Increase Website Speed & Performance

Transcription:  My name is John D. Saunders, founder of 5Four Digital and you’re now watching the Digital Block. Hey, everyone, what’s going on? I want to close up the year with a bang especially since a lot of you are making New Year’s Resolutions to start chasing your dreams of entrepreneurship.

With that being said, I want to provide some amazing Jedi tricks for speeding up your website’s efficiency. If you’re using word processor website content management system like 74 million dollar websites out the whole uniwebs, then you can benefit from this news digital blog. Basically, I’m going to break down three amazing and free plug-ins to improve your website’s speed and efficiency as well as performance.

So you might be asking why speed is important?

Basically, page feed is a big ranking factor in Google’s algorithm for both desktop and mobile setup. John Edmund explains in an article on unbalance that faster load times improve your rankings as well as help you gain organic traffic. Think of it like this, fast load times coupled with engaging content, claiming more visits, less bounces and increases ROI on your website.

So your next question might be what’s slowing down your website?

It could be a bunch of things from http requests which are a number of items that load things such as scripts, file sheets and images to ad overload and an influx of bulky code. Any one of these factors can contribute to the lag in your website.

In today’s digital blog episode, we’ll

1) Run a test of your current website’s speed with Google page insights and Pingdom website speed test to create a benchmark to work from,

2) We’ll discuss three plugins to increase website speed.

3) Lastly, we’re going to final speed test to measure results. Let’s get started!

First thing you want to do is go to tools.pingdom.com. This is the first speed test we’re going to try out. All you have to do is put your domain right here where it says Test Now. We’re going to test our blog which is a tech blog to see what the speed is right now before we install the plugins later. So once you have your domain in there, go ahead and hit Test Now. It will give it a second. They usually test that locally as you can see using a server in Dallas, Texas, it will tell you how many requests are going to, say, in your average low time.

So, my website takes about 4.3 seconds to load and has a grade of 66 out of a 100. It will also tell you how much faster your website is in comparison to all of the tested websites. With this information, I will go ahead and take a screenshot of this. You can do it by hitting Command+Shift+3 and then save that for later.

Next, we went to run a Google speed test. All you need to do is Google the words Google speed test and hit the first list that comes up in the organic search. Once you do that, it will bring you to a page similar to Pingdom’s but this is actually from the Google developers.

Then, go ahead and type in your domain here. Google’s page insights will give us information on your desktop speed as well as your mobile optimization and speed.

So this is a little bit more grander than the Pingdom one. We just want to create a benchmark like we did with the first Pingdom test. So you can see, my website can use some improvement, 47 out of 100. It even gives you the options to fix. Even if you are not a developer, you can have someone make these changes for you, update these for you, by finding a developer on Freelancer or any type of website where you can hire people from overseas or locally for an inexpensive price. Desktop is also okay. I will also take a screenshot of this and save those for later. Now, we have two benchmarks to work with. Once we install our plugins, we’ll find out how much our speed has improved after.

Now that we’ve created our benchmark, we can go over the three plugins we’re going to be installing. The first one is autoptimize. This speeds up your website and helps you save bandwidth by condensing and minimizing JS, CSS and HTML files. So essentially, it makes all these files a little bit smaller so that your website loads faster. Essentially, what this plug in does is take all of your loading files that take up RAM and CPU like your PHP and mySQL files that take time to load your website that actually creates a static HTML file and saves it so that anytime the page is loading, it loads quickly and efficiently. That way, you don’t have to load up all that content over again that take up a lot of RAM and CPU to slow down your website. The last one is leverage browser caching ninjas.

Basically, this simple plug in allows you to quickly leverage caching on your website, make you a 100% compliant with Google’s page feed insight rules. Now, though WP fastest cache usually does this, we usually just add this one on as a precaution, but we’re going to install this too so that you can see the benefits of it at the end.

Okay, so now, let’s get these three plugins installed. To get this installed, you just visit these URLs or you can look at the file on this blog to download the list and just click that link. So once you have these up, just hit download version, same thing with WP fastest cache as well as leverage browser caching.

