Beginners

These tutorials are appropriate for those new to WordPress, or for non-coders.

WordPress Speed Optimization Glossary

WordPress Speed Optimization Glossary

Trying to make your WordPress site faster is an already technically complex process, further obscured by all the jargon you have to understand. Here’s an overview of some commonly used site “speed up” terms. I hope it helps demystify the process!

Browser caching

Imagine your web page is like a puzzle. The puzzle pieces are CSS, JavaScript and image files. When you visit a web page, the browser has to retrieve all those puzzle pieces from the server, then assemble them correctly to make your web page.

Browser caching allows the browser to keep some of those puzzle pieces in place, that is, stored in the browser itself (on your computer), so that the next time you visit that page, it doesn’t have to fetch them again from the server.

The purpose of browser caching is to make repeat visits to the same site much faster for the visitor.

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Troubleshoot Your WordPress Plugins With Plugin Detective

Troubleshoot Your WordPress Plugins with Plugin Detective

Many issues that arise on your WordPress site will be plugin-related. Whether it’s a conflict between plugins, between a plugin and your theme, a buggy update, or whatever else may happen,  the standard troubleshooting procedure is to deactivate all your plugins, then turn them back on one at a time until the issue reappears. This process lets you isolate exactly which plugin is at the source of the conflict. However, if you have more than a handful of plugins on your site, which almost everyone does, this can be a time-consuming and frustrating process.

Enter….. Plugin Detective

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Google PageSpeed Insights – A Common Sense Guide For WordPress Users

Google PageSpeed Insights – A Common Sense Guide for WordPress Users

Listen, let’s keep it real, I don’t think you should use PageSpeed Insights unless you’re a developer. PageSpeed has its heart in the right place, but it’s not intended for the average WordPress site owner and the reports it provides are ripe for misinterpretation.

Have you ever watched the show Silicon Valley? One of the main characters is Richard, the CEO of a tech startup. He’s a programming genius but socially inept. He has great intentions and a grand vision, but as a leader, he doesn’t do the best job at communicating his vision and is notoriously ineffective at public speaking.

PageSpeed Insights has a lot in common with Richard: they both have great ideas and communicate them poorly.

The basic message of PageSpeed Insights could be translated as follows:

  • Keep your pages light and simple.
  • Avoid unnecessary fanciness.
  • Consider mobile users, particularly those who pay for every byte of data.
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How To Have Different Sidebar Content On Different Pages Of Your WordPress Site

How to Have Different Sidebar Content On Different Pages of Your WordPress Site

Not all WordPress themes provide a way to have totally different sidebar content on different pages of your site. Some may provide a little flexibility with, for example a sidebar for the blog and a different sidebar for static pages, but sometimes you need more comprehensive control. You may need an additional set of navigation on a certain set of sub-pages, or you may want to hide some widgets on mobile devices, or for other specific conditions.

There are several different plugins that help you gain this type of flexibility with your site.

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7 Simple WordPress Performance Test Best Practices

7 Simple WordPress Performance Test Best Practices

These days it seems most WordPress users are aware of the need for speed on their websites: conversions, SEO, user experience etc. I won’t recycle all the usual stats here ;)

Maybe you’ve read some articles and seen that you need to speed test your site. So you click on whichever tool is mentioned, input your URL and proceed to freak out at the results.

But wait! Before freaking out, make sure you’re observing these rudimentary best practices when doing a performance test on your WordPress site.

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Which Speed Testing Tool Should You Use For Your WordPress Site?

Which Speed Testing Tool Should You Use For Your WordPress Site?

Measuring the loading time of your WordPress site is a critical step in optimizing for speed. You have to know how your site is performing to understand where the bottlenecks are and to measure the impact of optimizations you’re making, or the content you add to your site. There are numerous tools available for measuring the performance of your site, each of them providing a different result, which is understandably confusing. Which one is “right”?

So which speed testing tool should you use? The real answer is that it depends on what you want to measure
in how much detail you want to measure it.

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