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How to speed up your WordPress website to keep visitors happy
Google admits that website speed is an important ranking factor.
So if your site takes a longer time to load, it will start dropping from the rankings, or may never reach a page high enough in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) when someone searches for phrases related to your keywords.
So how do we fix this?
A huge percentage of websites these days (it’s October 2017) are built and self-hosted WordPress.org sites. This is GREAT news!
I love WordPress — I migrated all of my clients 8-10 years ago, and I’ve been thrilled ever since. I tried many other website software and solutions, and put a lot of time in to get them just right, but in the end WordPress.org won me over.
It’s simplicity can make for uncomfortable bedfellows though when your site starts to slow down, and people click away before pages even load. There are several potential reasons this happens, and today I’d like to share a couple of quick solutions you can do as soon as you read how.
It’s possible some PLUGINS are slowing down your site
It’s so easy to add new functionality to WordPress sites, and we might ending up adding way too many plugins — and then not even using some of them.
I’m guilty of exactly that, I’ve even deactivated plugins and forgot to delete them altogether, so lets look at how to tidy up our websites right now.
Step 1 – Housekeeping/Removing Unnecessary Plugins
Login to your website, and click the Plugins link to view the list of plugins which have been installed.
Scroll through the installed plugins and remove anything which you know is not essential (if in doubt, leave it and do some research first). Remove everything that your site does not need. Bravo! Your site can now do sit ups much faster! This step can cut page loading times in half.
Step 2 – Adding an essential Cache Plugin
In the last step we removed all the plugins we’re NOT using — now we’re going to add one which will help speed up the website, without us knowing anything technical.
- Go to Plugins in the left sidebar
- click Add New
- type W3 TOTAL CACHE
- when you see it, click INSTALL, then ACTIVATE.
There are lots of options and customization choices, but for the moment just leave it to do its job. You can always go back and change some settings later, but this little beauty works right out of the box on autopilot.
Step 3 – Disabling pingbacks and trackbacks
Pingbacks and trackbacks are two main WordPress features which let the website owner know that the blog or page is being linked to. This used to be very useful, but with newer solutions like Google Webmaster Tools and other services the pingbacks and trackbacks are no longer required.
They place an amount of strain on the server where the website is hosted.
- to turn them off in website Dashboard, visit Settings / Discussion
- deselect “Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks).” to make sure the box is empty, Save changes
- this helps WordPress gain speed as the pages appear on the screen.
Learn more about my “How to speed up your WordPress website” Series
These three steps are just the first of even more suggestions I’ll bring to you in the next few emails. Stay tuned and get ready to improve the overall health and speed of your website!
I’ll be chatting with you again soon,
Cheerio for now,
Is your website missing out?
Sign up for the 33 Top Website Tips & give your site a check-up.
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Learn how to add bullets to your website pages when the simple bullet or numbering just won’t do.
UPDATE 2017: Adding bullets to your WordPress website is much easier now by using any one of several plugins.
Most website builders and all content management systems will have point and click menus where you can select whether you’d like a bullet list or a numerical list, but what about those times when you’d like something a little fancier?
Here I show you how to edit the HTML behind the scenes and create lists like those shown below. Simply access your html code and make the changes by altering the TYPE= code as shown below.
Lists displayed are using the <ul> or the <ol> tags.
Samples of different kinds of bullets using the <ul> tag
|This is what the HTML code looks like:
<ul type=”disc” >
|This is what the HTML code looks like:
|This is what the HTML code looks like:
Samples of different kinds of bullets using the <ol> tag
Points in alphabetical order
Points in Roman Numerals
|This is what the HTML code looks like:
|This is what the HTML opening code looks like:
|This is what the HTML opening code looks like:
|This is what the HTML opening code looks like:
If you can access the HTML of your web page, then you can certainly make your bullet list more interesting.
Did “How To Add Bullets to Your Website Pages” help you?
I do hope so!
Post a comment below or pop over to Facebook to let me know if you were able to do this on your website. I’d love to hear about it.
Is your website missing out? Check out the 33 Top Website Tips & give your site a check-up.
Here’s a Video example for a coffee shop I made for a local cafe
These Explainer Videos can entice people to your website, Facebook page and your offline business — let me know if you have any questions, we can create something fabulous for you, too!
Do you have a Cafe or other business and like the idea of videos?
We also create animated videos and whiteboard videos, Call To Actions, Intro and Outro videos to go on either side of a video you might make with your smart phone.
I was talking with my friend Pete last week about Facebook where he’d recently been building some excellent content and conversations for one of his clients.
