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A typical question for a website owner who is alarmed by slow performance – “What can I do to make things right and make my pages load faster?”.
A number of blog entries on the Internet are dedicated to increasing Google PageSpeed score. However, while the tests produce some helpful advices, they don’t tell you that you need specific hosting plans to efficiently address all the items reported.
I.e., you can’t sometimes enable GZIP compression on a websites, neither you can enabled expires headers, or automatically minify CSS files.
What is wrong with my shared hosting plan? (Or, “I don’t know my hosting plan”).
Shared hosting plan is the most cheap intro to creating websites. You get FTP access with each plan. It costs approx. 5 to 15 dollars a month, and yet you don’t realize that your website is hosted on the same machine with hundreds, and sometimes thousands of other websites. That’s one reason for many issues.
Namely, it’s not possible to alter server configuration. Of course, other websites share the same configuration with you. So shared hosting simply doesn’t allow any change to Apache modules, neither you can install custom PHP extensions. Our software of interest (Apache mod_pagespeed by Google) and PHP opcode caching extensions are never provided on shared plans.
Also, shared hosting is very restrictive on traffic. Expecting a major hit from search engine visitors? Prepare for some downtime. The more visitors you have, the more CPU your website uses. And if your website uses CPU for itself, what happens to those other 999 websites on the same machine? You guessed it right. They are mostly down or sluggish. Now think vice versa, what would happen if their websites are hit by visitors? Yes – your website is non responsive or appears to be down.
So what is the solution? Simply use VPS.
VPS – virtual private server. It will guarantee specific amount of RAM and CPU resources, while allowing you to be fully in control of the operating system. With VPS, you can:
* Adjust every aspect of your web server configuration
* Install and run any software you like, including Apache modules, PHP extensions, game servers. Anything.
* Have a piece of mind that you don’t depend on other websites
Usually a VPS plan is 3x to 5x more expensive than shared. But it’s a good start for any company to move to VPS. In the end, if you are on shared hosting, you can never get decent amount of visitors, and your startup is always in chains of bandwidth and resources restrictions.
GetPageSpeed offers affordable VPS plans with command line access: