Rebrandedio https://rebranded.io Building Brand Awareness Through Creative Marketing Solutions Tue, 04 Feb 2020 22:24:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://rebranded.io/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/cropped-Untitled-design-3-32x32.png Rebrandedio https://rebranded.io 32 32 The Ultimate Guide to Speed up WordPress 2020 https://rebranded.io/the-ultimate-guide-to-speed-up-wordpress-performance/ https://rebranded.io/the-ultimate-guide-to-speed-up-wordpress-performance/#respond Tue, 04 Feb 2020 13:00:49 +0000 https://rebranded.io/?p=3337

You may already know that the load time of your website is important to both Google, as a page ranking factor, and your potential customers. As the size and complexity of websites continue to increase, it is getting even more difficult to speed up WordPress website performance. Without proper speed optimization, you risk impacting the user experience of your website which can hinder your search engine rankings and conversions due to increased load times. In this guide, I’m going to teach beginner and advanced techniques to speed up your WordPress website.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Instance Advanced Configurations with Cache Plugins

WordPress is by far the most popular platform for building websites. There are unlimited options for customization, it is easy to find answers online, and it is completely free. If you are thinking about building a website or getting one professionally designed, one thing that has to be one your mind is speed optimization. Some web design agencies create WordPress speed optimized websites, but what if you bought a theme or are attempting to build a website on your own. Follow this guide for some tips to Speed up WordPress and provide the best user experience for your visitors.

Caution: Some techniques in this guide are advanced and can break your website if you implement them wrong. Please consult with a web developer if you have any questions.

WordPress Speed Optimization Plugins

WP Super Cache

A very fast caching engine for WordPress that produces static html files. This is a free option that you can use to easily configure cache settings.

 

WP Fastest Cache

WP Fastest Cache is another plugin that I’ve used with success. It offers both a free and a premium version and has solid features that will help to increase your website’s performance.

WP Rocket

WP-Rocket is my go-to caching plugin. According to their website WP-Rocket is “Recognized as the most powerful caching plugin by WordPress experts.” It is the gold standard. WP-Rocket is best in performance and usability and is packed with features.

Instance Advanced Configuration

Instant Advanced Configs to Speed up WordPress

Mobile Cache  

Both WP-Rocket and WP Fastest Cache can create separate caches for mobile and desktop. This can be helpful when there are particular elements that are mobile specific such as navigation toolbars. This feature adds additional speed optimization benefits to mobile responsive websites.

User Caching 

User cache involves creating and maintaining specific cache files for logged in users. This is essential for membership websites. This can also be helpful on websites that have restricted content. User caching reduces load times for your faithful returning customers.

Browser Caching 

Browser caching allows you to speed up your WordPress website by storing files or parts of pages in your visitors’ browser. Resources or files that aren’t likely to change can be stored in your clients browser so they don’t have to be downloaded each time.

Additional WP-Rocket Features

WP-Rocket has additional features that separate it from other caching plugins, which I will cover below.

Cache Lifespan 

Choose how long to cache certain files or images. For instance, your logo is not likely to change very often. Therefore, setting a longer cache lifespan for this type of file will help to reduce resources and speed up your website.

Pre-fetch DNS Requests 

If you have external resources, the location of these resources must be looked up before they can be loaded. This is called a DNS request. WP-Rocket has the ability to pre-fetch the location of these resources ahead of time resulting in reduced delay and better performance.

Chapter 2: Using File Optimization for Quicker Load Times

Your WordPress website is made up of a lot of files with varying functions that tell your website visitor’s browser how to properly render your website. The larger the files, the longer it will take to send these files to your visitor’s web browser. This chapter is all about reducing the effects of large files in order to speed up your WordPress website.

Minify HTML, CSS, Javascript 

When you minify HTML, CSS, or Javascript you are simply removing all additional whitespace, carriage returns, and other unnecessary characters to make the file size smaller. Because the file size is smaller it is faster to transport and consequently will help you speed up WordPress performance on your website. If we were not talking about WordPress we could simply take our files and run a quick google search for “minify [insert filetype],” but WordPress operate slightly different. The code to render a WordPress webpage is built dynamically through a series of PHP functions and database queries. Therefore, in order to minify with WordPress you must use PHP code to tell WordPress to minify the files as the pieces are being brought together. There are several plugins that you can use to accomplish this or you can simply paste this code into the functions.php file of your child-theme. Here is an example.

Before Minification

1. Globally Applied Styles
*/
html,
body {
position: relative;
height: 100%;
background: #f2f2f2;
color: #505458;
font-family: 'Catamaran', sans-serif;
}

em {
font-family: Lato;
}

#wrapper {
position: relative;
top: 0px;
z-index: 10;
width: 100%;
min-height: 100%;
transform: translate(0, 0);
-webkit-transform: translate(0, 0);
-moz-transform: translate(0, 0);
-o-transform: translate(0, 0);
-ms-transform: translate(0, 0);
background: #f5f7fa;
overflow: hidden;
transition: transform 0.4s ease;
-webkit-transition: -webkit-transform 0.4s ease;
-moz-transition: -moz-transform 0.4s ease;
-o-transition: -o-transform 0.4s ease;
-ms-transition: -ms-transform 0.4s ease;
}

After Minification

html, body {position: relative;height: 100%;background: #f2f2f2;color: #505458;font-family: 'Catamaran', sans-serif;}em{font-family:Lato;}#wrapper {position: relative;top: 0px;z-index: 10;width: 100%;min-height: 100%;transform: translate(0, 0);-webkit-transform: translate(0, 0);-moz-transform: translate(0, 0);-o-transform: translate(0, 0);-ms-transform: translate(0, 0);background: #f5f7fa;overflow: hidden;transition: transform 0.4s ease;-webkit-transition: -webkit-transform 0.4s ease;-moz-transition: -moz-transform 0.4s ease;-o-transition: -o-transform 0.4s ease;-ms-transition: -ms-transform 0.4s ease;}

Minification provides smaller file sizes. This free space is where all of the magic happens. Even though it may seem small imagine if the file on the left was 6,000 lines of code. The space that you save makes the file significantly smaller, which lead to faster load times.

Combine Files

 Another way to speed up WordPress by cutting down the number of requests required to render your webpage is to combine your resource files. There are several caching plugins that you can use to accomplish this, but the easiest way to decrease the impact of multiple resource files is to switch to a hosting provider that has upgraded to HTTP/2. HTTP/2 supports loading resource files in parallel which makes concatenating files unnecessary and will speed up your WordPress site without plugins or custom code. Most Managed WordPress Hosting providers support HTTP/2. If your hosting provider hasn’t upgraded to HTTP/2 and you aren’t ready to make the move then you can install one of the following plugins.

Autoptimize speeds up your website by optimizing JS, CSS, images (incl. lazy-load), HTML and Google Fonts, asyncing JS, removing emoji cruft and more.

If you already have WP-Rocket or are planning to leverage any of the other features they have to offer, this feature is included. It is also very easy to configure.

Minify Files to Speed Up WordPress

Note: Combining Files is not recommended or necessary for HTTP/2 enabled websites. You can check to see if your website is HTTP/2 by doing the HTTP/2 Test by KeyCDN.

Eliminate Render blocking Resources (Optimize Delivery) 

What are Render blocking Resources? 

Render blocking resources are non ATF (Above the Fold) elements in the HTML code of your website that will delay your website from display due to downloading or retrieving resources. Above the fold content is content that is visible immediately upon page load. Elements that aren’t immediately visible should use defer or async to load resources.

The async attribute tells the browser to begin retrieving resources immediately. The HTML parsing and retrieving of resources happen simultaneously. Once resources are available, HTML parsing will be paused so that the resources can be executed.

The defer attribute tells the browser to parse the HTML before attempting to execute any resources. Once parsing is complete all deferred resources will be executed in the order in which they appeared in the document.