Why You Need to Back up All Your Social Media Data starting today
I reminded him that all content created on Facebook is pretty much owned by Facebook — and what I mean by that is that he has very little control over what happens to it.
When the page scrolls on a Facebook business page, all that content is “gone”, out of sight, can’t be searched, can’t be used by the person/people who created it … and what a shame that is!
One suggestion I had was to back-up his Facebook content and add some of it to the business blog, over which they have total control.
Why is this so important?
My reasons for saying this (which some might think are crazy statements) is that if Facebook (or any other site where you build a lot of content) disappears over night, is bought out, etc then you lose all the hard work, all those comments, all those relationships.
Yes social media can be great for business, but the ultimate goal should be to encourage all those followers (and folks with whom you have conversations) to visit your WEBSITE and sign up for juicy content or something to ease a pain or problem the potential subscriber might have.
For example, start a conversation on Facebook then offer a PDF or other piece of media along the lines of the “Top 3 Reasons You’ll Want To Know How To XYZ” (where you come up with the “XYZ”).
If you follow this technique, you now legitimately have the email name of the person, and you don’t need Facebook to be the go-between. This is crucial so that if Facebook (or other social media websites) disappears or changes their algorithm or rules overnight, you’ll still have access to that person who enjoyed the initial conversation and who signed up on your site to know more.
How to get Facebook followers to sign up on your website? Stay tuned!
I’ll be writing more about how to do this in a future post, but THIS POST is about how to BACK UP all that juicy data on Facebook and other social media accounts, so it’s not lost to you forever.
Back to the main story: How to Back Up All Your Social Media Automatically
There is a clever solution online just waiting for you to discover it, use it and love it 🙂
It will back-up your data on all your social media accounts — and then continue to do it automatically until you tell it to stop.
What’s not to love?
It’s called Frostbox and is only $US6.99 per month or $US69.99 per year (as at April 2014), for ALL the data you need to archive.
Frostbox is :
- a one-stop service for backing up your social media accounts, Gmail accounts and Evernote accounts in one easy-to-use platform.
Go sign up today — and take back control of ALL the great content you’ve been creating on other websites!
Please note Frostbox currently backs up Personal Profiles on Facebook, and will shortly be implementing back ups for Facebook Pages (for businesses, events etc).
Your Say about Social Media Back Ups
Do you use something else for back ups of social media data? I’d love to hear what you use and your experience with it – pop a message in the box below or contact me on Facebook, Twitter etc.
This week’s Podcast is about getting unexpected media mentions (and whether your website is prepared) plus two other questions I’ve received recently.
How To Prepare for Media Mentions about Your Product Or Service
- Have a website or blog or somewhere else you can capture email names
- Create an irresistible offer – something your web visitors would LOVE, something which solves their problem, need or question
- Try a PDF, a video, a checklist or other piece of valuable information you can share to show your expertise
- Sign up for a Newsletter service, set up some automated emails to keep the subscribers interested over a period of days or weeks
- Add the Sign-Up Form to your website, blog etc
- Make sure the Sign-up Notifications are sent direct to your email name
- Remember to follow up and ASK QUESTIONS to make sure you know exactly what your web visitors are looking for, and then PROVIDE what they need to solve their problem, need etc
- Don’t try to sell your product or service in the first email, build up a relationship over several emails, allow them to get to know, like and trust you
- wait for at least 3 emails before telling them about your “paid solution” for them
- go back to them regularly, as it can take more than 7 points of contact before someone buys from you; some people might not buy for weeks or months, so it’s your job to provide great information in the meantime to help them to understand you’ve got the best solutions for them.
I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any questions 🙂
Making website design mistakes isn’t only done by new website owners, it can happen to anyone.
Here are 5 website design mistakes to avoid, whichever stage you’re at in building or owning a website – I hope these help – let me know if you have any questions.
Website design software is everywhere, and so are website design companies.
You can even design your own website for free, if you so desire, on many different site builders.
Considering the many options that exist, it’s completely understandable that small business owners often feel a sense of confusion when it comes to building a website.
While there are many extremely desirable elements to website design, there are also some things you should avoid.
Here are five website design mistakes you should be careful never to make.
Web Design Mistake #5: Using PDF Files Instead of Pages
This one really bugs me – and it can be avoided so easily!
It might be tempting to scan existing documents into pdf format and upload them onto your website.
Give visitors a link to click, and up comes your pdf.
Easy, right? Wrong! People hate finding pdf’s on websites.
They take a long time to load, and they can be hard to read.
