There is an overwhelming choice of web hosts these days and it can be hard to determine which would be a good fit. A Google search will reveal many blog posts on the subject which are really are just a roundup of that blog’s sub-par affiliates that haven’t been vetted for quality.
I’ve been running my own sites for over 14 years now, and have also had many years experience with client websites and all their various hosts. So I have direct experience with many different hosts and have also interacted with the technical support departments of many of them.
Measuring the loading time of your WordPress site is obviously a critical step in optimizing for speed. You have to be able to find where the bottlenecks are and where you can achieve the easiest and biggest performance “wins”. There are numerous tools, such as Pingdom, GTmetrix etc, available for measuring the performance of your site, each of them providing a different result, which is understandably confusing. Which one is “right” and which one should you use?
The answer depends on exactly what you want to measure and the level of detail that you want. They each provide different metrics which is why they provide different results, but it doesn’t mean that any of them is more “right” than the other.
However, no matter which tool(s) you use, what’s more important is understanding what information you’re actually getting, and being consistent with the tool you use. It’s not useful to compare results between tools – for example, between GTmetrix and Pingdom. It doesn’t matter if Pingdom says 2 seconds and GTmetrix says 5 seconds. You should only compare multiple results from the same tool, before and after you’ve made some changes.
We’re going to be working with the information in the Acquisition > Search Console tabs. On each page you’ll see these table headings (there are others, but these are the important ones for this guide):
Google Search Console, formerly known as Webmaster Tools, is a must-have for your WordPress site. It is a free account which will give you a lot of useful information about the search health of your site. Additionally you’ll get valuable SEO data about keywords, click through rates etc, which you could not otherwise get in Google Analytics alone. There are other uses and features of Search Console, but in this and the next post, I’ll be focusing on the marketing uses of Search Console.
In the first post of this mini-series we looked at the basic lingo you have to understand to get going with MemberPress. Here are a couple more tweaks you shouldn’t neglect when setting up your membership site.
Don’t leave visitors stranded
When first setting up your membership site, you’ll likely put a lot of care and attention into your registration pages, realizing that they will do the heavy lifting of converting visitors. But don’t forget to think about how people are actually going to end up on them. You’ll probably have links in your navigation and other obvious places, but you also need to think about what happens when someone stumbles across a blog post on your site with some protected content on it – what do you do with them and how do you get them into the sign-up process?