Create or move your WordPress blog to Bluehost and improve PageSpeed

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Why Migrating To Hosting Providers

I started this blog by passion, with a very cheap budget. At the begin, I hosted my own WordPress instance (here’s how to Install a complete WordPress host in a Raspberry Pi) in my Raspberry Pi at home, using also the public IP that my Internet Service Provider gave me for free. This solution is very convenient for a blog that is going to start and leaves you the time to create first contents before investing in them.

By the time, one thing I noticed is that SEO is strongly affected not only by content you are creating, but also by your website performances. Downtimes, high Server Latency and low Page Speed bring down your blog in Search Engines results, which means also low people visiting your website.

In my self-hosted WordPress website, I was helped by reducing some caching plugins to reduce the time pages were served. But mu uplink speed was not enought to reduce Server Latency and Page Speed under 5 seconds. A good website should perform no more than 3 seconds for page.

Looking around the web, I found that Bluehost is the first hosting service recommended by WordPress. So I decided to give it a chance, also because they have a 30 day guarantee (which assured me the opportunity to go back if something was wrong) and because it has the lowest price compared to other hosting services. Furthermore, Bluehost includes in this rate also 1Yr of a new domain and FREE ssl certificate.Last but not least, they have a very fast chat support to help you when something is not working as expected.

First Evaluation: Activation Time

From the begin I was impressed by Bluehost time to prepare WordPress instance. From my subscription to the time I had my space ready passed a few minutes.

Once logged in, a very simple and intuitive interface gives you the ability to go straight to your space by clicking “My Sites”

Bluehost login

Here you can configure your WordPress website. And here comes the difference between move an existing WordPress and creating a new one.

Creating a New WordPress Blog

This is the simpler case: you can just use automatic login to wordpress instance to go inside your new blog and start your Blogger adventure. You can skip next paragraph.

Moving an Existing WordPress Blog

This is a bit more complex, but not complicated. If you also have to move your domain, you need also to have the permission to edit domain nameservers (ask your domain registrar for it or check its guides).

For this purpose, I’ve used my default backup plugin: UpdraftPlus Backup. This is a very simple WordPress plugin which lets you schedule your backups, save them locally or remotely (for example in your Google Drive space) and restore completely your wordpress instance. What is the difference between this way and WordPress Export/Import tool? Updraft restores all your plugins in source website, WordPress Export/Import tool moves only contents (resulting in that your content created with plugins will not work out of the box).

From my source WordPress I launched a manual full backup job and downloaded a copy in my PC. From Bluehost side, I entered my wordpress instance and installed Updraft Plus from plugins menu. Uploaded restore files and restored them.

Now, you need to move domain nameservers (from your registrar) to the ones reported by your bluehost help pages or chat with their support. This step could require a few hours, depending on your registrar.

When switch has happened, you will be able to reach your WordPress website with your old username/password.

Blog Speed Check and Improvement

Now it is time to reach the final result we asked for: high website speed.

The tools which we can use to check it are 2:

  • Slimstat Analytics WordPress Plugin: this plugin is a valid tool to check performances of your website. It reports, for each connection, Server Latency (SL) and Page Speed (PS) measured from server side. These are the two values I try to make as low as possible to improve overall speed. Server Latency is affected primarly by server performance. Page Speed could be affected also by client connection speed (so consider only an average for this second parameter).
  • GTmetrix: this online tool checks your website performance from client perspective. It gives useful analisys on elements that can affect your site speed and suggestions to solve common issues (like, for example, image dimensions)

When I migrated to Bluehost I was disappointed on bad results in site speed. Bluehost has its built-in caching solution: you can find it in My Sites -> Manage site (moving mouse over site icon) -> Performance. But it wasn’t enought to reach my target: no more than 3 seconds in average from sum of SL+PS. Trying some alternative configurations I found the settings that made the trick. I installed W3 Total Cache plugin in wordpress and completely disabled Bluehost cache. That was enought for me to reach my goal.

Final Considerations

Bluehost is, in my opinion, the best compromise between performances and price. It currently assures my blog the speed to stay in first page of google searches for many keywords. I also gives me reliability to maintain my website on line all the time. Prices are really affordable and would be the first suggestion that I give everyone wants to host their WordPress instance.

Anyway anyone can test it and decide if stay on or withdraw in 30 days guarantee period, maintaining save its money.

Below Bluehost link with a special offer for peppe8o.com readers:

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