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Speed of WordPress Blogs Loading

Useful Resources for Testing Speed of Site

 

  • - noticeable slow to load 6s
  • - Dreamhost vps

Case 1 – 7 seconds to load

switched to WP-Super Cache

WP – Super Cache settings

  • mod_rewrites
  • Compressed
  • Preload
  • cdn support

Case 2 – 4 seconds

Case 3 -

  • Theme – Copyblogger
  • page speed load 91/100
  • Page load time start render 2sec

Case 4 – 12 seconds, time mostly loading images from flickr.

XML File Backup Worpress

Another quick tip to reduce horror of wordpress blank screen of death.

Periodically backup wordpress through a WordPress XML file.

Simply go to tools and press export. This makes it easy to import into a fresh wp install and you don’t need to worry about database conflicts.

Google Blog Comment Spam

If you have a blog you may notice getting a lot of comments that are like:

  • Author: Cheap DVDs
  • Website :www.cheapdvds.com
  • Comment: Great Site! Love your post! Will be revisiting frequently!

People frequently approve this kind of comment because, hey, they’ve said you have a nice blog. But, the thing with this comment is that it could be sent to any blog post on any blog.

But, this kind of comment is automatically generated. If they are clever they send automatically to any post which is related (or not related) to their site.

I always mark these as spam because:

  • It offers nothing useful.
  • It is not a real person. It is a computer bot.
  • It is skewing google search results. Google is unfortunately rewarding people who send out all this blog comment spam (that is why they do it) – please read the excellent Jill Whelan Google Sucks all the way to the bank

Please don’t reward the spammers! Mark as spam any comment that is spam.

Monty Python Spam

Rules for Approving Blog Comments

These are the rules I have for approving blog comments.

Messages that get marked as spam:

If author is juicy anchor text link. like

  • * author: Ipad Comparison site
  • * author: Cheap Mortgage loans

If your name happens to be Mr Cheap Mortgage Loans, I apologise for adding a further penalty to that of having thoughtless parents, but you can generally be safe any blog author who calls himself ‘best loans’ is trying to spam and get google link juice. Don’t reward them, mark as spam!

Comments That Get deleted

The vacuous comment that is so generic it could apply to any post on the internet.

* Hey great Post!
* Love your site! Will bookmark it for future reference!

To be honest, there is such a proliferation of these useless comments, that I often mark as spam, and not just delete.

Comments which are mainly a link to some website.

Often people combine a vacuous comment with a link at the end of a comment. It seems the sole purpose of the comment is to add a link. I usually always delete these comments. Occasionally people are genuine in pointing out a resource. These may be from regular readers, so I don’t delete out of hand.

Comments Which Attack

I don’t get many on my site, but, if people start attacking others or me, especially with any swearing, I delete straight away. I’m happy to approve comments which criticise arguments, but don’t bother to accept personal attacks.

Comments with Bad Grammar.

If any comment misplaces a grammar or splits an infinitive, it’s straight in the trash can! Only joking! But, I have sometimes taken time to edit comments which are full of basic spelling errors, which even pain me.

* Google blog comment spam

Quick Tips for Better Blog Posts.

  • Make sure keyword is going to be searched. Best length is often three of four words. ‘Newspaper Headlines’ may be more fun, but, they won’t attract much search. Use Google suggest for ideas.
  • Make sure the post has long term value. e.g. will people be searching for it next year?
  • Have a quick way of adding affiliate links. e.g. just copy an Amazon link and replace the search term.
  • At end of post, where do you want visitor to go next? Generally offering 2-3 related posts, helps keep them on the site and offers a more detailed post. Have to hand your best posts, so you can send first time visitors to your best posts.
  • If relevant include 1-3 relevant external links, these should be chosen for high relevance from quality sites. e.g. don’t link to home page of BBC, but, to an article offering more information.
  • In a competitive market, Google are increasingly weighting longer, more useful posts higher than short posts. Does your post offer something new or is it rehashing something you can find in a better form elsewhere on internet?
  • It is better to have one excellent post than several ‘average posts’

Continue reading →

Projects for the Experienced Blogger

In our previous post, we looked at what a beginner blogger should spend his time on. In this post, we will look at some suggestions for the experienced blogger who has done the hard work of getting a blog established.

