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8-Step Process to Speeding Up Your WordPress Site

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How fast does your website load? If you don’t know, then you could be missing out on a lot of traffic and lost revenue as a result of a slow loading site. Just because your site loads fast for you, it doesn’t mean it will load fast for everyone. It’s actually depends on a wide range of factors… all of which we will be covering in this article.

First of all, a fast loading website is extremely important for a number of reasons. Here are just a few of them:

  • Keep your audience happy
  • Limit your bounce rate
  • Google ranks fast sites higher
  • Faster website earn more per visitor

These are just four of the most obvious reasons to have a fast loading site. Besides the obvious point of a slow loading site being extremely annoying, it’s a huge financial and growth factor as well.

I’ve already covered most of these points in previous articles on this blog, so this time I want to focus solely on how you can actually speed up your site — step by step. However, just to provide a reminder of how important loading time and page speed is to your business and brand, take a look at the graphic below provided by Aberdeen Group. No matter how much traffic, revenue or business your site is generating online… it can still be leaving a lot of money on the table if it’s not loading as fast as possible.

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8 Steps to a Faster Loading WordPress Site

Each of the methods below will be used to increase the loading time and speed of your site in different ways. For this reason, I highly recommend you do a Google Speed Test on your website before implementing any of them tips, then running it again each time you make changes to your site. This way you can see what improvements have worked best. Special thanks to Blogging Basics 101 for the infographic below.

what_is_slowing_site_down

1 – Identify What Causes Your Site to Slow Down

If you want to have a fast loading website or blog, you will find need to find out what areas are slowing it down. A great way to accomplish this is to run a simple speed and optimization test through sites like Pingdom, WebPageTest or GT Metrix.

Each of these solutions will analyze your site and then provide a report for you on how fast each section of your site is loading. As mentioned earlier, this is one of the first things you should be doing before moving forward with any of the steps below.

email_marketing

2 – Get Rid of Unnecessary Plugins

WordPress is one of the greatest content management platforms ever created, however it can also be loaded up with some unnecessary features as well — such as plugins.

It’s important to not only remove such plugins after installing WordPress on your site, but also to remove any unwanted or unused plugins after you may no longer need them. A good rule of thumb to remember is, the more complex a WordPress plugin in… the more likely it is slowing down your site.

P3Profiler is a great plugin for analyzing WordPress plugins and see letting you know which may be affecting the speed of your site.

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3 – Practice Optimizing Your Database

The power behind your WordPress site is actually the database that it’s running off of. Just like a computer, this database can fill up with junk over time and slow down in it’s processing speed. Other areas that can slow down your WordPress site include spam comments, drafts, revisions and old plugin tables.

Optimizing your database is not only a great way to speed up your site, it’s also quite easy to accomplish as well. Garbage Collector is a plugin that will help clean up unwanted tables and different areas of your site.

cdn_network

4 – Understand Content Delivery Networks (CDN)

One of the best ways to immediately improve the loading time of your site is to connect with a content delivery network. The way a CDN works is simple, they basically host a copy of your site in different places around the world so your readers are directed to a server closer to them.

For a CDN to work, all a site owner needs to do is modify their root domain DNS configurations (ie: domain.com) and those of its subdomain as well (www.domain.com / img.domain.com). The root domain (A record) will also need to point to the CDN’s IP ranges as well. It sounds like a complicated process, but it’s actually quite simple and will only need to be set up once. Most CDNs will also provide you with a complete tutorial on how to set this up as well.

Content delivery networks can actually help your site with a lot more than just increasing its loading time. Further benefits of having a CDN associated with your site includes:

  • Improve page load speed
  • Handle high traffic loads
  • Block spammers, scrapers and other bad bots
  • Localize coverage without the cost
  • Reduce bandwidth consumption
  • Load balance between multiple servers
  • Protect your website from DDoS attacks
  • Secure your application

I personally like the CDN from Incapsula, since it has integrated DDoS protection, WAF and real-time traffic monitoring (failover and HA).

