5 Tools Every Blogger Should Know For Blog Optimization!
Blogging is fun. I’ve really enjoyed it!
If you’re looking for some blogger inspiration, I’ve written about it here in my article on Blogger Inspiration
Surprisingly, I’ve learned that it’s also a lot of work!
If you’re treating your blog like a business to make money from home, you spend the same amount of time writing content, and improving the performance of your website as you would any self created business.
Getting it up and running can be a challenge, especially if you’re new to WordPress, like I was. It is very overwhelming at times especially if you have limited knowledge of computer coding, or computer terms. It’s practically a foreign language to us newbies, or at least that’s how it felt when I first started.
When I started my blog I bought my domain through ipage.com. If you’re still trying to figure out which domain to use check out this article: Finding a website host. Once, I even added coding in the wrong spot (whoops!), and they were able to fix my mistake very quickly. After I bought my domain, I started working on setting up my blog, but got so frustrated with it, that I had to put it aside for awhile. Honestly, I didn’t touch it for several months. I figured that it might just be the end of my blogging career. I was very overwhelmed, and felt SO crazy annoyed after working on it. I was stuck on one concept. ONE! I had hit a wall with simply just setting it up, and was just so frustrated! Then one day, as I knew it was just sitting there, I decided that I was going to push through what I didn’t understand. I was determined to get it set up, and running, no matter what. I wasn’t sure what would happen with it, but I just felt that fire. The desire was SO strong to bust through my frustrations.
Getting over that hurdle felt like it would be so encouraging for me to get to the next point.
I did it!
(Well, yeah, you’re here today reading my blog, so it worked to just state the obvious right?)
It took me many many days to do it, staying up crazy crazy late, and googling the heck out of my questions over and over again in different ways to finally get it up and running. Then came the content, and social media, and interactions with other bloggers. It really is a world unto itself and it is a wonderful tribe of unique & talented individuals.
Here is a scenario for you.
Your blog is up and running, and you’re writing great content, and you’re feeling like a blogging rockstar- a freakin blogging rockstar people! After looking at your blog, you find out that its running like a turtle. Like the slowest turtle that you know of. You’re site runs SO slow, like crazy crawly slow, on both mobile devices and on the desktop. Your pictures aren’t really even loading. Well oh snap!
And it really really sucks by the way! Maybe “slow” is relative, because these days you’ve got to keep up with faster and better to meet the needs of your readers. You’ve not downloaded anything that you know of to slow your blog down…
…Or at least anything that you can pin point!
What’s a learning blogger to do?
Experience bloggers may look at this and think, “You didn’t know about these?”
The answer is no, because I’m learning as I go.
Literally I’m jumping in with both feet to the unknown “realm” of blogging,
I think a lot of bloggers can relate.
I read a lot these days from brilliant people who are more experienced in the blogging field than myself, and have slowly stumbled upon each of the many tools out there to make your blog great.
Here are some tools that I’ve felt were very useful in optimizing my blog. In the blogging world there are more than five tools, but today, in this article, we’ll tackle just five.
Five helpful tools that will help you optimize your blog.
- Quick Sprout: Quick Sprout analyzes your site, and gives you ideas on how you can grow your traffic. When I first scanned my site, it was found to have 15 problems which included subheadings being too long or too short, and other issues, along with the description of how it appeared in google’s search results! Pretty awesome tool! Try it now with your website at https://www.quicksprout.com/
- Page Speed Insights: This link gives you access to analyzing your page speed. When I tried this the first time on my site, it showed that loading was under 50 for mobile and a little above 50 for desktop! This is out of a score of 100. Yikes! My blog happened to fall into the “poor” category! They give you suggestions on what you can do to increase the speed on your blog! So, I’m increasing my speed for both mobile and desktop using the suggestions they have offered. Again, another really awesome tool! Nobody wants to wait for their articles, and as a publisher, we want to give our readers the best experience that we can including as loading our articles up quickly. Speeding up your website will be benefit! You can access this tool at: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
- Plugins to Compress Your Images: There are several plugins that you can install to help compress and optimize your images. When you go into WordPress plugins in your dashboard search for “image compression and optimization”. I use WP Smush, and it has worked well for me. Pictures can slow down your WordPress. It can have a negative affect on your search engine rankings, as well as, simply frustrate your readers! A WordPress website that loads fast brings more traffic, customers, and revenue for your site which is a good thing right? I’d say so! So, it’s really important to make sure that those photos get compressed to increase your loading time.
- A plugin that cleans out the “cache” like WP Shmush: Basically these programs clean out your WordPress database so that it runs at maximum efficiency. It removes unnecessary data (for an example: trashed,unapproved spam comments, or “stale” data) also trackbacks, ping backs, and even expired transient options. It also compacts de-fragment MySQL tables. Basically it keeps all the junk that’s slowing your site down to a minimum at the click of a button or on automatic.
- Google Analytics : This program helps you analyse the performance of your blog. It tells you where people are from that visit your site, when they come, and how they visit, meaning, session duration and bounce rate. Adding this to your blog programs should be a no-brainer. You can optimize your site with this program because you can analyse your audience and narrow down how your blog is performing to improve it’s content and therefore its function. Google analytics is easy to set up and an awesome program to help make your blog run smoother.
These are some great tools to get an idea of how to make your blog cleaner, faster, and more reachable to the people that you want to read it!
What tools have you used to optimize your blog or website?