Improving Website Speed For WordPress Part 1 – Interview With Joe Anderson – 043
Joe Anderson of Metaphor Creations is back on the show this week, and this time we’re talking about website speed. Specifically, we’re talking about how to improve the speed of your WordPress website. This is part 1 of a two-part interview with Joe, and in this half, we’re going to cover web hosting and using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to make sure your web host and server is running as fast as possible. Plus, Joe shares a discount for everyone on his Ditty Ticker plugin bundle for WordPress!
- Get 10% off the Ditty Ticker Bundle from Metaphor Creations using the code “intrycksditty”
- Website hosting makes a difference in your website speed, especially for WordPress websites
- Using a Content Delivery Network to speed up your website
- CDN stands for Content Delivery Network
Here is the transcription from Episode 43 Improving Website Speed For WordPress With Joe Anderson Part 1;
Jesse Dolan: Welcome back to local SEO tactics where each week we bring you tips and tricks on how to help your business get found and grow online. And this week we’ve got an interview with Joe Anderson with Metaphor Creations. If you remember back in episode 39 we had Joe on for an interview and we talked about WordPress plugins, kind of some back end development related stuff. And Joe Anderson with Metaphor Creations is a very important partner here with us here at Intrycks and local SEO tactics. He’s kind of our main guy for WordPress backend development, plugin development, things of that nature. And if you haven’t checked out episode 39 yet, definitely go, go listen to that as well. By far and away, it was our most popular episode to date with over twice the amount of downloads and listens of any other episode. And on top of that, until we took our break thereafter episode 39 it was also our most recent episode.
Right. So if you can imagine, not only was it our newest episode, freshest episode, it also had twice the amount of downloads of any other episode that we put out there. Kind of speaks to the popularity of the topic, how good Joe is, and really how impactful the episode is. So if you haven’t listened to that, check it out. This episode here with Joe, we’re going to be talking about site speed, particularly within WordPress. Plugins for your site. You want to some best practices, things to avoid and just kind of how to manage a plugin watch out for plugin bloat and just general tips on how to make your site fast. Which is a very important topic nowadays for mobile usability, for Google ranking people based on site speed. Not that it’s a huge ranking factor, but it does matter if your site is slower than somebody else’s. Obviously you’re going to suffer.
So there’s lots of good tips in here and we’re actually going to break this interview into two parts. So the first part this week, second part is going to drop next week. So stay tuned for that. I hope you guys like it. Have a great time whenever Joe is in talking about stuff and I think you’re going to learn a lot so stay tuned everyone. Hey everyone, Jesse Dolan here with Joe Anderson again, and we wanted to talk to you real quick about something Joe has to offer.
We had Joe on a few weeks ago talking about some of the plugins that he develops and how we use a Metaphor Creations. And Joe and a lot of what we do in here day to day. Bringing Joe back on to talk more about some of these kind of under the hood things for your website to increase your SEO and get your website found. It’s real quick. When Joe was on last time he had a $5 discount and he was offering everybody for on any of his plugins and products. Pretty cool offer. Joe has got here for everybody, a 10% off the Ditty News Ticker bundle. Do you want to elaborate on what that is or?
Joe Anderson: Yeah, so the Ditty News Ticker bundle is just a single purchase which allows you access to all of my Ditty News Ticker extensions. All the current extensions as well as any I may make in the future. So if I add them on the site, you’ll have access.
Jesse Dolan: Seriously, anything in the future too?
Joe Anderson: Anything.
Jesse Dolan: If you come up with the Diddy Pinterest ticker or whatever it’s going to be, that’ll be free?
Joe Anderson: That’ll be available there for you. So yeah, I’m giving you guys 10% off your purchase of that bundle, whichever license you choose. You can do the single site license, you can do it in two to five site license, or an unlimited site license. You’ll get a 10% off whatever that price is.
Jesse Dolan: So that’s 10% you were saying right before we started recording, that’s 10% on if you purchase it or if you had purchased some kind of previous licenses on your end of your tickers if they want to upgrade to the bundle, they get 10% off that too.
Joe Anderson: Yeah, 10% off. If you took the $5 off offer last time to purchase one, you can now upgrade to the bundle and get 10% off the upgrade price of your previously discounted purchase.