How to fix render blocking resources 

Eliminating render blocking resources requires developer experience and the ability to modify source code. Each situation will be different, but as a general rule placing all of your scripts in the section of your website with the defer attribute is the easiest and most efficiently way to load resources. Advanced users who understand both the functionality and the dependencies associated with scripts can apply these principles. If a script has dependencies use defer call your scripts making sure to include the script that your script depends on first. Scripts loaded with async will download and execute scripts asynchronously, so if a script has no dependencies and can be executed as soon as it is downloaded, use async

Your code should look like this:

<script defer src="your-domain/js/dependencies.min.js"></script>
<script defer src="your-domain/js/no-dependencies.min.js"></script>

Using Plugins

If you haven’t heard of this plugin, it allows you to speed up WordPress performance by stopping unnecessary scripts and stylesheets from loading on a page by page basis (I Know Amazing Right!). Asset Cleanup shows you all the CSS and JS files that are being loaded on each page.  You have the ability to select files that aren’t required for that specific page or site-wide. These files will be blocked from loading. Oh and by the way, they also have a Test Mode feature that allows you to try out blocking files in a way that only the logged in administrator  can see. Once you’ve verified that the changes don’t impact the proper rendering of your website, you can disable test mode and the changes are made public. By preventing some CSS/JS files from loading you will automatically minimize the impact of render block resources. For even more control, the Pro Version takes care of eliminating render blocking resources by giving the option to load CSS/JS async or deferred. The cool thing is that this plugin works great with other caching plugins like WP-Rocket as well.

Load CSS & JS files Async with AssetCleanUp Pro to Speed Up WordPress

For the best results use the Asset CleanUp WordPress Plugin to eliminate any resources that aren’t required to properly render your page. Then, simply click to Enable Optimize CSS Delivery and Load Javascript Deferred Options. This will do the advanced configurations for you and eliminate render blocking resources.

Remove Query Strings from Static Resources 

Many WordPress files have something similar to “?ver=2.7.9” appended to the end of them. This “?ver=2.7.9” is simply a query string that exists to identify the proper file version to be loaded.

The main issue with appending query strings to files is that these files do not get cached by most servers. Because of this, these files will have to be downloaded from the server with every request, which is a waste of bandwidth and system resources. This also increases load times, and negatively impacts the user experience of your website.

One way to increase performance and speed up your WordPress website is by completely disabling query strings, which will make your website load faster and provide a better user experience for those visiting your site. There are several caching and performance plugins that can accomplish this, but you can also accomplish this without a plugin. Simply add this code to the end of your functions to remove query strings.

function_remove_script_version( $src ){
    $parts = explode( '?ver', $src );
    return $parts[0];
}

add_filter( 'script_loader_src', '_remove_script_version', 15, 1 );
add_filter( 'style_loader_src', '_remove_script_version', 15, 1 );

Chapter 3: Slash Load Times with Image Optimization

The images on your website are by far the largest files that have to be packaged and sent by your web server. You cannot afford to ignore your images. There are several different things that can be done to optimize image delivery. This chapter will give you the details of them all.

Choose the proper file format

The first step in image optimization is understanding the different image files types to choose the best file type for your specific scenario. The most popular image files used on websites are JPG and PNG.

JPG 

JPG files are compressed with lossy compression and are ideally used when the end goal is a smaller file size. Smaller files are more easily packaged and delivered by your web server, consequently reducing bandwidth utilization and offering WordPress speed optimization benefits.  

PNG 

PNG files are compressed with lossless compression which means that it will retain more data in the file, therefore contributing to a larger file size. Even though the file size is greater, there are two specific circumstances where you would want to use a PNG file over JPG.

Transparency 

JPGs do not support transparent backgrounds. Therefore, if you would like your image to have a transparent background you will need to use the PNG file format.

Detailed Images 

The second circumstance is for detailed images, especially if they are required to be scaled. If your image has a lot of details it is better to use the lossless compression of the PNG file format. Understanding the different file types will help to make sure your website looks great and performs well.

Lazy Load

Lazy load is another way to speed up your WordPress website. Lazy load delays the loading of images until they have entered the viewport giving the website a speed boost by not loading all the images at once. There are several plugins that you can use to accomplish this.

Smush – Compress, Optimize and Lazy Load Images

Compress and optimize images with lazy load, WebP conversion, and resize detection to boost performance and make your site load amazingly fast. 

Image Optimization and Lazy Load by Optimole

Automatically compress, optimize and serve scaled images along with next-gen WebP all from CloudFront CDN. Lazy load included

BJ Lazy Load

This plugin replaces all your post images, post thumbnails, gravatar images and content iframes with a placeholder and loads the content as it gets close to enter the browser window when the visitor scrolls the page.

Lazy Load Optimizer

Lazy loading images and iframes to speed up sites page load speed.

a3 Lazy Load

Use a3 Lazy Load for images, videos, iframes. Instantly improve your sites load time and dramatically improve site users experience.

Compression

Image and video files are usually the largest files transported by your web server to your clients. Therefore several multimedia files can drastically slow down the performance of your WordPress website. This is why compression is so important. Image optimization and compression reduces the file size of your images, which will help to speed up your WordPress website. Also if you choose an outstanding image compression plugin (like the ones listed below), you may not even be able to tell a difference in image quality.

Short Pixel 

The ShortPixel plugin installs and integrates seamlessly with WordPress. You have options to optimize specific images or to optimize images upon upload automatically.

Imagify   

Imagify is another plugin with a lot of the same features. You can bulk optimize or choose to optimize automatically. It integrates with WordPress and is the preferred option for WP Rocket users.

Using Imagify to Compress Image Files and Speed up WordPress

Chapter 4: Rock Solid Response times with a CDN

Response times are crucial in today’s fast-paced world. No one wants to be told to pull up at a fast food restaurant and they definitely don’t want to sit and wait for a website to render. Nearly 75% of people will abandon a website that takes more than 5 seconds to load.  With a countless number of websites vying for the same customer’s attention, it is important that when they click on your link that your website is ready to perform. This chapter is going to give you what you need to know to reduce server response times by using a Content Delivery Network (CDN). A CDN is a group of servers disbursed throughout various geographic regions, that work together to deliver content faster and more reliably. The content is served from the server that is able to give the fastest response. 

Decreased Server Load

A CDN allows your server to transition from being a one-woman show to a seasoned manager with the best of delegation skills. Rather than having each request come to your server for processing, client requests will come to edge servers. Because your web server has already pushed out the packaged files for rendering, the edge servers will relay these files on behalf of your web server as long as there hasn’t been any changes.

Reduce Latency & Packet Loss

Imagine that your server is located in Augusta, GA but is being accessed by one client in Grovetown, GA and another client in Los Angeles, CA. The client in Grovetown, GA will receive these files much faster, because they are closer to the server. The client in Los Angeles will experience more latency due to being further away. Utilizing a CDN will cut down this latency by serving the website files from the nearest edge server. CDNs give the allusion that the internet is smaller by bringing potential clients closer, helping your website to load faster for everyone.

Higher Availability

Another one of the benefits of a CDN is that it helps with availability in the event that your web server goes down. Because your files have already been packages and provided to your edge servers, if your web server goes down the edge servers can continue to serve the previously delivered content until your web server can recover.

StackPath recently acquired MaxCDN. Both companies are well respected leaders in the Cloud and Security Industry. The StackPath CDN is one of the best options for implementing a CDN with a straightforward user interface, Firewall, and DDoS protection.

Cloudflare has been around for a while, and I don’t see them going anywhere. They offer free and paid service with CDN and DDoS protection as well. Cloudflare is one of the most popular and trust CDN services.

KeyCDN is another option for implementing a CDN with your WordPress website. The additional of a solid CDN will definitely increase the speed of your website and lower your response times. 

Chapter 5: Managed WordPress Hosting 

All hosting providers are not created equal. If you have implemented several best practices but notice your website isn’t getting any faster; you may benefit from switching to a managed WordPress hosting platform.

Choosing the Right Hosting Provider

A lot of WordPress Web Design Agencies offer their own WordPress hosting solutions such as what we offer at Rebranded.io. There are also a couple of other managed WordPress hosting solutions that you simply can’t go wrong with.

Kinsta is a fully managed WordPress hosting solution built on Nginx and Google Cloud platform. Kinsta has been awarded top-tier status 5 years in a row and is one of only two companies that earned top-tier status on every plan they offer. Kinsta offers free migrations from WP Engine, Flywheel, Siteground and more. 

