Gift Tanakan Blog

Image: Homepage of my current blog, Gift Tanakan

Personal | Build, Improve, Support | 2018 – present | Website Link

Project Overview: 

My blog, built in 2018, is where I have written about my growth, interests, and passion over the years. It’s also a playground to practice my WordPress skills. In 2022, I improved the web’s sustainability by moving from Dreamhost to Krystal and optimizing media. As a result, the site turned from “dirtier than 64% of web pages tested” to “cleaner than 82% of web pages tested.” 


Table of Content:


Goals:

  • Move the web host from Bluehost to Dreamhost: Dreamhost is one of the green web hosts, where it makes an effort to host websites more sustainably. While that’s not the case for Bluehost. 
  • Improve the global web design: Create a simple brand identity (fonts and colors) and apply it to the entire site for consistency and uniformity.
  • Optimize content and performance: Resize, compress, and lazy-load images, and cache files. These practices will help reduce energy use and speed up load time. 
  • Enable email sign-up system: Make it easy for users to sign up to my email list, where I can give free values, build trust, and later offer my web development services.
Image: Homepage of my original blog, The Craft Minded
Image: Homepage of my original blog, The Craft Minded
Above: Homepage of my original blog, The Craft Minded

Main tools & plugins:

WordPress,Open-source Content Management System (CMS)

Neve,“Neve is a super fast, easily customizable, multi-purpose theme. It’s perfect for blogs, small business, startups, agencies, firms, e-commerce shops (WooCommerce storefront) as well as personal portfolio sites and most types of projects.”

Smush,A plugin that compresses, resizes, and lazy loads images

W3 Total Cache,A plugin that caches files to speed up load time

GenerateBlock (Pro),Page builder tool

MailerLiteA tool that enables email signup and email marketing automation

Learn more about each tool.

Actions Taken:

  • Moved the web host from Bluehost to Dreamhost, and finally, Krystal
    • I moved my blog content from Bluehost to my existing website on Dreamhost. My blog domain turned from thecraftminded.com to gifttanakan.com.
    • I ended up moving both the website and domain registration from Dreamhost to Krystal. That’s because Krystal is more proactive in greening up web hosting operations as it uses 100% renewable energy to run its data centers.
  • Improved the global web design
    • I chose my brand colors and designed a logo on Canva. I included these branding elements in the theme customizer, so they can be applied automatically across the site.
    • I used system fonts, Georgia and Arial. System fonts are preinstalled in most devices, thus they require less energy to load.
    • I opted for icons and flat graphics over photos. This reduces energy use and load time.
Image: Flat graphics on the blog
Above: Flat graphics on the blog
  • Optimized content and performance
    • I changed the theme to Neve, a more lightweight, faster, and highly customizable one.
    • I used Smush to resize, compress, and lazy-load images.
    • To speed up load time by caching files, I installed W3 Total Cache.
    • I made web content more clear, concise, and engaging. I included a call-to-action phrase or button that encourages actions in order to reduce dead ends. 
  • Enabled email sign-up system
    • I integrated MailerLite, an email service provider, into my blog’s footer.
    • I inserted the MailerLite script tag into the header using Head, Footer and Post Injections plugin. The sign-up form was placed in the footer widget area. 
    • On MailerLite, I set up a system to send emails automatically to my subscribers every month. 
Image: Email signup form embedded in the footer
Above: Email signup form embedded in the footer

Results:

I achieved all the goals. My blog has become less carbon intensive, more speedy, consistent, and simpler to navigate.

  • Efficient, green web host
    • All of my website assets are now hosted with Krystal, who truly cares about sustainable hosting and has excellent customer service. 
    • Krystal is a UK-based web host and has data centers in the US. Thus my data is stored and transferred nearby my audience’s and my location. 
  • Minimal and consistent brand identity
    • With simple branding assets plugged in with the theme, it’s easy to manage and maintain consistency throughout the site.
    • Using flat icons from Canva to make graphics for the site is easier and faster than selecting stock images from endless collections of an open-source program. Icons also require less energy to display on the site.
  • Well-optimized content and a speedy site
    • Before all the improvement, the blog’s homepage was “dirtier than 64% of web pages tested”. After the improvement, it became “cleaner than 82% of web pages tested” according to websitecarbon.com.
    • Based on the GTmetrix report, the homepage gets a grade A with 100% in performance and 98% in structure. Its fully loaded time is 878ms with a total page weight of 250KB
Image: Homepage carbon before & after
Above: Homepage carbon before & after