Category Archives: WordPress Themes

Season 2?! [Interactive #53 – S2E1]

It’s hard to believe that this week last year we did our very first “weekly recap”, what we now call our “interactives”.

52 weekly — usually about 3pm Pacific, each Friday — episodes since then, and we’ve come a long way. Not only has our comfort level with “going live” grown, but we have now launched our Pegasaas Accelerator system which provides automated WordPress PageSpeed optimization.

If you run a WordPress site, you probably already realize how an impossible task it is to try to optimize your site for PageSpeed… unless, of course, you’re running Pegasaas.

Reserve your spot to use our groundbreaking PageSpeed technology with your WordPress site —

Speed is Everything — WordPress PageSpeed Optimization Plugin

If you’ve got a slow loading WordPress website, you know awful it is waiting for your pages to load.  You wonder whether or not you’re losing visitors, an whether your search engine ranking is hurting because of it.

And you wish there was a simple solution, a simple plugin that just fixed the problem.

Well, we’re excited to announce that development has begun on the WordPress plugin version of the incredible Accelerator website plugin that dramatically improves Google PageSpeed scores.

Accelerator, as a website plugin, installs to a traditional website and in minutes it optimizes the web pages and “ticks off all of the checkboxes” that Google PageSpeed Insights recommends that webmasters optimize in order for their pages to load blazing fast.

All without the webmaster needing to know all the technical mumbo-jumbo.

And now we’re bringing that same functionality to the WordPress platform.  Development started April 3rd, and as of the time of this post (April 11th) it is already a week ahead of schedule.  Expected completion and release date is July 4th — expect some fireworks!

This plugin will include support for:

  • GZIP Compression
  • Browser Caching of static resources
  • Minification of HTML
  • Minification of CSS
  • Minification of JavaScript
  • Image Optimization
  • Caching of External JavaScript and CSS
  • Deferral of Render blocking Resources (CSS/JS)
  • Automatic detection and injection of critical above the fold CSS

The  best part of all of this is that it is expected that you’ll be able to take advantage of all of those features, just as easily as the Accelerator as a Website Plugin version, but right through the WordPress plugin interface.

Speed is Everything — Second Step to a Faster WordPress Site

Last week I wrote about the very first thing you should do to speed up your WordPress site: install a caching plugin the Pegasaas Accelerator automated Google PageSpeed optimization plugin.

Now that you’ve done the most critical thing that will help to improve your website performance, you should now move on to optimizing your WordPress site for Google PageSpeed you’re more than half way there.

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Speed is Everything — First Step to Faster a WordPress Site

If your website doesn’t load fast, you’re kissing your visitors goodbye before they even get to you.

Let’s face it, we’re all impatient when it comes to web page load time.  We’ve become accustomed to the internet being fast, and when we go to our local search engine, click on a link, and come across a website that doesn’t load in under 3 seconds, we’re very much inclined to hit the “Back” button and try out the next result in the search results page.

Because we’re all about not wasting a second, because life is too precious to waste on a slow loading site… even if it has better content, or a better product or service.

This is why you should do EVERYthing you can to speed up your website.  But, when your website is running WordPress, it is prone to running slower.  You’ve probably noticed that your site may not load as fast as other “static” websites.

Why is that?

There’s A Lot Going On

Well, there’s the WordPress engine core which has, at last count, over 484,000 lines of code in it.  When you throw a theme on top, there’s bound to be another 10,000 more lines of code for the theme framework.  Then there’s all the plugins that enhance the WordPress system that you install over top of the core and theme.

Before you know it, you’ve got a fantastically feature rich and robust site… that is slower than molasses.

And when I say slow, I mean slow to generate the HTML that gets sent to the browser.  I’m not even talking about optimizing for Google PageSpeed, which is a whole other topic.

What I’m talking about is just the time it takes to compile and render the HTML code that the browser uses to render the web page.

And with all of the code and database access that it takes to build the HTML, it can take a few seconds before the page is sent to the requesting web browser.

So how on earth can we speed this up?

Glad you asked.

