Services I Use to Boost My Clients’ Websites Performance

It’s one thing to design a beautiful website and then build it using all of the latest responsive, HTML5, CSS3, WordPress goodness available, but a great website is still only as good as the platform which it’s being hosted on.

To that effect, I thought I’d put together a list of a few of the services I use to make sure my clients’ sites are not only up and running, but humming beautifully along.


While I don’t think they’re the “perfect” host, and I quite honestly I haven’t found perfection in a host yet, WPEngine is as close as I’ve found.

I love how easy it is to get a WordPress site up and running, and I love their “Migration Checklist”, which essentially just allows you to check off the stuff you’d normally do when moving a WP site from one platform (ie, localhost) to another. Their caching system makes certain that sites are served up incredibly quickly, without me needing to mess around with plugins that never quite seem to work as they should. Support is quick, and they often just take care of things, rather than point me at articles on how I can fix it myself. Finally, their “Staging” system, whereby I can click a button and have a copy of a site created so that I can work on upgrades and new functionality is flawless.

The cost is higher than shared hosting platforms, but you get what you pay for and these days you really can’t afford slow server response times and downtime with your website if you want to get found on Google.

screenshot of WPEngine dashboard showing stats for
Quick stats when you login, easy access to creating FTP accounts, PHPMyAdmin, making backups and adding services like a CDN or SSL all makes WPEngine my favorite host in years.

Google’s Pagespeed

Once a site is on a zippy host, the next thing I do is run it through this free service by Google. Who better to turn to for questions on what’s holding your site up than the guys who will largely be the judge of how well your site performs?

All you do is visit the site, type in your URL and click “Analyze”. Google will tell you how your site’s doing, what could be improved, and even provide suggestions on how to do just that. For a less technical overview of how to fix things, check out Feed the Bot.

screenshot showing scoring 97/100 with Pagespeed
This website scores a 97/100 with Pagespeed. While getting a 100/100 is possible, essentially having any external stylesheets or Javascript files will make this pretty hard to do. Anything 90 or above I consider a success.

Uptime Robot

Now that we’ve got a fast hosting service and have upped performance as much as possible, we need to make sure that all of this stuff is actually being shown on the web. I’ve been using Uptime Robot to that effect. It’s a simple, beautiful interface and you can check up to 50 URLs for free.

screenshot of the uptime robot interface, showing various stats on which websites have been up and which have experienced issues
Uptime Robot checks your site every 5 minutes and provides daily, weekly and monthly reports on uptime.

So far, using the first two tools and the third monitoring system, none of my clients’ sites have been down at all this year.

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