It’s the second to last session here at BlueGlass LA! Is your brain over flowing with tips of the trade? Are you going right home and implementing these tips? We hope so!
Michelle Robins starts out by asking, “Who’s on WordPress, or managing clients on WordPress?” … More than 3/4 of the room raises a hand. Oh, it’s about to get interesting!
Andrew Norcross takes it from here.
When working with WordPress, you’re working with a blank slate. You can do anything you want with it. It’s important to not get overwhelmed, focus on what really matters,
- Site Speed
We’ll start it off with Content,
- Ditch the plugins that have 10+ social sharing buttons.
- Focus on sharing options where your visitors are active.
- Code straight in the theme whenever possible.
- Find what is relevant for your audience.
The more options you give your audience, the more you paralyze them.
If you have four social networks you want to promote on, you better not have four separate plugins. You don’t need four plugins, and four option panels – this drains your site speed. Look at what your audience wants, and give it to them.
Social networks (cough Facebook) are known for changing their coding on a frequent basis. Be aware of this.
Test, test, test! Did we mention, test!
- Don’t assume the site knows what you want.
- Keep up with the changes to specific sites.
- Example: Facebook recently changed the minimum size for thumbnails from 150 px squares to 200 px squares.
- Compare button code to “bookmarklets.”
- Pass the correct data. For Facebook, use the URL linter – https://developers.faceoook.com/tools/debug
A lot of these sites will tell you what you want on their sites. Typically, they put “developers.[network]” to help you test the functionality.
Design: Ditch the Clutter
- Multiple calls to action confuse the visitor.
- Say goodbye to Web 2.uhhgg
- Mo’ Pieces, Mo’ problems
People will click. Suddenly, they don’t know why they’re clicking, or how they got there. Then they throw up their hands and walk away.
If you lose your audience’s attention span, it’s because you’re pointing them in four different directions.
- Are they helping?
- Are they relevant?
- Do they maintain the expected flow or interrupt it?
You could get rid of half the plugins on your site with no difference, maybe more.
- Font sizes/ line height
- Forget the fold, find the flow
Don’t ignore the people that are looking at your site.
- Ditch images whenever possible.
- Replace old methods with CSS3 and HTML5 where apparent.
- Use sprites and a CDN.
- If you don’t need it, don’t load it.
Anything that can be done natively, as opposed to a custom function, will always be easier and more flexible.
If you’re still using flash, I’m sorry. You might want to get on that.
If a human being can’t see it, it doesn’t matter how well you rank.
- Use CDNs for image heavy sites.
- Set up cashing: W3 Total Cache.
- Consider a WordPress specific host. Most will have built in controls and services to handle issues.
- Look for ‘single serving’ plugins whenever possible.
- Move simple functions from plugins to theme whenever possible.
- Items loading on every page, regarldess of whether or not it’s needed
“The more plugins you have, the more plugins you have to support. There is a plugin for everything, so be careful about that. Limit the number of plugins you use, in total.” – Michelle Robins
- WordPress SEO by Yoast
- XML Video Sitemaps (coming soon)
All of these plugins help Google find your content, faster than ever.
Conversion optimization starts in the SERPs
Optimizing snippets is conversion optimization. Make sure your images are rich in color and clear. Make sure you stand out. Google also provides “social proof” with a five star rating. What users don’t realize is that you’re giving the rating.
With conversion rate optimization, are readers going to get what they’re clicking on? Don’t show a date. Change your articles from a post, to a page. Google is very good at picking up date snippets. Pages don’t show up in your RSS feed, so Google doesn’t pick up a date associated with this.
For cornerstone content, make sure that it’s a page, or update the date regularly.
Make sure you have your keywords in your meta description.
Plugins run with administrator rights on your site. Only use plugins by people that you trust.
- Average rating
- The last time it was updated
- Changelog - to see what’s been updated in the new versions.
Understand WP version numbers: .1 is a major release, .2 is a security update