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4 Proven Ways to Maximize Your WordPress Website’s Performance

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You should know by now that starting a WordPress website is easy to do, even if you have no web development technical knowledge or experience.

After all, hosting providers provide setup wizards and one-click WordPress installations. Not to mention, there are plenty of free resources available to help you when you have a problem.

But what you may not realize is that once your website is up and running, you’ve only just begun.

For example, you have to:

  • Plan and publish killer on your blog to drive traffic
  • Capture emails and create an email signature to encourage campaign opens and click throughs
  • Build a social media presence to expose your brand to a broader audience
  • Upload and promote eCommerce products and services
  • Perform keyword research, optimize for SEO, and monitor your competition
  • And so much more

And to top it off, if you don’t focus on your site’s speed and performance, it won’t matter how much work you do; you won’t rank well in search results and your traffic numbers will suffer.

Plus, with 40% of people abandoning websites that don’t load within 3 seconds, you can expect a high bounce rate, low conversion rates, and minimal revenue generated if you aren’t proactive.

As overwhelming as all of this may sound, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

If you need help maximizing your WordPress website’s performance, check out these helpful tips and start worrying about other things instead such as growing your following or business.

1. Monitor Site Speed

Remember what we said earlier about people abandoning websites that don’t load fast?

Well, it’s true.

And if you don’t do something about a slow loading website, you’ll never become a success.

The best thing you can do when you set out to maximize your website’s speed and performance is to find out where you stand right now before making any changes.

To do this, use the online Google PageSpeed Insights tool. It’s free to use and only requires you to enter your site’s URL for analysis.

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After your site is analyzed, you’ll be able to see how fast both your desktop and mobile sites load and even receive suggestions from Google for making improvements.

Once you’ve established a baseline, every time you make a significant change on your site to maximize its performance, you can retest your site and see how far you’ve come.

Continue to monitor your site’s speed and performance as long as you’re in business to ensure your site visitors get the best user experience possible.

2. Optimize Your Images

When it comes to having the best performing WordPress website around, 46% of web performance experts say that image optimization should be your number one priority.

After all, images tend to take the longest to load on your website.

And your site visitors won’t see a thing on your site until every image loads into their browser, which may take longer than 3 seconds if you’re not careful.

Luckily, when you use WordPress as your content management system, optimizing images is a cinch. Using the popular Smush It plugin, you can do the following to your site’s images:

  • Resize images’ heights and widths, so they aren’t too large
  • Compress images into smaller files without sacrificing their quality
  • Process JPG, PNG, and GIF formats
  • Manually compress images or set Smush It to do it automatically when you upload a new image
  • Bulk compress images to save time

Also, Smush It uses their own servers to do all the work, so your site’s server is never compromised, which also helps keep things running fast.

(Image Source – my website)

Adding images to your website is a great way to grab people’s attention and get them to take action.

They also serve as a good way to break up long text, so people don’t leave before reading everything you have to say.

Not to mention, creating a custom business logo and uploading it to your WordPress site is the best way to build brand recognition and establish yourself as an authority in your industry.

But if the images hurt you more than they help, there is no sense using them. That’s why you need to invest some time into optimizing them for maximum loading speeds.

3. Use a Reliable Hosting Provider

There are so many hosting providers out there to choose from that it can be tough to figure out which one is best. This is especially true if you are just starting out and are on a limited budget.

However, we can make things a little easier for you by telling you what to look for in a good hosting provider so you know your site will load fast and perform well – all the time.

So, let’s see what a high-quality web hosting plan should have:

  • Support for PHP 7, the fastest version to date
  • Built-in security measure to prevent DDoS attacks, brute force attacks, and other malicious activity that can take your site down
  • Bandwidth and storage amounts that will let you scale as your business grows (and handle one-time traffic spikes too)
  • An easy to use cPanel that you can access when something goes wrong
  • Automated backups of your site that are easy to restore in case your site goes down (because it does happen)
  • 24/7 support to help stop speed and performance issues in their tracks
  • Uptime guarantees
  • Built-in speed and performance features

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Lastly, you should research a reliable third-party company for buying a unique domain name if the hosting provider you decide to go with doesn’t offer domain name registrations.

After all, a website is no good without a domain name. And the one you choose will have a direct impact on the success of your business.

People will associate your domain name with what you have to offer. If you don’t use one that correlates with your industry, you’ll miss opportunities to get people to convert because they’ll never click on your site.

If you make your domain name too long or complicated, people will mistype it and never show up.

And if you choose a domain name that infringes on a copyright or trademark, you can expect legal troubles to come your way.

That’s why using a good company to register your domain name and putting some extra thought into it is crucial for your future success.

4. Enable Browser Caching

People that return to your website are doing so because you have something they want. And if you make their user experience seamless, chances are high they’ll continue to return.

Enabling browser caching on your website an excellent strategy for delivering static content to site visitors as fast as possible.

That’s because those files are stored in your site’s cache.

And, when someone who has visited your site before returns, they will be given the stored files without having to wait for them to reload through your site’s server and their browser.

For a WordPress website, you can use a free caching plugin such as WP Super Cache, select a single checkbox, and start serving up cached content right away.

(Image Source – my website)

There are also other popular caching plugins such as W3 Total Cache, WP Fastest Cache, and Comet Cache if you want to look into alternatives.

