Having your own blog? These are two important parts to think of. I’ll be talking about them in simple way and might go a little bit advanced in-between.
Hosting with WordPress.com? you’re covered. They are brilliant and taking all necessary actions to make sure that your site/blog performs well. However, here some additional tips that are simple and very helpful in getting even better performance:
- Post/Page Title has moderate length.
- Make sure to have an Excerpt (meta description) for the post/page.
- External Links in post/page have rel=nofollow except for the big names.
- Make sure there are Hn Tags and are in the right hierarchy. That’s, H1, H2, H3. Most WordPress’ themes have the title of post/page as H1 and the Comments title as H3. So, you need at least one H2 inside.
- If you’re using “Read More” link, try to change it to something more descriptive; i.e., Click to read the full post. This applies to all links in general.
- No YouTube/Video in the Above-the-Fold area. Texts only and maximum one image.
- Try to optimize/compress your images before uploading (compresspng.com, shortpixel.com). And, all images should have ALT attribute.
- Advanced: Make sure the image in the Above-the-Fold is not lazy loaded.
- Minimize the connections to database. A Categories List widget is a data-driven widget; it connects to database first to extract the categories and displays them. Rather, you can have a simple text widget with normal links to the categories.
- Avoid extra DOM size. Simply, reasonable length of your pages & sidebar. Remove un-needed parts (widgets). Advanced: If you use HTML in your writing, remove or replace extra attributes such as DIV, SPAN,…
Now, what if you’re self-hosting your blog (WordPress.org) or you’re on the Business Plan of WordPress.com? Check WordPress Plans. In that case, you have more options to manipulate the performance of your blog. You’ll be shocked when you see the results. This is another topic for: Why I host with WordPress.com.
You can check the speed of your blog through: Google Pagespeed or Gtmetrix. If your site in real world is loading great, then do not spend much time on these metrics. The page speed tests usually run on the algorithm which checks your site based on specific SEO, and site-related tests which cannot always be followed. The best way to understand if your site is loading slow or not is to check on the networks you have access to, and also to ask other people to check the site and let you know what they feel.
Again, hosting with WordPress.com? you’re covered. They already provide a good tool for measuring your statistics. Further, it’s light and don’t affect performance of your blog site.
One of the best statistics tool is: Google Analytics. It has more options and reports than the default one above.
Talking about WordPress, self-hosted website or WordPress.com with minimum Premium Plan is required to use Google Analytics. Considering performance scores, I don’t recommend to have the both tools working together. Self hosting or Business plan users could have different opinion here. Personally, I found WordPress.com default statistics (Jetpack Stats) has better performance scores than Google Analytics.
Have you ever tried any of these tools or tips? What else do use to enhance your site’s performance or to track its statistics?