Take the time to create a new page that contains the pertinent information.
You can build links and backlinks, add great photos, and make your page a pleasure to visit instead of an irritation.
Annoyed visitors leave a site and look for a better one – so skip the pdf’s.
Mistake #4: Using Bookish Text
People want information fast.
They want to scan your site and see whether you have what they are looking for.
- Do not make your site look like the page of a book.
- Keep it interesting.
- Use photos and vary the text size to highlight different areas of your page.
- Use bulleted lists and quick paragraphs with headers that tell the visitor what they’re going to find under that heading.
- Make your site interactive.
The more fun people have when they visit your site, the more successful it will be.
Mistake #3: Building A Flashy Site That Is Too Complicated For Users To Navigate
You can have the most beautiful looking website in the world, but without elements that are properly built using proven website design techniques, your site will be just more pretty pictures – and the internet is full of those!
People want to go to a site, find what they are looking for, and leave.
The better and faster the internet gets, the faster people expect sites to work.
Mistake #2: Preventing Smartphone Users From Accessing Your Site
This is a relatively new mistake in website design, and if you’ve got a website now, it’s worth looking into.
Can people who surf the web on their iPhone, Droid, Blackberry or other smartphone get into your site?
Can they find what they’re looking for, and navigate well?
If not, your site needs first aid.
Mistake #1: Not Hiring A Professional To Handle Website Design
You might want to help your buddy who is learning about website design build his portfolio by building you a website, and while that might be OK if he has some experienced guidance…
it also might ruin your chances of ending up with a great site that is both user friendly and high ranking.
These days, website design is about a lot more than looking good.
Hire a professional, and your site will do exactly what you need it to – gain you business, and increase your bottom line.
Do you have any recommendations or suggestions for website design mistakes you’ve come across online? I’d love to hear from you, so please do post a comment below.
Are you overwhelmed with trying to keep up with Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest, Google + and Youtube? Phew! Me too! I’m exhausted just saying them all out loud 🙂
There are a couple of very simple ways to automate some of your social media, to save you time, and free your brain up for more important things, like bringing money into the business.
Here are some tools you might be able to use in your business:
Automate with Twitter
- SocialOomph.com allows you to automatically follow people who follow you, as well as send direct messages automatically to your new followers. This is mostly a Twitter tool, and if you upgrade to the professional edition it will help automate Facebook as well.
- Backtweets.com is a tool dedicated to Twitter, provides reach and impressions stats, plus it alerts you whenever someone tweets a link to your website, identifies influencers and integrates with Google Analytics to show how Twitter activity is affecting your site’s traffic.
Automate with Facebook
- You can now schedule Facebook posts within Facebook itself – here’s a great article by Mashable showing you how to do it — http://mashable.com/2012/05/31/facebook-page-schedule-posts/
- Vitrue.com may not totally automate all of your social networks, but
is marvellous in making the most out of your Facebook presence. Vitrue helps to
moderate the comments on your Facebook page, as well as send targeted messages to people who have “liked” your business page.
Automating several social media channels
- I love HootSuite.com – I’ve been using it for several years now, and it’s been one of the best business tools I’ve used. With this tool you can mange multiple social media channels on the same dashboard.
- Ping.fm is another one-click publishing application, and it is a very
popular site for aggregating several social media channels. It allows you to simultaneously update accounts like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Flickr through the dashboard online, text message, email or instant message.
What do you use to automate or streamline your social media activity? Feel free to share your tips and experience here – thanks in advance!
Searching for an SEO Training Course which makes sense?
I love to teach people about SEO, because I like to explain how it works in the simplest possible way, so that everyone — including newbies — can understand.
I love it when a Student “gets it” in this training — it’s such a joy to know I’ve helped someone else understand enough about SEO to help them with their website and business online.
My next SEO Training Course for Beginners is scheduled to launch on:
- Friday 30th August 2013
- Course Fee is $US97.00
- Early Bird fee is $US85.00 (if you pay before Monday 26th August 2013)
- secure your place today – make your Secure payment online and type in the amount:
In this comprehensive video training program you will:
- Find out what SEO is, how it works, and why you actually have a lot more control over your search results than you think you have.
- Discover the best free tools for thinking like your ideal clients, and finding those juicy keywords they are likely to type into search engines – so they can find YOU.
- Learn the super-duper easy-peasy step-by-step breakdown of how I write my blog posts for maximum readability and SEO benefits – you too will be able to do this as soon as you finish my Course.
- Find out the one free thing you must have in place if you want to Google to be your website’s best friend.
