Optimize WordPress with LiteSpeed Cache plugin
Written by: Simon A. Skaar

LiteSpeed webserver (LSWS) is a webserver with extremely good performance compared to other webservers. LiteSpeed can replace Apache without one having to do any changes to the configuration file for the installation.

LiteSpeed cache plugin

If your installation is located on a server that is running LiteSpeed, you can use powerful plugins from LiteSpeed that will ensure full optimization and caching of your website. There are modules created for WordPress, Joomla, OpenCart, Drupal 8 and several of the popular CMS systems. At PRO ISP LiteSpeed is free to use if you have Pro Medium, Pro Premium or Enterprise web hosting.

LiteSpeed cache for WordPress is one of those powerful plugins available when on LiteSpeed server. The plugin offers optimization of your website, with cache, optimization of scripts and pictures. One of the best benefits of using LiteSpeed Cache plugin is that you can optimize your website with just a few clicks.

To install the plugin, select it from the plugin library accessible from your admin panel, or see our guide “How to install LiteSpeed cache plugin for WordPress“.

How to optimize web shop

When you have installed and activated the plugin, standard configuration will be active, and you will be able to see the four first options under “Settings”. Normally you will not need to change any of these.

Tab #5 – WooCommerce will only be visible if you already have WooCommerce active.

As soon as you active the plugin, the optimization will begin, and standard cache will be activated. To see other settings, select “Show advanced options”. A selection of 12 tabs will appear (thirteen if you have WooCommerce installed).

Optimize (tab #5)

Optimize contains Minify, combining and HTTP/2-push of scripts and is important when optimizing a website. In short terms it removes any unnecessary code, comments and combine CSS and JS files, resulting in fewer request for your visitors.

With the changes mentioned under this section, we had good results from GTMetrix.

 

This is the results before the Optimize function was activated (cache was already activated).

Before enabling recommende Optimize - Litespeed for WordPress

 

This is the results after the Optimize function was activated.

After our recommended Optimize features are enabled.

 

If you are not sure which settings to select, we recommend activating CSS Minify, CSS HTTP/2-push, JS Minify, JS HTTP/2-push. Activating CSS Combine, JS Combine can result in scripts and CSS failing.

After you have activated any options or made any changes in the plugin, you should check that your website is working as normal. If you are experiencing problems with the Combine function, but still want to activate this one, you should check out “How to fix problems caused by CSS/JS optimization“.

When activating HTML Minify the source code will not be easy to read should you need to later. All code will be “pressed together” to save resources. It is still recommended to activate this one. Under the same function you will see Inline CSS Minify and Inline JS Minify. These will remove any spacing, sections and comments in all CSS- and/or JS-files.

Load CSS Asynchronously is a function that will make sure CSS and HTML are loaded simultaneously. As a standard CSS is always loaded first so the website will be displayed correctly as soon as it loads. By activating Load CSS Asynchronously, the website will load faster but could give your visitors a bad impression since they will be able to see your website without images and CSS for a second. We therefore recommend you also activate Generate Critical CSS. This will connect to LiteSpeed’s Critical CSS server which will insert the necessary CSS, so your visitors will not see a lesser version of your website. We also recommend to activate Generate Critical CSS in the Background which makes sure the website is loaded automatically in the background and caches ready for when a visitor will want to see the website as fast as possible, without errors.

Load JS Deferred will make sure all scripts are loaded according the HTML-code. Activate this and test your website. If you are experiencing any errors, you should activate Exclude JQuery and try again.

DNS Prefetch is not mentioned in this article but if you are interested you can read more in “X-DNS-prefetch-control“.

The final option in Optimize is “Remove Comments” meaning comments or scripts typically deactivated by */ or //. These will automatically be removed in the cached version of the website and can in many cases contribute to faster load.

The settings in the Optimize tab can make a big difference to increase the speed for your website. When activated. this function will replace any other plugins (for example Autooptimize) within minify-options.

Tuning (tab #6)

Combined CSS Priority and Combined JS Priority only needs to be activated if you are experiencing problems with your design after activating the options from Optimize.

Remove Query String makes sure a website with different possible strings behind the URL is ignored and only the website shown is cached.

