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Power Up Your WordPress Site: 5 Optimization Steps You Can’t Ignore

Power Up Your WordPress Site: 5 Optimization Steps You Can't


Power Up Your WordPress Site: 5 Optimization Steps You Can’t Ignore

40% of people won’t visit a website if it takes longer than three seconds to finish loading. When you’re running a website, you can’t afford to lose that much traffic.

If you find that your website is sluggish, there are many ways to solve that issue. Here are five optimization steps you should take to improve your WordPress site’s performance: 

1. Get Rid of Unnecessary Plugins

Plugins help you run your site, but some can affect your site’s speed. Don’t worry if you think you have too many plugins installed–the amount you have barely affect your site’s speed. It’s the type of plugins you have that can slow your site down. 

You should always read the reviews and information about each plugin before you install them. Poorly made plugins with low stars and bad reviews will likely end up bogging down your site. If you find any of these plugins installed on your WordPress, it’s time to remove them. 

Don’t forget to ensure that your plugins are all updated for the most recent WordPress version so you can have the fastest speeds available. 

2. Get a Faster Theme

When learning how to optimize a website, you can’t skip over the importance of a fast theme. Large themes with tons of customization options might seem ideal, but they end up making your browser load at a snail’s pace. 

You don’t have to spend tons of money to get a fast theme. Using a free theme like WordPress’ Optimizer Theme, or choosing one of our speedy themes can make your website run much better. 

3. Use Caching

Having a lot of content on your WordPress page can make your website load slow. In order to fix this problem, install a WordPress performance plugin like W3 Total Cache. 

This type of plugin maintains your pages as static HTML files. In other words, it’ll shrink files sizes, which makes your site faster. 

4. Shrink Images

You know the importance of a link building strategy for SEO, but have you ever thought about how the size of your images affects your rank? Larger images result in slower load times. Make sure that your images are between 500-600 pixels for the best speeds. 

It can also be helpful to use lazy loading–no, it doesn’t mean that images will load even slower. It just means that your images will only load when it becomes visible to the user. Instead of your website taking the time to load all the images at once, it will be able to load faster upon opening. 

5. Use a Reliable Host

You can’t expect your website to load quickly if your web host has a mediocre server. Your WordPress performance can be affected by your host depending on how speedy their services are. A good host will have reliably fast load times that won’t leave your visitors waiting. 

Applying These Optimization Steps

By following these optimization steps, your visitors won’t be stuck staring at a loading screen. Better yet, you won’t have to worry about your website slowing down when encountering a large amount of traffic or when you decide to upload more pictures. 

If you find that your web host is just too slow, check out the reliable hosting services that we can provide for your WordPress site. 

Technology

7 Blog Design Tips That’ll Make Your Site Look Professional

7 Blog Design Tips That'll Make Your Site Look Professional


7 Blog Design Tips That’ll Make Your Site Look Professional

The number of websites online is quickly approaching 2 billion. Yes, I said billion, with a B! Wow!

How do you possibly compete with those billion other people that want your customer’s attention? It seems impossible, right?

Well, I have good news for you. Many of those websites are not good at all. Their blog design is – let’s say, not so great?

If you want to get the respect and attention you deserve online, you need to have a professional blog. You need to make sure your brand is on point and representing you in a way that is going to get the right kind of attention. The good kind that is.

To learn more about how to make your blog look professional, continue reading this article.

Boost Your Blog Design to the Next Level

As you’re looking over the latest web design trends, it is easy to get distracted. You aren’t sure what you need to do first. Maybe you start one thing and then another and another.

Before long, you’re left with a bunch of half-finished projects, and your website is looking a little neglected. Knowing how important the design of your blog is, you’ve come here. And you’ve come to the right place.

1. Plan Out Your Design

If you throw your design together on a whim, everyone is about to tell. Instead of piecing your design together element by element, make a plan before you even get started.

As with your content marketing strategy, you need to have a strategy when you want your blog to look professional and well organized.

2. Watch Your Grammar

The fastest way to negate from a beautifully designed site is to riddle it with terrifying grammar mistakes. You don’t want to make your readers gasp and shake their head when reading through your information.

While grammar isn’t a design element, it will kill all of your chances of credibility, so we wanted to throw it in here for you.

3. Don’t Sacrifice Too Much for Conversions

We’ve all been to that website. You know the one. The one with three different pop-ups, a scroll over and an abandonment opt-in form. 

Sigh.

Frustrating, I know. You don’t want to be that guy or gal. When you’re going for conversions, make sure you keep the user experience in mind.

If you sacrifice the user experience to increase your opt-in rate too much, you may lose a high percentage of your visitors. And you’ll definitely upset more than a few.

When you have too many pop-ups, pop-overs, lightboxes and such, it doesn’t look professional. It looks cluttered and unattractive.

4. Thinking in Colors

When you’re building your brand, you need to create your brand color palette. Your business cards, website, and other marketing materials should all work with those same colors.

People associate you with colors, and it makes it easier for them to remember you. You want people to remember you and your brand so don’t forget your color scheme when you’re designing your blog.