1. Look at Statistics.

Find pages which give most traffic and optimise them. They may be posts you wrote a long time ago and had forgotten about. 80% of your traffic could be coming from 10-20% of your posts. If one posts is getting a lot of traffic, improve it – impress all these visitors. Make sure there are links to other related posts and try to encourage the visitors to explore more aspects of the blog.

2. Exploit successful keywords

In your statistics you will see some  keywords that are bringing you lots of traffic. Try variations on these keywords. If you do well for ‘Blogging tips’ You will probably do well for ‘Blogging tips for begginers’ ‘Top 10 Blogging tips’
If a keyword is very profitable, it is also worth trying to get higher rankings for this keyword. If you are number 5 for one profitable keyword. Try getting links with this keyword in anchor text; if you can go from number 5 to number 1 on google, you will see a 200-300% increase in traffic.

3. Create more bookmarkable content.

When I was a new blogger I spent a lot of time writing quantity. However, I know feel you make more progress from writing memorable content which might do well on social bookmarking sites and attract links.

It is better to have 1 post that gets 2-3 links than 5 posts that sink into mediocrity.

4. Increase RSS readership.

Work hard at building an RSS readership. Try to develop a consistent posting schedule of 2-7 posts a week. This is a good volume

5. Try different things.

Don’t keep churning out the same kind of articles. Try something different like:

  • A video post
  • Interview with someone outside the blogosphere.
  • Collection of interesting photos.
  • Inspiration from past archives.
  • Think like a journalist rather than blogger.

Related

What Should a New Blogger Spend his Time on?

A newbie blogger is liable to be overwhelmed by the sheer number of different aspects that go into blogging. It is hard to know where to spend your time and energies.

This is what I suggest in terms of priorities.

Write.

You have to write good articles. It is advisable to write 5-7 really good articles. These articles should set the tone of the blog. They are the kind of articles that you would be happy to put in a selection – ‘Recommended Reading’. You can highlight these excellent articles, so that people who come across your blog will read them and want to bookmark it. Without good content everything else is a waste of time.

Links.

You can write 1,000 excellent articles, but, if you have no inbound links, if you don’t tell anyone about your blog you should expect 0 traffic. You may get the odd short burst of traffic from blog posts, but, these will soon tail off (google, give new blog posts high rankings for about a week before dropping there rankings.) Getting links is an art. The most important is to have some good content. View – How to get links to your blog

  • Note: Links should be natural. You want to slowly build up the number of links that you get. Don’t wait 6 months and then think – I’ll get a 100 links this week. It doesn’t work like that. Google want to see a steady progression of links. The sooner you start the better. If you don’t get any links you will be demoralised by the lack of traffic.
  • Note: I will be writing more advice about links soon.
  • Not every article has to be very indepth. It is good to offer a mix of long and short posts.

Encourage Subscribers.

This is similar to point number 2. Subscribers are the best way to build your blog and gain natural links over time. See: How To increase RSS subscribers. You should look to start building RSS subscribers soon after writing your first 10 articles.

Good Design

A new blogger should get a good design. This is essential for attracting new subscribers and links. However, you don’t want to spend too much time because there is a lot to learn in this area. I advise using a free template and pay for a really great logo. People don’t expect perfection in design. Something clean and simple will keep you going until you make the big time. But, you want to stand out from the crowd.

Things For New Bloggers To Avoid

Looking for affiliate programs.

There is no point trying affiliate programs when your trafffic is small. Get traffic first before worrying about advertising.