Jesse Dolan: What kind of code did they need to enter at checkout for that?
Joe Anderson: We are going to use Intrycks Diddy.
Jesse Dolan: I-N-T-R-Y-C-K-S D-I-T-T-Y plugged that in at checkout. You know you got it right if you see a 10% come off, right? So if you don’t, come back and listen to this again. But no, really check that out. If you haven’t checked out that previous episode with Joe where we talk about plugins and content creation if you want to know more about what this is and what the heck are these guys talking about, check out that episode. It’s pretty long. But we get really into some great stuff and you’re going to understand what this bundle is and what it can do for you. So we’ll put a link to it in the show notes but go to intrycks.com/dittybundle D-I-T-T-Y bundle. And it’ll bring you right to that page to learn more on Joe’s website. Take advantage.
We’ve talked before about some things for making a fast website and the importance of it. Today we’re going to dive a little bit into some of those, maybe a little bit deeper into some areas we haven’t talked about before. Website speed is very important for SEO nowadays. Not only just as a pure ranking factor. Which Google has come out and said it’s a ranking factor. But again, so much more traffic is on mobile versus desktop or laptop on wifi as before. And when you’re out there on mobile, things can be a little bit slower. Right? So today we’re going to kind of dive into what we use, some of our tactics and things we recommend to making your website faster because it is so important nowadays. Probably the first thing that I’d throw out there, Joe, maybe you can speak to it, is your website hosting.
And I would even say on this too, I know most of the things we’re going to say here are with the kind of the undercurrent of using WordPress, right? Now, you can use WordPress in a very slow way and we’ll get into some of the bloat, you know, plugin bloat and things. But in WordPress isn’t like inherently fast or slow. It’s kind of like your phone. You can load it up with a bunch of crap or not. So I just kind of way to make that disclaimer going forward. In this episode, the things we’re talking about definitely apply straight up to WordPress. Some of these won’t apply if you’re not using WordPress as your website content management platform or you know, method of hosting your website.
But some of the things we’re going to talk about are not, you know, dependent on using WordPress. So if you are using WordPress, pay attention to all of this. If you’re not using WordPress, you know some of this is still going to apply to you. Don’t tune out and still pay attention because you will make your website faster too. So just kind of give that quick disclaimer. So now with that, for hosting and explicitly for WordPress hosting, our favorite is SiteGround, right?
Joe Anderson: Yeah. I mean we’ve been working together for quite a few years now and separately for years before that. And you know, being web companies, you obviously use hosting companies, you know every website out there has to be hosted somewhere. And when he first started on this adventure of building and running websites, you really don’t know where to start. And we’ve been through a few different hosting companies. I’ve personally probably been through five or six different hosting companies and have moved on for various reasons. Whether it’s just load speed issues with the hosting company, site going down. We’ve had some big issues ourselves with just support.
Jesse Dolan: Tech support, customer service.
Joe Anderson: If your site goes down, you want to get answers fairly quickly and if those aren’t answered in a timely fashion, it’s time to move on to a different hosting company.
Jesse Dolan: Yeah, because in that example, your website down, for you, it’s pretty urgent. When you’re dealing with a company who doesn’t see that as pants on fire urgent, it’s a little frustrating. Yeah.
Joe Anderson: So ultimately what we’ve ended up on is SiteGround, which we both absolutely love. Their technology, for the little bit we know, I’m a WordPress developer, build websites, but server stuff isn’t my forte. But as far as working through different hosting companies, we just absolutely love SiteGround. Their speed, their ease of use, ease of setup, their support is top-notch and that’s what really sold us was their support. Getting issues fixed and answered quickly with knowledgeable support staff, whether it’s direct chat or leaving a ticket or even a phone call. They get things done.
Jesse Dolan: I love their chat. Personally, myself, I don’t think I’ve ever had a chat ticket or I’m sorry, a chat session with SiteGround that’s required, like some kind of direct escalation to a superior. We’ve dealt with a lot of other hosting companies in the past. Like I said, either together or independently, not going to name names, but it’s really frustrating to like invest 10, 15, 20 minutes, right? Watch the video for Joe’s reaction when I muttered there. But it’s really frustrating when you’re on a chat with somebody for 10, 15, or even 20 minutes going through their processes.
