Meaning it’s probably an overwhelming decision to be making! Should you pick .ca, .com, .co, .biz, .artist etc?

The good news is, in most cases the decision is relatively easy to make.

The Best Extension for a Personal Website Is…

Easy to remember, and helps you rank higher on the search engines so more people find you.

The fact of the matter is: traditional .CA and .COM domains are still the best. And we’re going to explain why that is right now.

1. Best For SEO

If you’re a Canadian business or do business in Canada, the best domain extension for you would be .CA. Why? It is given more “local power” in the search engines.

As a result of the country specific domain name, Google recognizes that you will be more relevant to people making search queries in Canada vs. the other options.

Not only does using .CA or .COM effect SEO, it plays a part in how people perceive your website.

2. More trusted

The new TLD’s are just that… new. Meaning they do not yet have widespread usage or recognition.

The recognition of .com or .ca domains is undoubtedly higher (because they have been around for longer). This recognition improves the trust factor of your website. In addition, if you’re using a .ca domain, you will be perceived as a local business.

This is good for building trust with your website visitors and potential customers if you’re selling.

3. More of a “staple” domain

When it comes to the new unique/cool TLD’s, they are best used in specific branding or marketing campaigns.

For regular personal websites, using something that is more of a widely recognized “staple” TLD will make your domain more easily memorable and less gimmicky feeling.

In Conclusion

If you’re looking to get people to your website to consume your stuff – whether that be your blogs, vlogs, or photo feed, your best bet is to go with the traditional .ca or .com domains.

There are instances where it may make sense… If you really want something unique and are willing to put in the work to generate more brand recognition, you can use the other types. Just remember, your SEO may be affected.

So, if you’re looking for a great domain, click here to start your search. CanSpace offers the cheapest domains around guaranteed (including the new TLD’s).


What is a CDN in Web Hosting?

CDN web hosting to speed up your website

If you’re looking to improve the speed of your website, you may have heard of something called a CDN, but many people don’t know what it is. So what is a CDN?

CDN stands for Content Delivery Network.

It is essentially a network of servers, spread around the world in order to serve data to your website visitors quicker than they would receive it traditionally.

Why use a CDN?

Speed is one of the most important ranking factors in SEO – which means optimising how your website content is delivered is important.

This will help you achieve better results in the search engines.

In addition, increased website speed will contribute to a lower bounce rate (every second of load time means 20% less people stay). Improving your speed will also improve your lead capture and sales.

How a CDN Works

When your website goes up on the CDN, each server will cache (store) your site’s static files. These are things like graphics, images, Javascript, CSS and videos.

The reason they are storing the static files, is because they are the largest and take the longest to deliver.

Upon searching for your site, the servers will automatically choose the Content Delivery Network location closest to your website visitor to deliver your website files.

This means that your website visitor will load up your website in the fastest time possible.

Since speed is important for SEO and conducting business successfully online, CanSpace offers CDN’s for all of our clients, free of charge.

In Conclusion

If you’re looking to improve the speed of your website or start on the right foot with a new one, get started with a hosting plan today!

Trust Canada’s leading domain registrar and web hosting provider to take good care of your website. If you have any other questions, feel free to contact our 24/7 support team.


How to Choose a Good Domain Name for Your Website

How to choose a good domain name for your personal or business website

Choosing a good domain name for your website starts with understanding what your goals are, and the reach you have within your community.

Let’s go over the three options you have when choosing your domain name and when you would pick them.

1. Making your domain name your business name

This is one of the most popular routes business owners take when choosing their domain name. Before doing so however, you should ask yourself the following question…

Do you have a strong brand in your niche and/or geographical location? If you do, you should feel comfortable simply buying a domain name like “yourbusiness.ca.”

For those who do not yet have great brand identity, you may want to choose from one of the next two options. (if no one knows who or where you are, they will never find you with the search engines).

Side-Note: If you’re not sure how many people are searching for you on the search engines, use the Keyword Planner tool and search for your business names’ search volume.

2. Your business name + location

Let’s say your business is a gym called Fitness World in Toronto. You would choose a domain name for your website like…

Fitnessworldtoronto.ca

This great for building brand identity while improving the chances visitors find you while making searches for local businesses on Google.