Flywheel is a developer and designer focus managed WordPress hosting solution built on Nginx and Google Cloud Platform. Local by Flywheel is the standard for developing websites locally. Flywheel is feature rich with great customer support.

WP Engine is another managed WordPress hosting solution that offers a great deal of features, excellent performance and customer support. Also premium WordPress themes and the Genesis Framework comes bundled with WP Engine.

Now let’s transition to the benefits of using managed WordPress Hosting rather than unmanaged or shared hosting.

Server-Level Caching

Unless most web hosting services, Managed WordPress hosting is a specialized type of hosting where it is specifically optimized for WordPress. Managed WordPress Hosting solutions understand WordPress and have geared their solution toward speed, functionality, and availability for this popular platform. Because of this most Managed WordPress Hosting solutions offer caching at the server-level, which eliminates the need for a caching plugin in most cases.

Why do you need Server Level Caching?

When someone clicks on your link to view your website an exchange happens between the client and your web server. Without getting into too much detail essentially the web server that hosts your website packages up all the files necessary to properly display your website and sends them to the client’s browser. The process of packaging up all of the files has a great deal to do with how fast your website is rendered. Also, re-packaging these files for each guest is extremely taxing on your web server. There is no need to reinvent the wheel each time. This is where server-level caching comes in.

How does server level caching work? 

Server level caching will help your website get the files over to your client’s browser faster by pre-packaging them. In a nutshell, when your server senses that no changes have been made, it will send the same package to each client’s browser rather than gathering these files each time. As you can imagine, this is much faster and less labor intensive on your server. The results, your website loads significantly faster and is more efficient.

Dedicated Resources 

Unlike shared hosting solutions who have a tendency to pack as many websites as they can onto a single server, Managed WordPress Hosting platforms tend to use dedicated resources or Virtual Private Servers (VPS) for each WordPress Instance. This means that your website’s performance will not be impacted by other high volume websites. This leads to our next point.

Faster Response Times

Because you are not sharing resources, Managed WordPress Hosting platforms tend to have faster response times than typical web hosting. Also, some enterprise level managed WordPress Hosting platforms are built on Google Cloud Platform, which provides the ability to intuitively scale with spikes of traffic. This simply means that your website’s performance will not suffer because your website is getting more traffic than usual. The last thing you want is to launch a digital marketing campaign that brings additional customers to your site only to have them hit the back button because your page took too long to load. The last benefit of managed WordPress Hosting solutions is an often overlooked gem that will put you ahead of over half the websites currently running on the internet.

WordPress & PHP Updates 

With consistent updates brings bug fixes, security patches, and better optimization. Often times Managed WordPress Hosting Solutions have a built-in automatic update for WordPress versions and are amongst the first to adopt the latest releases of PHP. Because WordPress is written in PHP any updates to the popular programming language will directly benefit website’s speed and security. Also, 80% of websites across the web use PHP as their server-side programming language. Of the 80% more than a third of these websites are still running PHP version 5.2, even though the current version is 7.3. PHP v7.3 has been benchmarked and proven to be over 297% faster than v5.5, which is 3 versions after the version that most websites are running today.

Chapter 6: Cyclical PageSpeed Boosts by Managing Updates 

One of the simplest ways to get consistent incremental page speed increases is through updating plugins. Plugin developers understand the importance of constant improvements to their code’s speed and usability. You can leverage these updates combined with the process of deactivating and deleting unnecessary plugins to speed up your WordPress performance. In this chapter I’ll teach you how to leverage these updates to get consistent page speed increases.

WordPress & PHP Updates 

One of the simplest ways to get consistent incremental page speed increases is through updating plugins. Plugin developers understand the importance of constant improvements to their code’s speed and usability. You can leverage these updates combined with the process of deactivating and deleting unnecessary plugins to speed up your WordPress performance. In this chapter I’ll teach you how to leverage these updates to get consistent page speed increases.

WordPress & PHP Updates 

One of the simplest ways to get consistent incremental page speed increases is through updating plugins. Plugin developers understand the importance of constant improvements to their code’s speed and usability. You can leverage these updates combined with the process of deactivating and deleting unnecessary plugins to speed up your WordPress performance. In this chapter I’ll teach you how to leverage these updates to get consistent page speed increases.

Deactivate & Delete Unnecessary Plugins

If you have downloaded or purchased a premium theme, chances are this theme was made to be general in nature to fit several use cases. If your theme came with plugins that you don’t need and that are not required for your theme, deactivating and deleting them with give you a performance boost and help you to speed up WordPress.

Update Plugins & Themes for Security and Optimization Updates

Another really easy way to speed up WordPress is to simply update your themes and plugins. Developers are constantly improving their code to fix security issues and implement WordPress speed optimization updates.

Note: Because some plugin updates may break functionality or be incompatible with your current theme, always do a backup before updating plugins to avoid issues and downtime!

Chapter 7: Database Optimization 

Never. Ever. underestimate the importance of your WordPress Database. In fact if your database fails to operate, so does your website. Cleaning and optimizing your database will help to avoid errors, increase performance, and speed up your WordPress websites. Think of it like this. If your database is cluttered it will take longer to find the specific pieces of information needed to render your website properly. The cleaner your database is the easier it will be to find your information and the faster your website will load. This chapter will explain how to clean and optimize your database for better performance and speed optimization.

Delete Old Draft Pages & Posts

If you are editing your website, you have the option to save a draft. This draft allows you to save your work without immediately publishing the page or post to the internet. Each one of these drafts is stored in your database. Over time this can add a considerable amount of clutter and negatively impact your database performance. Use the SQL Queries below to clean up drafts and speed up WordPress and database performance.

DELETE FROM `[database-prefix]_posts` WHERE post_status = "draft";
DELETE FROM `[database-prefix]_posts` WHERE post_status = "auto-draft";

 

Delete Unnecessary Post Revisions

WordPress by default stores post revisions in your database, very similar to backups that can be restored in the future. There is a way to disable revisions altogether or you can simply delete old revisions from time to time to help the performance of your database.

Disabling Post Revisions 

To disable post revisions you simply need to add the below code above the “require_once” line of your config.php file, which can be found in your root directory.

/**
* Disabling post revisions
*/
define('WP_POST_REVISIONS', false);

Deleting Unnecessary Post Revisions 

If you work with WordPress long enough you will find yourself in a position where you made a change that didn’t turn out the way you thought it would and need to quickly revert back. If revisions are turned off, and you can’t quickly set things back the way they were, you are in serious trouble. Instead of disabling revisions altogether, in my personal opinion, deleting unnecessary revisions is the better choice. You can delete post and page revisions only when you are sure that you do not need them anymore. I will show you two ways to do this.

MYSQL Query 

To delete post and page revisions from your database you can run the following MYSQL command.

DELETE FROM `[database-prefix]_posts` WHERE post_type = "revision";

WP-Optimize 

The plugin I use for database optimization for all of my WordPress websites is WP-Optimize. WP-Optimize is a WordPress Plugin that allows you to clean your database automatically, allowing it to operate more efficiently.

Remove Spam Comments

If comments are enabled in WordPress, even if you mark a comment as spam, it will still be stored in your database. The same holds true for trashed comments. It is a good idea to clean these comments from your database with a couple of simple MYSQL Queries.

DELETE FROM `[database-prefix]_comments` WHERE comment_approved = "spam";
DELETE FROM `[database-prefix]_comments` WHERE comment_approved = "trash";

Chapter 8: Limit Bandwidth Killers for Increased Performance 

It is definitely easy to forget that more than just potential customers browse our websites. We have potential customers, competitors, various spiders and crawlers, and even potential malicious bots accessing our websites each day. In this chapter, I’ll walk you through how to speed up your WordPress performance by limiting the impact of these common bandwidth stealers.

Google Crawlers

Google’s crawlers are active day and night crawling websites and indexing pages. Google’s intentions are to find the optimum crawl rate that won’t impact the performance of your website. They are actually really good at it. But, if you are experiencing performance issues that you believe are caused by Google’s crawlers, you can adjust the crawl rate. You can find this setting in Google Search Console. You’ll need to click the gear and then site settings.

