Speeding Up Your Blog To Keep Your Readers Happy

I’ve heard said that Google is now including the time it takes a page to load as part of  it’s algorithm when calculating a site’s PR. Too bad I don’t give a crap about what PR Google gives me, but I am concerned about those who come to read my blogs. That being the case I am always wary of the amount of plugins I install so before adding any new ones I first have to decide which one get’s the boot.

I also make sure that any images I include in headers and stuff are always optimized to save on loading time. Several of the plugins I used are also meant to increase the speed of this blog. They include.

  • Clean Up: As WordPress auto saves your posts these extra files increases the size of your MSQL database and this plugin removes those extra files.
  • WP-Cache: I used to use Super Cache but it was acting up so I reverted to this plugin which works very well. Basically it caches your files thereby improving the loading time of those sites using it.
  • WP Minify: “This plugin helps you easily integrate the Minify engine into your WordPress blog. Once enabled, this plugin will combine and compress JS and CSS files to improve page load time”
  • WP Widget Cache: Used in conjunction with  WP-Cache this plugin caches the output of your blog widgets and is supposed to reduce the SQL queries to the database thereby speeding up the  site.

There are other things that can also speed up your blog and some of these were brought to my attention by Sheryl Loch of The Internet Marketers Guild, of which I am a member.  Her post, Speeding Up Your Site With YSlow, introduced me to a very useful FireFox plugin, a plugin that show you your blog’s speed as well as giving hints as to how to improve it.

I urge you to read that post as Brad, her husband, has very kindly taken upon himself to try to improve this blog’s speed. You may want to follow that conversation as it may well help you to improve the speed of your blog.

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Auto-Submitting Your Posts To The Web’s Top Social Networking Sites

As far as blogging platforms go I reckon that WordPress has to the the best freaking platform on the planet. If that wasn’t enough for the average run of the mill blogger then the variety and quality of plugins available for WordPress makes it even better!

If I was to compare it to anything I would say that plugins do the same job for a WordPress blog that a turbo charger or any other number of accessories under the hood do for a high performance car.

When looking for a plugin it has to fulfill at least one of three criteria.

  1. Make Life Easier: Let’s face it, blogging is a grueling thankless task that can take so much time out of your life that you barely have time to make love to your prospective other.
  2. Rewarding Commentators: There are many plugins that do this ranging from commentluv to dofollow and many plugins in between.
  3. Make Life Easier For The Visitor: This could include plugins that make it easier for someone to Tweet a post or perhaps it could allow them to leave a link in the comment without having to know html

Before even considering installing a plugin I make sure that it’s able to fulfill at least one of the above conditions. This brings me to OnlyWire for WordPress, a plugin that allows my visitors to select from one of up to twenty social networking sites. Now, I’ve seen several blogs that have four or five buttons at the  top of each post, but let’s face it guys, you gotta admit that does look a little tacky, not to mention rather limiting.

Let’s say you were going to consider OnlyWire for WordPress you would definitely want it to be better than what you already have now wouldn’t you. If you were to scroll down to the bottom of this post you would see the following button. Bookmark And Share Social Networking Sites

There are other buttons to choose from but I chose this particular one because it appealed to me. But it doesn’t stop there because if you were to hover your mouse pointer over that button you would get a little surprise, a surprise that would look like this.

Yep read em and weap, up to 20 social networking sites to choose from

Check it out, not one, not two, not even three but up to 20 different social networking sites for them to choose from. How freaking great is that? :thumbup_tb: The actual amount depends on how many of those sites you have configured the plugin to show, but it gets even better and is the number one reason why you should consider installing this plugin. Once installed and you publish a post it will automatically submit that post to every one of those social networking sites.

Some service like Digg may require you to submit a captcha code to finalize a submission but that’s a small price to pay for what this plugin provides. The easiest way to install the plugin is to use WP’s very own ‘Add New’ feature in the plugin menu, just do a search for OnlyWire for WordPress and select the one from OnlyWire Engineering.

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Necessity The Mother Of Invention And How It Relates To Blogs

Necessity is the mother of invention. This is a well known proverb that can be applied to many things in life, including blogging. It basically means that whenever someone finds a need for something, if that need is great enough he will find a way of fulfilling that need.

One avenue of blogging where this is clearly displayed is the creation of all the great plugins that we use in our blogs. This can be anything from Andy’s Commentluv to Microkid’s related posts. They can save us time by simplifying tasks, they can improve the SEO of our blog or they can even reward those who take the time to comment on our blogs.

As bloggers our greatest need would be to get others to visit our blog. It doesn’t matter if you’re blogging for money or if you’re doing it just for the love of it, unless people are coming to your blog it all becomes pretty pointless. Our need is therefore quite obvious, we need to generate traffic.

Unfortunately it’s going to take more than a few plugins to achieve that goal. I’m afraid that I am going to disappoint a lot of you right now, especially if you thought this post was going to reveal an easy answer to all your traffic woes. I’ll leave that to the many squeeze pages on the subject, for the rest of us, we’re going to have to roll up our sleeves and get to work. Let’s keep one thing in mind though, and that is that we love the work we do, which is why we can throw so much into it and because it’s our passion to write and to succeed that is going to see us through.

The one thing that I do that brings a fair bit of traffic is commenting on other peoples blogs. I’ve found that by leaving constructive comments I get quite a few people coming here to see what else I have to offer. Knowing that to be the case all that is left is to Find The Right Blogs To Comment On.

While commenting is a good start, one of the major sources of traffic would have to be the search engines. As long as you provide the right food for the spiders the search engines can become your best friend as far as traffic is concerned. One way to get noticed by those guys is by getting a nice set of backlinks to your blog and instead of divulging my meager knowledge on the subject I’m going to send you to site that is going to tell you Everything You Need To Know About Backlinks! This is a pretty comprehensive post, complete with several instructional videos, and it may take more than one sitting to assimilate everything but it’s going to be worth it.

OK, I’m not one who likes to sit through a session where there is a possibility for information overload, so I’m not going to put you guys through it either. To finish off I would love it, and I think you will appreciate it as well, if you were to watch this small clip, one that shows you exactly how necessity is the mother of invention.

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