Quickie Marketing Tip: Just Answer Questions!

Marketing Tip: Answer QuestionsHow often as you go about your online activities do you see folks asking questions that are easy for you to answer? If you are hanging out where your potential market does, the answer would be “all the time”.

Too often though we are in a rush and don’t take what would just be a minute or two to answer those questions and help someone out. Opportunity missed…

To get your online business exposure and generate word of mouth it is important that you get in the habit of sharing your experience with others when the opportunity presents itself. Whether it be on social media, forums or your very own Blog.

opportunity: [ ˌäpərˈt(y)o͞onitē ] NOUN

a set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something

If you see an onliner asking about a topic on social media or in a forum that you can help out with and can offer advice, take a moment and do so! Offering pointers and tips will always be appreciated and show you run a business that cares about helping others.

You then contribute to being known as an expert in your field while providing an opportunity for folks to get to know you better. Don’t you like doing business with those you trust and know much more than a complete stranger? So do your potential customers!

And they love working with those who are downright approachable! By piping in with tips here and there you lend to being perceived as knowledgeable expert in your field and chances are when your product/services are needed guess who will be thought of — you!

It won’t cost you anything but a little bit of your time and the potential return and exposure are priceless. The key is when you do offer to help by sharing your experience and knowledge, that you do so in a totally completely non-commercial manner. The only thing “commercial” should be, if anything, is your short sig file with a link to your Website or eStore.  Nothing more.

By offering helpful valuable non-sales-pitchy assistance and pointers you rise above the rest of aggressive marketers who make it clear their only motive is to make onliners aware of their existence so they can get into their pocketbooks.

So get out there and join discussion boards, groups and blogs where you can answer questions based on your experience and field of knowledge! Look for Tweets where you can offer assistance — spread your knowledge around!

As a wise man, named Napoleon Hill once said in his Scroll #4:

Going the Extra Mile

Render more and better service than that for which you are paid, and sooner or later you will receive compound interest on compound interest from your investment.  For it is inevitable that every seed of useful service you sow will multiply itself and come back to you in overwhelming abundance.

Put your mind to work.  Access your ability and energy.  Who could use your help?  How can you help?  It doesn’t take money… all it takes is ingenuity and a strong desire to be of genuine service.  Helping others to solve their problems will help you to solve your own.

The most successful people are those who serve the greatest number of people.

At your service,
Judith

How to Update to WordPress 4.2.2 Security and Maintenance Release

How to Update WordPress

UPDATE 05.07.15:
WordPress 4.2.2 is now available. This is a critical security release for all previous versions and we strongly encourage you to update your sites immediately.

  • The Genericons icon font package, which is used in a number of popular themes and plugins, contained an HTML file vulnerable to a cross-site scripting attack. All affected themes and plugins hosted on WordPress.org (including the Twenty Fifteen default theme) have been updated today by the WordPress security team to address this issue by removing this nonessential file. To help protect other Genericons usage, WordPress 4.2.2 proactively scans the wp-content directory for this HTML file and removes it. Reported by Robert Abela of Netsparker.
  • WordPress versions 4.2 and earlier are affected by a critical cross-site scripting vulnerability, which could enable anonymous users to compromise a site. WordPress 4.2.2 includes a comprehensive fix for this issue. Reported separately by Rice Adu and Tong Shi.

The release also includes hardening for a potential cross-site scripting vulnerability when using the visual editor.

Download WordPress 4.2.2 or venture over to Dashboard → Updates and simply click “Update Now.” Sites that support automatic background updates are already beginning to update to WordPress 4.2.2.

WordPress 4.2.2 also contains fixes for 13 bugs from 4.2. For more information, see the release notes or consult the list of changes.

April 23, 2015: “WordPress 4.2 “Powell”
Version 4.2 of WordPress, named “Powell” in honor of jazz pianist Bud Powell, is available for download or update in your WordPress dashboard. New features in 4.2 help you communicate and share, globally.

For more details, click here.

