Category Archives: WordPress

Making WordPress Sites Faster

2020Media has been supporting WordPress website hosting for many years now, but we are always looking for ways to improve the service. We’ve recently added a component we think is making a noticeable impact on website performance and this blog post is to share some details about this.

Caching – what is it

By default, each time a page on your WordPress website is accessed by a visitor, the content is generated dynamically with lots going on in the background, including multiple database queries and code executions.

A caching plugin will create a static version of your content, removing many of the steps that take place when a page is generated dynamically. The result of this is faster loading times and happier visitors.

Some things should not be cached however – for example a shopping cart. You would not want someone else’s shopping basket replacing yours. Or if you have a members area, each member’s details must remain private. So any solutions must ensure that personalised content is not cached.

Why Cache?

Simply put, caching speeds up your website. When it comes to page speed and loading times, an improvement of just a single second can have huge implications for your bottom line. For example, back in 2012, Amazon estimated that if their website loaded just one second slower it would cost them $1.6 billion in sales; and this number has surely only increased since then.

You’re probably not operating quite on Amazon’s scale, but slow loading times are still costly. According to Kissmetrics, 40% of your visitors will lose patience and leave your site if your pages take more than three seconds to load. A single second of delay can reduce your conversions by 7%.

Furthermore, Google uses page speed as a factor when determining where to rank your content in its search engine results pages. So, if you want greater search engine visibility and more traffic from sites like Google, you need to speed up your website.

No matter the purpose of your website – whether it’s to promote products and services or simply build an audience – higher bounce rates, reduced conversion rates, and decreased search engine rankings hurt.

Caching for WordPress

There are dozens of caching plugins built for WordPress, along with a number of technical solutions that operate outside of WordPress – for example at the server level, or at the network level.

2020Media wants the best possible result, so we offer a combination of all these to our customers.

  1. Network Level: We include Cloudflare CDN (free and paid plan levels) to offer caching of static content
  2. Server Level: We setup and maintain PHP and MySQL (database) applications to include caching of compiled code and database queries
  3. WordPress Level: We install and monitor WordPress caching plugins to generate static pages which can be served to users with the lowest possible latency.

Caching Plugins We Use

We use two caching plugins currently. These offer a good balance between performance, cost and what we would call “hassle factor”


WP-Rocket consistently outperforms all other WordPress caching plugins.

Average Improvement in Speed Tests
Average Improvement in Speed Tests

The downside is that is a paid plugin – and does not have a free version to get the basics.

Aside: This is unusual as most WordPress plugins that have a “Pro” or paid version usually offer a free version of some kind, with various features missing or crippled. That WP-Rocket does not do this, for us speaks of their confidence in their product – they simply don’t need to offer temptations and nagging screens to get people to buy in – their product is so effective it speaks for itself.

Even so, the price of the plugin for a single site is not that high – no more than most other paid WordPress add-ons, so we think it offers excellent value for money.

Learn More about WP Rocket


Cachify is a free WordPress plugin that does caching and nothing else. Although Cachify has been around for many years, it has a small install base compared to other caching plugins in the WordPress. However we find it’s simplicity is it’s strength. Performance-wise it stacks up comparably with other WordPress plugins – see graph above and these:

Page Speed Scores
Page Speed Scores
Speed Test Load Time Improvement
Speed Test Load Time Improvement

So what makes Cachify stand out amongst other plugins with comparable performance. Simply put it’s the ethos and practice of the plugin developer. As they say on their site:

Cachify does not offer the functionality of some industry-specific plug-ins. However the caching plugin does the job perfectly and very reliably. And this with very minimal resources and manageable code. This makes it clear and fast.

This is exactly what we need and nothing more, for the majority of websites hosted at There are no “paid”, “pro”, “enterprise” versions of this plugin – you get 100% of the features included.

Download Cachify for WordPress


We’re always looking for ways to make our WordPress Hosting continue to stand out – not just exceptional customer service, UK datacentres and great value for money, but to make the websites we host the best they possible can be.

We find caching dynamic websites by default improves performance and this translates into improved sales, leads, conversions and page rankings for our customers.

Read more about our WordPress hosting plans at or contact us if you would like to know more.

Other plugins and comparison in detail

This site provided useful data on the plugins discussed here:

Google Analytics Ruled Illegal In Austria

The Austrian Data Protection Authority (“Datenschutzbehörde” or “DSB” or “DPA”) has ruled that Austrian website providers using Google Analytics are in violation of the GDPR.

This ruling stems from a decision made in 2020 by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) that stated that cloud services hosted in the US are incapable of complying with the GDPR and EU privacy laws. The decision was made because of the US surveillance laws requiring US providers (like Google or Facebook) to provide personal data to US authorities.

The 2020 ruling, known as “Schrems II”, marked the ending of the Privacy Shield, a framework that allowed for EU data to be transferred to US companies that became certified.

About the Austrian DPA’s Model Case

In this specific case, noyb (the European Center for Digital Rights) found that IP addresses (which are classified as personal data by the GDPR) and other identifiers were sent to the US in cookie data as a result of the organisation using Google Analytics.

This model case led to the DPA’s decision to rule that Austrian website providers using Google Analytics are in violation of GDPR. It is believed that other EU Member States will soon follow in this decision as well.

