If you haven’t noticed, my website looks a little different. That is because I changed my WordPress theme to a modified version of StudioPress Genesis. A while ago I was using the Thesis theme from DIYThemes and then I switched to Canvas from WooThemes. I explained the reasoning behind switching and I loved the flexibility of Canvas. In the end, I was slightly unhappy with a couple of things.
Canvas Theme Annoyances
- The theme was updated way too often with minor things instead of releasing major performance security updates when needed
- Some of the updates broke the theme which caused the site to go down.
Canvas Theme Happiness
- WooThemes rocks, and their support team helped fix the problems in decent time.
- The theme is flexible, fast and easy to work with.
- Incredible private support form
StudioPress Genesis Happiness
- StudioPress is blazing fast.
- StudioPress has a WordPress security guru behind the development.
- StudioPress is backed by CopyBlogger, the team who created Scribe, Premise and of course, CopyBlogger.
- The theme doesn’t have so many extras in the backend which tend to slow sites down. It is simple.
- Incredible private support form
So now I’ve gone over the look of my site. Will I find annoyances from StudioPress? Most likely, but will they drive me to switch theme frameworks again? Probably not. I am loving the performance of my site now.
My Years With Dreamhost
Previously I was also hosted on a Dreamhost VPS (Virtual Private Server) for some time now. Even with the added performance of a VPS, my sites kept going down. This might be due to the volume of traffic that scottwyden.com receives. Dreamhost is an amazing host with awesome support, but unfortunately I believe that I outgrew the company. After 10 (or so) years with Dreamhost, I had to leave for another company. I still recommend Dreamhost for anyone who needs affordable hosting to get their website started. They are awesome, trust me. Dreamhost offers shared hosting plans starting around $8 a month. If you pay for 2 years in advance then you save even more money. Shared hosting is perfect for many websites. If you reach a level where you outgrow shared hosting, then it is easy to bump up to Dreamhost’s VPS offering. If you outgrow their VPS, they do offer Dedicated Hosting as well.
I did a lot of research, spoke with many companies and eventually made a decision. I spoke with great people from Rackspace. They have a few hosting options that are some of the best in the industry. However, their plans are out of my budget right now. The cool part about Rackspace is that their customer service people are instructed to help the customer, not sell their service. That means that they can tell a potential customer that they’re not right for Rackspace. Cool, right? If I could afford it, I am sure I would be on Rackspace.
VPS.net has a great reputation, for the most part. With Rackspace no longer an option, VPS.net was one of my top choices. The problem I had with VPS.net is the hosting option I would need is only for one domain, and they charge extra for each additional. A huge advantage of VPS.net is that the plan I was considering comes loaded with VaultPress, which is an amazing value add.
LiquidWeb Smart Server VPS
So my decision was made, after speaking with companies and colleagues. With that said, my websites are now hosted on LiquidWeb Smart Servers. So how is it working for me? Since my transition and migration, all of my websites have had 100% uptime. That is amazing! In addition, my sites load a heck of a lot faster. I use (and always have) WordPress plugin W3 Total Cache which creates a hidden static index.html page for every article and page on my site. This, and some other fancy stuff going on that I do not understand, helps speed the website up.
When hosted on Dreamhost and using the Canvas theme, my Google Page Speed Report was 84/100. Now, on LiquidWeb and using StudioPress, my score is 90/100. With a few more tweaks here and there I hope to get my score to 99 or 100.
- SSAE-16 Security
- 100% Uptime
- Server Monitoring
- Built-in Backups
- Dedicated Firewall
- 24/7 Support with 30 minute replies
Website Speed for SEO
Website speed matters. It plays a role in your website’s SEO (search engine optimization). I’ve mentioned website optimizing previously when I talked about Website Grader. So if you’re looking to completely rethink your website, consider your host. It matters.
If you have questions for me, please comment or send me an email. I will try to answer any questions I can.
Thanks for reading and happy blogging,
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