Explain your scenario just to elevate it to like the next tier of support and go through the whole thing again. And then have to submit a ticket and blah blah blah. The SiteGround, I can’t think of a scenario, I hesitate to say this has been every time because I might be forgetting something, but I can’t remember a scenario where I haven’t just been like immediately resolved with chat. Which is awesome because you know sometimes you got to wait while they do something to check into whatever. I love having chat up so I’m not tied up on the phone, whatever. And just my experience before SiteGround was like chat was like a secondary like level of support, like just not as good.
Joe Anderson: I’ll contradict you a little bit there. I’ve had a few chat sessions where they have escalated me to a higher level. But the speed and quickness for not only the chat specialist to be like, all right, this is beyond my scope. I’m going to escalate this. you know, I wasn’t on there for a half an hour waiting for them to finally say, all right, I don’t know what I’m doing. You know, they’re pretty quick to say, all right, we’re going to escalate this and they’ll create the ticket for you. And even with that said, then the ticket gets answered within a half an hour. Which is very fast, if not even sooner sometimes.
Jesse Dolan: And I don’t think that’s a contradiction. Like you gave everybody full disclosure. Like when stuff’s way over my head, like you’re the guy that takes care of it, right? So if either one of us is going to be escalated for an issue, it’s definitely going to be you.
Joe Anderson: I’m just kind of the middle man sometimes and the support.
Jesse Dolan: I’m kind of like, you know, most of our listeners out there. I’m just kind of plugging away and trying to figure some things out, but not being an expert. From that end of things, SiteGround has been amazing. If we have something hardcore about what’s going on or some questions about scale and something, I mean that’s where you come into play. So don’t let that deter you out there from thinking you’re potentially going to get escalated and whatever. Even if you do, like you said, they jump on it. So bottom line, their tech support, their customer support is awesome.
Joe Anderson: It’s a nice peace of mind when you’re running a website and you see it’s down, you kind of freak out a little bit.
Jesse Dolan: A lot of it.
Joe Anderson: It’s a lot of you don’t know how to resolve this issue yourself right away.
Jesse Dolan: You’re like, what do I do?
Joe Anderson: So if you can hop on a support and they can get to it and get it fixed for you, that’s almost priceless.
Jesse Dolan: Gosh, not to be too long here on their tech support because we are talking about speed. But I’ll tell you what, like I don’t even get intimidated or stressed when I know I got to start a chat with them. Because I fully expect their people to ask me the questions that I need to be answering to further it. They say, hold on, and they’d come back. I’m like, you’re going to tell me it’s fixed, aren’t you? I’m like, Hey, you’re, you’re up and running or whatever. You know, it’s just, anyways, it’s amazing. If you guys want to check out SiteGround, I’m going to give you a link. It’s an affiliate link. Full disclosure. It’s not going to cost you guys any more to go through this link, but it’s going to take you right to the SiteGround ground pricing page and we’re going to get a few bucks for it.
If you do sign up with SiteGround. We’re not promoting them because of this affiliate link. Quite frankly, there are other hosting companies out there that have like massively profitable affiliate programs that we could be promoting and getting way more money for anybody that signs up. We do this with SiteGround because we love SiteGround. We’re a customer of theirs and that’s why we promote them. So go to intrycks.com/siteGround.
Again, it’s not going to cost you anymore to go through that link, but it is going to give us a few bucks if you do sign up so you know it helps us out. You’re going to find there their programs are affordable and particularly, I think I talked about this in a previous episode about speed, particularly for WordPress hosting. I mean they’re good in general, but for WordPress hosting, I would challenge all you if you want to just Google, you know, fastest WordPress hosting companies and things like that, you’re going to consistently find SiteGround on anybody’s list who’s putting a blog or an article or a how to guide out there.
If you just want to kind of fact check this and make sure we’re not just trying to pump somebody up for any or other reasons. This is how we found them in the first place. We were like, okay, we’re fed up with our hosting. We used multiple hosts. We wanted to bring it all under one roof. We wanted to find the best company to work with, the fastest company to work with. That’s how we found these guys to begin with was research ourselves. And we’ve been blown away ever since.