So you can see those are all downloaded on mine. Next step is logging in to your WordPress website. All right, let’s get these plugins installed. Head over to plugins on the left hand side and hit Add New. Hit upload plug in. You don’t have to search through WordPress because you already have them on your computer. Choose file and start with autoptimize. Go ahead and download that one and hit Install Now.

Once it’s installed, just hit Activate. Once autoptimize is installed, you can go to Settings and then you can choose what you want to optimize. So I’m going to say optimize HTML code, optimize Java, optimize CSS, and then save changes and then empty cache. Okay, that’s pretty much it for autoptimize. We have WP fastest cache. Just go ahead and go to plugins, Add New and then hit upload plug in again, you already have the files on your computer, hit Install Now. Once you’ve done, go ahead and hit Activate Plug in.

Once it’s activated, it will bring you to a list of all your plugins on your website. Just scroll down, take a look at it. It’s installed and you can actually go to this left hand side panel and hit WP fastest cache and go to hit cache system enable. That’s the only option that I do for now.

You can also Minify HTML if you want to decrease the size of the page. You can minify CSS. Play with a few of these to see how your speed is optimized. Once you’re done with that, hit Submit then hit the tab delete cache. Scroll down and hit delete cache.

Deleting the cache gets rid of all the Internet files and temporary files that are bugging down your website. I would suggest doing this whenever you log on, whenever you’re adding a new content just to clean and streamline the website.

Once you do that, boom, you’re done with WP fastest cache. Once you’re done with fastest cash, we’re going to add one more plug in, leverage browser caching ninjas. Make sure you have a downloader in your computer.

Hit Install Now, Activate Plug In. Once that is installed, you can scroll down. You can see here, leverage browser caching ninja. You can actually hit the settings on left hand panel as well. When you do that, you can see that it’s enabled. Just double check that it is. You can donate to the awesome developers and that’s pretty much all you have to do. This is just a setting to confirm that your website is good to go.

All right, those are all three plugins ready to go.

Now, let’s go ahead and run another test to see how our speed’s improved.

First, check your old score. Mine was a 66 out of 100, load time was 4.33 seconds. Now, let’s run a new test after we installed the plugins. Keep in mind that when you do run the tests, it can sometimes come a little bit higher because now that you optimized the site, it could be running from a different server. It really depends.

So just run a couple of tests to get a general number. There we go. Our greatest 78 out of a 100. Our load time is 1.9 seconds and the server was Dallas, Texas. So if we run it again, it might run from Amsterdam or another server around the world.

So, it could take a little bit more time. But as you can see, the site speed has improved exponentially. Lastly, let’s go ahead and run that Google speed test again. Just search Google speed test, should be the first one that comes up. Click that, now retype in your domain. Before you do, make sure you double check what you had before so you can have another benchmark. On mobile, I had 47 out of 100 and on my desktop, I have a 57 out of 100.

So let’s remember those scores. Once I type in my domain, I’m going to hit analyze. Okay, so our mobile speed is 67 out of 100. It’s in the yellow which is great. Our desktop also went up to 69 out of 100, but just 0.83 seconds. That’s actually pretty great.

So you can see, we’ve improved on a Google page feed sites as well. So you can also go to your website and check it out. Just type in your website name and it will load up pretty quickly especially in comparison to what you had before. So just three plugins, we’re able to minimize the cache, minimize the CSS, the files and really condense your website to make it load quickly. All three plugins are free and it’s a quick way to add a speed boost to your website without having to shell out any cash. Thank you guys for watching the Digital Block.

As a quick bonus, we have an exclusive plug in list that were created with all of our favorite WordPress plugins absolutely free.

Interview with Successful Sports Blogger, Robert Littal

Transcription:  This week, we interviewed Robert Littal, Sports Commentator, Blogger and Founder of Successful Sports Blog Black Sports Online (more than 300,000 unique monthly hits) on how he built a following, tips for new bloggers and how to differentiate yourself from the competition.