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3.6 Deployment Optimization

Hey, welcome to the last lesson in Optimize Your Website Without AMP. So through these lessons, you've seen a lot of different ways that you can make sure that the code of your website is very well-optimized, but that's not the entire battle. You also have to make sure that it's being really well-delivered to people when they come to visit your websites. And one of the reasons that AMP sites load so well is not just because the code is optimized. It's also because Google will cache a copy of your website on their own servers, and those service can deliver your site very quickly to end users. So if you wanna try to match that speed, then there are a few things that you ought to think about. The first thing is very simply the selection of web hosts. Different web hosts are definitely not all equal, and I actually have a pretty comprehensive guide on things to think about when you're choosing a web host. It's freely available to read on Tuts Plus, and it goes through a bunch of different considerations that you should make when you're selecting a web host. If speed is really, really important to you, then I would suggest that you look at either managed hosting or dedicated hosting, those things are a little bit more expensive. So if you need more cost-effective hosting and you need to go with shared hosting, then my number one tip would be to steer well away from any service that tells you it offers unlimited bandwidth or unlimited space. And the reason I say that is, the reality is there's no such thing as unlimited server space. A host only has so much space on which they can put their customer sites. And typically if a business offers unlimited hosting and unlimited bandwidth, the way that they deliver it in reality is if you suddenly have a spark of popularity, then your site will just be cut off, it'll be turned off. And then another common tactic is that while your site is offline and you're missing out on the popularity surge that has led them to take you offline in the first place, then they'll offer you the ability to upgrade your account to a higher paid version of the same service. So sooner or later you can hit that wall, but the trouble is you don't know where that wall is, so you can't properly monitor your traffic and keep control over your business expenses. So if you do need to go with shared hosting, then try to find a provider who's upfront with you about what your limits actually are. Those limits are always there, the only question is whether a host actually tells you what those limits are so that you can work with them. And in my personal experience as well, a host that is more upfront with information like that also tends to follow up better with customer service and support. So that's the first point to think about, choosing a really good web host that runs fast and can serve your content fast. The second thing to think about is using something called gzip compression. So everybody has worked with zip files, so you take a bunch of files and you compress them, and the file size shrinks right down. Well, gzip is pretty much the same thing. But it's the files on your server that are getting compressed instead. So if you have gzip enabled, your files are going to be effectively a lot smaller and everything is then gonna be able to run a lot faster. Gzip can be activated a couple of different ways. The easiest way is gonna be if you're using WordPress for example, and you just install a plugin like W3 Total Cache for example, it has the ability to activate gzip for you so you don't have to get into digging into any code. If you're not using WordPress or some other type of content management system that has a plugin that can handle this for you, then another way is to get in and edit the htaccess file. The specifics of how you do that are a little bit beyond the scope of this course. So if you're not gonna be working with the plugin, then what I would suggest is shooting through a quick email to your host and just asking them to point you in the right direction as far as activating gzip. Then the third thing to think about is using a content delivery network or CDN. So normally, you have a regular web host, you put all your files on that web hosts servers, and then anyone in the world that wants to visit your site has to download the files that comprise your site from that host server. Now it doesn't matter if your visitor is two blocks away from that server or on the other side of the planet, they're both gonna have to get the files from that same location. So the person on the other side of the planet is gonna have to wait longer for those files to come in than, well, the person who's two blocks away. A CDN on the other hand is a network that has tons of servers all around the world. And when you use one of these services, the files that comprise your website are going to be distributed onto each one of their servers around the world. So now when the person whose on the other side of the planet from your main host comes to visit your website, now instead of loading those files from the other side of the planet, they're gonna load the files from the server that is closest to them. And there are a bunch of different CDN providers. And once again, if you're using WordPress you'll find that there are plugins that enable you to sort of automate the process of integrating a CDN onto your site. So I recommend looking into the different providers, looking at the plugins that you might like to use, and evaluating which of those service providers you'd prefer to use with your own sites. And then if you have all of these three things coming together, you have a really solid web host, you have gzip enabled, and you're using a CDN, then you combine that with the fact that you've thoroughly optimized all your code. Then you should find that you're giving your site visitors a very fast loading experience. It should be as good as if you're working with the AMP, although the perks that come along with handling your optimization yourself. So that wraps up the last lesson of our course. I hope you will join me in the final video. We're just gonna go back through the checklist that we looked at at the beginning of this course. And we're gonna go over each of those points really quickly and tick them off as we look through how we implemented each one of those items in the optimization methods that we used without AMP. So I'll see you in the final video.

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