Final Thoughts

As you see are plenty of easy ways to make sure your site is performing the way your site visitors expect it to.

You just need to set aside some time to see how fast your site is loading now, and then make changes based on those results.

Before you know it, you’ll be ranking higher in search results, more traffic will be coming to your site, and you’ll see a lower bounce rate as people stay engaged with your content when they arrive.

So, if you’ve just launched your WordPress site and want to make sure you continue to grow and become a success, implement a few of the above strategies and you’ll be all set!

 

On-Page SEO: The Ins and Outs of it

On-page SEO is the course of making your website or webpage search-engine friendly. To make a long story as basic in words as possible for now – it is a process in which you tweak and adjust certain features on your website so that search engines like Google, Bing etc are able to index and crawl over your website. The tweaking is to make sure that your website’s content or structure is well understood by the search engines as a result.

In this piece of writing, we will be focusing on the On-Page or On-site SEO to help you understand the ins and outs of it – how you can use it to your best and most of all – how much of a basic knowledge you need to impress your interviewer(s) or bosses. By the end of this article, you will be able to discuss on-page SEO with confidence and a superior knowledge to your fellow newbies.

The first thing you need to know is that what exactly is On-Page SEO?

On-page SEO can be explained as the procedure for optimization of web pages so that they rank higher and in result gain more traffic via Google and other such search engines. An on-page includes both;

  •  Content
  •  HTML Source Code

This means that both the content, as well as the code, can be optimized in order to maintain or better your web page’s ranking.

Off-page SEO, however, is dependent on;

  • Links
  • Other External Signals

The main purpose of an off-page SEO is to help your website rank higher in ways on-site doesn’t. While you focus on your own website’s;

  • Pages
  • Titles
  • Tags
  • Content
  • Overall Structure

In on page SEO so as to optimize everything around your keyword – an off-page technique would focus more on ‘off-site’ (Off the website stuff) like back-linking from significant and renowned sites as a way to lead more traffic to your own on-site page.

Source: https://moz-static.s3.amazonaws.com/learn/seo/elements-optimized-sml.gif?mtime=20170104131405

On-Page Ranking Factors:

Now that you have a know-how about the difference between on-page as well as off page – let’s move on to the next point which is going to help you increase your site’s ranking by manifolds.

The on-page ranking factors can impact your website’s individual page’s ability to rank better if optimized.

Page Content

The content on your page is what can either make or break it for you. If your content is good and unique in quality – both the audience as well as the google algorithms would stay happy. In case, you have no idea about what a Google algorithm is then thought of it like an online inspector that inspects your site on the basis of your content quality, customer reviews/ trust, and your websites’ authority.

When your page has a good content then it meets the audience’s reason for searching the internet. Thus, your content should be your first and foremost priority. However, in the eyes of the internet and some people too – if your content isn’t accessible of linkable then it doesn’t matter whether it is bad or good – it’s of the same value i.e. zero. Thus, it is important to write on a trending topic and not something that people might not even have an idea about – unless your blog or website already is generating a lot of traffic, of course.

Title Tag

Being an HTML element, a title tag is used to specify the ‘title’ (you can totally understand by its name too) of a web page. Whenever someone searches the good on a topic similar to your title tag – it appears on the search engine results pages also known as SERPs.

Title tags hold great importance for;

  • Usability
  • SEO
  • Social sharing

When writing a title tag – be sure to write something that gives an idea of the content. It’d hold the audience’s attention and make them want to click on it too. Don’t try to stuff your title tag with a keyword – if it is stuffed – google won’t support it and the algorithms would push it to the invisibility level.

URL

You know the web addresses you put in the search tab and a website opens up are called URLs, right? A ‘uniform resource locator’ or URL states the location of a source on the internet (your webpage being one of them). A URL also uses a ‘protocol’ that can be sued to retrieve the resource or webpage you want to open. HTTP, FTP, HTTPS etc are an example or protocol.

While writing a URL – make sure that it is no longer than 2083 characters. Moreover, it should not be like domainname.com/4451.html. This is an example of a bad URL. A good URL should be as the picture below shows. A good URL reflects the hierarchy of information on a particular website.

Image Alt Text

Sometimes, due to slow or poor connection, the user is unable to view an image – that is when the Alt or alternative text comes into play. It is displayed in place of a picture to give the reader/ audience an idea of what it is.

Related image

Internal & External Links

Sometimes, when you are reading an article a text in blue or some other colour catches your attention. If you click it – you’d be led to another page. This is an internal or external link … a hyperlink that takes you to another resource or web page that either consists of an image or a whole new article. The links are termed as internal or external depending on the domain or website they have as their target destination. It is a common way to provide useful resources to content and to pass link juice from one post to another, resulting into better positioning in search engine results.

Well Optimized Webpage

An ideal webpage optimization would have the following:

  • Hyper-Relevance of the Topic i.e. in Title Tag, Meta Description, URL, Image Alt Text Etc.
  • Unique and Quality Content
  • Good Page Loading Time
  • Rating and Star Buttons to Promote Customer Review
  • Link back to its – category as well as their subs page, homepage etc.

Author Bio: Nathan John works as Content Editor at u verse packages. He contributes in various online communities and writes about technology, marketing & entertainment.