WordPress Updating Tips

WARNING: The upgrade process will affect all files and folders included in the main WordPress installation. This includes all the core files used to run WordPress. If you have made any changes to those files, your changes will be lost.

IMPORTANT

When updating WordPress themes or plugins following the simple steps below can save you some headaches. With full revision updates (for example: 3.x to 4.0): Doing a quick double-check with theme and plugin developers *before* updating to see if they have any concerns or comments about your theme and the new version is wise. If you are using quality a theme and plugins the developer(s) will be on top of this.

Not comfortable backing up everything and updating yourself? Subscribe to my monthly WordPress Maintenance Service and I’ll handle everything for you with the bonus of extra coaching and business intelligence you can use to grow your site!

Step-by-step instructions to help you safely and easily update to the most recent version of WordPress.

Before you update we need to do a little housekeeping:

  • Save your WordPress XML file to your hard drive. You do this by clicking on the Tools icon in the left sidebar and then Export. On the next screen click on Download Export File. You might want to create a new Folder on your hard drive where you keep all your Website files. Name it WP Backup so you know to save all backup files for WP there (and you’ll know where to find them if you need them). It is a good idea to back up this file once a month anyway regardless if an update is needed.
  • Backup your WordPress database. There is a nifty plugin that makes this process a no-brainer, WP-DBManager. This plugin is also a must have for repairing and optimizing your database (which you should be doing minimally monthly to keep things running smoothly).
  • FTP into your Web hosting server and download a copy of your database bakcup so you have a copy off your server. That backup won’t do you any good if the server crashes or has issues. Even better, store the backup file in the cloud or on an external drive in case you have computer problems.
  • Cover all the bases and download your theme/framework/child theme folders to your local hard drive. This is just good practice if you have customized any theme files.
  • Then, to be safe, deactivate all plugins before upgrading.

It is a good idea to review my article:
WordPress How To: Do the Mother of All Backups

Once you get the above tasks accomplished, follow the links in the nag bar (it’s called a nag because that yellow bar will be up there “nagging” you until you take care of the important issue noted) and update your site to the latest version of WordPress.

Then, don’t forget to reactivate and update your plugins. You’ll see with each WordPress update that plugin developers also update their plugins which you can also do with one click. You’ll see the now familiar yellow nag bar under the plugin name in the plugins area with a link to “upgrade automatically.”

If you find after an update that something is not working as it was, go through the systematic process of deactivating your plugins one at a time until you find the culprit. If the developer has not updated his/her plugin to work with the lasted update, find another plugin whose developer is on top of these things.

Updating should not be ignored or put off. When you keep up with WordPress, have a Premium Theme and Plugin updates, you are not only keeping up with technology, but you make sure your site is secure and functioning error free.

At your service,
Judith

My 10 Most Popular Posts of 2014

The IStudio Best of 2014At this time of year the “resolutions” articles can get overwhelming and redundant! Being my 2014 Resolutions still apply, I thought this year I would share with you the “best of” from The IStudio®.

Each year during the slow week between the Holidays I look at my various site’s stats and try to gleam information, discover patterns and most importantly look at what was most popular so I know what site visitors are interested in.

This year the 10 Most Popular Posts were not surprisingly mostly about WordPress but we had a few other topics that were also of interest.

Top 10 Most Popular WordPress and Marketing Posts of 2014

  1. How to Update to the Latest WordPress Version
  2. WordPress Categories, Keywords and Tags; Oh My!
  3. Crafting Link Worthy Content
  4. WordPress How To: Trick Out Your Registration Page
  5. WordPress How To: Restore a Messed Up Page, Post or File
  6. 7 Online Copyright Myths
  7. Whoo-Hoo! SEO *is* Dead!
  8. WordPress Child Themes: Why You Need One
  9. Choosing the Right WordPress Premium Theme
  10. WordPress How To: Do the Mother of All Backups

The above is pretty much a “101” for any site owner don’t you think? Bookmark, read, learn and thrive in 2015!

At your service,
Judith

Is Your WordPress Site Run by the Grinch?

