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2.1 Site Performance

In this lesson, you’ll learn why site performance is crucial to SEO and how to enhance it without plugins.

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2.1 Site Performance

Hello, and welcome back to this Tuts+ course on WordPress SEO without plugins. In this part of the course, you'll learn about site performance, and how that can improve your SEO. And I'll give you some tips on how you can improve the performance of your site using my own site as an example. So let's start by looking at hosting. One of the most important things you can do to get your site performing well, in other words to get it fast, is to pick a good hosting provider. So it's worth taking some time to identify a quality hosting provider who will provide service in the place where your visitors are likely to come from. And who's got a reputation for fast reliable hosting. You don't want any downtime and you don't want your site to be loading slowly. There are two reasons for this. The first one is that you'll lose visitors. If people have to wait too long for your site to load, they'll go away, and they won't browse your site, and start looking around different pages, which will impact your SEO. The second is purely SEO. One of the factors for SEO is your site speed and your site performance. And Google and other search engines will rank sites that perform better, more highly. So it's important to choose a web host that gives you good performance. Another thing you need to think about when you're choosing your web host is picking a domain name at the same time. You want to pick a domain name that will enhance your SEO and be a word or a phrase that people are searching for. Now that could be the name of your business. It could be a description of what it is you offer. So for example, going back to my site, it's called learn-wp.net and it does exactly what it says on the. My site is all about learning WordPress. Now you might be wondering why I didn't get a domain learnWordPress.net, because that would be even better for SEO. Now there's a good reason for that and that's because WordPress is reserved for sites belonging to WordPress itself. So you can't register a domain name with WordPress in it, you have to use WP. And if you look around the Internet at all the sites, at all the reputable sites that are dealing with WordPress, either people who are providing WordPress plugins or themes. Or sites that provide tutorials and information about WordPress, you'll notice that their domain name doesn't include the word WordPress. However, there's nothing to stop you using WordPress in your URLs and your which I'll com to later on in the course. So once you've picked a domain name that reflects what your business does or what your organization does, and isn't too spammy and full of key words that just make it look ridiculous. It's gotta be something you can use, and that people are gonna remember. So you pick that domain name. You find a hosting provider that's gonna be fast using our comprehensive guide to choosing a web host here on Tuts+. Or alternatively, you can use the WordPress web hosting page on the WordPress codex. And this gives a list of hosting providers who specialize in WordPress hosting. Now just because they're on here doesn't guarantee that they'll perfect for you. It may depend on where you are in the world and where those servers are kept. But it's a good idea to make sure you don't skimp on your hosting, don't get a really cheap package, and ensure it's fast. Another thing to think about is the type of hosting that you're going to go for because there are different ways of hosting your site. Now, the cheapest is shared hosting and it's likely that that's what you need when you start out. But if you've got a larger site, you might want VPS or dedicated hosting. Dedicated is really expensive, so it's if you've got a great big site you'll need that. VPS is a virtual private server, and that has some of the benefits of dedicated hosting without being so expensive. And then the other option is cloud hosting, which can help in terms of downtime. So take some time to investigate which type of web hosting is best for you and run some tests to make sure your site runs fast. So before you start optimizing your site, run a pages peed test using a tool such as this one provided by Google. And you can see that I've run a test for my learn-wp.net, and at the moment it's got a score of 75 out of 100. So it gives me some hints on what I can fix. So for example, the image on the home page could be optimized. So that's something that I can go away and do and fix that. Another resource you can use to improve the performance of your site is this page on the codex which gives you some tips for optimizing your site. Included in that is the way that you use plugins and themes. So it's important to use plugins and rhemes that are well coded, and that meet the WordPress coding requirements. Now, if you download your plugins and themes from the WordPress website, they will meet those requirements. But bear in mind that some of them are older than others and may not have been updated more recently. So it's important to have a plugin and theme or a range of plugins and a theme that are compatible with the current version of WordPress that you should be running on your site. And that are written in a way that is efficient and won't produce any bloat. You also might want to think how many plugins you've got on your site. Now, there is a myth that every plugin automatically slows down your site and that you should have as few as possible. What's actually more important is the code in those plugins because it could be that you've got one massive great plugin that's slowing down your site. Or you've 20 really small plugins that aren't slowing down your site, because they've got very tidy written code and they run efficiently. So if your site is running slowly, take a look at the plugins that you've got installed, and see if you can identify an alternative that might make your site a bit faster. Another thing that will impact the performance of your site and how quickly pages are loaded are whether you use trailing slashes after any links. This article here explains why that's important. Because if you don't use a trailing slash, it will set up a redirect. So the browser will have to be redirected before the page is loaded. And that slows things down just a little bit. Every little helps. So when you're using internal links within your site, which we'll cover later in the course, make sure you include a trailing slash. So those are some tips for improving the performance of your site, which will help with your SEO. And you've noticed that doesn't include adding an SEO plugin. In the next part of the course, I'm gonna move on to looking at themes and show you how the way your theme is designed and coded can impact on your SEO. See you next time, and thanks for watching.

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