So again, circling back to site speed. Get yourself a great host that’s going to put out some fast servers and make your site just as fast as it can be. Choose SiteGround. Kind of an additional reason to choose SiteGround is you’re going to get some of the most amazing tech support that you’re going to get from a hosting company. So double, double reasons there. Next topic here for site speed is probably something that most people aren’t utilizing on their website, which is some kind of content delivery network or CDN it might be called.
So I know initially when I first heard of content delivery networks, or before I did, I always thought, oh, the fastest thing to do is keep everything right on your site. You know, because it’s there and it’s easy to get to, but that’s not really how it works. You’re trying to take that load off of your server and kind of expanding it to other sites. So you’re bringing in assets and they’re all loading at the same time from different areas.
Jesse Dolan: So I’m glad we brought you on for this because before I think I’d mentioned CloudFlare to people out there and CDNs. And my explanation was not nearly as relevant or as actually in depth as yours. You know I talked about how they do have, you know, multiple servers kind of across the country. There’s some proximity in play there. But quite frankly, I never even knew of that aspect of it, which makes a ton of sense. It’s like now you have like you know, two channels kind of downloading to that user at the same time. Which you can really visualize and understand how that’s faster than …
Joe Anderson: Yeah, if you think of like loading videos, if you’re hosting videos on your site, not only are you rendering the page content all from your server, but you’re trying to load the video from your server. Which is why I always suggest for people to use like Vimeo or YouTube, you know, if you can. If you can for multiple reasons. One for just speed and taking that load off your server. And this is kind of sidetracking from what we’re on, but for video use, different browsers render or are able to play different video types back. Some browsers aren’t able to play certain video formats, so if you’re hosting on your own site, you got to have multiple formats of that video to potentially play on different browsers. Where if you’re pulling from Vimeo or YouTube, you’re letting somebody else do the grunt work for you. You know, they have their whole system set up. You’re just thrown in an eye frame and it’s playing back what needs to be played back.
Jesse Dolan: So we’ll loop back to the CDN here in a second. But just to go further, I’ve got a question for you. So like if I have a video I upload to YouTube and then I embed that YouTube video in my site to be played. So like what you’re saying is my website will load but then that video doesn’t actually load from my website. That’s YouTube kind of still loading that at the same time a website’s loading and kind of distributes the load.
Joe Anderson: Yeah. That content is loading from YouTube so you’re not getting that server load from trying to pull that video from your own server and hosting account.
Jesse Dolan: So I mean there’s obvious benefits for SEO to host on YouTube anyways. YouTube is, I believe still like the second most searched website. So effectively search engine, in the United States behind Google and Google owns YouTube. So like aside from everything else, if you got a video, you want to load it somewhere, throw it up on YouTube. It’s great for all the SEO reasons. But then, yeah, here, if you have video on your website, throw up the YouTube or Vimeo or any other popular one like that, let them do the work. That makes a lot of sense.
Joe Anderson: And also just from the hosting side of things, your hosting company keeps track of, you know, how much is being loaded from your server. Right? So most people out there, it’s not really going to matter too much, but I mean let’s say you do have a bunch of videos, you know that starts getting tracked by your hosting company. You may run out of, you know, again, my server terminology here isn’t the greatest, but you know, you may max out on certain things with your hosting plan that you have because you’re loading so much content directly from your server.
Jesse Dolan: Videos are data hogs for sure.
Joe Anderson: If you’re pulling the videos from YouTube, or Vimeo, or somewhere else, that’s not going to affect you at all.
Jesse Dolan: I think like, I don’t have the exact terminology there, but I think what’s running through my head just to share with everybody else. Do you think about like your phone, right? Whether you, maybe you have an unlimited plan on your phone for data, maybe you don’t. I think we all understand that just viewing webpages and content and emails and Facebook is pretty light data usage compared to if I watch a movie on Netflix, right? Or I’m watching YouTube videos. Reverse that around to your website, the content that you’re serving up, let YouTube push all that video stuff out there, take that load. That makes a lot of sense. That makes a lot of sense. So let’s circle back to CDNs. So it’s kind of how they work and why they’re important to speed your site up. Fair to say, I think I talked about it before, but CloudFlare is kind of our go to, right?