Grinch WordPress SitesFrom October through November I work with clients to “Holidize” their sites. We plan their specials calendar from shipping discounts, mailings and discount coupons and when we are going to put them live on the site. Including little graphics here and there to reflect the Holiday at hand. From Halloween, then on to Thanksgiving and then finally to the big Holidays.

Even though adding little graphics here and there to acknowledge special days is not that expensive, it is amazing how many folks do nothing at all. Why plan specials, discounts or mailings? Why decorate your site to reflect the holiday at hand? More business — that’s why! What do you think your competitors are doing? Not sitting on their hands and ignoring the Holidays!

Like it or not the Holidays are a time that give you an excuse to pump up your business and send good tidings in the process.

Is your site Grinchy?

All my sites get little touches reflecting the Holiday Season. No big redos, redesigns or revamps are required. Usually a stocking, wreath or a little “Happy Holidays” graphic added to your site is all it takes to let folks know there are living breathing human beings behind these screens.

What do you think it says to site visitors when they arrive at your site and there is no indication or acknowledgment of the Holidays?

  • Is this site current?
  • Does the person who runs this site care?
  • Don’t they know what time of year it is?
  • Is anyone home?

I know that if I were to go to a site at this time of year and see no Holiday anything, I would wonder why they are willing to ignore the opportunity to connect with site visitors. I would also surmise that the site is stagnant. Especially for sites doing eCommerce.

You still have time to “Holidize” your site — what are you waiting for?

At your service,
Judith

WordPress How To: Trick Out Your Registration Page

WordPress Login Plugins BoxI know you are interested in how to make that boring WordPress login/registration page have some flair because I get asked about it all the time! The default WordPress Login page is pretty generic so who can’t help but think about ways to spruce it up?

Here are some plugins to check out!

  • Custom Login Plugin: Use this plugin to customize your login screen (great for client sites too)!
  • A5 Custom Login Page: With this plugin, you can style your whole login page according to your needs.
  • WP Custom Login: Designed for users which want to include the header and footer to the login page. You can also change the design. Just create a wp-custom-login.css in your theme directory.
  • MS Custom Login This plugin enables you to customize the login screen page by uploading image and choosing color in MS Custom Login Settings page. It utilize the media uploader and color picker of WordPress.
  • Super Custom Login: This plugin will customize your login screen. It replaces the default WordPress logo with your own super custom logo. It makes the logo link to your homepage. It enhances security by removing error messages upon failed login attempts. Also, it includes a template file for your logo.

There you have it! A batch of great WordPress Login Registration plugins and ideas on how to make your registration page all your own! Why be boring when you can be branding?

At your service,
Judith

Tips to Prepare for the Holidays

Christmas is ComingIt’s November and that means you had better have your calendar all marked up with your upcoming Holiday activities — and duties! There are things every WordPress site owner needs to take into consideration from this day forward to prepare for the upcoming Holidays.

If you are like me, you hate the fact that there is Christmas merchandising going on already in the stores. Yep, that clock is ticking. If you have an eStore or want to be able to promote online during the upcoming Holiday season you need to be on top of this now!

This year we also have the additional challenge of Black Friday being a week later than usual! That cuts out a week of potential “Holiday Opportunities”.

As of today there are only 47 days until Christmas!

Take out a week to 10 days for shipping and you can easily see how you’ve got to be on this — now! Not next week or next month; now.

So, while I, like you, don’t like the idea of having to think about this stuff now — I am — and so shall you!