Note: This can only be done in the old Google Search Console interface.

Bing Crawlers

Bing crawlers have the same purpose and function as Google crawlers. However, limiting the crawl rate for Bing is done slightly different. The easiest way to accomplish this is by logging into your bing Webmaster account. Select “Configure my Site” and then select Crawl Control. Simply change the setting for “When do you receive the most traffic to this site for your local time of day?” This will limit the crawl rate during your high traffic times.

Hotlinking

Another possible bandwidth and performance sapper is Hotlinking. Hotlinking is when someone uses images from your website without your permission. The problem with hotlinking is that although the image is displayed on another website it is still being loaded and served from your web server. If the website that is using your images is a relatively high volume website, this can eat away a lot of your server resources.

How to check for hotlinking without specialized tools? 

This method isn’t perfect but it is a good free way to see if anyone is stealing or hotlinking your images. Simply head over to google and type:

"inurl:[your-website-url] -site:[your-website-url]"

If there are images listed, there is a good chance that your website is being siphoned for resources due to hotlinking.

How to disable hotlinking 

Like everything else in the world, there is a right way and a wrong way to disable hotlinking. Make a mistake in this area and you can seriously impact your Search Engine Optimization (SEO). If you blanket disable hotlinking, search engines will not be able to index your images properly. Below you’ll find the suggested configuration changes, but it is always good to consult with a digital marketing agency who specializes in SEO.

Apache Servers using the .htaccess file 

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www\.)?[your-website-url] [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www\.)?google.com [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} 
!^http(s)?://(www\.)?bing.com [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www\.)?yahoo.com [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www\.)?facebook.com [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www\.)?twitter.com [NC]
RewriteRule \.(jpg|jpeg|png|gif)$ - [F]

Configuration for Nginx Servers 

location ~ .(gif|png|jpeg|jpg|svg)$ {
    valid_referers none blocked ~ .google. ~.bing. ~.facebook. ~.twitter. ~.yahoo. [your-website-url] *.[your-website-url];
    if ($invalid_referer) {
        return 403;
    }
}

Note: You may have to submit a trouble ticket to your hosting provider to make these configuration changes.

Chapter 9: Implement Continuous Monitoring

All the above advice will help you optimize your site – but how do you ensure it *stays* fast? Answer: site speed monitoring
 
No site stays the same over time. Even if you’re not changing it, there are likely third party resources that could vary and are out of your control. The best way to combat your site becoming slow is to set up speed monitoring. Use a service like MachMetrics (free) or SpeedCurve (paid) that will periodically run speed tests against your site, and let you know of any changes in speed or size.
 
The best part is these tools can measure your site from various locations, and various browsers (including mobile), so all the work in testing your site speed is done automatically for you. Here’s a sample screenshot :
 

Keep in mind that every speed test tool measures things a little different, so don’t be worried if what they report is different than what you’re experiencing. The important thing is that speed monitoring will detect the *changes* in your site, and alert you so you know to dig deeper.

Chapter 10: Don't Over Emphasize the Numbers

Following the tips and tricks provided in this article will definitely help to speed up WordPress and contribute to the overall usability of your website. After implementing some of the techniques here, go check your score at tools.pingdom.com. Please remember that the goal is to increase the overall user experience on your website. Don’t get so concerned with increasing your scores, that you forget the overall goal. There are some websites that have a score of 100 on Pingdom but load slower than websites with lower scores. Numbers aren’t everything take a look at Apple for instance. Their website is lightning fast but they only have a score of 79.

Apple Speed Optimization Test Results
Apple Website Speed Test from Pingdom

In Conclusion, some strategies might not work for your particular website. Some actions may increase your score, but make your website slower. At the end of day, Use the numbers as a guide to provide great user experiences for your visitors.

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Popular Mobile SEO Tips for Small Businesses https://rebranded.io/mobile-seo-tips-for-small-businesses/ https://rebranded.io/mobile-seo-tips-for-small-businesses/#respond Sun, 19 May 2019 22:18:14 +0000 https://rebranded.io/?p=3286 Just about everyone has a smartphone with internet access these days. They take it everywhere, it’s usually on, and they make use of it even while they’re doing other things.

Google’s Android has already become the most commonly used operating system, and the World Advertising Research Center projects that 72 percent of the world’s wired population will exclusively be using their smartphone to go online by 2025.

What does all of this mean? It means that businesses absolutely have to be attracting and retaining mobile internet users, and the sooner they start the better.

These Mobile SEO Tips help small businesses identify mobile specific advertising techniques that are different from the approaches commonly used on computers. There are unique considerations and challenges, but also unique opportunities.

Every small business needs a mobile-specific plan for attracting search traffic; this Mobile SEO Tips guide will help increase your business’ search visibility.

How Mobile Advertising Works: It’s All Centered on Search

How do you target your central demographics at the time that they’re looking for your product? It’s all about responding to their searches.

There are two aspects to capturing search traffic:

Small business Mobile SEO Tips

  • Placing higher than your competitors in search results
  • Serving targeted advertisements to customers who are searching for your business services

However, before you dive into the nuts and bolts of courting search traffic, you need to make sure that the customer’s landing spot is one they’ll want to arrive at.

Creating a Mobile-Friendly Site

You’re most likely trying to draw the customer to your website. Is the website clean, modern and up-to-date? And how does it look on their mobile devices?

Websites designed for computers, mice and keyboards don’t always translate well to small mobile screens and touch controls. The ideal website employs “responsive design.” It automatically detects the type of device the customer is using and adjusts to a format that is best for it.

If you have an older website or one that was a DIY project, chances are it isn’t responsive. Load it up on a smartphone and a tablet, and try to use both Apple and Android devices if possible. If it doesn’t look or work right, it’s probably worth investing in a responsive re-design. Money spent on search is money wasted if the customer abandons the site because it looks terrible or doesn’t function properly.

A website is one thing, a mobile app specific to your business is another. It’s worth considering whether you should build your own app. Some mobile internet users do prefer to have a discrete app for every individual thing they do, rather than working through a web browser and different URLs. Others find a different app for everything to be overkill, and won’t download yours unless it has some sort of unique and compelling benefit.

Building your own app is a big topic that can’t be covered adequately here, but if it makes sense to you there are a couple of options. You can always hire a programmer to make the app look and work exactly the way you want it to; there are many freelancers available who do this type of work.

If you have a simpler idea in mind, a self-service app creation platform might work for you. These feature a simple interface that allows you to drag-and-drop app elements into place and don’t require you to know how to program. They usually charge a monthly subscription fee for use of their tools and their cloud-based features. Examples include Appery.io, BiznessApps and AppMachine.

Understanding Search Results

Once you’re comfortable with your mobile site, it’s time to focus on capturing search traffic. No Mobile SEO tips post would be complete without providing information on understanding search engine results.

When you think of search, you probably think of Google immediately. And since Google has about 92 percent of the global search market, they are definitely your primary consideration.

Significant amounts of people are using other major search engines, however. Microsoft’s Bing and Yahoo! each still have millions of users, especially those over the age of 45. And if you operate outside of the Western world, it’s worth considering regional heavyweights like Baidu and Yandex.

Next, consider the ways in which people interact with these search engines. They’ll do one of two things – either type in a search string, or use speech to query a “virtual assistant” like Cortana or OK Google.

Let’s tackle the typed searches first. Think about how people type when using a virtual keyboard on a phone or tablet. They usually try to be as short and to the point as possible, often using fragmented sentences and the smallest amount of words possible to get the idea across. That’s the main difference between mobile search and computer search, where users often input longer and more specific phrases to get the most refined possible results.

So, conventional mobile search wisdom has been to target very short queries of only two or three words each. For example, “wedding cake maker” for a baker. Or “Italian food delivery” for a restaurant.

But wait, won’t everyone on planet Earth be targeting those same terms? Relax – this is where the hyper-focused demographic and location information available from mobile users comes in. Searches will automatically consider the searcher’s location and history in addition to the actual request. So, if the searcher is in Poughkeepsie, they’ll get back relevant results that are physically close to them in that city.