An example could be:
exampledomain.org/product/ball
exampledomain.org/product/ball?colour=yellow
exampledomain.org/product/ball?colour=pink

Without Remove Query Strings all these sites will be cached even though it’s the same site as the visitor is currently on. When activating Remove Query String, they are ignored, and resources are saved since only exampledomain.org/product/ball is cached. You can read more about this and see examples on LiteSpeed’s blog.

If you are using Google Fonts, you can load these quicker by connecting to Google servers before the actual load of the website starts. Use Load Google Fonts Asynchronously. Remove Google Font will remove any external fonts loaded from Google. If you are unsure if you need these options, you can check your website after activating and see if it works better.

We will not be looking into rules/excludes as this is highly advanced.

Remove WordPress Emoji will reduce the number of requests from your website. We recommend this since you can use standard emojis if needed.

Media (tab #7)

We will leave Lazy Load Images remain inactivated since this is a function you alone should consider if you need. Perhaps not everyone will need this, but it will save resources when it comes to loading the website, but remember you need to satisfy both visitors and search engines.

Optimize Automatically we recommend activating as this will activate optimization of your images. We also recommend activating Optimization Cron, Optimize Original Images, Optimize WebP Versions, Optimize Losslessly and Image WebP Replacement.

After activating these, you can click “Image optimization” under the options for LiteSpeed. You will have an overview of how much space you have saved and a que of how many images being optimized.

As an example, we have uploaded an image of 1,4MB which was already optimized by a third party, after a few minutes of processing in the background, I got an 8% less image file size. With standard settings you will not see any noticeable changes to the image.

CDN (tab #8)

In this tab we will insert CloudFlare’s API at the bottom of the page, since the website is using CloudFlare nameservers. If you are not using CloudFlare (or any other CDN) you can ignore this. You do not necessarily need CDN if your target group is in Norway and you are located on a Norwegian server. CloudFlare has many other interesting functions included in our web hosting. If you are expecting a lot of tragic from abroad, you should use this.

Regarding Load JQuery Remotely you should only activate this is your visitors are from other countries than Norway since both Google and Cdjns can retrieve this from foreign servers. Analytics sites will also consider this as external requests.

ESI (tab #9)

If you are not sure what ESI are, you can read more about this is “Wpw: Private cache vs. public cache”.

In short terms this is a function within cache, displaying different cached websites for different roles (guest, admin). We recommend activating this in addition to Cache Admin Bar and Cache Comment Form.

Vary Group settings do not need to be altered, unless you have a web shop with different prices displayed according to role (for example retailers seeing different prices than private parties).

Advanced (tab #10)

The only option we are going to activate is Browser Cache with a TTL of 1296000. You can also leave the standard values as is. Browser Cache stores logo, images and fonts locally on visitor’s units so they will not need to load this every time they visit the website or any other of your links. Most static files that is rarely altered will be stored. TTL do not need too be to high as you will sometimes change the content. Anything from one day in seconds to one month is fine.

We will not be looking into Object Cache as this is highly advanced.

Debug (tab #11)

If you suspect any errors on your website is caused by LiteSpeed, you can activate “Disable All Features”, store and then check your website (remember to deactivate after).

In this tab you can also alter how much information is logged. You can deactivate ADMIN-AJAX by deactivating “Heartbeat”. You should not do this unless you have a valid reason.

Crawler (tab #12)

Currently only Enterprise servers have this function available, so we will leave this out of the article. If you are interested, please contact us and we will help you select the best web hosting.

WooCommerce (#13)*

In this tab we have activated all options and left Product Update Interval remain on “Purge Product on changes to the quantity or stock status. Purge categories only when stock status changes.”

* You will only see this if you have the web shop module WooCommerce installed and activated.

Summary

If you wish to be located to a LiteSpeed webserver please follow instructions in “Change web hosting server”. If you wish to upgrade in order to move to a LiteSpeed webserver please follow instructions in “Upgrade services”.

Please feel free to contact us for advice or recommendations.

 

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How to build your own webshop?
Written by: Simon A. Skaar

Regardless if you are selling products or services it is important to be available online. There are several options to build a webshop, both for beginners and more advanced users. In this article we will look at all the steps necessary to open a webshop.