WordPress Holiday Site Planning Tips

Here is a list of things to think about, to add to your calendar and to keep front and center as the Holidays approach:

  • Editorial Calendar: Stop right now and think about the stories and topics that you can write and Blog about and that your site can address that are Holiday related. By planning ahead and writing now when you have some free time here or there, you can avoid some of that hectic stress thing that takes over our lives around the Holidays. Use the WordPress Editorial Calendar Plugin to help you plan what to write when.
  • Holiday Specials, Bonuses, Promos, Clubs, Discounts: Every Holiday gives you the ability to tailor a promotion that fits the Holiday theme du jour. Get creative, use “themey” graphics, offer special discounts. Be sure to integrate a way to gather opt-in e-mail addresses for your mailing list. Use your imagination!
  • Newsletter and E-mail Blasts: Plan these mailings to announce your Holiday activities. Always offer useful and valuable information peppered with your specials and Holiday promos. Be sure these announcements are relevant and valuable. We never send out hypey-sales-pitchy mailings of no value now, do we?
  • Relevant and Valuable Information? Create tips sheets or “How To” PDFs or articles that help your target market in some way during the Holidays while accentuating your expertise and ability to make their life easier. That’s what sells!
  • eCommerce Sites: Have your drop dead shipping dates and schedules prominently displayed on every page of your site. Do what ever you can to help visitors plan their orders to make sure they are received on time for the Holiday at hand.
  • “Holidize” your site! While a total theme over-haul is not necessary, a creative Holiday accent here or there can reflect your attention to detail and that you are actively involved in your site. As an example, look at how Google creates date specific unique logos for special days — simple, memorable and effective in furthering their brand.
  • Holiday Hours and Schedules: Be sure to note clearly, well in advance, on your WordPress site in the most apropos and obvious location(s) what your Holiday hours and schedule are. Are they extended? Are you closing early and on what dates? Ensure your visitors are informed!

Keeping the above issues in mind — and by starting to think about them now — will help in offering a hassle free experience during the Holiday Seasons ahead (and a few less gray hairs for you).

Smooth operations = brand loyalty.

At your service,
Judith

Top 10 Scariest WordPress “Boo-Boos”

“It’s Alive! It’s Aliiiiiivvvvvve!”

That’s why I update this post each Halloween Season — Enjoy!

Scary WordPress Boo-Boos!These little tid-bits, my pretties, are just a few of the small excruciating details that can make the difference as to whether your visitors run for the hills or feel it is worth sticking around.

Are your site visitors screaming in glee or agony over your WordPress site? Do they have the urge to brush away cobwebs or run EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena) sessions to see if there is any activity going on that they may be missing?

Being it’s almost Halloween, I would like to present to you the scariest WordPress Boo-Boos that make site visitors wonder if the site owner is a WordPress Zombie!

While all of these scary things are common sense, it is almost bone-chilling that I still run into sites that seem to be hell bent on convincing their site visitors that there is no life to be found…

Are You Scaring Your WordPress Site Visitors?

  1. We haven’t posted for weeks or months and posts that are there are so outdated they are starting to decay. Or, (cover your eyes) there is no Blog at all!
  2. When it comes to social media we are the invisible man. Are you locked in a dungeon? Even if you are a vampire you can “do social” out of the sunlight or at night when you can find the time to come alive.
  3. Every post is a “look at me” promotional hypey-sales-pitchy rant with no value to site visitors. Is the site owner possessed?
  4. Photos or graphics are not carefully chosen, appropriately sized and laid out to compliment posts. Do your posts look like they were created by Dr. Frankenstein?
  5. Posts are filled with typos and grammatical errors. Hey, we all make mistakes but in some cases it is clear we aren’t even proofreading. Another sign of a WordPress Zombie!
  6. Site visitor comments get no response or acknowledgement whatsoever. Do site visitors need a K2 EMF Meter to see if there are even any measurements of ambient (surrounding) electromagnetic fields?
  7. You’re on an outdated version of WordPress and haven’t backed up lately — err, ever. You’ll be screaming like a banshee when your site crashes or is hacked.
  8. You make site visitors practically have to start a paranormal investigation to find the ability to get posts by e-mail. I see this on some of the top WP sites. Makes you want to scream bloody murder!
  9. You host your site on a hosting platform that does not cater to WordPress with tech support that doesn’t know WordPress. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!
  10. We have our default admin account still in place and are still logging in with “admin” and a password that can be easily compromised. Simply chilling.

