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How to Optimize Your WordPress Blog for Speed

How to Optimize Your WordPress Blog for Speed

Content marketing is more important than ever, and WordPress has become the major venue for businesses to talk about the ins and out of their industry to attract attention. It is the most used content management system in the Internet with over 500 sites being created every single day.

But with so many websites using WordPress, how can a single website stand out from the crowd? A good content marketing strategy is the most important thing which any business can think about, but there is more to attracting attention on WordPress than by churning out quality content. By optimizing your blog via techniques such as improving your links and improving your website’s hosting, you can get your website higher on the Google rankings. This can get more people to visit your website and ensure the success of your content marketing strategy.

Some tricks to improve your search ranking are technologically advanced, but there are things which anyone can pull off. Here are a few simple tips towards ensuring that your content is seen and shown by Google’s algorithms.

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Don’t try to trick Google

A lot of SEO optimization can sound like little tricks designed to fool Google, and to some degree it is. But understand that while Google allows tricks like the ones mentioned below, it frowns heavily on so-called “black hat tricks” that exist only to trick the search engine and provide no value to either the website or the readers.

Google has a list of behaviors which it will not tolerate, and the company will blacklist you from its search engines if it suspects that you have been trying to trick them. Read over those behaviors and make sure that you try none of those ideas. Ignorance is no excuse for violating Google’s policies.

Link and promote other websites

At a basic level, Google ranks websites by how many other websites link to them. So if you want other people to link to you, you can start by linking to other people. This is especially so if the two websites are in the same field. When your websites is linked to by another, it will get more views and those viewers will create new links, which will spur more views and so on.

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While you can obviously link to other websites whenever you wish, make sure that those websites know about it. On the Settings tab in WordPress, there are checkboxes to notify other websites you have linked to them and to let you know when you have been linked. Make sure those are checked.

Think about changing your Host

As the Internet has grown faster, customer are more impatient than ever. According to Kissmetrics, half of web users expect a web page to load in just 2 seconds and will “bounce” if it is not loaded within 3 seconds. When you consider that every web page basically has one chance to make a good impression on every visitor, to be held back by a poor page loading speed, absolutely cannot happen.

There are things which every website can do to improve loading time like using a WordPress theme with a smaller loading footprint. But one of the biggest things you can do is look into your host. Using a fast WordPress hosting is essential in optimizing your entire site. Do not just go with the cheapest host out there. Slower hosts mean slower loading pages which means bouncing visitors.

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Cache your Pages

Because decreasing your page’s loading time is so important, another means through which you can ensure visitors to quickly load your website,  is page caching.

With page caching, Google stores a back-up version of sections of your website. This is so that when a visitor returns to your website, his browser can just use the caches to quickly load up certain sections without having to query your database. The catch is that the cache can be out of date, but that should not be a problem if your website is not constantly changing its picture or layout.

Google recommends a cache time of preferably up to one year for those assets which change infrequently.

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Don’t forget about Content

There are a whole lot of other ways to optimize your WordPress website beyond these few tips. Using good key phrases and key words to attract visitors typing in particular phrases and promoting your posts on social media will ensure that others will follow your work.

But your WordPress blog is part of your content marketing strategy, and content is the most important thing of all. You need to regularly update content, make sure that it is high quality, and ensure that it is relatable to your targeted audience.

Google is a critical tool towards ensuring that your website receives traffic, but it is not the only method. By promoting your website through social media as well as through your personal and professional contacts, you can ensure a growing audience. That in and of itself should be able to attract Google and further perpetuate your marketing strategy’s success.

Featured photo credit: Venu Gopal via flickr.com

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Last Updated on December 30, 2018

18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2019 Updated)

18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2019 Updated)

No one can dispute the countless benefits technology has brought us. It’s undoubtedly allowed us to connect, perform, improve and leverage our resources beyond what was once imaginable.

If you’re not taking advantage of one of the hundreds of time management apps and tools out there, you’re definitely missing a trick.

But with so many apps to choose from, how do you know which ones to use? Well, this will depend on your needs, but we’ve put together a list of 18 of the very best time management apps that can help you with the most common time management challenges.

Let’s dive straight into the list…

1. Rescue Time — Use your time wisely

    If you have doubts that you’re using your time sensibly, this app will send you weekly reports to indicate what things are stealing your time. You may be shocked to discover how much time you’re actually wasting.

    Download Rescue Time

    2. Remember The Milk — Keep on top of all your tasks

      If you’re struggling to manage everything you have to do, and you work with many different devices, then this is the app for you. It’s a great free tool which is compatible with your mobile, computer, Gmail, Outlook, etc. It helps you to manage your tasks easily, and reminds you of them – wherever you are.

      Download Remember the Milk

      3. Focus Booster – Boost motivation to complete tasks

        This app is based on the principles of the Pomodoro Technique, and is aimed at individuals who procrastinate and feel overwhelmed by tasks. It’s designed to enhance your focus and remove any anxiety you might have with time pressures.