  • Acquire domains and usernames
  • Create landingpage
  • SEO
  • Choose platform

Acquire domains and usernames

The first action you should take is to acquire the domains you wish to use for the webshop. Depending on where your target market is you might need .no, .com, .se and .dk to mention some. If the webshop has a name with special letters you should acquire all the different types to make sure the customers find you.

In addition to registering the name with Brønnøysund and a domain provider you should acquire the name on social media. The sale will take place on your website but most of the marketing will be through social media.

webshop

The decision on whether or not you should use other social media such as Instagram, Pinterest and SnapChat will be dependent on your target audience. Are they using these social media platforms? If you have plans to post videos showcasing your products, you should register for a YouTube account aswell.
It is important to create these accounts as fast as possible to make sure you get the username you want.

Don’t go overboard. If you know you will not be able to maintain many different accounts you should just use Facebook. It is more important the profile is updated frequently and respond quickly than having as many social media profiles as possible.

Create a landing page

When you have acquired the domain(s) you should post content on the website. Start to build your brand while allowing search bots such as Google start crawling your site. While you build your web shop you should create a landing page. This page will give visitors the option to sign up for future newsletters. By doing this you will start attracting possible customers before you even launch.

All web hosting (and domain parking) at PRO ISP has the option to create a free 1-page website where you can create a landing page. In the example below, we have created a simple landing page where visitors can leave their email. It took about 5 minutes to set up this.

 

 

Make the webshop visible for Google

To make the webshop visible for Google you should optimize both the website and the webshop. Doing so is called “SEO – search engine optimization”. You should make sure search engines easily can find your website and connect possible customers with it.

Do a search for businesses like your own and see which words stand out. Use these when optimizing. Read more about SEO: “SEO – what do I need it for?

Selecting platform

There are many different platforms to use when building a webshop. Whether you are brand new in the IT-business or have been working with websites for years. We will look at some of the most popular platforms available and which type of users they will work best for. All of the platforms mentioned can be used on our web hosting and most of them can be installed easily with just a few clicks.

  • WEBSITE BUILDER

    If you are a beginner when it comes to websites we recommend using the website builder from PRO ISP. Within the website builder, there are two options for webshop, one is easy and simple, the other one more advanced which is connected to “Ecwid”.

    In the simple module you will be able to administrate categories, products and shipping. The module also gives you the options to use PayPal for payment. This module makes it possible to go live with your webshop within a few hours.

    The more advanced option is connected to Ecwid and allows for your webshop to receive orders within minutes. Design and setup is done via the website builder while the administration of products and orders are done via Ecwids website. You can connect your Facebook page with Ecwid to make your webshop available from Facebook as well. Please be aware: The free version of Ecwid only includes 10 products, if you need more extra costs will be added (more information).

    The website builder contains everything you need for a webshop. No experience needed and maintenance is not an issue as we handle the security of the platform. You can try the website builder for FREE 30 days.

    See our example of a webshop (in norwegian): https://dinbutikk.shop/

 

  • WooCommerce

    WooCommerce is a powerful webshop platform available as a plugin for WordPress. 28% of all webshops around the world use WooCommerce. With the platform you can charge by PayPal, invoice, register added value and multiple shipping options. WooCommerce can also be extended from the WordPress library for plugins. The platform is perfect for both beginners and more advanced users. Read more about WooCommerce: “WooCommerce – build a webshop easy as 1-2-3“.

    webshop woocommerce

  • Magento

    Magento has been on the market for several years and is recommended for larger companies with developers and experience. With a few clicks Magento can be installed on web hosting with PRO ISP via cPanel. Med Magento you will have access to a large selection of different functions. Any requirement you have will most likely be supported within the installation. It has a great report function and the interface is ok, but will take some time to get to know. What you would need to install as an extension in other platforms is already included within Magento. You will be able to create newsletters, have a full overview of all sales and visitors as well as the possibility to set up added value and shipping options. The webshop is designed for selling products, but can also be used for the sale of services.

