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How to Speed Up WordPress

With just a few adjustments, you can speed up your WordPress experience, these are some of my favorite options.

Hosting

By far, the best option that you have is choosing a great host. There are many options out there. If you can, for speed reasons, try and find SSD hosting. Personally, I’ve tried a few different hosting companies over the years. Two that I highly recommend are:

Amazon Lightsail

For those that like to have a DYI host, this is a great inexpensive option. Linux plans start at $5/mo with a free month to try it out. In my research, I tried another “WordPress” managed host, which had a 4.68 second load time for my website. When I switched to Lightsail load time decreased to 826 milliseconds. Wow!

Amazon Lightsail screenshot

Cost: $5+/mo | Visit Hosting

WPengine

If you want something 100% managed and tailored to WordPress hosting, wpengine is your best bet. They have excellent 24/7 hour support, which is available via live chat or email. They start at $35/mo for one site.

WPengine Screenshot

Cost: $35+/mo | Visit Hosting

Plugins

This is always a mixed recommendation. Too many plugins and you will slow down your website. Find the right plugins and you can improve performance.

I try and balance plugin choice between “usefulness” and “convenience”. Those that save me time as a developer and then there are those that add functionality to the site itself.

Add SSL Exception in Chrome? Nope.

Context

Working on a new project of mine, I wanted to modify CSS in real-time with Codekit. I’ve been using CodeKit since January-ish of ‘012 Beta and have always been a big fan of it.

Below is a helpful video from CodeKit on how to set that up.

Great! Let’s get started coding…oh no.

The Problem

Self-signing certificates in Google Chrome? Nah. I love using Chrome for its Developer Tools. That would be perfect and helpful for this situation.

Chrome displays this error:

The site can’t provide a secure connection
_______.local doesn’t adhere to security standards
ERR_SSL_SERVER_CERT_BAD_FORMAT

( I just wanted to try the blur feature in CloudApp… )

Codekit has TLS Support. One would think the following image would work? Nope.

Google’s Push to a Mobile-First Search Index

Recently Google modified its search index. They are calling the new experiment a “mobile-first” index, they’re emphasizing that mobile first will be given the priority.

…our algorithms will eventually primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site…

Desktop results will remain the same for now but the user experience and priority for mobile results is evolving.

The main reason for this? Some websites have split their domain for mobile ( m.domain.com ) or offered drastically different content for the mobile experience.

Google wants to remedy that disparity in content.

What can you do? Well for good SEO and great results, I recommend the following:

1. Create a Mobile Friendly Website

The easiest way to do this is to have a responsive website. This means your website will adjust to fit whatever screen the user is reading on.

If you use a CMS, Content Management System, such as WordPress there are a ton of responsive themes that you can find for it.

2. Test Your Website

Google offers a tool that allows you to test your website to see how mobile friendly it is. Below is an example of what it would look like if your website came back with results that show it to be “not mobile-friendly”.

Example of Not Mobile Friendly

3. Content is Still King

It goes without saying that the best way to improve your SEO is to have great content. Make sure that you are putting out content regularly. This will encourage re-indexing, keeping current, and staying on target for the topics or keywords that you want to target.

Source: Google

Deep Linking into the iMessage App Store

When working on Mister Bacon, I realized that the app could be viewed in two different stores. You have the overall app store and then you have the App Store within iMessage itself.

If you install it from the main app store there is a chance that the user might not be able to find it after. More details on that in another post.

When using your iTunes link to the app store be sure to include &app=messages.

This will make it so that when the user clicks on the link via their mobile device, it will pop up in the iMessage App Store automatically.

App Image

How to Use Stickers in the iOS 10 Messages App

With the launch of the iPhone 7 also came the debut of Apple’s latest mobile operating system, iOS 10. This latest version of the OS brought with it a ton of new changes, improvements, and added features.

One of those new features is the ability to add stickers to text messages in the Messages app ( or iMessage ).

I’ve had a few people ask me where to find them so I decided to make a short video to walk you through it.

Mister Bacon – delicious bacon stickers for Messages. ( app store )