Site speed is important for SEO, but can be hard to achieve in WordPress. One of my favourite tools for site is the Google PageSpeed Insights tool – who better to tell you what your site needs to be SEOed? So let’s take a look at our client’s brand new WordPress site:
It’s not the worst page speed I’ve ever seen. But it’s not far off the worst.
but this site does need some work. Fix the biggest problems first. A common cause of problems is image size, and that’s what’s happening on this WordPress site:
The top four account for the lion’s share of the image size. Let’s take a look in the directory, because we’ve only looked at one page (the homepage), but the whole site needs to be optimised.
There are plenty of big images. This can happen when a graphic designer is uploading unoptimised images. They focus on image quality, and tend not to think about filesize and performance.
Let’s take a closer look at the biggest file:
That’s a bit big. Let’s get it down to something that won’t eat up all the bandwidth quota of a visitor’s data plan. It’s a big homepage image slider, so it still needs to be big enough to look good.
We scaled it down to 180kb. Let’s see the effect on the site speed tool.
Sorting out one image makes the site score a lot better. We’ve gone from a 12/100 to 39/100, a jump of 27 points. All we did was resize and compress that with one image with GIMP.
Let’s do the next biggest…
We got the size down from 540kb to 82kb! What does Google think?
We’ve jumped 7 points on the scale, and we’re approaching half way there! Let’s do all the rest that google flagged, and see what happens. First the jpegs…we could A) optimise each one individually to check for artifacts, or we could B) batch compress.
Anyway, on with optimising.
The logo is problematic – it’s HUUUGE. Let’s fix this and see what Google thinks…
We’re nearly half way there, but even better – images aren’t our biggest problem anymore, which is great. Time to dive down into the code.
We move onto the server / code optimisation, and we bring the WordPress site to 100% optimised.
We’ll be posting more on code optimisation in a later post.
Do have a WordPress Website that needs a speed boost? Sort out your images first! If your site is transactional, and you need to optimise your revenue get in touch. or leave your questions in the comments.
The manager at HYC, Paddy Judge is a former pilot and aircrash investigator – knows where to site an antenna and working with the IOT team in Vinyl Matt Media to get some fantastic coverage.
The results were so good that the nice people at marinetraffic.com gave a us a ‘pro’ level account a few weeks early, and we look forward to forward to seeing the value that their suit of tools adds to HYC’s operation.
Full shoot in Feb 2017
How to get an image into the right ‘aspect ratio’ and image size in GIMP. The aspect ratio of an image describes the relationship between its width and its height.
We choose an example that starts out portrait, but that we get a landscape graphic.
We also show how to upsize the image.
A word on the options for resizing:
- Linear: Can be used with very small text but cubic is a better choice in most cases.
- Cubic: The default choice. Unless the image is very small or detailed, cubic and bicubic interpolation helps keep edges smooth.
- Lanczos: Similar to cubic except that instead of blurring, uses a “ringing” pattern. Use for detailed graphics without blurring.
Saving for the web
Now we have to save the file for the web.
- JPEG. Used most of the time. Works for nearly everything except logos
- PNG Used for icons and where you need transparencies.
Now you’re able to do basic image resizing!
Need the beta plugin get it here.
Here you see some tickets from a demo site of ours on delegator. Register with any stripe testing cards to try it out.
Delegator works by segmenting your market…this means there are many ticket variations. We make those easy to display in the right place in WordPress.
to display specific titles.
Say you have a bio page for a prestigious speaker. Big draw. Huuge. Here we show tickets that include access to a speaker using this shortcode:
So we see all tickets that give access to another speaker
The above are great for putting on your speaker pages. But we’ll have pages that give session information, we need to sell tickets that include access to that session.
Think of the use case where we’ve got a blacktie dinner for people that come to see both speakers. We want to talk about this on a page that really sells the great food we’re going to serve.
And of course we can just display a ticket based on a ticket name by selecting its ‘slug’.
We can now offer subsets of tickets in different contexts, making putting the right ticket choices in context and improving conversion.
[delegator_tickets event_shortname=”testzero” ]
BookServe, the online reservation software, does a great job of keeping you in touch with your customers.