3. Location + your business or product niche

Imagine FitnessWorld prides itself on having the cheapest gym membership cost around. They might choose a domain name like…

Cheapgymtoronto.ca or affordablegymtoronto.ca

Or let’s take a cellphone repair shop. What would be a good domain name here?

Cellrepairstoronto.ca

In Conclusion

The best way to choose a good domain name for your website is to figure out how many people recognize your business and are searching for it.

If you’re a new or lightly marketed business (with low brand recognition) you may want to choose a location or keyword based domain name to help generate more visitors from the search engines.

You can of course choose to do a combination of the above.

So, are you ready to get choose a domain name? Click here to get started, and take advantage of Canada’s cheapest domain price guaranteed.


What is a Top Level Domain Name? (TLD)

What is a TLD or top level domain

Looking to buy a great domain name for your website, but keep seeing TLD (or top level domain) everywhere and not sure where to start?

Let’s jump right into what TLD stands for.

What is a TLD?

Top level domains refer to the “extension” used after the “period” in your domain name.

These TLD’s are commonly seen as: .ca, .com, .net, .org etc.

You may also see the term “domain extensions” used synonymously with TLD, as domain extensions and Top Level Domain’s both mean the same thing.

Choosing a Top Level Domain depends on your business and particular goals/desires.

What Top Level Domains Are There?

Aside from the commonly used .ca, .com and .net, there are literally dozens to choose from. Some you may have seen before…

  • .biz
  • .co
  • .io
  • .bid
  • .club

There are also ones like .agency, .accountant and .realtor that work into the branding of specific businesses.

You can even pick something geographically targeted like:

  • .com.co
  • .com.au
  • .co.uk
  • .co.nz

Of course .com and .ca would also classify as the above (US and Canada respectively). Using these geo-targeted TLD’s (especially .CA) is another great way to find good domains that may be taken in the .com form.

In Conclusion

Top level domain names are basically your domains’ extension. They can help differentiate your business – by targeting the area or business niche you work in.

This can help you build more trust, and generate more sales as a result of a stronger brand identity.

If you’re a Canadian business, we recommend the TLD .ca. It is undoubtedly the best domain for businesses that are located or do business in Canada.

Click here and start your search for a .ca domain.


Should You Use a WordPress Theme?

should you use wordpress theme

If you’re new to websites and want to get online for the first time – you should definitely use a WordPress theme.

Creating your first website probably looks like a scary process. You might have no idea what all of the techie-terminology means, if you need to pay for an expensive developer etc.

You actually don’t need to do much.

Why you Should Use a WordPress Theme

WordPress themes make developing websites super fast and simple. Not only is WordPress as a system relatively easy to use. There is also a “marketplace” you can use.

This marketplace consists of tons of designers and developers, building stuff exactly for you.

1. Custom-tailored themes

No matter what business you’re in, or what purpose you want to set a website up for.. You can find a solution with WordPress themes.

What this means is that the days where you had to get expensive custom websites are gone.

Just go onto themeforest.net and make a search like “WordPress theme for restaurants” for example. You’ll be given tons of free and cheap WordPress theme options to choose from that you can simply download and install on your very own site.

2. User friendly and easily customizable

All it takes is customizing things a little bit with your own touch. Put your logo, some info about who you are, change the colors if you want and voila! Website online.

Ready to get started? Click here to find a hosting package.

If you’re still not sure if you should build your website with a WordPress theme and want more options, send us a message.

CanSpace hosts the websites of some of Canada’s largest corporations, and we’d love to help get your website online today!


SEO Tip: Article Image Optimization

SEO Optimizing article images for search engines

When it comes to SEO (search engine optimization), one of the most underlooked optimization tactics is image optimization.

Why should you focus on search engine optimizing your images?

  1. Improve your article rankings
  2. Drive traffic through clicks on Google Images

Those are the two main benefits. Now that you know them, let’s hop right into how you can do the optimization.

Search Engine Optimising Images

There are two facets of optimisation: speed and readability. Speed and how Google Crawlers interpret your website are primary pillars of SEO.