Joe Anderson: Yeah. That’s what we use now. And there’s a few different types of accounts for CloudFlare. I mean we really use the free cloud for the most part. And CloudFlare has a ton of things you can use it for. I mean, we barely scratched the surface of what it’s used for. You know, we just kind of do the initial set up and. Connect to CloudFlare. It starts using a certain percentage of your assets. It pulls to cloud player and use it as a CDN. And then they give you little nice little graphs to see how much content is being delivered from your server, how much content is actually being delivered from CloudFlare. Plus there’s some security measures with CloudFlare that are just automatically built-in.
Jesse Dolan: And we are going to have Joe on for a future episode, everybody knows too, like getting even deeper into site security. And that is an aspect that will bring up cause man security is obviously very important. And the CDNs can do a lot to help protect you. And like you’re saying CloudFare, they do have paid. They do have paid channels. I’m sorry. They do have paid programs but for the most part, we just use their free platform. And again, we’re not affiliated with SiteGround. I have no affiliate link to share with everybody.
Joe Anderson: CloudFlare.
Jesse Dolan: What did I say?
Joe Anderson: CloudFlare.
Jesse Dolan: I’m sorry. dang it. We do have an affiliate with SiteGround, not with CloudFlare. But yeah, I mean, what are some other ones? There is like Amazon has their own CDN.
Joe Anderson: Yeah, so a lot of people use Amazon, I forgot what it’s called. But yeah.
Jesse Dolan: Amazon web services.
Joe Anderson: Google has CDN. I mean there’s different ones out there. I mean, honestly one of the reasons that we started using Cloudflare’s just because it’s easily integrated into our SiteGround C panels.
Jesse Dolan: Right. So that was a double benefit.
Joe Anderson: We’ll go with what they suggested to do us.
Jesse Dolan: Yeah. Why reinvent the wheel, make things harder when you need to jump in and do something if the services integrate, you know? So here we’re talking about using WordPress, using SiteGround, which rocks and then dropping CloudFlare on top of that to speed us up and give a little bit of a security layer there too, if nothing else. So definitely check into those things. Or if you don’t like the exact vendors we’re talking about, utilize some services like this to speed your site up. Going to be much better than just a straight-up website with none of that.
All right Jesse, back here with you. We’re going to take a pause right there and we’re to continue the second half of this interview with Joe next week. Hopefully, you guys enjoyed this episode, this first half of the interview. A lot of good information there with Joe.
Hopefully, some things that you can take action on that are going to help you out right now and there’s going to be some cool stuff next week too. I can tell you that. So stay tuned for that. I’m going to jump in here reading our five-star review of the week. If you haven’t left us any feedback yet or left us a review, we would absolutely love to hear from ya. We like reading them on the show and we also love how it lets everybody else know if they’re discovering our podcast for the first time, what you think. And it’s great feedback for all of us in the real world. You guys have heard us talk on our show plenty of times about reviews, Google reviews, things like that and this is where we need them. So if you haven’t less left us a review yet, we’d love to hear from you.
Go to localseotactics.com and you’ll find all the information you need right there to leave us a review. This week, we’ve got a great five-star review from Clay Inferno. It says, no one does SEO better. SEO needs local. Great tips and tricks for the pros and beginners. Appreciate the feedback. Five stars love it. This is what we’re all about is again, yeah, beginners to pros. Hopefully, we’re sharing stuff that at least one item a week, you know that you can get a good tip, something you can take action on and implement on your site or share with somebody else. So I appreciate that. Again, go out to localseotactics.com. We’d love to hear from you and also I can’t fail to mention our free instant SEO audit. If you haven’t taken advantage of this yet. Go on localseotactics.com yellow button top right corner, free instant SEO audit.
You plug in your website page, the domain URL specific to the page that you want to check against here for yours, or a competitors, and plug in the keyword that you want to run the score against. It’s going to churn out a great report, a punch list of things that you need to fix. It’s also going to tell you what you’re doing correct. You can use that for your own website to plug it in, fix some things, run it again, see if your score improves. And also if you want to reverse engineer competitor. Completely free, use it as many times as you want.
All right, so hope to see you all back here next week for part two with Joe Anderson. And for now, that takes care of it. So we’ll see you guys in a week.
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