Web Optimization Tips – Free Web Site Optimization Tools

 

So, here we are. Another autumnal monday morning in London.  On the cusp of winter rolling in, I thought I would put a small blog together of some free WordPress tips tricks and configs for those of you who self-manage your websites… Some you may know already, some you may have heard of and some may not.

 

This isn’t a tutorial especially for the WordPress plugins (many tutorials and YouTube videos exist) this is more of an over view…

 

Today I want to talk a little about SEO. In my experience SEO is not this magical monster where you flip a switch and all of a sudden your number one on google… It really doesn’t happen like this, and any company promising this I would take time to question them and ask lots of questions.

Search engine optimisation is a collective of optimizing your site by using relevant keywords, content, backlinks and paying for ads and keywords.

This isn’t a full course either it’s just an overview of tools and tips to help along the way.

One of the most important factors of optimization is your site speed. Imagine you’re a customer and a site takes  10 – 20 seconds to load! Do you wait? Or trot off to the next site? My guess is you trot off… statics say anything between 2-5 seconds is the limit people waiting to purchase or view online content is willing to wait on average worldwide.

 

Web page speed testing

This site https://www.webpagetest.org/ which is free will give you a detailed report of how your site speed is limiting people staying on your site. Simply enter your website and choose a location and click start test…  these are the results your hoping to see

 

 

 

 

If the results are not satisfactory it will advise you where you need to optimise. The test is free to run as many times as you like. So make those changes and rerun…

 

Google Insights is another speed testing mechanism from google.  https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/

 

The great thing with the insights tool is that it gives you a score based on mobile users and desktop users.  Once again stats say mobile users win at around 60-40 compared to desktops and this is only going to increase. Desktop performance shouldn’t be ignored but pay particular attention to the mobile scoring.  This a free service to run… so make changes and rerun to check your score.

 

Opps seems we have some mobile work to be done of our own…..

 

 

WordPress Plugins

WP-Rocket

 

The first today is WP-Rocket.  This is a great plugin and includes caching, css java and html minifcation and a host of other tools. For around £30 this is a great value plugin. https://wp-rocket.me/

 

Yoast seo

Yoast SEO comes in paid and free versions. To be honest the free version is absolutely fine for most users. It shows on each page how good the reading, keywords and titles are etc. highlighting any errors which need to be corrected, all in plain English. https://yoast.com/wordpress/plugins/seo/

 

Configs

Enabling zip compression on your website is a must for speed. Some webhosts disable this or just don’t have it enabled. Why?? Not sure. But we have ways of turning this on.

 

Add this code into your .htaccess file

# 1

# GZip Compression

<IfModule mod_deflate.c>

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/javascript

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/rss+xml

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-httpd-fastphp

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-httpd-php

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-javascript

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xhtml+xml

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xml

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE image/svg+xml

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/css

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/plain

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/xml

</IfModule>

 

 

Use a Content Delivery Network

 

A Content Delivery Network (CDN) employs multiple servers spread across a wide geographic arc to serve pages to visitors more efficiently. Files are delivered to visitors from the server that is geographically closest to them, reducing latency and network congestion. On heavily trafficked sites, offloading static page elements (images, CSS, JavaScript, etc.) to a CDN can reduce server strain significantly and improve page load speed by up to 350%. By reducing the load on your main server, CDNs also help to ensure that your site stays up in case of any sudden spikes in traffic.

We recommend trying the free service from cloudflare https://www.cloudflare.com

 

Once you have spent some time getting everything shrunk and optimized run tests to keep an eye on what’s going on.

 

If you have any questions or would like us to assist with optimizing your website please don’t hesitate to contact us.

 

Matt