But to do that you need to make sure your guests’ email systems know to expect mail from YOUR domain (info@PropertyDomainName.com) from the BookServe server.
First make sure you have control of your domain’s DNS settings. If this sounds difficult, don’t worry, your Web Developer can help.
Then you need to edit the SPF record. The SPF is a type of DNS record. You can read about SPF here,
If it’s your first time at the DNS rodeo don’t try this without your Web Developer. An incorrect change can bring your site and email down, and it can take hours to fully recover.
An SPF record is a particular type of TXT record This is an example Register365 mail record for a BookServe customer.
The part ip4:22.214.171.124 refers to a BookServe server.
It tells the Internet ‘Hey, all these servers can send mail for @PropertyDomainName.com
v=spf1 mx a:smtp.reg365.net a:outgoing-smtp.reg365.net a:smtp.hosts.co.uk a:athena.hosts.co.uk a:hermes.hosts.co.uk a:outgoing-smtp.namesco.net ip4:126.96.36.199 ?all
Once you’ve setup the SPF, it should be tested. The good people at Kitterman Technical Services, Inc. have an <a href="http://www.kitterman.com/spf/validate more helpful hints.html” target=”_blank”>excellent tool for this. Don’t get caught out. Test.
BookServe is now in Bali.
Things are picking up and it’s back to business: selling hotel rooms to visitors. But margins are tight, and 20% booking fees are a luxury no one can afford. Competitors are all offering online booking and they’re undercutting you. And then there’s AirBnB to compete with. What to do?
Easy: Take control of your own web presence!
You can easily run your own online presence, and you’ll be surprised how quickly the bookings start coming in. Read on to find out how.
1. Get yourself a Local Website Designer
Gone are the days when you needed to go to Silicon Valley to get one of those website thingys made.
Get a local web developer to create a modern, responsive (that means mobile friendly) website. Big agencies can be expensive and lack the local content imagery and linkages that make for engaging content and Organic Search Success.
Go local. You can have a website for a few hundred euro with local support. Perfect.
2. Take Really Good Pictures
Gombeens naturally assume that their customers are telepathic and because they know what their premises looks like, so will their customers.
So don’t get caught: make sure you have really good pictures of your property. You’re going to need them again and again.
Get good photography of all the room types you have. Show off the features. Good imagery sells.
3. Right image, right place.
You want more bookings through your website, right? Your customers need to see what they are booking.
A Gombeen that expects to be able to use a picture of their bar, car park, or grandmother to sell a room. This is a sure recipe for disappointment.
Show wide-angle images of whole rooms in the online booking room descriptions. These ‘set the scene’ and help convert lookers to bookers.
Be accurate with the room contents when you take the pictures. Don’t sell features that aren’t there.
4. Offer online booking.
If you don’t sell online, you’re losing out to rivals that do. No-one waits for you to come back to an enquiry form.
Be wary of commission heavy services. The cost has to be passed on somewhere, usually in room pricing. This has a tendency to divert bookings into traditional channels, taking up precious staff time.
We recommend our product, BookServe (ahem). You can sign up in minutes.
5. Check the rates in your area
This used to be done by getting your cousin to ring up and ask for a quote. Half the time they knew it was her and quoted her a much higher price, just to mess with you. Now with D’Internet, it’s more straightforward.
Check the rates around and be competitive. If you find you’re getting visits but no bookings, high prices are usually the problem.
6. Consider listing on Expedia
It can be worthwhile to connect to Expedia. Share your excess rooms with Expedia and raise the traffic to your own website with the ‘Billboard Effect‘.
This effect works because visitors use Expedia to make a list of hotels and then look on the hotels’ own websites for direct booking.
It gives a lot of ‘reach’ for very little effort and expense.
7 look at more info. Be Sociable
Be social. Get onto FaceBook, register a business page.
Respond quickly. Be gracious. If you can’t ‘do’ social media, then hire people that can.
If an applicant says that they can run a campaign, hire them at once.
8. Go completely DIY, ya mad thing.
If you’re technically inclined and want to make your own website, the best thing to do is join other like minded individuals.
Meetup is a great place to find those people. Click here for a list of WordPress related groups in Ireland.
It’s written by a cat, because cats have historically been the most successful species at building an online profile.
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