FAQ

Answers to Clients’ Frequent Questions

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I'm not a genius, wish I was. I'm someone who has worked very hard and have perfected a method. I apply my method only to WP websites because it won't work with other scrips, Joomla, Drupal and the likes.

 

That said I can work with just about the same success with plain html and PHP pages. In fact I started the speed work with those types of pages, which are hardcore and it takes a bunch of skills to tame them. Meaning it's not that you simply plug a ready plugin and cross your fingers.

 

Still, WP pages need a caching solution because otherwise you can't manage manually all the page resources CSS and JS without your method becoming outdated and inefficient in just one month. All plugins and themes get updated so you can coral all the resources as you did in the start.

 

On top of that I'm very good with the PHP settings and server configuration.

 

My secret that yields 90+ speeds lies in the database work that slips from the majority of the speed optimizers. You just can't clean up the database by using a plugin, you need an expert eye, plus an amateur can seriously damage the content when messing up with the database.

 

Lastly, I have developed a proprietary technique to optimize images that only very costly plugins can match. My tests have shown up to 78% improvement in reduction of image file size without any noticeable loss in quality. It just happens that images are the biggest burden for servers nowadays and speed wise the biggest concern (trims points from the rating) is the Largest Content Paint or LCP that has a contribution of 25% to the rating. So, if your images are unoptimized, you may be losing up to 25% in opportunities to improve your speed and eating up server resources.

 

Does all the above sound like the work of a genius?

 

Not a genius, it looks to me more like the work of an expert.

Don’t Trust Anyone but Yourself and Your Family

 

I will be trusting You to pay me after doing my work that takes hours or even days. It makes sense to me to finish the work and get the second payment upon delivery instead of running with your money.

 

Anyway, the pre-payment is not that much money in these parts to put it in a sack over the shoulder and run. You won't go far with a couple of hundred and you can't get rich.

The owner can easily maintain it or any family member without any technical skills.

 

 If someone refrains from messing with the caching solution and doesn't overload the installation with plugins it won't need any maintenance.

 

And typically I don't maintain websites for speed reasons, so there won't be a retainer.

 

 There have been a few cases where the in-house teams have installed plugins that conflicted with my speed solution and ended up breaking the speed or have installed Cloudflare with the same results.

 

If, and only if, they call me to fix broken things I will charge them, BUT this method is so thought off that it doesn't break by itself, doesn't need any maintenance, and can run for many months untouched.

There's no speed problem with Woocommerce and it's essential to run a shop.

Yes, I can for an extra fee.

With AMP, there are many issues. The most significant, you can't fix the speed as you would on a typical WP website and AMP doesn't allow basic JS functions as it comes with file size limitations. The shift to AMP was not well thought off as the community wasn't ready for that immature feature and it breaks the speed on modern servers.

How was AMP coded? Via plugins or custom coding?

The estimate includes blanket optimization that normally covers many page types, homepages, products, and blog posts.

That said, there are always some exceptions that slip the rule due to their content (heavy-duty, mostly due to images and scripts) that may need more work (we agree on what needs to be done after the blanket optimization has produced the first results.

The multi-site benefits from positive measures taken during the blanket optimization. For your WP multi-site installation, the blanket optimization will do for starters.

Typically WP multi-sites stem from a single database. This fact will shorten the working hours as I will be optimizing only one database instead of a group of databases.

Sure, modern servers are excellent hardware, just a few good settings and they are set.

On the other hand, Cloudflare is highly problematic and unless you have a very serious reason to keep it, I'd recommend removing it as it breaks the speed and doesn't offer any protection.

I can prepare a document, mostly around what to avoid touching with the developer's hands.

 

Getting very technical is not ideal because developers normally can't follow the speed techniques or instructions handed out to them.

 

The most important point would be to not mess with the caching system and not overload the installation with plugins.

I work with sites that run a reasonable number of plugins, (i.e., no more than 20 plugins for simple company presence, no more than 40 for Woocommerce sites).

If you run more plugins than needed, it doesn't make any sense to optimize the website.

In most cases, it could be successful, but I will have to work twice as hard and battle with plugin conflicts, resulting in more working hours, and broken layouts, and it could compromise the project targets risking my payment.

I pay particular attention when called to work on problematic websites and will likely reject the project.

You will need to audit your plugins with your developer who already knows the website (on average websites it could take a week to figure out the audit) or ask me to quote for a plugin audit and suggest solutions.

Negative. The Ezoic ad network (Ezoic Ads) doesn't comply with modern page standards and it generates Core Web Vitals issues;

You will need to open a ticket and complain to Ezoic, for killing your website speed);

No and here is why:

  • Sucuri and BitNinja: too many restrictions and too slow, server-side IP blockers, timeouts, firewalls, captchas, etc.;
  • Google Cloud (too complex to do menial tasks);
  • Godaddy (terribly slow DNS);
  • Hostgator/Hostinger (server and database connection issues);
  • Amazon servers AWS (most of them are very slow);

Yes, as extra work.

For the last 4 years, I have been managing a team of developers and fixing all kinds of issues on client websites.

- Search Console Fixes;
- Google Traffic Recovery;
- Security Audits, Malware - Hacked Pages Cleanup.
- CSS/JS/PHP Fixes, Plugin Debugging
- Local/Global SEO;
- Content Production and Marketing (web/social media), Content Calendar, Content Push (content marketing).

Content/layout fixes are considered out of scope in speed optimization projects.

Thus, layout/theme changes will not be done for free, only if compensated accordingly (i.e. with an hourly contract of $50/hr, or fixed pricing) and will be done after the speed project is finished.

Ask me for a quote to fix them before or after the speed project is finished, and not in the middle. For example:
a) If you need to create more pages or make content edits,
b) change the theme style and colors,
c) install new features, e.g. mega menu, tracking, sales pages, JS animation, etc.
d) make SEO improvements or
e) minor fixes e.g. fix a broken hamburger menu, change the shopping cart, or fix a contact form.

It is best to find a web developer and fix those layout issues before starting this project or just ask me for a quote to fix them after the speed project is finished.

 

 

All speed work is done in-house by me (Ted). No over-the-shoulder (Skype/Zoom/Teamviewer) sessions will be offered.

Just 2 rounds.

Revisions are not unlimited. At some point, the project has to be completed and both parties go our merry way.

Only 2 rounds of revisions are offered (No theme/template fixes will be done as explained above), if you need to do layout fixes I offer them at a rate of $50/hr;

The original status of the site will be verified by checking the most recent backup or the internet archive backup).

Sorry, can't do it. No communication via IM is allowed (Skype, Whatsapp, SMS, Slack, etc.).

IM message exchange requires a person behind a screen, in most cases 24/7, who gets bombarded with questions from one person or the in-house team (at times overlapping, with no-boundaries, even confusing, irrelevant and rude);

I think if you need this type of IM it needs to be at least, appropriately compensated, yet, practice has shown that this is seldom the case.

So, IM will not be allowed, as there are other places more suitable to discuss the contract.