Sign up today! http://buildawebsitetonight.com/make-payment.html
See you on the Course!
Teena your SEO training works! I just had to write to you as I am so excited! I just searched for my main 3-word keyword phrase and my site is now Postion 1 & 2 on both google.com.au and google.com – out of 1.5 MILLION results!!! I can’t believe it and I can’t thank you enough for your SEO Training!! Update March 2013 – none of my pages have been affected by all the Google algorithm changes – Teena’s SEO was done properly, and brings new traffic every day!)
I want to give a quick video testimonial for Teena – we met about a year ago – whenever we catch up I just walk away with so much information. She gives away so many gems she’s priceless. One idea Teena gave me in the first 5 minutes of one of our meetings was an idea for a new business which was using Skype to create video production. Thanks Teena — I know you give away so much information on your website and in your blogs, thanks for your great work!
Teena’s “How to Create SEO-Friendly Images” Video Course: I thought I was doing this the right way (that is, uploading the images for the website), taking time re-naming them etc. Then I saw this video Teena created and quickly realized I got it all wrong! What I had done did not make any sense. Thank you Teena for showing me the light !!! I am now carefully going through all the images and giving them the correct name that will correspond with the SEO. I can not thank you enough Teena. You are always thinking of making our lives easier.
Teena, thank you for all your help with my website, you’ve been wonderful in guiding us through our first foray into the web and making it all a little less scary! I love your Newsletter! My most immediate result from your fabulous tips was using the 30 Second Elevator Pitch!
Hello Teena, thank you for your time and patience! Getting great reviews for the website! The video was perfect. THANK YOU A MILLION TIMES!!!
Teena provides fantastic pre-customer service that is unbelievable. Helpful and knowledgeable are two qualities that don’t always go hand in hand, yet Teena has an unbeatable combination … I would recommend you speak to Teena first and last. Thanks so much, Teena, you’ve helped so much.
Are you wondering what on earth SEO is?
Are you scratching your head every time you hear this and still asking, “What it SEO”?
I’m going to break this down into simple explanations which I hope will help you.
What is SEO? Search Engine Optimization explained in such an easy-to-understand way, you’ll finally “get it”! Learn about long tail keywords, Meta Tags and other SEO tips
PS — If you’d rather have someone teach you in a video tutorial, you might also want to join my next SEO TRAINING COURSE for Beginners >>
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization means the techniques used to make your individual web & blog pages “search-engine friendly”.
When the search engine robots visit each of your pages, they look for certain key bits of information.
If your pages have all the correct information in the right places (in the HTML behind the scenes of each page, called Meta Tags), and it matches the CONTENT of that web page, then the search engine ROBOT says, “AHA! Now I know what THIS PAGE is about!” – and it proceeds to add you to the right search category for the content.
This means that when someone searches for something and it MATCHES your Meta Tags AND your Content, then you will appear in the Search Engine Results Pages (known as SERPs).
(PS — The search engines look at other factors but I don’t want to confuse you will too much information just yet.)
Next chunk of information about SEO 🙂
OK – so now your web page is added to the results pages when someone searches and there’s a match.
What if there are hundreds, thousands or millions of OTHER web pages which ALSO match the search?
How will your web page climb up to Page 1 or 2 or even 3 of ALL those search results?
These are all excellent questions, and this is where I can tell you some of the ways to make sure your web or blog page starts to climb up through the ranks of all the other results, until it reaches page 1.
I have achieved this on websites by using long-tail keywords and will give you a few examples in the video.
What are long-tail keywords? or long-tailed keywords?
Another great question 🙂
Imagine your web page is about making red shoes – so you use “red shoes” as the keywords for that one page.
Can you possibly imagine how MANY pages might mention those two words SOMEWHERE on the page?
That’s right – millions of pages on websites and blogs. As at today – 29th May 2010 – there are 71,300,000 – that’s over 71 million pages with those two words on them – WOW!:
So this is where we need to brainstorm a bit – how can we break through the barrier and be found at the TOP of these results, rather than at the bottom?
What is unique about your red shoes? What else might customers be looking for?
The first thing you need to do is start writing down all the questions which people might type into a search engine:
- and we’re assuming that they’ve never heard of you
- they don’t know your name
- they don’t know your website name
- they don’t know your brand name.
Here are a few thoughts I just had – you might come up with more ideas of what people might search for:
- comfortable red shoes
- bright red shoes
- dark red shoes
- flat red shoes
- highheel red shoes
- wide red shoes
- red shoes for men
- red shoes for women
- red shoes for children
- etc etc etc.
