I know what my web host was doing. It was loading up so many people on its servers that some of the computer services (PHP/MySQl) were suffering. Otherwise, it wasn't bad. It offered the features I needed. It had Softaculous with hundreds of one-click installs. The service wasn't bad. They got back to me pretty quickly on issues. So I was relatively happy except for that darn speed thing. Speed was wrecking everything.
Well, move! Maybe, but that's going to involve pain and probably more expense. Are there other options?
I was wondering how long it would take to open my website page? I pressed the button to load the address and started counting until the page came up: 5 seconds, 10 seconds, 30 seconds, 1 minute. It took about one minute for the WordPress page to come up. It only has a handful of pages in the entire site, yet it takes a whole minute to load. That was it for me. I had had enough. That started my journey to find a solution.
What about flat file CMSs? They solve the MySQL problem but not the PHP problem. Still, I was willing to give them a shot. Almost all of them had the same problems - terrible output and more difficult to use than WordPress. They just didn't have many options for themes, except for one - GRAV CMS . GRAV is free and uses flat files, but there is a learning curve. It does have many theme options which is a big plus. You write in a simple markdown language that is easy to learn. I was able to make a few theme changes to get a website looking pretty good. And it was pretty fast at about 2 to 3 seconds for load time. GRAV CMS was going to work for me, but then I stumbled onto Nicepage .
What is a blog? Isn't it just a bunch of independent pages tied together at one page? On that one page you have a thumbnail and snippet or summary for each article. The blog concept is pretty easy to do in HTML. You can do it manually, like I do or you can have Nicepage do it for it. Manually means more control.
I had one weird problem when I wanted to use my own URL shortening service for links on my pages. I bought a script (Linkity ) over at Code Canyon for $15. The install was super easy as it uses SQLite instead of MySQL. SQLite is a small personal database engine that resides in your own folder. But I ran into a problem - redirects take 5 to 10 seconds. Then I got this ultra-simple redirect script with only 10 lines of PHP code (mini-script) and one text file. It took 5 to 10 seconds for a redirect too. So annoying. Anyway, after several hours of research I found that each time a function called header() is called in PHP it must be "immediately" followed by die() or exit(). You can get this script here , but it still isn't good enough.
I created another URL shortening program using .htaccess. Now I'm finally getting some speed. You can get it
. An even faster one for htaccess you can get
. Just more confirmation that getting away from PHP helps to turn a mediocre webhost into a much better one.
Simply trying to deal with URL shortening caused me to move from shared hosting to VPS hosting at the same cost. This fixed my slow PHP/MySQL problem at the cost of learning how to be a Linux administrator.