Voice searches through something like OK Google or Cortana are a little different. Since people don’t have to type and are using natural speech, they’ll tend to be longer and more specific. For example, “Indian restaurant with a good wine list.” These searches line up more with the “long tail” targets that are also common to people looking for your business on a computer.

In short, a mix of basic fragments and specific long-tail searches are needed to catch search traffic coming from every possible source. But if you have a very tight marketing budget and need to focus in on the most lucrative possible results, short local typed-in searches are the most important mobile traffic to focus on. Not everyone has a mobile device with a digital assistant, and a good number of people do but don’t want to use it (or aren’t in a setting where it’s appropriate).

Once you know what search terms you’re looking for, you need to connect those terms to your site.

Mobile Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO” is the blanket term for techniques and factors that cause one site to be prioritized over another in search results. It’s a very complicated topic, but there are some basic elements that are hugely important.

Mobile SEO Tips #1: Optimize Your Website for Speed and Usability

First, your site should load quickly and function properly. This is a big factor in mobile search rankings, perhaps the biggest.

Mobile SEO Tips #2: Invest in Local SEO

It’s also important to enter current contact information in the biggest online business listings – places like Google My Business, WhitePages.com and Yelp. This is how search engines determine where your business is physically located (to automatically pair local searchers with you) and what categories it is in.

The rest of it is about how relevant the search engine feels your result is to the searcher’s query. This is where “content marketing” can really help. This is a form of indirect advertising that involves creating content – articles, blog posts, videos and so on – related to the search terms you are targeting and posting it on your site.

For example, if you have a music shop, you might give people written or video tutorials on techniques for playing instruments. The goal of content marketing is not to directly sell, but to establish a good relationship with customers and demonstrate your authority and capability in your area of business.

People love short videos on a mobile device, usually in the “sweet spot” of one to two minutes in length. Written content is fine (and is the best way to attract search engines), but is much better for tablet users than people on phones if it is going to go in-depth.

Short question-and-answer content with images breaking up the text is also ideal for mobile devices of all types. Think of the “listicle” style employed by sites like Buzzfeed and Bored Panda for a basic model.

The Next Step: Mobile Advertising

The last of our Mobile SEO Tips is to implement Search Engine Marketing (SEM) through focused Pay-Per-Click Advertising Campaigns. Drawing mobile search traffic to your site will provide your business with a huge boost. If you want to take things to the next level, you’ll want to use those search terms you’re targeting and the foundation you’ve just developed to move on to focused advertisements that draws targeting traffic to your business.

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WordPress Managed Hosting vs. Unmanaged https://rebranded.io/wordpress-managed-hosting-vs-unmanaged/ https://rebranded.io/wordpress-managed-hosting-vs-unmanaged/#respond Sun, 12 May 2019 21:33:12 +0000 https://rebranded.io/?p=3199 Most people have heard of WordPress, but do you know what kind of hosting you need? Do you have a newly created website? Do you know how to maintain WordPress? Do you know how to catch if your site is hacked? Do you know how to tune your website for performance? All of these questions are integral for running a successful website, and the type of hosting you choose can make a difference.

Managed WordPress Hosting 

Most people are not familiar with managed WordPress hosting, and this option is mainly for the enterprise or business user. Managed hosting means you don’t need to do anything to maintain your website. Backups, performance tuning, installations, and upgrades are all done by the host. Managed hosting is a hassle-free approach to blogging, but it comes at a price. Managed WordPress hosting is typically about $29 each month for one blog. Business accounts can spend hundreds of dollars a month for several WordPress websites. If you aren’t familiar with the intricacies of WordPress, this hosting option lets you focus on running your business, and the support team worries about everything else.


 

Unmanaged Hosting 

Unmanaged hosting is what most people use. Unmanaged hosting is cheap, and the host has a hands-off approach. The host lets you handle the installation and maintenance. This option is great for new website owners who want to get their hands dirty. You can tinker under the hood with WordPress’ code, installation and plug-ins. You manage everything, and the host manages the server.

With its advantages, unmanaged hosting has its inherent issues. First, unmanaged WordPress websites on a shared hosting server can share space and server resources with hundreds of other websites. This means if one website uses most of the server resources, the rest of the sites on the shared host suffer from performance issues. If one website gets hacked, it’s possible that other sites on the same server can also get hacked.

If you choose the unmanaged option, you must keep up with WordPress updates and patches to avoid the latest bugs and security threats. It’s time consuming, but it’s not impossible to check for updates each day. The WordPress dashboard displays an alert when a new version is made available.

Unmanaged hosting can be as low as a few dollars a month. Some WordPress hosts offer free hosting in exchange for ads. [bctt tweet=”Unmanaged hosting is a good option if you have the time to maintain your website. Otherwise, if you just want to focus on running your business, managed hosting is the smarter option.” username=”@rebrandedio”]

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6 Elements to Master Small Business Marketing https://rebranded.io/six-small-business-marketing-techniques-2019/ https://rebranded.io/six-small-business-marketing-techniques-2019/#respond Mon, 08 Apr 2019 12:30:50 +0000 https://rebranded.io/?p=3053 Small Business Marketing 101

With numerous tools and platforms to choose from, small business marketing online can be confusing. New strategies frequently appear, offering untapped sources of traffic and targeted customers. In many cases, though, these strategies won’t work unless you have spent the time building the foundations. When your small business has an online presence that can identify targeted audiences, offer them significant value, move them into a sales funnel, and sell your products, you are built for success. So what are the main elements required for small business marketing?

Website

Your website is the main hub of your business, letting visitors know about your brand and the services you offer. It is important that your website works well across all types of devices, with a large proportion of traffic coming from a phone. A quality website will be professional and informative, but will also move visitors towards a desired action. This action could be making a product purchase, joining your list, contacting you for a quote, or something similar. You can develop a website using a service like WordPress, manage everything through a company like Squarespace, or outsource the work to a web design company. 

Blog

Blogging is an effective way of bringing visitors into your business, helping, entertaining, and educating them on industry topics. A blog is a way of showing your expertise to visitors before they invest in your products. You can move people into your sales funnel using a call to action within the post. Blogs are also great ways of driving traffic through SEO, including related keywords to rank across a range of search terms. If you can keep up a regular schedule of quality posts, your traffic will almost certainly grow over time.

Social Media Network

There are numerous social media platforms, but most small businesses can get by with only a limited number. While the obvious options are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube, you may find others that are relevant to your business and industry. Social media marketing can be used to cultivate a following, communicate with these followers, and build your brand. You can also use your network for social listening, finding out what your targeted audience thinks about your brand and the industry as a whole.

Email Service Provider

Email marketing lets you develop a relationship with subscribers, ensuring they see your messages on multiple occasions. Email marketing is also targeted and scalable, so you can streamline your system knowing your results will remain steady. Most email service providers are affordable and charged based on subscriber numbers, allowing you to grow without risking a lot of your budget. Some of the best-known tools include Aweber, Constant Contact, Get Response, and MailChimp.

Branding

If you want your small business to develop a reputation in your industry, it is important to focus on brand building. The first stages of brand building include factors like a logo, color scheme, and the general concept. You can then go further by building a mission statement and identity that you will promote to customers. Selling quality products and services is important, but you need to develop a brand identity that persuades people to investigate and remember your business. Over time, people will come to associate thoughts and feelings with your brand name.

Analytics

Small business marketing online does not have to be overly complicated. Focus on the factors that matter most, providing value to the audiences most interested in your products.

You can set up your web properties with the best intentions, but it is unlikely you will get top results from the start. Most improvements come from looking at your analytics and making adjustments. Analytics can, for example, highlight pages receiving a significant amount of traffic, so you can focus attention on optimizing them for conversions. Small businesses will gradually amass a lot of data, becoming an important asset for improvement and growth.

When you can develop the fundamentals of an online marketing campaign, everything else becomes easier. You can experiment with new strategies and test whether they produce real results.

Many small businesses focus on marketing tactics first, without dedicating the time to ensure the primary elements are operating effectively. Without a strong foundation, though, these tactics will only bring short-term gains. 