    Magento requires more resources in general, so you should select a more powerful web hosting then with the other platforms. At PRO ISP we have dedicated Enterprise web hosting especially for Magento with LiteMage for extreme performance.

    webshop magento

  • Prestashop

    Prestashop was started in 2005 and is one of the worlds most popular platforms for webshops. Over 250 000 websites use Prestashop which can be installed directly from cPanel with a few clicks. The platform works both for small and larger companies. With over 300 extensions included you will have everything you need to open a webshop. You might need to purchase a theme since the one included is really simple and boring.

    webshop prestashop

 

Summary

We recommend you test the different platforms to see what works best for you. Depending on what needs you have the price will vary.

In WooCommerce you will have most of the extensions needed included (such as Stripe for payment), but most of these also have premium versions. With PrestaShop and Magento costs can increase quickly to get the extensions you need. Magento requires more resources so you will need a more powerful web hosting than with the other platforms. We recommend Enterprise web hosting with LiteMage for extreme performance.

Consider how many sales and products you will have and test different platforms to find the best solution for your needs.

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WooCommerce: Build a webshop easy as 1-2-3!
Written by: Simon A. Skaar

When you want to build a webshop, there are many options to choose from, such as OpenCart, CSCart, Magento and WooCommerce. All of these are eCommerce platforms where you can administrate everything from orders, products, storage, shipping and taxes. In this article we will take a closer look at WooCommerce, which is one of the largest plugins for WordPress.

What is WooCommerce?

Today WooCommerce is used on millions of webshops and about 39% of all webshops worldwide. In Norway 38% of webshops uses this platform. There are many good reasons why you should use WooCommerce. It is basically free, based on open sourcecode, with the option of buying and adding extensions for all purposes. WooCommerce gives you full control over all your products, customer data, orders and so on. You can also sell any type of products, both physical, virtual, subscription services and other types.

In the video below, you will see an introduction on how WooCommerce works.

 

How to install WooCommerce?

Since WooCommerce uses WordPress as a “base” you will need to already have WordPress installed. If you are a customer at PRO ISP WordPress can easily be installed with a few clicks (follow this guide for installation). When using WooCommerce and WordPress we recommend using LiteSpeed that is included in our Pro Medium/Premium web hosting.

In WordPress admin panel you can easily install and active WooCommerce like this:

Plugins – Add new – Search for WooCommerce – Install – Active

woocommerce

 

 

When WooCommerce is activated you will receive a step-by-step guide for the different functions on the website. After the installation you can add different types of extensions.

How to use WooCommerce

For a thorough guide on how to use WooCommerce we recommend WooCommerce step-by-step-guides with both pictures and videos. You will learn how to set up your webshop and how to administrate it. The video below is one of the training videos and will show you how to get started with WooCommerce.

 

Payment options within WooCommerce

We recommend you give your customers the option of paying directly in adddition to via invoice. Direct payment with VISA/Mastercard (creditcard) can be done via PayPal. The customer can either use their account with PayPal (where all the cardinformation is stored) or without an account.

Another option is STRIPE. This option works the same way most online card terminal does. The customer adds their card details and the amount is withdrawn and transferred to your account within the next few days. The difference between STRIPE and PayPal is with PayPal you need to transfer the money manually.

If you want to use invoice within WooCommerce, we would recommend taking a look at the extension from Klarna. With this extension the customer can choose between invoice and down payment. In Norway Klarna is a well recognized brand so this can boost sales. To be able to use Klarna, you will need to register with them. Only registered companies can create accounts for sales with most vendors such as Klarna. The downside using invoice instead of direct payment is that invoice usually recuires more work in terms of follow-up via bank or other costly services.

Secure your webshop with SSL certificate

You often need an SSL certficate for encryption. We highly recommend having every site on the website secured (not just the webshop). Show your customers you can be trusted because security is taken seriously.

SSL certificate can also increase conversions for your webshop and give your website higher ranking in search engines. PRO ISP have different types of certificates you can read about.

SEO plugin

SEO is one of the most important measures you can take to increase traffic to your website. SEO is short for “search engine optimization” and we recommend you read: “SEO – what do I need it for?”. There are also plugins to help with SEO for your website, such as YOAST SEO (free). WooCommerce also have their own SEO plugin (not free).

Sources:
Statistics for the usage of WooCommerce

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