W3 Total Cache is definitely my recommendation as a popular WordPress plugin that is often used to connect WordPress sites with their CDN of choice.

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5 – Learn to Speed Up Images Issues

One of the heaviest areas of content and resources on your site is going to be image use. Every photo on our site must be downloaded by your audience every time your site is accessed. This includes site design images and content as well. In short… the more images you have, the longer your site is going to take to load.

An excellent way to speed up your site while lowering image loading issues is to add lazy loading to your site. This will only load images as the reader scrolls down into your site content. Some popular plugins for this are Lazy Load, BT Lazy Load and Lazy Widget Leader.

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6 – Never Forget to Use Caching

Caching is a great way to speed up your site and content delivery while also reducing the amount of requests that are being sent to and from your server. The more and longer they processes to your server takes, the longer loading time your site will have.

To help with this process, you can implement a caching plugin to do most of this work for you. Such plugins change dynamic files into static HTML files, thus speeding up the time is takes for your site to load.

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7 – Minimize and Minify Your Code

While WordPress has made the concept of creating websites and content very easy, it hasn’t done a world of wonders for the actual coding and page sizes that are being published. A better way to get around this and release sites and content with smaller loading times is to minimize and minify your coding wherever possible.

This is best accomplished through the use of GZIP, which can reduce your page size by up to 70%. This can be done by modifying your .htaccess file or using a plugin like W3 Total Cache or WP HTTP Compression.

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8 – Social Media Sharing

We all know about the importance of social media sharing and adding those cool Facebook Fan Page boxes and sharing buttons to our sites, but are you using the right ones? As great as some of them might look, they could actually be causing more damage than good.

Many of these tools and plugins are very heavy in coding or resources, which ultimately slows down your site. Some of the most recommended and fast loading WP plugins for social sharing are Floating Social Bar, Share Center Pro or WP MashSocial widget.

Speeding Up Your WordPress Site Infographic

In addition to everything we’ve laid out above in detail, you can also walk through this same 8-step process in the visual infographic below.

speeding-up-wordpress-hd-infographic-e1469662373320-png

 

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3 Examples of How to Promote Your Brand with Targeted Blog Content

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Blog content works wonders if you know how to effectively promote it and rank it in the search results. The main problem is that most bloggers and content creators are simply focused on creating content and then not putting in the time, work, and effort to actually promote. This is a direct path to failure for many reasons, such as:

  • Wasted time being spent on publishing 500-word articles
  • Not having evergreen content you can refer to time and time again
  • Scattering your SEO and link building efforts all over the place

A better way to create content for your site or brand, is to make sure you are covering as much content as possible, while also staying niche specific and having a call to action in the process. It’s also best to publish content that has at least 1,500 words of content, and is something that you can refer to over and over again. Even better, is if you can include some industry resources, references, and graphics, which can legitimize your content and also increase your chances for picking up some additional backlinks and social shares from regular site visitors.

With all of this in mind, let’s take a look at a few different brands that are doing content creation correctly, and how you can also grow your brand, blog, and business using these same methods.

Before We Get Started

Before we jump into the list of sites and a few examples of winning content for each, we should cover a few valid points when it comes to blogging.

WordPress makes blogging and content creation extremely easy. There are already more than 300 million WP-powered sites and blogs on the internet today.

There are also many different ways to create content, share it online, and also make it rank higher and more effectively in Google.

Before creating content for your site and clicking the publish button, you should have a solid content creation and marketing plan.

To learn more about the various components of effective, be sure to check out this start a blog guide.

Examples of Brands Using Evergreen Content

One of the most important things to remember when looking at different online companies and brands, isn’t just how well the content they create is performing, but also how they are creating content for their audience. Content is great, but if it doesn’t provide value and funnel new leads or sources of revenue into your business, it’s pretty much just more clutter being added to the one billion+ active websites online.