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How to Pick an SEO That Will Get Results https://rebranded.io/how-to-pick-an-seo-company-that-will-get-results/ https://rebranded.io/how-to-pick-an-seo-company-that-will-get-results/#respond Fri, 05 Apr 2019 04:23:33 +0000 https://rebranded.io/?p=3040 The widely used term “SEO” refers to search engine optimization (or optimizer). When you make the choice to hire someone to optimize your website for search engines, it is a huge step and has the power to save you time and improve your website.

If you happen to choose an SEO that is not that great, it has the potential to damage your own reputation as well as your website. Take the time to inform yourself about the good and bad that can come from using an SEO that is not reputable.

What Does an SEO Do?

Local and Organic SEO companies are capable of offering services for websites like:

  • Developing content
  • Reviewing content or structure
  • Advising on hosting, error pages or redirects
  • Researching keywords
  • Training for SEO
  • Coaching on catering to specific markets or regions

It should be noted that Google’s search results pages will include not only organic SEO results but also paid advertisements that are indicated with a “Sponsored” or “Ads” caption. When you advertise with Google, it will not impact on the site’s presence within the search results. Google does not take part in offering a service that ranks websites in its search results, and it costs nothing to a website owner to appear in Google’s organic search results.

Prior to starting your search for an SEO, you should work to become familiar with how the search engines work, and you may then regard yourself as an educated consumer. Google offers Webmaster Guidelines as well as an introduction on crawling and indexing.

When you are in the early stages of your website design is when you should be thinking about seeking the help of an SEO. Ideally, one would be hired when you establish that you will be doing a redesign of the website or are launching a new website. When you do this, you will be able to work hand in hand with your SEO to ensure that the website will be optimized and designed coherently right from the start. SEOs may also help to improve upon an existing website as well.

What to Ask Your Potential SEO

  • How long have you been working in SEO?
  • What is your experience in the industry?
  • What are the expected results for the SEO and what is the time frame?
  • How do you know when a job has been successful?
  • Will you show me some of your examples and previous work as well as success stories?
  • What type of guidelines do you follow, if any?
  • Do you have any experience in my geographical area?
  • Do you have any experience in SEO with international websites?
  • What should my expectations be regarding communication?
  • Will you share all changes made to the site and provide insight as to why these changes were made?

There is no question that SEOs provide their clients with important services, but the unethical SEOs have made a negative impact on the industry thanks to their extremely aggressive marketing tactics and actions used to manipulate search engine results in an unfair way. These actions violate Google’s guidelines and can lead to a destructive adjustment to the website’s presence in Google’s search results, or the site could even simply be removed from the index altogether.

What to Think About

One common improper practice is for the SEO to place “doorway” pages that are filled up with keywords somewhere among the client’s normal website. The SEO will say that this action makes the web pages more relevant to a larger number of search queries. Technically, this is false information because single pages are not commonly relevant for a wide range of target keywords.

What’s awful about this maneuver is that these doorway pages that have been created will hold links that are hidden and will direct to the SEO’s other clients. This practice as a whole will take away from the popularity of a website and funnel it to the SEO and their clients. There is no telling what these clients do or what kind of content they are responsible for a lot of times it is illegal or simply unsavory.

Another tactic that is frowned upon is implementing “shadow” domains. These will bring users to a website through a series of misleading redirects. These false domains are usually owned by the SEO, and the SEO will assert that they are working on a client’s behalf. There is potential for this relationship to go south, and the SEO then has the power to edit this domain to redirect to another website, even a competitor’s website. If this were to happen, the client has ultimately paid for a website that they have no control over; it is all owned by the SEO.

Look Out for These Red Flags

  • There are no SEOs that can guarantee you a #1 ranking on Google.
  • Trash emails that come from web consultants or SEO firms out of nowhere.
  • Say goodbye to any company that will not clearly explain what it is exactly that they intend to do with your website.
  • You should never be obligated to link to the SEO.
  • Your SEO should be totally transparent about what you are paying for.
  • Carefully consider any firm that you are considering hiring for SEO.
  • If they have had previous domains removed from Google.
  • If they are linking to other clients via doorway pages.
  • If they are owners of shadow domains.
  • When they promise outstanding ranking but do not offer information on your target keywords or unique phrases.

Conclusion

While not all SEOs are taking part in malevolent activities, there are those firms out there and it is vital to have the education that enables you to spot the con artist so that you are not wasting your time or money on them. A well-established SEO will take pride in their work and will be more than happy to show you their successful portfolio.

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SEO Web Design: 4 Simple Techniques to Balance Design & SEO https://rebranded.io/4-simple-seo-web-design-techniques/ https://rebranded.io/4-simple-seo-web-design-techniques/#respond Thu, 14 Mar 2019 13:00:29 +0000 https://rebranded.io/?p=2905 The Dilemma with SEO Web Design

Designers Understand Design

As a web designer it all starts with an idea, a vision per say. This vision starts as a seed in the mind of a craftsman that when properly nurtured yields a beautifully designed and functional website that both the designer and customer can be proud of. As web designers every piece of creating a site is important. From creating the persona to building a website, we understand the importance of getting those things right.

Transitioning to SEO Web Design

However, more often than we would like to admit, search engine optimization, social media, and content marketing plans come as an afterthought to the web design process. SEO web design can seem like a hindrance to our creative process that traps our inner Picasso from getting out.

The dilemma is real.

We want to design beautiful user experience focused websites or landing pages, while also making them search engine friendly. Today we want to introduce 4 basic concepts that web designers can implement to design SEO friendly optimized websites.

1. Master  Multimedia

Web Designers understand that multimedia not only draws the readers attention but also adds a level of professionalism to the web page. Videos and high quality images are par for the course, but we must be mindful of two potential problems. The way you handle these problems can mean the difference between you being good or great.

Implement Image Optimization

Larger images mean longer load times which can mean higher bounce rates. Higher bounce rates signify to the search engine that users aren’t finding the content they were looking for by visiting your page. This can result in a loss of search engine rankings.

The answer to this is to optimize your images. Scaling down your images to a smaller size can work wonders for pageSpeed. There are several plugins and websites that offer automatic image optimization.

Image Optimization Plugins

I have had success with WordPress plugins such as shortpixel and imagify. These plugins compress the image down to a smaller size without significantly affecting the image quality. This allows you to strike the balance between design and search engine optimization.

Use Alt Text & Captions for Indexing

Human Interaction and Emotional Appeal

Ever heard the saying “A Picture is worth a 1000 words?” Well it’s definitely not true when it comes to SEO. Search engines don’t understand images the way people do. A person processes images with a great deal of thought and emotions which can be used as an opportunity to make a connection.

Search Engine Googles

What does a search engine see? Search engines don’t interpret images they see “alt attributes.” Providing alt text for all of your images gives search engines a clear understanding of what your image is about and shows the relevancy of your images to the rest of the page content. Without “alt attributes” your images may not get indexed by search engines properly or may not show up in search results.

Provide Quotes & Transcripts for Videos

With the use of content management systems our clients can add professional and informative videos to their websites without hiring an SEO web design firm. The problem is that customers don’t understand what web design companies do about videos. Search engines do not watch videos and index the words or actions that took place.

Multimedia is a great way to convey a message, but make sure search engines can get the message as well. The answer is simple. If you want search engines to index it, make a transcript or specifically quote the portions of the video you want to be found. You can now keep visitors engaged with a video, without compromising search engine rankings.

2.  The Power of Span for HTML Headings

What is the purpose of Headings?

Headings serve more of a purpose than being a bold title, they along with the overall url structure provide the roadmap of a particular webpage. Think of headings as the outline of your webpage. Even without the body elements a search engine should be able to get a good idea of what the page is about.

Use Span elements to Achieve Style Goals

Before I began studying and getting passionate about SEO web design, I would use heading tags strictly as style elements in my website design. I would choose whichever heading had the font size and style that looked aesthetically pleasing.

Headings are the Backbone of the Page

Fast forward. I now know that the heading tags are meant to provide the overall structure of the webpage. Search engines rely on the heading tags to create sections of content which will be given a hierarchy based on the heading tag.

