Category Archives: technical support

How To Speed Up Your Blog’s Load Times

587664_32800922How long does it take the average visitor to load your blog? If it’s longer than six seconds, you’re probably losing a significant number of visitors. Studies have shown that Internet users today have become increasingly impatient, often choosing to click the back button in their web browser instead of waiting for pages to load. Thankfully, there are some simple ways to speed up your blog’s load times.

Resize Images Before Uploading

WordPress has a nifty little image editing tool which allows bloggers to resize their images on the fly. The problem with this tool, however, is that it still requires visitors to load the original image first. If your blog contains dozens of high-resolution images, visitors may experience longer-than-usual load times. Instead of using the built-in image editor, resize your images manually before uploading them to your blog.

Enable Browser Caching

Browser caching allows visitors to store parts of your blog locally, within their web browser. And when a visitor has fewer files to download, they’ll be able to access your blog in less time. To enable browser caching, add the following code to your blog’s .htaccess file:

# BEGIN Expire headers
ExpiresActive On
ExpiresDefault “access plus 1 seconds”
ExpiresByType image/jpeg “access plus 2592000 seconds”
ExpiresByType image/png “access plus 2592000 seconds”
ExpiresByType image/gif “access plus 2592000 seconds”
ExpiresByType text/css “access plus 604800 seconds”
ExpiresByType text/javascript “access plus 604800 seconds”
ExpiresByType application/javascript “access plus 604800 seconds”
ExpiresByType text/html “access plus 2592000 seconds”
# END Expire headers

Limit Your Plugins

Another important tip for reducing your blog’s load times is to limit your plugins. There’s nothing wrong with installing half a dozen or so plugins, but keep in mind that it will have an adverse effect on your load times. The more plugins your blog contains, the longer it will take to load. Also, plugins with interactive features, such as Facebook-like widgets, tend to have a greater impact on load times.

Web Hosting

Don’t underestimate the importance of a high-quality web host, as it can greatly reduce your blog’s load times. There are generally three types of hosting services: shared, which places your blog on a server alongside hundreds or thousands of other websites, virtual private server (VPS), which dedicates a finite amount server resources for your blog, and dedicated, which gives your blog its own dedicated server. Dedicated servers are the most expensive, but they also load faster than the aforementioned options.

What steps do you take to reduce your blog’s load times? Let us know in the comments section below!

Mistakes To Avoid When Launching a WordPress Blog

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WordPress is the most popular and widely using blogging platform, and for good reason: it’s free, features an intuitive user-friendly interface, allows for interchangeable templates (known as themes), and it’s constantly updated to fix vulnerabilities and add new features. Howev

Using The Hosted Version

There are two different versions of WordPress, the hosted version, which is found at WordPress.com, and the self-hosted version at WordPress.org. Don’t make the mistake of using the hosted version, as it restricts your ability to create a successful long-term blog. While both versions are free to use, the self-hosted has a limited number of themes and plugins, and it’s placed as a subdomain on WordPress.com (e.g. yoursite.wordpress.com). Opting to use the self-hosted version will grant you more freedom to customize your blog according to your liking.

Leaving Default Permalinks

Another all-too-common mistake that you’ll want to avoid is leaving the default permalink intact. All new WordPress posts and pages are set to use a numeric URL structure by default, such as http://www.yoursite.com/?p=123. Why is this a problem? Well, it doesn’t provide any useful information to search engines nor visitors. To fix this problem, access Settings > Permalinks > and choose Post Name. Rather than using a numerical URL structure, all URLs created on your blog will contain the title. So if you create a new post titled “Top 5 Blogging Tips,” the URL will look like “yoursite.com/top-5-blogging-tips.”

Hello World! Post

Each time you set up a new WordPress blog, the platform automatically creates a sample post titled “Hello World!” This obviously doesn’t look very professional, so it’s recommended that you either delete it or rename it. If this is your first time launching a WordPress blog, you can access this sample post along with all of your other posts by clicking the “Posts” button on the right-hand side of the main menu.

Using a Free Theme

Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of great WordPress themes available for free. The problem is that most of these free themes are riddled with bugs, errors, compatibility problems, or even malicious software. If you’re serious about blogging and want to create a successful web presence, spend the extra money on a premium theme. Premium themes deliver a better layout on which to create your WordPress blog, and they are often backed with a high-level of support.