How to implement WordPress caching and image optimisation your website

How to implement WordPress caching and image optimisation your website

I recently ran a Google test on my site to check how friendly my site was. This test checks how fast your site loads and gives a percentage score so you know how good or bad your website ranks. When I checked www.shanemcdonald.ie I got a score of 32%. I knew I had to do something as Google could use page speed as a ranking factor. I did some research into WordPress caching plugins and found some interesting information.

Not all WordPress Caching plugins are the same. Some work better than others. These Wp-cache plugins varied in functionality and sucess. The one WordPress caching plugin which stood out WP Fastest Cache. I also found that it works best with Autoptimize and the image compression plugin Imagify.

I installed the first two WordPress caching plugins which help minify the .js and .css files on your site. They also .gz compress some other files to help your site load faster.

All of these plugins can be added using the WordPress Dashboard by clicking ‘Add New’ and running a search. If you are using the very latest WordPress version, then your plugin should auto-install. Once installed you can activate it from the plugins section. Note, you may need to adjust settings before any changes become visible. Most plugins have default values or no active values on activation.

The Google score was now 54% which was an improvement already.

Finally, I installed Imagify which compressed the images I already had on the server. Note, this was only done up to a certain limit. I get another limit of about 15Mb in 1 months time. A premium version of Imagify is available which gets rid of this limit.

After the WordPress caching plugins and the image compression plugin was installed and configured the Google score was at 75%. This was an increase of 43% points from 32%. This was 2.3 times better than the previous score. Hopefully, this will help reduce bounce rate and increase visits and visitor time to the site. Since I wrote this, I have added 2 new posts and the images I used are not fully optimised so there has been a drop in score but I now know the areas where I need to optimise on the website.

I am also running this optimisation on my photoblog at www.shanemcdonald.me and I will be posting the results and more details in the coming weeks. I am using the same WordPress caching plugins and the same image compression plugin. It should be interesting to see the effect on google analytics.

I have placed links to the WordPress caching plugins below.

WP Fastest Cache – https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-fastest-cache/

Autoptimize – https://wordpress.org/plugins/autoptimize/

Imagify – https://imagify.io/

 

If you have any comments or questions regarding these plugins for WordPress caching, minifying or optimisation plugins please leave them below…

Tips to Improve your Twitter Account

Tips to Improve your Twitter Account

Easy Twitter Tips to improve your Twitter account

I have been on Twitter quite a while now and over the past 3 years I have come to love the platform. For me Twitter is a source of news, opinion and interesting articles as well as the odd competition which I have won. If you are looking to grow your Twitter audience and influence you are going to have to invest some time on Twitter. These are some Twitter Tips to help in growing your following and presence.

1. Have a good Twitter Profile image

The first Twitter tip is update your profile pic. The Profile Image is the small icon which appears beside each tweet. Your profile picture should be representative of you or your business. Try make the image one which will stand out.

The key here is don’t leave it as the default Twitter Egg! The profile photo of an egg is indicative of an account which is new. So change this and you’ll get an advantage over accounts with Twitter eggs.

 

2. Ensure you include a Header image

At the same time you should upload a good header image. The header image could be a product photo or something which works along with your profile image to strength your accounts visual appeal. You can use systems like Canva to place a nice quote or even your web address.

 

3. Your Twitter Bio

Your Twitter Bio should detail what your account is about. It should also outline the content people will expect if they follow you.For example you could tell people what interests you or what you tweet about.

Feel free to use hashtags or even other accounts. e.g. “I am account manager for @mentioncompanyhere and I like #Travel”.
If you have a website don’t forget to include that. This is one of the key Twitter Tips – so if you do one thing, it’s update your Bio.

 

4. Daily Twitter Activity

Each day, you should log on to Twitter and do some sort of activity. This activity may include;

– Tweeting something even if it is just a comment on the weather. This keeps your feed flowing with recent content.
– Retweeting others tweets. If you find something interesting retweet it.
– Responding to any replies or notifications
– Thanking some of your recent followers.
– If you find content you like the press the ‘Like’ button
– you should follow any Twitter accounts which you are interested in. Normally I follow about 5-10 accounts per day. If I find a Twitter list of Food Bloggers or Travel Writers I may end up following 50 or 60 accounts. By monitoring their content I can then see if I want to keep following. Every so often I clear down the accounts I am following based on their content. One good app for doing a follower check is Crowdfire.

 

5. Tag or include others in your tweets

Every now and again you should mention other accounts using the @account method.
For example “Hi @mrshanemcdonald many thanks for liking my tweet. Delighted you are interested” would send me a nice mention and I may then follow you as a result.

 

How do I know if I am doing well ?

There are a few pointers to show your success in growing your account.

  1. The first is your growth, if it is increasing fast this is one indicator that you are doing well.
    You can track your growth visually on TwitterCounter – take a look here at my Twitter account on TwitterCounter to see how it works.
  2. Secondly is your mention notifications, if you are getting a lot of @mentions, either responses or direct mentions, this shows a well engaged audience.
  3. You can also check your Klout score which takes into consideration all your social/online channels and gives you a number between 0 and 100; The higher the better! If you are over 45 on that score you are progressing well, Over 60 and you are a real contender, and 70+ would be social influencers.
  4. If you are enjoying Twitter and you are Tweeting daily – In a way this is a success of it’s own as many people start on Twitter and just give up!

 

I hope you enjoyed these Twitter Tips and this is what works for me. If you have any other interesting Twitter Tips or hacks please feel free to leave a comment.

 

Follow Me on Twitter

My Twitter account is @mrshanemcdonald so if you like this post why not follow and say hi!