A quote from one of my favorite scary movies, The Shining:

“Some places are like people: some shine and some don’t.”

Don’t be frightened if you have a site that has any of this scarey stuff going on — eat some Halloween candy, get a sugar buzz and make your site shine!

Boo!

At your service,
Judith

Updating WordPress and Plugins is Not a “Choice”…

Update WordPress and Plugins NOW!It’s your responsibility.

In the past week there have been heated discussions about updating WordPress, Frameworks, Themes and Plugins. The crux at the heart of the conversation is about Users overwhelming inability or lack of interest in keeping their site’s updated. If all site owners, updated immediately when notified in their Admin panel the world would be unicorns and rainbows. Well, not really, but pretty close — here’s why.

Every update includes bug fixes and security hardening. All software will experience this — WordPress, Themes and Plugins are no different. Nothing is perfect. The key is that professional developers and companies update their products the moment they discover vulnerabilities or are made aware that something needs to be addressed.

Hence, my proclivity to Premium Themes and Plugins.

That security hardening makes your site safer from hackers and malware — or worse. Yes, it seems that things are updating almost daily. I get that! But “that” is what being online and having a presence that includes ever-evolving technology is about. Unfortunately, I login to sites every day that require updating — every day.

Not comfortable backing up everything and updating yourself? Subscribe to my monthly WordPress Maintenance Service and I’ll handle everything for you with the bonus of extra coaching and business intelligence you can use to grow your site!

I know it may be intimidating — I get that. I too am surprised when updates cause conflicts due to themes or outdated plugins that don’t play nice with the most recent versions.

Here is an article that walks you through backing up before updating: WordPress How To: Do the Mother of All Backups.

Chicken or the Egg?

Recently there has been a lively discussion on how to handle such discoveries. I tweeted about the vulnerability in question 6 days ago. I never thought to not mention it because folks wouldn’t react. I wanted them to be aware and react accordingly!

You can get the summary here: Responsible Disclosure – Sucuri Open Letter to MailPoet and Future Disclosures.

After reading the above post, it becomes clear it is a chicken or the egg situation. Do you announce a patch is available so more folks get the word to update? Or, when in a position of getting a lot of eye-balls, should you sit on that a bit and give the WordPress Admin nag bar time to be noticed?

How about this unique perspective? How about everyone agree the we all have “responsibilities”!

re·spon·si·bil·i·ty
riˌspänsəˈbilətē/
noun

  • the state or fact of having a duty to deal with something or of having control over someone.
    “women bear children and take responsibility for child care”
    synonyms: authority, control, power, leadership
  • “a job with greater responsibility”
    a thing that one is required to do as part of a job, role, or legal obligation.

Now that we have the above in mind…

  1. Developers: To create solid, secure and supported software and plugins and to immediately address any vulnerabilities and bugs when brought to their attention.
  2. Companies and Blogs: To keep their clients advised and notified of the necessary actions requiring their attention.
  3. In the situation noted at the above link — both of the above were responsibly covered by both sides. The kryptonite was the fact many knew that site owners would not jump to update thereby leaving their sites vulnerable due to now known issues that were addressed! It’s not Sucuri’s problem folks don’t update. It wasn’t the plugin developers problem that after offering an update, that folks didn’t update. The fault lies solely in the site owner’s lap for NOT updating — immediately! Don’t update and you risk that you have vulnerabilities that can be exploited. Period.

  4. Site Owners: You update your site when you get the notice to do so! You don’t wait, you don’t delay, you don’t pretend that isn’t important or that you can get around to it. You seen the update notice in WordPress’ Admin, and you stop right then and there, backup everything and update!
Still not comfortable backing up everything and updating yourself? Subscribe to my monthly WordPress Maintenance Service and I’ll handle everything for you with the bonus of extra coaching and business intelligence you can use to grow your site!

We seem to be living in a culture where we are now all expected to compensate for others inability to live up to their responsibilities. At the end of the day, if those who run WordPress sites took that responsibility seriously and updated their sites when they login and see that notice (or hire a partner to do so for them) — we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

Now, go login to your WordPress site and update!