Can you start to see how many WAYS people might search for ‘red shoes’? Let’s view a few more examples of the same keyword when I add other words to the phrase:
Above: by adding the word “comfortable”, the search results are just under 2 million web pages.
Note:Â These groups of 2, 3, 4 or more words in one search are known as “long-tail keywords”, because they are LONGER than 1 or 2 words.
Does this make sense so far?
So now you’re probably wondering …
“How can I use long-tail keywords for my website pages?”
After you’ve brainstormed all the things people might type to look for your red shoes, you need to think about a few other factors.
Do you have a store, or do you sell at the markets or in a location where people can find you? If the answer is “Yes,” then you can ALSO add your LOCATION to your long-tail keywords.
This will narrow down their search results, and the chances are your web page is already climbing the ranks and will now be competing with FEWER websites.
Above: by adding the words “in chicago”, the search results have dropped to 125,000 web pages.
Above: by adding the words “high heel”, the search results have amazingly dropped to 32,700 web pages. This is much less competition!
So the more unique your page is, the more unique your keywords become, and your web page will be found closer to the top of the results.
I know you’re thinking, “Thirty two thousand competing web pages??!#” – but trust me, there are OTHER ways we can help your page climb the ranks (which I’ll tell you about in the next lesson).
If there are less than 300,000 results (pages using same keywords), you have a chance of climbing up through the pages of search results!
This – in a nutshell – is what long-tail keywords are all about.
So to use this on your site, instead of making the focus of your page ‘red shoes’, you make the focus ‘comfortable red shoes in chicago’ (you can also use your zip code or postal code so that you’ll be found for searchers who type that in too).
See how clever this is?
As to HOW to use your new long-tail keywords, you will need:
- to have access to your Meta Tags on your website pages so that you can Edit them yourself (or have someone help you with this)
- to do some research in the search engines’ results to make sure which long-tail keywords have the LEAST competition, so you will have MORE chance of climbing up through the page results
- to have patience – this could happen quickly or it may take some time; if you choose to start updating each and every web page you have, it will take time to research and edit your pages, and then wait to see some results.
The bottom line is that if you learn how to do this then you will be able to do search engine optimization on your own site or blog – and then benefit from the results.
Best of luck!
PS – if you’d like to find out MORE about SEO, sign up below for my SEO IN BITE-SIZED PIECES Tips or join my next SEO TRAINING COURSE for Beginners >>
Optimize Your Blog for Google: A Guide for New Bloggers
Hopefully your small business has finally gone online, and you’re starting to see some success — congratulations!
Let’s take a few minutes to discuss blogging as a tool for marketing your products and services.
In talking to business owners I have found that there is some confusion about blogs:
- what they are
- why they exist
- and whether or not blogging is beneficial.
So I bet you might be asking — what Is A Blog?
A blog, short for “Web log” is a way to inform the world about what you have to offer.
It’s usually written in an informal, easy to read format.
Many people like to include a shot of humor into their blogs, while others are all about business or promoting special deals.
In a nutshell, a blog is a way to get people to notice your company.
If it’s fun and entertaining to read, or if it contains special information that the customer has not been able to find anywhere else, you’re likely to have made a new friend for your business.
This being said, you’ve got to know how to write and use your blogs so that Google notices them and picks them up when people are searching for the product or service you are trying to promote.
You can write all day, but if you don’t optimize, you’re basically wasting your time.
Why Is Optimization Important?
- Optimization gets you noticed.
- People who are searching for what you have to offer will click on the results that show up at the top of their search – so you want to place yourself or your business into a position to get those clicks.
- You want to be noticed!
- If you don’t optimize, your blog won’t be helpful.
- Sure, you may have some customers who know about it follow and comment, but you won’t be using it as an effective marketing tool.
- You’ll never be able to attract new business with a blog that is not optimized.
Top Optimization Tips
* Be specific! Name your location (suburb, town, zip or postcode) and your service/s specifically.
* Find out what keywords are most often associated with your business, and use them!
* Don’t be afraid to get help. An experienced SEO person or team (whom you hire) can be worth their weight in gold – you’re paying them for their expertise, so you don’t have to stress about SEO any more.
With just a little bit of knowledge about blogs and optimisation, you might be able to see how important it is to ensure you’re creating the right kind of information-rich blog posts and web pages, and optimising them correctly.
Have Your Say
If you have any questions, I’d love to hear from you, so don’t be shy 🙂
Comment on this post, or tweet me on Twitter, or catch up on my Facebook page — I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts about how to optimize your blog for Google and the other search engines.