The universal GP Training website for everyone, not just Bradford.   Created in 2002 by Dr Ramesh Mehay

Site Optimisation Tips

1. Review your hosting
Make sure your hosting is up to the task, poor quality, cheap shared hosting is not going toperform well.
– Use Server Side Caching

  • Use any server-side caching that your host offers you eg. Siteground’s SG Optimizer

– Check your hosting PHP version

  • Elementor > System Info
  • Make sure your hosting is using the latest version of PHP to run your site – 7.4 ideally. This can improve site speeds significantly.

– Check your memory limit

  • Elementor > System Info
  • Make sure your Memory Limit is at least 256mb
  • Contact your host if you aren’t sure.

2 .Optimise Images

  • Images are one of the major culprits for poor site performance, don’t use images that are larger than you need – eg, if you are adding an image that is a third of the width of a 1140px column – you will never need that image to be over 380px wide. Don’t use a 2560px wide full size image in there!
  • Image compression is important – it removes all unnecessary data and compresses the image for use on the web.
  • Ideally put all images through a compression tool before uploading to the site – tinypng.com will reduce image sizes by up to 80%
  • Otherwise use an image compression tool on your site  – Smush will reduce images by up to 20% ( more if using the paid version )

3. Minify

  • Minify js, html and css files for faster loading – This is standard practice, although not necessary required with asynchronous loading
  • Note: magnification can cause problems with asset loading, particularly javascript so test once enabled. Be careful of the killer combination of a caching plugin+image optimisation plugin+lazy load+ Elementor motion effects.Your motion effects section may end up not loading…..

4. Elementor Add-on Plugins Modules

  • Eg: Ultimate Addons for Elementor
  • If you use a third-party plugin for adding additional widgets check if you can turn off the widgets that you don’t use from it’s settings. This will save loading files on the site that you are never going to use.
  • Only use these additional plugins if absolutely necessary. Is it worth loading a large plugin like this if you only want to add a single widget to a single page?

5. Elementor Experimental performance options.

  • Important: Check Elementor website for layout changes after enabling.
  • 1. Optimize Dom Output
    – removes unnecessary div wrappers to reduce html size. Improve Asset Loading
  • 2. Improve Asset Loading
    – Only loads certain Elementor javascript files where they are used, rather than on the whole

5. Avoid Unnecessary Plugins

  • Don’t use third party plugins if your site doesn’t need them – they may consume resources that can slow down your website, particularly on poor hosting.
  • Eg. Live Chat, Slider plugins, Statistics plugins, Broken Link checkers, Backup plugins, Membership plugins etc.
  • If you have a slow website you can test using Query Monitor plugin to see what is taking time to load or deactivate plugins and re-test to see what speed changes are made.

6. Pick the right theme

  • Recommended: Hello Elementor theme, Astra theme.
  • Trying to build with Elementor on top of an already code-bloated Themeforest theme will cause significant issues when both building your site and also with site performance. Use a simple theme and then let Elementor do the hard work.

7. Use a CDN

  • A Content delivery network can be very effective, particularly in serving large assets such as images. It can also help with DNS speeds and modification.
  • A CDN may be overkill for a small, local website.

Plugins to help you do the job

– Image Optimisation
• Smush – https://en-gb.wordpress.org/plugins/wp-smushit/
• Ewwww – https://wordpress.org/plugins/ewww-image-optimizer/
• Tiny PNG (not as effective as the website and free option limited to 100 images per month) –
• ShortPixel (account required, free for up to 100 images per month) – https://wordpress.org/
– Caching Plugins
• WP Rocket – https://wp-rocket.me/
• LiteSpeed – https://en-gb.wordpress.org/plugins/autoptimize/
• Autoptimize – https://en-gb.wordpress.org/plugins/litespeed-cache/

Page Speed Testers

Helps see where your slow page speeds are coming from.
• Google Page Speed Insights – https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
• GT Metrix – https://gtmetrix.com/
• Kingdom – https://tools.pingdom.com/

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Bradford VTS was created by Dr. Ramesh Mehay, a Programme Director for Bradford GP Training Scheme back in 2001. Over the years, it has seen many permutations.  At the time, there were very few resources for GP trainees and their trainers so Bradford decided to create one FOR EVERYONE. 

So, we see Bradford VTS as  the INDEPENDENT vocational training scheme website providing a wealth of free medical resources for GP trainees, their trainers and TPDs everywhere and anywhere.  We also welcome other health professionals – as we know the site is used by both those qualified and in training – such as Associate Physicians, ANPs, Medical & Nursing Students. 

Our fundamental belief is to openly and freely share knowledge to help learn and develop with each other.  Feel free to use the information – as long as it is not for a commercial purpose.   

We have a wealth of downloadable resources and we also welcome copyright-free educational material from all our users to help build our rich resource (send to bradfordvts@gmail.com).

Our sections on (medical) COMMUNICATION SKILLS and (medical) TEACHING & LEARNING are perhaps the best and most comprehensive on the world wide web (see white-on-black menu header section on the homepage).