At your service,
Judith

WordPress Categories, Keywords and Tags; Oh My!

Categories, Keywords and TagsCategories vs. tags. Tags vs. keywords. Aren’t they all the same or at least similar enough to use the same terms for all three? Sorta, kinda, a little bit — not really.

Tags are not categories, sentences or phrasees. Keywords are not tags. At least to the extent that when you think of “keywords” you are thinking of SEO and keywords. And in almost every case, when site owners are left to their own devices, their SEO obsession kicks in and categories, tags and keywords are one in the same. Or worse…

Many times to the point of over-kill. Making for a site that is not intuitively organized or navigable — and clearly keyword stuffed to the gills.

Categories, keywords and tags serve different purposes none of which dictates they all be the same phrases repeated ad nauseam to “increase SEO.”

Let’s Talk Keywords First…

When it comes to SEO, “keywords” applies to the keyword phrases you have investigated and determined your target audience uses to find what you have to offer. Let’s face it, the chance that you’ll be above the fold on Google for a one-word “keyword” is slim at best. So let’s just wash that right out of our hair right now!

So, we look for 2-3 word keyword phrases that we are going to pepper throughout our content, in our post titles, descriptions and alt tags. Over time the consistent and targeted use of these phrases can assist us in gaining relevant rankings — again, over time.

What confuses many is that SEO Plugins have a keyword field. Why is that field even there if, as we know to be true, for years Google has ignored the meta keyword tag that the SEO field creates? Well, just because the almighty Google ignores a tag doesn’t mean it is totally useless. Just pretty much useless. Other engines use this field to varying degrees to get a hint about what a site is about — but it isn’t a major player any longer so no need to obsess over it.

I use that field to type in the 2 or 3 phrases that are specific to the post I am writing and use that as a reminder/guide to be sure those phrases are incorporated. The take-away here is that “keywords” are what are integrated throughout your site — not just in this one field that the important crawlers disregard. So now we know how to use keywords. Categories coming up!

How to Setup Your WordPress Categories

WordPress themes only have so much width for your category nav bar to display. So we need to use this space judiciously. That means categories are not sentences — short, sweet and intuitive. 2-3 words are best. Use the terms that what will speak to your site visitors and what they are looking for.

Then when filing posts in your categories, don’t file them in every possible category that could possibly apply. Choose the top category and only add a category or two if it really, really applies. This helps site visitors navigate to their category of interest and find only posts that do in fact apply directly to that category. What’s the point of categories if every post is filed in every category? That makes for one frustrating user experience!

You don’t want to add a new category unless you are confident you will have at least 5 new relevant posts created specifically for that category in the near future.

Let’s move on to Tags.

How to Use WordPress Tags…

WordPress is a Content Management system, right? So, let’s manage your content! Let’s try this analogy:

  • Visualize your WordPress site as a file cabinet.
  • Your WordPress Categories are the drawers in that file cabinet.
  • Your WordPress Tags are the tabbed manila folders that are filed within that drawer (Remember how little that tab is on those folders to write on? Here again, short and sweet!)
  • Your Keywords are the informative papers filed within those folders.

How helpful is it to your site visitors or even search engines if you file every post in every category and tag it with every tag imaginable — just so we don’t miss anything? Or if your tags are only used once — they click on a tag and find only the article they just read? Think of a filing cabinet where every drawer you open has the same folders and content within — that means no organization at all, right?

This means we do not have singular and plural versions of tags, different versions of the same phrase, capped and lower case tags and tags with just the first letter capped.

Tags should be viewed as another way of tightly organizing the data/content on your site so your site visitors can easily find exactly what they are seeking. And yes, while some tags may be the same as your SEO “keywords”, you are creating tags for organizational purposes. What you do not do is create tags for the sole purpose of trying to cover all your SEO keyword bases.