“We expect similar decisions to now drop gradually in most EU member states. We have filed 101 complaints in almost all Member States and the authorities coordinated the response. A similar decision was also issued by the European Data Protection Supervisor last week.”

Max Schrems, honorary chair of

What does this mean if you are using Google Analytics?

If there is one thing to learn from this case, it is that ignoring these court rulings and continuing to use Google Analytics is not a viable option.

If you are operating a website in Austria, or your website services Austrian citizens, you should remove Google Analytics from your website immediately.

For businesses in other EU Member States, it is also highly recommended that you take action before noyb and local data protection authorities start targeting more businesses.

2020Media uses Matomo On-Premise Analytics as part of our Managed WordPress service, meaning two things:

  • Setup is done automatically for you.
  • Full compliance with GDPR and Data Protection Rules because your website data is held entirely within the UK.

Find out more about 2020Media’s hosting services at

How to Use Web Analytics to Improve SEO – read the Matomo blog post about making the most of your web stats here.

Improve the Performance of your WordPress Website

A new feature launched today offers Static WordPress Hosting for 2020Media Managed WordPress websites.

In collaboration with Cloudflare Inc, the world leader in globally distributed content delivery, the new Automatic Platform Optimisation services takes your WordPress site and serves it as a static HTML site fully cached from servers near your vistors.

Results are impressive, , with a 72% reduction in Time to First Byte (TTFB), 23% reduction to First Contentful Paint, and 13% reduction in Speed Index for desktop users at the 90th percentile. This means visitors to your website see not only the first content sooner but all content more quickly.

Our Managed WordPress hosting all ready offers static content caching – which is files like images, CSS and JavaScript, but that is only part of the equation. Dynamic content is still fetched from the origin server incurring costly round trips and additional processing time.

The new option also means you can keep managing and updating content on your website in the same way and leave the hard work for performance to us. No extra steps are needed on your site at all.

Logged-in users and Ecommerce (woocommerce in the intial release) are supported too – the system checks for “cookies” – little bits of data that are unique to specific users – and bypasses the cache for them. This ensures customized content for a specific user is only visible to that user.

Interested? The service costs from £5+VAT per month and you can try it for a single month to ensure it benefits your site. Get in touch on 0370 321 2020 or by emailing us here:

2020Media Managed WordPress and WordPress 5.0

WordPress version 5.0  is now officially released. By introducing a new block editor, it will change the way people edit their website content considerably. The new editor allows you to layout your text, images and other media in many new creative ways, but it is also more complex to start using.

We would normally update sites using our Managed WordPress to the latest version automatically, once the new release has been “in the wild” for a few days (in case there are any last minute bugs that slipped through all the testing). However we will delay a little longer this time, and more importantly, we will automatically install and activate the Classic Editor plugin along with the new WordPress core update. By default your content editor will remain exactly as it is.

the Classic Editor Plugin

You can switch to the new editor if and when you are ready at the click of a button within the WordPress dashboard.  The Classic Editor will NOT overwrite the new block editor, but will allow you to also use the Classic Editor as an alternative for as long as you want to (technically until 2022 when it will be retired).

Switching between old and new editor
Switching between old and new editor

The new editor (called Gutenburg) will take some time to get used to, if you have always used the built-in editor, but many premium themes include a block editor so for many customers, it may already be familiar.

As always our Managed WordPress service makes a daily backup of your site so your website can be restored at the click of a button if any compatibility issues arise


Improvements to Managed WordPress

2020Media is delighted to announce new features to their Managed WordPress hosting plans.

Global CDN Performance and DDOS protection

  • As a hosting partner for CloudFlare, we are delighted to offer the benefits of their free global CDN plan to all our Managed WordPress customers.
  • Websites load twice as fast on an international CDN and use 60% less bandwidh.
  • Cloudflare also blocks thousands of malware, DDOS  attacks.
  • “Railgun” an optional add-on for even more performance.
  • WordPress database optimisation done automatically to keep WordPress fast.
Cloudflare Distributed Performance and Security

Managed WordPress Backups

  • We efficiently auto-backup only the changes every 24 hours.
  • Your sites are safely backed up to Google Drive, Amazon S3 or Dropbox.
  • Stage an update to check integrity before making the changes live.
  • With smart update detection techniques, we automagically detect security updates and apply them on your WordPress sites.

Updates with complete Peace of Mind

  • Automatically backs up your WP site whenever an update takes place, be it an auto or a manual update.
  • Automatically checks your site after every update and notifies us in case of a bad update so that we can restore your site.
  • We can restore a specific file or an entire site or just the database. We can also restore your website even if it’s down or deleted.

Security Features

  • Regular security scans against the complete site.
  • Advanced bot blocking technology locks out intruders without compromising performance.
  • Alerts from Google Search Engine Console reports any problems with your site that might affect it’s search engine ranking.
  • Sucuri Malware scans to root out malware.
Your WordPress watchdog


“The 2020Media Managed WordPress service keeps on getting better and better” … Richard Clarke

If you’re looking for a faster, safer website, you’ve got a good start with 2020Media.  Contact us on 0370 321 2020 or email