Those two things mean you need to optimise your images:

  1. Dimensions
  2. File size
  3. File name
  4. Image “alt” text

Let’s go over what exactly those mean and how to execute on those tasks.

Image Dimensions

When it comes to images, one of the things that makes file sizes unnecessarily large is inflated dimensions.

You will almost never need an image size with larger dimensions than 1200 pixels wide, yet people frequently upload images with 2000, 3000 and more.

This may not sound like a big deal, but it is. It can mean the difference between hundreds of KB’s of data – which is more for your servers to process and serve to your website visitors.

That additional data means slower loading. Another side of this is how data is interpreted.

Also try to upload your photos in the final dimensions you want them to show.

If you drop a large photo and tell WordPress to show it as small, that will create a bunch “code” that it has to serve to the Google Crawlers. Again resulting in increased loading time.

File Size

When saving your image, you will need to ensure it is optimised for file size. Again we are dealing with the data your servers have to process and load.

Basically, most images have a ton of unnecessary data, making the file bigger than it needs to be.

There are some great programs to fix this issue. They will make your file size much smaller without reducing your image quality whatsoever.

Once you save your image with the correct dimensions, head on over to a lossy/lossless compressor.

TinyJPG/PNG is great for this. Sometimes they’ll reduce your file size by up to 80%, meaning if it’s 200kb’s to start, it’ll be 40kb’s afterwards.

If you’re on WordPress, you can also download their plug-in which helps as well.

File Name & Alt Text

In the file name and alt-text you’ll want to target your primary keyword (a.k.a search term) target. For this article for example, we could use “seo-image-optimisation” as ours.

Basically, you just name your file with your keyword, and then drop the keyword into alt-text which is easily accessible in WordPress if you have Yoast.

In Conclusion

You’re now ready to tackle the search engine optimisation of your images! So go get started on your first article.

Remember that speed is one of the most important factors of SEO. Good web hosting is crucial.

The only problem is that most hosting providers will provide you with cheap plans that are seriously lacking. So if you’re looking for an upgrade (for still as low as $5 per month) browse our hosting plans here.

CanSpace is Canada’s leading domain registrar and web hosting provider. If you need any other information please send us a message.


How to Choose a Hosting Provider

How to choose a hosting provider

With so many options out there – how do you choose which web hosting provider to host your website?

It may seem like a hard decision to make. Rest assured, there are just a few things you’ll want to keep in mind when choosing.

  • Server Uptime
  • Security
  • Quantity of Bandwidth
  • Website Backups

Let’s go into each one now.

1. Server Uptime

This refers to the time your website is “live” essentially. With any hosting provider, there will be times when your site will go down.

Most of the time, this is because of things breaking on your website and is fixed easily. Sometimes though, the actual server where your site is hosted will get under so much pressure, it goes down.

This isn’t unusual, but it shouldn’t happen often (and downtime is almost always less than an hour)

Most companies will say 99.7% to 99.9% up-time. This is the acceptable range.

Anything less than 99.7% indicates unstable servers. Conversely, if a company claims to have 100% up-time, that should be a red flag as there is literally no way to ensure that, and the company is being dishonest.

2. Security

Make sure to contact the company you are planning to use and ask about their security procedures.

A good hosting provider will ensure there is a strong firewall in place to prevent attacks. At CanSpace, our servers are located behind finely tuned, and actively monitored firewalls that we monitor 24/7 for suspicious activity.

Our server software is also upgraded nightly to ensure any potential exploits are closed immediately.

In addition, we provide our clients with a web application firewall (WAF), based on regularly updated OWASP rules. This prevents against hack attempts to software like WordPress, Joomla, and even custom software – even when not properly patched.

Having a WAF is very important, but many companies don’t provide them. So make sure the companies you research do.

3. Quantity of Bandwidth

Bandwidth refers to the amount of memory or space on the server you get when you sign up. This will determine how fast your website goes and the amount of visitors you can handle.

Our plans start at 15GB and go all the way up to 500GB or more. The more Bandwidth you have, the more busy with content and visitors your site can be.

The one thing to watch for here – is companies that offer “unlimited” plans. Many companies run the shady practice of overselling.