Making Job Search and Business Opportunities Easy

JobCompass is a website that covers the concept of making money in the world today, while also creating niche-focused content that targets a select group, demographic or audience. You will find a wide range of list and resource articles on their site, but you will also find some useful ones like this one on  where to find jobs for pregnant moms.

The revenue generation on the site comes from a range of sources, but it’s mostly based on affiliate marketing and lead acquisition. This makes it ideal for JobCompass to continually come out with as many useful resources and money making opportunities on their site, while also having their own recommended (likely an affiliate offer) method as well.

With a ton of evergreen content in place, and audiences all over the world always looking to make more money, this is a win-win situation for both JobCompass and their audience.

The Business of ‘Business on Social Media’

Facebook and Twitter are multi-billion dollar companies, but the business of marketing and growing a brand on social media collectively is even much larger. When you look at the many different brands and businesses in the world today, they all need to be active and growing on social media. Throw into the mix that there are plenty of social media platforms out there and new audiences to reach daily, it just seems like a never ending supply for demand and advertising dollars.

One such company that focuses on social media marketing services, is Famoid. Through their social media growth strategies, brands can reach new audiences without needing to create their own marketing an content creation plans. Instead, Famoid does the work for them.

On the Famoid blog, you will come across a wide range of case study articles like this one on gaining traffic on Pinterest. They also have a bunch of similar ones for Twitter and Facebook, while also profiling other brands and strategies they are using as well.

This is ideal for two main reason. The first, is that it creates content for the Famoid brand and allows them to reach new traffic. The second, is that Famoid creates these case studies, brands read it, and then sign up for their services when they realize they don’t want to put in their own time, work, and effort.

Again, win-win for the brand and end customer reading the content.

The Business of ‘Business on Social Media’

Facebook and Twitter are multi-billion dollar companies, but the business of marketing and growing a brand on social media collectively is even much larger. When you look at the many different brands and businesses in the world today, they all need to be active and growing on social media. Throw into the mix that there are plenty of social media platforms out there and new audiences to reach daily, it just seems like a never ending supply for demand and advertising dollars.

One such company that focuses on social media marketing services, is Famoid. Through their social media growth strategies, brands can reach new audiences without needing to create their own marketing an content creation plans. Instead, Famoid does the work for them.

On the Famoid blog, you will come across a wide range of case study articles like this one on gaining traffic on Pinterest. They also have a bunch of similar ones for Twitter and Facebook, while also profiling other brands and strategies they are using as well.

This is ideal for two main reason. The first, is that it creates content for the Famoid brand and allows them to reach new traffic. The second, is that Famoid creates these case studies, brands read it, and then sign up for their services when they realize they don’t want to put in their own time, work, and effort.

Again, win-win for the brand and end customer reading the content.

Free Content, Expert Names and Valuable Content

People use the internet for a few different reasons. They either want to buy something, find information, or to be entertained. If you can cater to one of these demands, then you can definitely create a business or revenue stream in the process.

As mentioned earlier, there is plenty of demand for making money online and entrepreneur/business marketing. Sticking with this content, we can now take a look at Mixergy.com and see how they are using a few different methods to reach new audiences, create killer content, and make money in the process — while also leveraging the power of industry experts and well-known entrepreneurs from around the world.

First off, Mixergy is subscription style site that is focusing on helping businesses and brands grow, while also getting the valuable information they need to do so. It was also created by Andrew Warner, who does most of the content and interviews for the site. You can see one of his most popular interviews here.

Once you take a look at the site, you will notice it’s mostly a landing page that makes the user enter their info before getting access to the content. It’s brilliant and I bet it works amazing. But again, it’s also a perfect example of how a website can provide real value to their audience, while also benefiting in the process.

Some site visitors will leave when they see the call to action, others will sign up for free. Of those who do subscribe, some will then upgrade to the premium plan. It’s all a numbers game, and the more valuable content Mixergy continues to create, the more value they will offer, and the more their business will grow.

The Best Blog Content, Doesn’t Look Like Blog Content

From a business standpoint and from a marketing perspective, blogging doesn’t necessarily have to mean sitting down and writing boring text content that ends up wasting your time.