Here are some tips to properly use your tags:

  • Create a list of 10-15 tags that can apply to your posts and that are unique in meaning from each other. Tags are only one or two words. Period. Tags are not phrases or sentences — they’re tags. You want to have this list reflect individual topics that you will have at least 5 posts that can apply to each term on a stand alone basis.
  • Tag each post with just two or three tags from that existing list.
  • Do not create new tags on the fly — stick to your list!
  • If you think of a new tag, fine, but if it doesn’t pass the 5 post rule — don’t add it!
  • If you have tags in place that don’t fit the above rules, delete them.

The bottom line? Categories and tags should be viewed as ways to better organize your site content first. By being focused and using restraint you’ll have a site that is user-friendly while also being SEO’d organically — that is how you cover all the bases!

At your service,
Judith

Easy Steps to a Lean Mean WordPress Machine

Slow WordPress SitesWordPress has unique resource requirements which demands certain processes be put in place to keep your site running at optimum efficiency.

It’s not uncommon to find WordPress sites that are not being watched after properly choking due to becoming CPU “hogs”. Poorly coded themes, too many plugins, bad hosting — all add up to having a site that doesn’t load fast enough to help you gain rankings and maintain site visitors.

Read this and weep…

“According to surveys done by Akamai and Gomez.com, nearly half of web users expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less, and they tend to abandon a site that isn’t loaded within 3 seconds. 79% of web shoppers who have trouble with web site performance say they won’t return to the site to buy again and around 44% of them would tell a friend if they had a poor experience shopping online.” Read the rest here: Speed Is A Killer

Below are the basics that you can do on your own to help get your site popping!

  • Update! When you see the pale yellow nag bar telling you to upgrade — upgrade. Same for plugins and themes; keep them updated as well. Being on the most recent versions allows you to use the latest and greatest that the developers have determined will make WordPress run best.
  • Plugins that can help:
    • WP-DBManager: “Allows you to optimize database, repair database, backup database, restore database, delete backup database, drop/empty tables and run selected queries. Supports automatic scheduling of backing up and optimizing of database.”
    • WP-Optimize provides further tools to clean up your database. Auto draft posts, spam comments, post revisions and stale post revisions are a few things that can be deleted to speed up your database.
    • WP-Super-Cache: “This plugin generates static HTML files from your dynamic WordPress blog. After a HTML file is generated your Web server will serve that file instead of processing the comparatively heavier and more expensive WordPress PHP scripts.” Take the time to learn all the options to know what will work best for your unique site.
    • W3 Total Cache: “Easy Web Performance Optimization (WPO) using caching: browser, page, object, database, minify and content delivery network support”.

    Ask your Web host which caching plugin will work best with their setup.

  • Speaking of Plugins — only install those plugins that serve a needed purpose. Plugins use lots of resources so review what plugins are must haves and try deactivating the rest to see if things improve. If no noticeable improvement is evident, start deactivating the remaining plugins one by one. You can also look at your server stats and actually see what plugins are using the most resources.
  • Compress Images: This is where most sites have issues. Humungous images that don’t need to be as large as they are — physically and file size-wise. Try WP Smush.it a plugin that reduces image file sizes and improve performance using the Smush.it API within WordPress. This plugin automatically strips meta data from JPEGs and removes un-used colors from indexed images. If you have a lot of images and limited server resources (shared hosting) it’s best to use the Smush.it Website in lieu of the plugin. For PNG files, check out Tiny PNG.
  • Consider using a CDN: Content Delivery Networks speed up your site by distributing your files and load across multiple systems. I use MaxCDN for my busy sites. In my experience, MaxCDN has great support for those getting their feet wet with CDN’s. Here’s an informative article for you to review: 7 Reasons to use a Content Delivery Network

Last but not least, Premium Themes. Don’t underestimate the importance of using a quality premium theme. Solid frameworks and clean code go a lonnnnnng way to keep your site running efficiently.

The above steps are your start to a faster site. You can have a great looking Website, but if it hangs — well, you can’t put lipstick on a pig!

At your service,
Judith