A professionally put together color scheme compliments the other colors in the scheme and makes people enjoy browsing through your website more. Avoid flashy and clashing colors as they may hurt the eyes and be a turn-off.

5. Branding Your Graphics

Honestly, people are going to hi-jack your graphics. We know it, but if we’re prepared, we can get some exposure out of it, at least. Put your logo in your graphics so if someone takes them from your site, they will still know who made them.

Not only will branding your graphics help you keep your name in front of people looking at your content, but it will also make you look more professional. When you brand your graphics in a classy manner, it shows you know how to take care of business.

6. Bye Bye Clutter

Remember when I said early about all of the pop-ups, pop-unders and other opt-in forms? Well, those aren’t the only kinds of clutter that make a blog look unprofessional. 

Think about some blogs you’ve visited. Maybe you’ve seen a blog with a tag cloud with random phrases. If you click one of those phrases in the tag cloud it takes you to a blog post that is tagged with that keyword. 

People very rarely use tag clouds and it looks tacky. You can either get rid of the tag cloud or put another type of more useful navigation in its place.

7. Hello White Space

Whoa. You’ve got a lot of stuff going on there.

Just like you wouldn’t want your date to show up wearing a striped suit with a checkered necktie and bowling shoes, your website shouldn’t have too much going on either.

Leave plenty of white space, so people’s eyes get an opportunity to rest. When you leave white space on your blog, you allow users to focus on the most important part of your website. Use whitespace to direct attention instead of feeling like it is a waste of blog space.

Bonus Tip – Your Content Needs to Be Easy to Scan

When you write your blog posts, make sure to break your content into easy to scan pieces. If people don’t want to read a specific part, they should be able to skip to the next header to get into the next important part of the post.

When you structure your content this way, it is put together thoughtfully. Thoughtfully and well-structured content is valuable to your visitors and shows your level of professionalism.

Creating a Content Marketing Strategy for the Win

Now that you’re a blog design ninja and you know how to give your users an amazing experience, it’s time to level up. Learning how to make your blog look amazing is great, but now you need eyeballs on the blog.

We’ve created amazing content for you so you can learn how to promote your blog and get more traffic. Read our content marketing strategy articles today and learn how to grow your traffic.

Technology

Should You Be Spreading out Your SEO? A Look at Google Site Search Alternatives (The Big Ones and the Niche)

Should You Be Spreading out Your SEO? A Look at


Should You Be Spreading out Your SEO? A Look at Google Site Search Alternatives (The Big Ones and the Niche)

When most people think of SEO, they think Google. And to be honest, that’s fair.

Google gets the lion’s share of all search traffic, bringing in 63% of all search traffic. What’s more, looking at the data shows that Google’s market has shown steady growth for well over a decade.

But Google isn’t the only search engine in town. In fact, there are tons of other, smaller search engines that you could utilize to bring in more traffic.

Curious to learn more?

Here’s what you need to know about SEO and Google site search alternatives.

Bing

People like to make fun of Bing as being the redheaded stepchild of the search engine world, but Microsoft’s search site does rather well for itself.

In fact, the site’s image and video functionality may be better than Google’s.

If you’re looking for a search engine with a solid market share and most of the accessibility of Google, Bing is your go-to.

Bing allows search engine marketing through its Bing Ads initiative, as well as traditional SEO strategies. Users can control their budget and performance without having to pay a minimum fee.

Yahoo!

For those looking for even less competition, Yahoo! is a great option.

Though its web searching tools aren’t as powerful as its brethren, Yahoo! still attracts quite a few visitors thanks to its popular mail client.

Yahoo! uses many of the same SEO strategies, including keyword choice, placing importance on alt tags, and metadata.

DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo champions itself as the search engine of the people. Its main selling point is that it promises never to collect, store, and sell user data to advertisers.

As a result, it, like Google, has shown steady growth over the last several years.

And as the battle for customer data rages on, expect DuckDuckGo to pick up even more visitors.

Baidu

For those targeting an international market, Baidu is a must.

This massive search engine in China’s equivalent to Google, bringing in 8 billion unique search results each month.

And it’s not just for an international market anymore, either. As of a few years ago, Baidu is now available in English, as well.

Though it hasn’t caught on yet in North America, its market value in China alone makes it an easy recommendation.

Ask

If you were around in the late 1990s, chances are you remember toying around with the Internet’s favorite butler, Jeeves, at AskJeeves.

While Jeeves is seemingly gone for good, in his place is a rebranded version of the search engine titled Ask.

It’s smaller, so niche markets should jump on the opportunity to market on Ask.

AOL Search

Like Yahoo! AOL’s search popularity comes primarily from its mail client.

Yet there’s one feature AOL has that its competitors don’t: A partnership with other search engines.

Users who use AOL Search’s ad function can also choose to distribute their ads through Bing, Yahoo, and more.

Check Out These Google Site Search Alternatives

If you’re looking to improve your SEO strategy, consider foregoing Google and choosing one of these Google site search alternatives.

Though they may not have the name recognition, each engine listed has a wide enough audience that they’re worth checking out.

Whichever search engine you choose, make sure your site is ready. Check out our guide on SEO-friendly web designs for more info.