Speed It Up

The very first thing you should do is install a “caching” plugin get the Pegasaas Accelerator automated Google PageSpeed optimization plugin.

A caching plugin basically stores a static version of your Page and Posts so that there is virtually no build time — it just requests the “saved” copy of the page and serves that to the end user.  And as many pages and posts don’t get updated ‘often’, you can store a cached copy of your pages and posts until your content is updated.

But Pegasaas Accelerator is more than a just a caching plugin.  It used to be that getting a caching plugin was enough.  But with over 50% of search now being performed on a mobile devices, Google is making a push to have all websites be as optimized for performance as possible, because it takes longer to download web pages on a mobile devices.

If you don’t have a WordPress plugin that caches your content, you absolutely MUST get one.  If you aren’t optimizing your website for Google PageSpeed, you absolutely must get Pegasaas Accelerator.  Yes, it performs page caching, but it does a ton of other tasks that squeezes every last millisecond out of your load time.

If you need some place to start, we would recommend you look at either WP Total Cache or WP Super Cache.  Both have their own set of features that you can configure, and we’ll let you decide which one works best for your situation.

But you need to have one or the other.

Again, get Pegasaas Accelerator and watch your PageSpeed scores jump into the high 90s in just a few minutes.  You can even try it out for 14 days for free.

It could mean the difference between keeping and losing those precious visitors that need your product, service, or content.

The 3 Best Reasons to Build Your Website with WordPress

We get asked regularly whether someone should continue to use a website editor such as Dreamweaver or Expression Web to build their website, or switch to a CMS platform such as WordPress.

Many website operators who have been used to using a traditional website editor have heard of “that WordPress thing”, but often do not have any idea what it is, and feel that the effort involved in learning something new outweighs any possible benefit.

We’re can all be reluctant to change when we don’t understand that which is unknown to us — it is the primal battle that powers fear.  Or rather, that fear powers.

When it comes to WordPress, if you can understand three key benefits that it brings to the table, you may realize that there is nothing to fear.  In fact, you will become empowered.

Reason #1: C is for Content (no, not for Cookie)

If any of you recall Cookie Monster’s from Sesame Street, this headline is sung to the tune of his “C is for Cookie” song.  In our version of the song, “C is for Content”, and this probably one of the best parts of WordPress.

You see, with WordPress, your primary focus is just the content.  Once you have the site set up with global elements, and one-time-setup widgets, your focus should be entirely on managing your content.  And WordPress makes that easy.

What I mean by this is that WordPress focuses on you editing and managing the Pages, the Posts, and any Comments you get on those pages or posts.  You’ve heard the saying that “Content is King” — it truly is.  With WordPress, adding a new page or a new blog post can be done in seconds.  The complexity to adding a new page, and making sure it is tuned for the best search key-phrase is minimized by the interface that WordPress provides.

Reason #2: It’s Extendable

This part is key — there are nearly 50,000 plugins available to extend the functionality of the WordPress platform, that can each be installed in under a minute right through the WordPress dashboard.

It really has never been easier to add additional functionality to your website.

Many of the Plugins are free and/or have a premium upgrade path.  In many cases there are free options — remember, you often get what you pay for — and also “freemium” plugins where you get a limited set of features for free, and then you can optionally pay for more advanced or premium features.

Reason #3: Switching your Look & Feel is Easy

This is really the cool part about WordPress.  Because your content is stored within a database, you can apply a different “theme” (or skin), to your site just as easily as clicking a button.  Granted many themes have specialized widgets that help with the display of advanced web components, such as Sliders, Info Boxes, and Animations, still switching a theme in WordPress takes considerably less time than it takes to do a traditional “content transfer” from one website template to another.

Being able to change your look and feel with the click of a button and a few updates to specific components allows you the freedom to keep your website current without having to invest a lot of effort in the process.

Knowledge is Power

So, the next time you need to do a major upgrade to your website, if you’re current site is using a traditional website template, consider WordPress instead.

Being able to focus on what’s important, the content in your site, as well as adding functionality on the fly, or changing the look of your site in the future, all puts the control of managing your site back into your own hands.