by Peter Darko from Finder Mind |
My plan here is to give you a few great tips you can immediately use to make your blog better. You can speed up your blog instantly with just adding 1 plugin. Or you can learn one simple principle used in management for centuries and use it WordPress more eficient. This is just a small part of what you will get if you take some time and read the information below. Let’s get started.
1. Use W3 Total Cache (not WP Super Cache)
I did a small experiment on my blog using these 2 caching plugins. What I did was:
a) Take one big post of my blog with a lot of pictures and text
b) Measure the current speed,
c) Measure the speed with Super Cache Installed (the most popular caching plugin):
This happens consistently, the speed of the site with Super Cache installed and its default settings is always the same or slower.
d) Measure the speed with w3 Total Cache Installed:
The speed of the site for slowest users increased by 200% by only installing W3 Total Cache with its default settings. Now, imagine what would happen if I have spent some time customizing it…more information on why W3 is better than Super Cache from the W3 Total Cache founder here.
2. Kill most plugins
Let’s be honest…you probably don’t need a lot of the plugins you currently have. Sacrificing the blog’s fanciness for the blog’s performance is good trade-off if you ask me. Many plugins insert extra pieces of code in the WordPress installation and make it slower overall.
3. Do a 80/20 Audit
If you have no idea about the 80/20 rule means, read about it here. A ’80/20 audit’ (that’s how I like to call it) is looking at your blog and seeing which 20% of the extra functionality brings 80% of the results. We examined killing plugins before. What about killing extra features of your template? What about removing extra widgets that aren’t really useful for your visitors? The key here is to provide the best user experience by focusing on what matters (and increasing the overall site speed).
4. Learn how to make better titles
Writing for the web is very different than writing for print. On the web, people don’t read much and want to get to the point as fast as possible.
1 VERY important rule when writing titles on the web is to tell as clearly as possible what the post is about. So if you’re writing a post on WordPress plugins, a bad title would be:
- Check out these WordPress Plugins
A better title would be:
- 20 WordPress Plugins to Make Your Blog Faster
A rule of thumb when writing blog titles is to avoid ambiguity and focus on specificity (clearly tell what they expect to get from the post). This applies if you’re writing an informational post where people would be looking for help/advice.
If you’re writing entertainment type of posts, then there are no rules :)
5. Beware of ‘Related posts’ plugin inefficiencies
Most related posts plugins generate related posts on the fly. Be aware of this and install some efficient ‘related posts’ plugin instead. Again, like with Super Cache, if something is the most popular thing it doesn’t mean it’s best.
6. Have more than 15 posts? Use more sophisticated post/page navigation
It’s a pain when I want to see more posts of a particular blog and need to click the ‘previous page’ and ‘next page’. Why not have numbers of pags instead? That’s where WP-Page-Navi comes in.
7. Use WP-DB-Backup to backup efficiency/produce smallest database size
I’ve honestly tried A LOT of plugins to backup my database but so far WP-DB-Backup produces the smallest database size. Don’t worry about the fact it was updated back in 2008, the plugin still works very well.
8. Track your blog uptime – Important!
This is CRUCIAL if you got a new host or haven’t examined your existing one. There are so many hosts out there who simply can’t provide a decent uptime for its users. Pingdom is the most popular tool (and possibly the best) tool for tracking uptime.
Implement all of the tips in 20-30 minutes, a to-do list:
1) Install and activate W3-Total-Cache from ‘Add new’ in the plugins section.
2) Look at the plugins section of your WordPress blog and ask yourself ‘Which of these plugins I haven’t used for 30+ days?"
3) Look at the widgets and the whole template of your WordPress blog and ask yourself ‘Which of these widgets/theme features I haven’t used for 30+ days?"
4) Look at the last 5 post titles of your blog and ask: "Do these titles say clearly what the post is about?" If not, make a note to read something more about usability and change some things later.
5) If you have any popular ‘related posts’ plugin, delete it and install Efficient Related Posts.
6) Install and activate WP-PageNavi via the "Add New" button of the Plugins sections in the WordPress admin.
7) Install and activate WP-DB-Backup and schedule a weekly backup sent to your email.
8) Add your site to Pingdom and set up weekly email notifications.
I found that one of the biggest barriers to people taking action is not being given specific steps they can take to get the result they want, so hopefully the to-do list above will motivate you to go and take the 8 steps now.
Peter Darko is the owner of FinderMind, a website on how to find people for free which deals with issues on how to locate your long-lost friends/family members/classmates.