‘h1’ tags are viewed as more important than ‘h6’ tags. However, there are times when the designer in me doesn’t want to use a particular tag because it doesn’t blend well with other design elements I’ve implemented on the page. In situations like this, span is your best friend. Say you have a heading such as:

<h2>Get Healthy <br>Start Drinking More Water</h2>

As a designer I want “Start Drinking More Water” to be smaller, but it contains a keyword that I want search engines to view as important. Using a span can give you the visual design elements you’re looking for, while not impacting SEO. Try rewriting it like this:

<h2>Get Healthy<br><span class="heading_size--small">Start Drinking More Water</span></h2>

Style with this…

.heading_size--small {
    font-size: .8rem;
    font-weight: 400;
}

3.  Find a Great Hosting Provider

One of the most overlooked factors in SEO and overall user experience is the hosting provider you choose to host your website. The overall performance and consistency of your website will be directly impacted by your hosting provider. There are three major factors when choosing a hosting provider.

The specialization of Your Hosting Provider

Every project is unique. Also every hosting provider has their unique set of strengths and weaknesses. This should go without saying, but you should align your website needs with the strengths of your hosting provider. If you have a WordPress website, you should really consider a managed WordPress Hosting Solution.

High Uptime Guarantee

According to Search Engine Journal, “Your host’s uptime guarantee is arguably the most important factor in whether they’re SEO-friendly.” If your website is experiencing downtime it will not only result in lost business, but also in a high bounce rate and lower Google search rankings.

4. Supplement with Text

SEO Web Design is all about making websites that are functional and effective for both clients and search engines. There are 3 main areas to watch out for as web designers.

Links in non-parseable JavaScript

Search engine sometimes do not crawl links written with javascript. Therefore these links should be switched out for regular HTML links if possible. If this is not possible it is best to supplement with text by adding the link in HTML in some other place on the same page.

Robots don’t use search forms

If you believe that you can put a search box on your webpage and that will provide search engines what they need to find your content, it doesn’t work this way. Search engines do not use search forms therefore if there is a link that you want the search engine to find you must supplement with text by putting it on the page in regular HTML.

Be careful with Flash Elements

Using too much flash is another thing that may reduce search engine rankings. Search engines often devalue flash elements. When practicing SEO Web Design try to limit your use of flash elements and…you guessed it…Supplement with Text.

Hopefully you have learned some concepts that will help you to better practice principles of SEO Web Design. Either way let me know what you think in the comments.

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Supercharge Your Backlinks with 1 Key Concept https://rebranded.io/why-arent-your-backlinks-succeeding/ https://rebranded.io/why-arent-your-backlinks-succeeding/#respond Tue, 15 Jan 2019 09:15:49 +0000 https://rebranded.io/?p=2466 You did your research, discovered the ideal subject and wrote an article, created the ideal outreach pitch for backlinks, and ultimately… Presto! You’ve got backlinks. However, it has not given the promised dream of SEO success.

And you are just extremely frustrated and clueless about what in the world is really going wrong.

Ladies and gentlemen, here is the answer to your prayers; the backlink metric that is easy to overlook and how to make it work.

Relation Property

“What is relation property? Nobody ever said that!” . Well, now you understand.

It looks like this in the HTML view of a webpage with hyperlinks:

<a href=”http://your-domain.com” rel=”nofollow”>Your special backlink</a>

That highlighted part is where the magic occurs.

Backlinks 101: Follow Links

This tells the search engine this is a worthy connection which may be counted towards the link points of the referred page.

Unfortunately, it is not very easy to earn these particular sort of links as they’re mainly utilized in a contextual reference.

As an example, a car blog connecting to a car accessories web-store will almost certainly do this in a post about automobile accessories such as,”Top 10 car accessories to turn your Lada to a Bentley (one can dream)”.

Where I am going with this is to show you the uses of both of these kinds of links. First, let us learn more about both of these relation types.

As you know, follow hyperlinks have a vacant rel property from the tag. Initially search engines just counted the amount of inbound links a page had from outside sources. Soon, people exploited this feature and got links by creating dummy pages, spamlog or movie comments, etc..

You see, that is neither a fantastic practice, nor a constructive one.

Therefore, they (search engines) made it so that just dofollow links are counted towards measuring how much link juice (aka page rank) a page needed. The greater this metric was, the greater the SERP positioning that page had.

What this indicates is, even in the event that you’ve got thousands of user traffic coming to your page, it will not actually bring you much success (there are some exceptions).

Backlinks 101: NoFollow Links

Nofollow links pretty much only shout out to search engines to ignore everything that connection comprises and stands for. Sounds a bit rude when I set it that way, does not it? However, it’s true though.

So, why would someone go through the trouble of marking a connection as nofollow?

A blatantly promotional comment in a blog that is not even remotely pertinent to market a new online shop isn’t precisely the sort of links which should count on your page ranking, right?

Pro suggestion: Getting backlinks from spammy sources can actually hurt your SEO score nowadays. spam sources have quite low Google Indexed pages, higher spam rating, low trust flow, low domain authority. So in case you find a lot of links coming from such sites, you ought to disavow them.

Paid advertisement material

Apparently, it would not be fair to rely on paid advertising links, as folks could just pay to improve their page rank. So, all paid advertisement content hyperlinks have their rel place to nofollow.

Links from site comments and forums

To prevent spammers from creating a successful link profile by simply adding links on various blogs and forums like query. This is performed automatically in WordPress sites and forums when you need to supply external links. There’s a better way to find success with this and we will discuss it at the next section

Spammy resources

These resources are often marked as spam and is extremely tricky to get back from if your website is marked as one. Mostly these sites offer little no value and user do not appreciate these site and therefore search engines “punishment” them.

Okay then, you simply have to fully ignore all nofollow and links and proceed for dofollow type links, right? Wrong!

Despite the fact that they don’t supply any SEO worth to your webpage, they will still assist new users find your page and website.

That is right, nofollow links may still be greatly useful by being a fantastic supply of referral traffic. As an example, by answering the right question with a beneficial solution on a forum or a movie, you can drive a quantifiable quantity of referral traffic to your site.

The Backlink Sweet Spot!

Balance is the key; keeping a fantastic amount of follow along with nofollow links in the perfect ratio will create better probability of success.

Coming to the actual question, what’s the perfect/right ratio?

The Magic Number is…There is none!

I wish I could provide you an answer like that. It’s not that easy. There’s a little more to maintaining a fantastic backlink profile than it seems.

Distribution is Key!

It is determined by the distribution of your backlinks, both follow and nofollow among distinct websites and their own authority, trust stream, citation stream, and spam rating amongst other metrics. These three main factors that outline the variables that your backlink profile:

  • The rate at which you got these links
  • The origin site and the type of connection from that site
  • The supply of words in anchor text

When you request a connection from someone, hey’ll attempt to evaluate you on those variables also. So, put yourself in their shoes and think as they will.

See if the source you are asking is good enough for you and the other way around also. And finally, great luck with link-building, cheers!

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Build Website Ranking Using Proven SEO Techniques https://rebranded.io/build-website-ranking-using-seo/ https://rebranded.io/build-website-ranking-using-seo/#respond Thu, 10 Jan 2019 09:00:38 +0000 https://rebranded.io/?p=2533 Did your Website drop in rankings in 2018? Anyways, 2018 has come and gone and it was not too mad in the realm of SEO. The most critical changes we found was that the last execution of Google’s mobile-first indexing along with the craziness of webpage speed. Aside from that, there were a few ups and downs but nothing else surpasses. This article will help you to avoid common pitfalls and learn some key concepts to build website ranking in 2019.

Build Website Ranking #1: Mobile Responsiveness

Google has acknowledged that more individuals rely upon their own telephones to discover the contact number of their preferred restaurant compared to booting that relic sitting on their desk. So if your site is not as outstanding as it could be on cellular, then it’s possible to understand your list drop in the ranks.

Read More about Mobile Responsiveness Here!

That is exactly what the mobile-first indexing signifies. Google isn’t eliminating background — it is all still 1 indicator. It merely suggests that Google is going to be emphasizing your website’s rank on your cellular website rather than your own desktop computer.