They will offer “unlimited” plans, but throttle (slow down your site) if you go above their actual limits, as there’s really no such thing as unlimited. In addition, most companies that offer unlimited will have little to no support.

Stay away from companies that offer unlimited plans. Other than that – you should be ok.

4. Website Backups

At CanSpace, we back up all of our sites nightly, and we retain a week worth of back-ups.

In addition, the control panel our clients are provided with, cPanel, gives users the chance to back up their sites at any time they want manually.

Doing so ensures you always have a copy of your site in case something breaks or goes down.

In Conclusion

You should now be ready to make an educated decision when choosing your web hosting provider.

Remember, CanSpace is Canada’s leading hosting provider and domain registrar – powering some of Canada’s largest corporations. If you’re looking to get your website online, trust us to provide you with all of the necessities we mentioned here.

Ready to get started? Click here to find a hosting package to suit your needs! If you have any questions, feel free to contact us on our live chat now.


How to Process Payments Online

How to process payments online

If you’re looking to build an online store and sell your products it’s likely you’re wondering how you can process payments.

With all the solutions and information out there it may be a little confusing… Basically, you’ll just need the following.

  1. Store/shopping cart solution
  2. Payment gateway
  3. Bank account

WordPress Shopping Carts

For WordPress users, there are two major players you can look at when it comes to online store plug-ins. WooCommerce and EasyCartBoth will allow you to set up your products, name a price and then prep for selling.

Side note: You can also use Shopify to set up your online store/shopping cart.

Payment Gateway

What is the best Payment Gateway? What is a Payment Gateway?

Basically it’s the online system that securely takes the credit card information from your buyer, collects the money, then sends it to you.

The most popular gateways are as follows.

  • PayPal
  • Square
  • Stripe
  • Payoneer

After choosing a payment processor, you will have to get it linked to WooCommerce or EasyCart. This way it will be set up to handle real payments from those shopping on your store.

In order to link WooCommerce/EasyCart to your payment processor, you will have to go into your account and generate an API Key (code that links to your account). You then drop that API key in the “settings” section of your plug-in.

More information here from WooCommerce and EasyCart.

Bank Account

Make sure your bank account is linked to the payment gateway. This will ensure you’re able to send money to it’s final stop – your wallet.

And that’s all you need. If you don’t yet have a website, click here to find a hosting package to start your online store. You will also need a domain. For those without a domain you can click here to search and find the cheapest domains, guaranteed.

Good luck, and remember that CanSpace is Canada’s leading domain registrar and web hosting provider. If you need any help simply contact our live chat. We can help you finally launch your website (and store)!


Which Hosting Provider is Best For WordPress?

What is the best hosting provider for WordPress websites

Planning to build a WordPress website and not sure how to pick a hosting provider?

That’s ok. There are tons of things to think about if it’s your first website. We understand how things can get confusing or overwhelming very quickly.

So what should you be looking for from your hosting? The very first thing is: make sure you’re protected.

The Hosting Best For WordPress is Secure

Unfortunately, there are scammers and hackers online trying to steal sensitive information and simply destroy websites… It’s important to have the proper security measures so hackers can’t take advantage of you.

Good WordPress hosting providers will make sure you have strong firewalls in place protecting your information.

Hackers won’t be able to access your website and make attacks. For example – DDOS attacks are a popular method for taking down websites, which would be a red flag for your firewalls.

With the right host, you won’t have to worry (nearly as much) about falling prey to this kind of thing.

Speed

The speed of your website is very important for a number of reasons. It plays a big factor in how well you “rank” on Google results. Meaning, when you make a specific search… Where will your article show up on the results?

On the first page? What spot?

In addition, speed is very important for user experience. If your website is really slow, no one will stick around long enough to read about who you are – and the blog articles you write.

So make sure your site is fast.

Get the Best Hosting for Your WordPress Website

Remember to take a look at our web hosting packages if you’re looking to get your WordPress site up. CanSpace is the leading domain registrar and hosting provider, working with some of Canada’s largest corporations.

If you have any other questions about hosting your WordPress website, just contact our team and we’ll help you figure it out!


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