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Speed and Security – the two pillars of a great WordPress website!


Speed and Security – the two pillars of a great WordPress website!

WordPress Speed Improvements

You might have heard that Google are now using page speed as a ranking factor and so it is now important that your site zips along for SEO reasons as well as user experience. WordPress speed for SEO can be quickly achieved by focusing on the big wins. There are lots of tools online to help you with some WordPress speed improvements and it’s something that we do on a routine basis. Check out some of the tools we use below and if you’ve any questions about WordPress speed improvement then please get in touch – it’s what we do 🙂

Google Page Speed Analysis
Before you can address any WordPress speed issues your site may be having you have to know what big Daddy G sees your site before you try to address and solve. The Google page Speed analysis site will give you a quick snap shot of how Google rates your site as well as a breakdown of WordPress speed for both mobile and desktop.

Pingdom is your new kingdom for WordPress speed testing. Using this free tool will give you an idea of page load times in seconds as well as a break down of areas which should be improved.

GTmetrix is another site which you can use when trying to increase your WordPress speed for SEO as it gives you a further break down of speed issues which may be impacting your SEO. This site pulls in data from Google Page Speed Analysis but also from YSlow so it gives you a nice snapshot of how different algorithms view your sites speed.

W3 Total Cache
After running a few speed tests using the above sites you should have a fair idea of how your site is performing. If it’s time to resolve your site speed issues then one of the best plugins we use to improve WordPress speed for SEO is W3 Total Cache. W3 Total cache is a powerful plugin for caching (browser, page, object and DB) and minification (css, js, html, xml) as well as gzipping. If all that sounds like jargon or buzz words to you then don’t fret, there are many tutorials and guides available which you can trawl through to suss it out.

SmushIt is a great plugin for image compression. It can compress all of the images currently on your site in bulk and then as you add new images it’ll compress them on the fly. Having bloated images can really slow your site down and when it comes to WordPress speed for SEO they are the low hanging fruit that you want to pick straight away.

When you are working on WordPress speed for SEO it’s quite likely that you’re going to do some minification, be it of css, js or html files. Minification is the process of, like the name suggests, removing unnecessary code/whitespace/comments from files and where possible combing files together so that less server requests have to be made (the fewer files that contain your page info the easier it’ll be for your server and the quicker your site will be). However, after minification sometimes your site can look a little off on some browsers and so it’s important that to see how it looks in all browsers. ScreenFly is a great tool for checking to see how your site is rendering on different platforms and after tinkering with minificaion for WordPress speed improvements it’s advised to check using this tool.

WordPress Speed for SEO – Don’t Obsess

WordPress Speed for SEO – WordPress Speed Improvements

Ultimately you want to focus on the big wins for WordPress speed improvements. If you have some images that are oversized get rid of them first. If you’ve no caching in place then get that sorted. If you’ve identified that your host is particularly sluggish then it’s time for a WordPress site migration. WordPress speed for SEO isn’t a huge mystery and once you get stuck into it you should be able to make some improvements but like I said – don’t obsess on it. Ask yourself, is your time best spent trying to eek out a bit more page speed or is there something else you should be doing?

Don’t get me wrong here, we’re all about getting 90+ scores across the board but if you’ve run speed tests using the tools mentioned above you’ll see that you’ll get varying results, at varying times from the different tools. As a result of that it’s important not to obsess about your page speed, by all means try make WordPress speed improvements but don’t beat yourself up if it’s not perfect. WordPress speed for SEO is just one ranking factor out of hundreds of different factors so don’t spend all your time on it.

WordPress Security – Keep Your WordPress Site Safe

With great success comes threats and as WordPress has become the no.1 CMS on the planet it follows that there are bound to be more hackers trying to find vulnerabilities. That is why WordPress security is vital for your WordPress site – you wouldn’t leave your brick and mortar business unlocked and you shouldn’t leave your WordPress site exposed. Here are some of our top tips for WordPress security.

iThemes Plugin
The iThemes WordPress security plugin for WordPress is arguably the best security plugin currently available. It is crammed full of settings you can use to put up the defensive shields to repel any would be WordPress hackers. We’ve extensive experience with this plugin so get in touch if you’ve any issues with it.

Limit Login Attempts Reloaded
Hackers generally only gain access to your site via brute force attacks (repeatedly trying to login using different username and password combinations) and so a power play move for WordPress security is to limit the number of login attempts an IP can make. This is a great and easy way of safe guarding your site.

WPS Hide Login
When you’re logging in to your WordPress site you probably login at a URL like and that is the URL format that hackers will follow to try find your login panel. If you change the default login panel location you’ll make it more difficult for hackers to hack your site and will nudge your site down the path towards WordPress security nirvana.

Restrict Site Access
Some clients require that their WordPress security is really nailed down tight and for clients like these we restrict the IP addresses that are allowed to login. If there are multiple users who require logins with lots of different IPs (especially changing IPs) then this may not be the ideal option but for WordPress sites with just a few users in one location this can be very effective for WordPress security.

This WordPress security task is often long fingered and not high on the priority list but it’s only when you need a back up that the value of taking regular back ups becomes apparent. By taking regular back ups you’ll have a fail safe should your WordPress security be jeopardized. Take full content and database back ups regularly to stay safe – or ask us to get a back up policy in place for you, it’s what we do 🙂

Summing up on security

With WordPress security in place the key thing to remember is to never panic when the worst comes to pass. By keeping your head, when all around you may be losing theirs, you’ll be able to focus on the WordPress recovery task at hand. Most hosts provide a roll back service which can be a good way to recover your site. If you’ve been taking regular back ups you’ll be able to rebuild your site which is what WordPress security is all about – being able to recover when the worst happens and minimize down time.

We’ve had the pleasure of recovering lots of sites from lots of hack jobs so if you’re in a bit of a bind get in touch with us and we’ll sort you out.

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Szabi Kisded

Hey there, I'm Szabi. At 30 years old, I quit my IT job and started my own business and became a full time WordPress plugin developer, blogger and stay-at-home dad. Here I'm documenting my journey earning an online (semi)passive income. Read more

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