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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 August 29, 2018

5 Killer Online Journal Tools That Make Journaling Easier and More Fun

5 Killer Online Journal Tools That Make Journaling Easier and More Fun

Journaling is one of the most useful personal development tools around. Not only does it help us process emotions and experiences, work through internal conflicts and improve our self-awareness, it also provides us with a way to keep a day-to-day record of our lives. Traditionally an activity limited to pen and paper, the expansion of consumer technology has enabled journaling to go digital.

Saving your journaling entries online enables you to access them from anywhere, without having to carry a notebook and pen around, and provides you with digital features, like tagging and search functions.

Here are a list of five online journaling tools you can use to bring your practice into the modern age:

1. 750words

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750 words

    750words is a free online journaling tool created by Buster Benson. The site is based on the idea of “Morning Pages”; a journaling tool Julia Cameron suggests in her creativity course The Artist’s Way. Cameron advises aspiring creatives to start each morning with three pages of stream-of-consciousness writing to clear away the mental clutter, leaving you with a clearer mind to face the day.

    750 words is the three-page digital equivalent (assuming the average person writes 250 words per page) and lets you store all your journaling online. Each morning, you’ll receive a prompt asking you to write your 750 words, and the site keeps track of various statistics associated with your entries. The site uses a Regressive Imagery Dictionary to calculate the emotional content from your posts and provides feedback on features like your mood, and most commonly used words.

    750 words is simple to set up and is ideal for anyone who finds it challenging to maintain a consistent journaling practice. The site uses a number of incentives to motivate users, including animal badges awarded to journalers who complete a certain number of days in a row, leader boards, and opt-in monthly challenges.

    2. Ohlife

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    ohlife

      Ohlife is designed to make online journaling as easy as possible. Once you’ve signed up for your free account, the website will send you an email each day asking “How did your day go?” Simply reply to the email with as much or as little detail as you like, and your response will be stored on your account, ready to view next time you log in.

      Ohlife’s appeal lies in its simplicity: no stats, no social sharing, no complicated organisational systems—the site is designed to provide you with a private, online space. Simply respond to the email each day (or skip the days you’re busy) and Ohlife will do the rest.

      3. Oneword

      oneword

        OneWord is a fun online tool that provides you with a single word as a prompt and gives you sixty seconds to write about it. The concept’s aim is to help writers learn how to flow, and the prompts range from the everyday mundane to the profound.

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        Oneword is not a private journaling tool: if you sign up, your answers will be published on the site’s daily blog, which contains a stream of users’ answers, and might be used by Oneword in the future. If you’d rather keep your answers to yourself, you can still use the tool for fun without giving out any personal details.

        4. Penzu

          Penzu is a journaling tool that allows you to store your journaling notes online. The service also offers mobile apps for iOS, Android and Blackberry, so you can journal on the go and save your notes to your account. The basic service is free, however you can upgrade to Penzu Pro and get access to additional features, including military-grade encryption and the ability to save and sync data through your mobile, for $19 per year.

          With either version of Penzu, you can insert pictures, and add tags and comments to entries, as well as search for older entries. You can set your posts to be private and viewable by you only, or share them with others.

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          5. Evernote

          Evernote isn’t a purpose-built journaling tool, however its features make it perfect for keeping your journaling notes in one safe place. With the ability to keep separate “notebooks”, tag your entries, include pictures, audio and web clipping, Evernote will appeal to journalers who want to include more formats than just text in their entries.

          Available online within a web browser, and as a stand-alone desktop app, the service also comes with a series of mobile apps covering almost every device available. These allow you to make notes on the go and sync between the mobile and browser versions of the app.

          For additional features, including text recognition and the ability to collaborate on Notebooks, you can upgrade to Evernote’s premium service, which costs $5 per month.

          Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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