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        Download Focus Booster

        4. Toggl – Keep track of time spent on projects and tasks

          This is a great alternative to time-sheets, if you need to track how much time you spend on different projects. Effective time management starts with being clear on exactly how much time you actually spend on your projects and tasks, and then through analysis, working out how you can manage them more effectively.

          Download Toggl

          5. Dropbox — Store and send large files easily

            There are many apps that allow you to transfer content from your computer to other devices – but Dropbox is free and easier to use than the others. With the Dropbox app, you can even access and share important files on the go.

            Download Dropbox

            6. Evernote — Keep all your notes in one place

              Evernote is a free productivity tool that allows you to capture all your ideas, thoughts and images in many different ways (e.g., with voice, notes or images).  You can even record your meetings, interviews, speeches and ideas, create lists, add voice or text attachments, and share your files with friends. You can also sync Remember The Milk with Evernote to really optimize your time.

              Download Evernote

              7. Mind42 — Focus on tasks at hand with mind mapping

                Mind mapping is a great productivity technique, and Mind42 is the best free mind mapping app currently available. It helps you to become more organized by focusing your thoughts – thereby gaining clarity on what needs to be done.

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                Download Mind42

                8. SyncBackFree — Back up and sync your files effortlessly

                  This free software allows you to back up, restore and synchronize your files easily. It not only saves you time now – but also in the future. If you have never backed up your files before, you should definitely take a look at this pivotal tool.

                  Download SnycBackFree

                  9. MyLifeOrganized (MLO) — Manage your to-do lists effectively

                    Check this out if you find it difficult to manage all your tasks, to work with your to-do lists, and to organize your goals. This task management system helps you to target what you should be focusing on to reach your objectives. It automatically generates to-do lists, with priority actions for your immediate attention so that you can track your progress methodically.

                    Download MyLifeOrganized (MLO)

                    10. 1Password — Have all your passwords remembered

                      This app allows you to keep all your passwords in one encrypted database, protected by one password. This saves you time when you forget your passwords and need to retrieve them. It also allows you to use various passwords for different accounts so you don’t compromise on security.

                      Download 1Password

                      11. Pocket — Keep your eye on the ball

                        When you’re surfing the web, it’s easy to get distracted by enticing and fascinating websites. Use this tool to save your ‘finds’ to access and read later on at a convenient time which will not impact on your immediate work.

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                        Download Pocket

                        12. [email protected] — Boost your attention span

                          This amazing app combines neuroscience and music to boost your productivity. According to the developers, it’s possible to increase your attention span by up to 400%! Ideal for those who find it difficult to focus while studying, working or reading.

                          Download [email protected]

                          13. Launchy — Interact with your computer in a smart way

                            This small and simple tool allows you to launch your documents, project files, folders, and bookmarks with just a few keystrokes. This makes life so much easier as you don’t need to go through the start menu to access what you want.

                            Download Launchy

                            14. Forest — Boost your focus by growing a forest

                              This unique and fun app helps you stay focused and on-track. The concept is simple: whenever you want to focus, plant a virtual tree. If you stay focused, the tree will grow. If you lose focus, the tree will die. As the app’s name implies, you can grow multiple trees to create a virtual forest!

                              Download Forest

                              15. Trello — Track your projects in a highly visual way

                                This is a hugely popular app that you may already be familiar with. It works by allowing you to create cards for tasks that you need to complete. Each card moves across the Trello board (which is typically broken into columns such as To Do, In Progress, and Completed) as your start, work on and complete the associated task.

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                                Download Trello

                                16. Wunderlist — Digitalize your to-do lists

                                  Purchased by Microsoft in 2015, Wunderlist is an easy to use, feature-packed to-do list app. From planning a holiday, to sharing a shopping list with a partner, or managing multiple work projects, Wunderlist will keep you on top of all your tasks.

                                  Download Wunderlist

                                  17. TimeTree — Have a shared calendar with your family

                                    This app allows families or teams to share multiple calendars and appointments. So, whether you’re planning a party, or run a local sports team, Time Tree can keep everyone up-to-date with all current and upcoming activities and events.

                                    Download Time Tree

                                    18. Todoist — Capture and order all your tasks and activities easily

                                      Todoist is close to being the ultimate digital to-do list. It’s available via browsers and apps, and lets you schedule all your tasks and activities. Each item can be flagged for priority as well as given a due date. There is also a neat option to add notes to any of your tasks.

                                      Download Todoist

                                      The above list covers what we consider to be the very best time management apps and tools. And the good news is – that many of them are completely free of charge! So, what are you waiting for? Select the ones that will be the most valuable to you – and begin boosting your productivity now!

                                      Oh, and one more thing… Take a look at a couple of our other articles that will help further streamline your time management:

                                      40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone and 20 Quick Tips For Better Time Management

                                      More Recommended Productivity Experts on Lifehack

                                      • Leon Ho — The Founder and CEO of Lifehack, which he share productivity hacks to make life easier
                                      • Carl Pullein — A renowned productivity and time management coach
                                      • Mark Pettit — A Business Coach for ambitious entrepreneurs who want to achieve more by working less

                                      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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