Just take a look at the few different examples above of how these brands are using blog content to not only offer value, but to also increase lead generation and growth in the process.

If you don’t have a solid content creation and marketing plan, blogging isn’t something that you should be wasting your time on. The internet is way too saturated with content, and if you are just pushing stuff out there to hope it ranks and is being seen, it simply won’t happen.

To learn more about how to create fully optimized content that works in search and for lead generation, be sure to check out my list of top SEO analyzer tools that you should be using in 2019.

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5 Reasons Why Your Business Should Be Writing Blogs Right Now

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Blogging is a great way to get your website noticed and generate more traffic and sales. 86% of companies use a blog on their websites, so you can’t afford to miss out.

You may think that blogs aren’t that important, or that they don’t make a lot of difference to your business. But they are a lot more effective than you may think.

Blogging can increase your lead generation by 67%. Whether you’re a new or established business, this can prove invaluable. Here are 5 reasons your business needs to start writing blogs now.

1. Generate Traffic

Blog posts add more content to your website and thus attract more people to visit your site. Creating web content means that you can direct your readers to other parts of your website.

This means you can write a post about one of your products or services and use yours as an example. When readers discover this, you have a greater chance of boosting sales.

2. Boost SEO

When it comes to marketing your business, SEO is king. SEO determines where your website ranks on search engine results. In turn, it impacts how many people find you.

There are a lot of things that affect your SEO. Things like a fully optimized website and using the right links can make a real difference. Hook Agency says that having the right SEO can double or even triple your traffic from search engines.

Once you have your website sorted, blog content is next. The more blogs you write, the better the SEO. Use popular keywords and terms that your audience would search for. This will make your posts rank higher on search engines and get customers your way.

3. Create a Brand Voice

There are a lot of company blogs out there which may be interesting, but they have no distinctive voice. When they have no voice, they all blend into one.

But if you write blogs with a specific voice, you make an impression. When people can recognise your writing style, they recognise your company.

Set featured imageTry to give your posts a personality. They are more fun to read and will keep people coming back to read for more. They make your brand more trustworthy and encourage people to choose your brand.

4. Showcase Your Services

When it comes to your business, you’re the expert. You know all about your own products and services, so use your blog to show off this knowledge!

Explain what you offer and what you can do for your customers. People want brands to know exactly what they’re selling and it makes you more reliable.

It also serves as a free way to advertise your business. You can write as much or as little as you want on the services you’re offering.  

5. You Stay Ahead of the Curve

When you give your website a blog, you’re also future proofing your business. Those who don’t have blogs are lagging behind and missing out on a lot of great opportunities.

It gives you the chance to be creative and boost your business in a whole new way. You can also add other media like videos and photos to your posts to boost your SEO even further.

Chances are, you’ll find blogging very fun. Regular content on your site gives your business a firm presence and will keep you on the SEO map for longer.

Your Business Needs to Start Writing Blogs Now

Now that you know how important it is to start writing blogs for your business, it’s time to get started. It’s a fun creative challenge which can lead to more traffic and more sales.

Want to start a blog on your website? Check out our services and see how we can help you set it up.

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Cyber Monday and Black Friday Deals Going on Right Now!

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Black Friday is always a great time to take advantage of the huge holiday sales rush. Not only is this true with retail locations, it’s also MASSIVE for online businesses and shopping as well.

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In these video sessions, industry expert Zac Johnson, will walk students through everything they need to know to create a successful and profitable blog online. Such topics include finding that perfect niche market, creating a site from scratch, how to make money with affiliate marketing, and much more!

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Over the past two decade, Zac Johnson has lunched hundreds of websites, thousands of ad campaigns and has also taught his students how to make millions of dollars in the process.

The Complete Guide to Affiliate Marketing & Blogging” is simply one of the best courses for learning how to create a legitimate and profitable business on the internet, while also being 100% taught through lessons created by Zac Johnson himself.

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