Jeff Lerman

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since Sep 23, 2017
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Recent posts by Jeff Lerman

There's some good feedback in this thread. Sebastian, in particular, is nailing some of the issues. He's giving specific technical feedback, however, and I tend to try to aim for a simpler system that's going to handle the details without you having to learn as much.  I run a web design & hosting company and have built about 200 Wordpress sites so, while I'm still a newbie on permaculture, perhaps I can add a bit as well.

Building a website that's going to deliver both high and low bandwidth options well is a considerable headache. My recommendation is to build a website that's streamlined from the ground up for relatively low bandwidth. Let people who are on slow connections customize their browser settings to throttle the content as necessary. Many won't know how to do that - but that's something you might think about researching and adding to your website.

What makes a website fast?
  • Theme selection. There are really good/light ones like https://sepalandseed.com but your theme seems pretty light as well./
  • Plugins. Limit them as much as possible. They all add up.
  • Images. You're optimizing yours to some extent, but still have 1.7MB of images loading with your homepage.
  • Content/architecture. Long scrolling pages make for easy browsing for many people, but are bandwidth hogs.
  • Hosting matters. Dedicated hosting isn't necessary, however. I run dedicated servers for my business but deliver many websites off the same servers. As long as your shared server has adequate resources, it should perform just fine.
  • CDNs - content delivery networks - can greatly speed up delivery of websites, depending on configuration and location.

  • Check out https://tools.pingdom.com/#5a029c05bd800000 for another view of your site, speed and content. Your images seem like the biggest current bandwidth issue and your theme/plugins and the flies they load are the second thing I'd look at.
    1 year ago
    Hi Sophia,

    I run a web design company and have been building and hosting websites for hundreds of clients for 20 years. During that time, small business websites have evolved from static sites with only a few files to dynamic sites like Wordpress with a ton of files, permissions, databases, and potential hacking targets.

    Improving security for our clients does have increased costs in both 3rd party services and labor:
  • Our servers are better and more expensive than they used to be
  • We take more time to harden the websites against hacking than we used to
  • We update software often. In the case of Wordpress, that's the core, the themes and the plugins
  • We maintain many backups of our sites, going back months, and store them off-site
  • We monitor the sites for malware and issues that could be caused by hacking
  • We monitor the sites for outages


  • So when you say 'insurance,' there are many potential things that could cover. $100/mo. is a bit high in my experience, however. Necessary? No. Smart? In some form, yes. Way too many sites are hacked these days to not have some form of backup plan. But the right plan varies based on your risk tolerance and the cost of hacking, be it downtime, reputation, or loss of search engine rankings.

    Where to host? Not a simple answer, even in my position. You can get hosting for $5/mo. You can pay $500/mo. You can get managed Wordpress hosting as a minor form of insurance or use a WordPress-only hosting platform such as WPEngine which will have more integrated services. You can monitor sites with free services like Google Webmaster Tools or go way beyond that.
    2 years ago