I’ve been spending the last few weeks updating the website and fixes a multitude of issues. Hopefully it’s running faster now!
Still a lot to do, and pretty sure I can make it even more fast, especially for people like me, with an intermittent internet connection (the downside of living in the sticks).
I’d encourage you to sign up to the mailing list as well, as I’ll be using that on a regular basis to deliver offers and codes!
For anyone who wants a summary of what I did, please do carry on reading…
To cut a long story short…
I had a website built for me some years ago. It was all singing and dancing and I loved it.
The guy who designed and maintained it, then couldn’t!!! Eeeek!
He trasferred me over to my own server, which was great as I could host multiple site, including a few friends websites. He assured me I had the skills to do this!
I do usually have the mindset of yes, I can do this, but it was just the time factor of learning a new skill!!
Which brings me to 4 years later. Having done the very minimal amount of updating (becuase I was a scaredy cat), and paying for bits and bobs to be done, the website was so slow it was pretty unusable.
I checked my score on GTMETRIX and it was depressing.. and F, and site was sooooooo slow.
I optimistically thought this might take an afternoon to sort out. That was Monday… by Friday I had finially got my speed down to A, but was yet to do any real updating of the site. But yay it was functional. I’m still working on it now, and will continue to do so. I always wanted shopping with Goblin Dreams to be an experience, but the broken website made that experience not so good!
I’ll now go over some of the steps I took. Hopefully they will be helpful. Some of the following does contain affiliate links, which means, if you click on it and buy, I get some payment. It doesn’t affect you, but does help me to jusify finding the time to write these posts (every little helps).
I’d like to post a full step by step, but to be honest, the week was somewhat of a blur…
In all honesty, it probably would have been better to start deisgning from scratch, and to upgrade my hosting plan to stop the server limits being used. However, I was set on fixing things, rather than a sticking plaster, and I learned so much along the way. Finiding issues is depressing, but finding solutions is epic!
They suggested using cloudflare. So I sorted cloudflare, and it made a small difference but not much.
I then went onto to install wp rocket, and also imagify to optimise my images. These had both popped up on my radar so thought it was worth a shot!
wp rocket actually made things worse at this point. So I realised that there were other issues, but at that point didn’t have the knowledge to even diagnose.
Info form the hosting was that that server speed was being throttled, as was using too many resources… I knew enough to know it shouldn’t be doing that and wanted to find out why.
I saw on WP toolkit that they suggested i should reinstall core wp files… I did and the whole site went boom… crashed, no access. Off to hosting again, really sorry but can you fix – they rolled back to the backup the day before.
Still to and for with tmdhosting, to see if they could delve deeper.
In the meantime I was checking everything was up-to-date, and noticed that the divi theme originally installed was not updating, as it had been edited. So i switched to the standard divi theme. Things started feeling a bit better.
I checked again for updates, and tried to update divi, only to find that there wasn’t a key and it was unlicensed and couldn’t update… sigh… so off to get a license I went.
I also used a media cleaner to seek out old product photos etc, as I hadn’t realised they don’t delete with product.. doh! nearly 2000 redundant files!
But yay! It was actually working…. ish….
It caused me a whole load of stress, but I suppose after 5 years of little maintenance, that’s what you get. And now, I am confident, if i get someone to do work, I know what they should be doing, and what to check for afterwards.
I’ve also done, and still doing a good tidy up of disk space on my server, deleting old emails (I had over 8k in trash!), deleted old files and photos, optimising everything.
Did cloudflare help? again, yes, and it syncs with wp rocket too.
Did imagify help? Yes, optimising images helped massively, though was super slow, and it’s still running now.
TMD Hosting have been my hosting provider for since the birth of the website. It was originally all set up by the guy who ran the website, but he transferred it over for me, when he could no longer commit.
I have to say, they have been very helpful, not to mention patient!
I don’t have a huge amount of knowledge on the back end of hosting, and I had even less in the start. They are super quick to reply to support tickets, and have always done their very best to help.
They have been super helpful over the last 2 weeks, helping me identify issues, and what could be done to speed the website up. I highly recomend.
I’m currently signed up with business cloud, but will be upgrading to a VPS once I start growing the website and blog, to ensure everything runs super fast.
The major pros are:
Cost – Their shared hosting is far cheaper than signing up a pre-made solution such as shopify (not that shopify isn’t great, I’m sure it is, but you may want more control)
Daily Backups – If you are a bit of an idiot like me, you can rest assured, they do daily backups and will roll it back for you on request.
Support – as stated above.. Lightening fast support, and most helpful.
Really the only con is, that it’s not all done for you (though they do have paid options to set things up). you will have to do some backend admin, but believe me, I can do it, you can too!!!