Continue reading →

Traffic levels for Blog Posts and Static Pages

I am amazed at the difference between traffic for blog pages and static pages. On my economics site by google blogger blog has 423 posts and gets on average 4,000 daily page impressions by Google Analytics. A static section of my site has 130 pages and gets on average 35 page impressions by Google analytics. A post on a blog gives a ratio of 10 page views per post. A static page gives an average of 0.3 pages.

It would be interesting to understand the disparity between blog pages and static html pages.

  1. One potential reason is that the static pages are generally shorter.
  2. Maybe their keywords are not so good. Although I tried on both sections to choose ‘keyword friendly’ titles.
  3. Maybe google give higher rankings to blogs, especially with a reasonable RSS susbcriber count?

But, it gives a clear incentive to add blog pages rather than static pages. In fact, I ended up adding a second blog, because I didn’t want to overwhelm the first blog with too many posts.

Another issue worth mentioning is that blog posts often give ‘temporary traffic’ For example, I have a few pages such as Euro 2008 forecasts, which is giving good traffic during 2008, but, will obviously drop off next year. Even blog posts without dates often give diminishing returns over time. I think what is happening is that Google, give a higher weighting to recent blog posts because this is often what people are searching – recent posts.

It may also depend on the niche of the Blog Website. On another site www.biographyonline.net , the results are less conclusive. Here the static pages get a similar level of traffic to the blog pages (although here the blog has only 123 pages). The difference here might be that the static part of the section is actually a higher quality than the blog. In depth biographies are given static pages. Blog entries are shorter snippets. Also biographies don’t lend themselves to blogging. I mean dead people are more suited to a static site than a constantly updating blog. So in this niche, people don’t want blog entries, but, in economic, recent events are more important.

I would be interested if  anyone else have evidence of traffic volumes for blog posts vs static pages?

Tips on getting more traffic to a site

Branding Your Blog

Yesterday, I mentioned the importance of getting a good logo. A good logo does several things including helping to build your blog brand.

Importance of Branding Your Blog

  • Helps you to stand out from the crowd
  • Makes your blog memorable, rather than another statistic
  • A strong brand will make people take more notice. For example, if Problogger writes a post about linking it has more authority than if some unknown blogger wrote the same thing on a .blogspot domain.
  • Helps to tell readers what your blog is about. – Too many blogs fail to do that. You can there and you have to work out what it’s all about.

How To Develop Your Blog Brand

  • Pick a catchy and memorable title and tagline.
  • Have a distinctive blog design. At least get a custom designed logo.
  • Have a clear purpose for the blog. (note don’t feel obliged to get that purpose straight off, sometimes it becomes clearer after first few weeks blogging)
  • Stick to certain topics / style.
  • Write in a consistent way.
  • Quality is preferable to quantity when writing posts. Many high RSS subscriber blogs have a weekly output of 2-3 posts.
  • Give it a Personal Perspective. Writing from experience or with real life examples helps to make the blog more interesting and memorable.
  • Look at Professional companies and how they build brand loyalty and brand differentiation. Visit Bonbrand for ideas.

Has Technology Harmed Our Productivity?

There is no doubt technology can help vastly increase our productivity, but, many are now realising that as well as being a help, modern technology can be a hindrance.

How Technology has Harmed Our Productivity

  • Text messages going off distract us from work. It estimated text messages took 0.5% off GDP in the US.
  • Writing text messages can reduce your IQ more than smoking cannabis. [link]
  • Always on call. Mobile phone, instant chat.
  • Multitasking. Modern technology means we try to do several things at once. Two computers open at once.
  • Emails create a proliferation of messages – additional problems.
  • Reduced attention span. The internet has given us quantity rather than quality. The analogy is a getting a glass of water from Niagara falls. Because there is so much more information, we try to skim through 100s of pages, rather than read 1 carefully – See Has Google made us stupid? article in Atlantic about reduced attention spans of the modern reader.

Of course, this ignores how technology has improved our productivity. It is as unbalanced view. But, the important thing is that just because modern technology can improve productivity doesn’t mean it always will. We have to manage modern technology so we control it, rather than the other way round.

Continue reading →