Does this mean you must dismiss your desktop web site? Surely not! It usually means your website has to be harmonious and perform nicely with most browsers, both desktop and mobile computer. It has got to look great. It is got to operate properly. And, above all, it has got to be quick. Talking of rapid…Do you need a website Relaunch or Rebrand? Rebranded.io creates mobile responsive, beautifully designed websites.

Build Website Ranking #2: Faster Load Times

Your site should flyboy! A year or so ago, I’d stated that your website should be under 3 minutes to maintain the consumer’s interest. Now, that is too slow. We are in need of immediacy, and also we all needed it 2 weeks ago!

The quicker your site will be, the more likely that the consumer will remain on your website. The more the user remains on your website, the greater your bounce rate will be. A fantastic bounce speed usually means a much better position on Google, and hey, that is the title of this sport, right? We discussed webpage rank in another blog.

By way of instance, when you have a take a look at a list on Google, you find the name of the webpage, the brief description, perhaps a few celebrities, a wealthy snippet near the peak of the page, possibly. That is all schema.

Every year, an increasing number of forms of structured information are inserted to Schema. With the rising quantity of voice hunts, it is crucial for your website. Particularly when speakable schema comes alive within the upcoming few decades.

Build Website Ranking #3: Regional / Local SEO is a Must!

I can not stress this again. Were you aware that many search terms contained the phrases “me?” The world is becoming very little and quite crowded. If you would like to compete with your law business down the road, then you want to bone up in the regional SEO.

So make certain all your regional listings are right and exactly the same throughout the net. If your company includes a different nameaddressphone NAP information across different sites, then your confidence level is going to take a hit. You won’t rate well against the competition without a great local SEO package.

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Responsive Design: The Heart of Positive User Experience https://rebranded.io/responsive-design-equals-website-success/ https://rebranded.io/responsive-design-equals-website-success/#respond Tue, 08 Jan 2019 09:00:46 +0000 https://rebranded.io/?p=2547

When designing or redesigning a website there are so many things to take into consideration. One of which is the how user friendly your website will be on mobile and tablet devices. This key design concept is called Responsive Design.

To put it differently, with over 55 percent of sites being accessed on mobile devices instead of desktops, all business websites should be responsive.

These statistics will only begin to grow as mobile and tablet devices become more affordable and more accessible around the globe. This, coupled with a decrease in notebook and desktop sales compared to smaller apparatus, means responsive design is not actually an option, it is a given.

What is this Responsive Design thing?

Responsive sites are made to provide users the greatest possible experience across all contemporary computers, tablet computers, smart phones, and web-ready devices. Websites made responsively need to scroll, browse, and browse with no resizing or panning. The sites are designed and constructed to fit and operate efficiently, offering identical user experiences across all the various spectrums of devices.

You want your company’s site to be easy, easy to upgrade, and astonishing across all of the devices. It could be an error to take tablet and mobile use data for granted. Your potential customers are attempting to find companies on their telephones as we speak!

Why is Responsive Design such a buzzword?

In the previous ten years, mobile data traffic has climbed 3000%, that is anticipated to grow by over 400 percent by 2021.

Consider the number of times you use your phone daily… How frequently do you use your phone to Google or fact check something you read on social media?

Smartphones are Extremely Popular

80 percent of net users possess a smartphone. There are far more mobile users than users. Folks have far shorter attention spans and are not going to offer a site another chance if it’s a slow loading time or won’t display correctly in their own mobile device. We dwell within a consumer-savvy society where individuals are accustomed to internet immediate satisfaction due to technologies.

Normally we invest three hours each day glued into our telephones. A current Huffington Post-analysis revealed that:

responsive sites found a 37% growth in unique visitors along with also a 50% rise in time individuals spend on webpages.

-Huffington Post

In a perfect world, you need your business’s site to be nicely equipped, well received, and simple to navigate. You need people to recall your site and to go back for it or recommend this to your buddy.

Better Performance = Happier Customers

Responsive design assists with your site performance through devices, leaving customers feeling joyful, and pleased with their expertise.

Consider the last time you saw a fast and user friendly website. What did that caused you to feel about the company? The Professionalism and care is seen almost immediately.

Responsive Design Enhances SEO

Sure, it is good to have a practical site that looks fantastic and exhibits all of the information pertinent to your enterprise.

But it is not so good if nobody can discover your site!

Ranking tremendously across search engines is also a significant part of any companies marketing strategy. Since every company wants to be viewed ahead of opponents in their local area. At 2015, Google made a decision to prefer responsive design due to their mobile search effects. Making sense if you consider it… Why do they prefer unresponsive sites which will not divert and display the right details on mobiles and tablet computers?

Potential Customers near You will be using their mobile phones to search terms that Should direct them to your company’s website.

Thus, you wish to get recorded in the searches for these search terms. Therefore it is vital that your company has a responsive site.

Google Prefers Responsive websites

Google is reprimanding non-responsive websites in their algorithms, preferring responsive websites when showing search results.

You do not wish to make it difficult for your intended audience to discover your small enterprise.

Future Proof Your Website

Among the greatest things about incorporating responsive design into your site is it will accommodate two devices of the future.

As an increasing number of people buy smart watches and access the net through big televisions and ports, your site will match for their displays.

RWD does not accommodate by the sort of device that you’re using, it adjusts to the resolution and display size. Consider it like water seeping into various vessels.

People Access Social Media with Their Phones

[bctt tweet=”Social networking results in over 33 percent of site traffic and over 55 percent of social networking intake occurs on mobile devices.” username=”@rebrandedio”] Most the traffic comes from programs or social websites advertising… consequently, if you’re using social networking to drive visitors to your site… The site has to be responsive… If you are sending visitors into a website which will not work correctly in their own mobile devices, it is a waste of marketing revenue!

All this has to be considered seriously once you create the commitment to your enterprise and your staff by buying a design or redesign your present companies site.

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Best Website Design Concepts 2019 https://rebranded.io/best-website-design-concepts/ https://rebranded.io/best-website-design-concepts/#respond Mon, 07 Jan 2019 00:20:51 +0000 https://rebranded.io/?p=2529 Web designing is an increasingly ever-evolving area; technology is continually shifting; and we designers and programmers will have to have our hands on the pulse of what is going on in the business. Discerning involving a passing craze and a market trend is the thing that keeps your site from appearing stale after three weeks. As we shut the door on 2018, here are a number of best website design concepts emerging which I believe will continue to dominate in 2019.

Best Design Concept #1: Mobile First & Responsive Design

Site traffic that arises out of mobile devices has surpassed computers, and it is called that at the end of 2018, a great deal of website visitors will emerge from a mobile device. The present standard is to look for a background perspective, and together also the capacity of websites to become responsive i.e. scaling down the webpage to match whatever browser dimensions that the consumer is employing, designing for cellular wasn’t a priority. But, before this year Google announced that cellular friendly websites are prioritized over websites which weren’t portable friendly. Because of this Designing for cellular first is likely to become paramount and this is why it is listed as one of the best web design concepts. Understanding why an individual is reaching to their own cellular device, and also designing sites that meet “micro-moments”, means that your website will have the ability to win over clients, even though they are loyal to another brand.

Best Design Concept #2: Asymmetrical Broken Grid Layouts

The”grid” is exactly what performers and developers refer to the grid system that’s been employed for decades to make all sorts of designs, from papers to websites and advertisements. A grid is a invisible skeleton which enables a designer to put a variety of elements on a webpage and have it lead to a considerate and organized layout. Using grids helps keep things consistent and organized across several devices — that can be a must if users see websites on different sized laptops and laptops, tablets and phones. Even though a grid can be exceedingly valuable — in addition, it can stifle imagination. Breaking the grid out and aligning items in an angle provides the page considerably more visual attention and a feeling of motion.

Best Design Concept #3: Flat Design

This is one of my personal favorite design concepts and happens to land on the list of the best design concepts of 2019. As smart phones became ubiquitous and information programs more costly, the demand for fast-loading sites became a priority. This culminated in a fashion in style where everything seemed apartment. Gone would be the icons which resembled their real life counterpart in favor of horizontal outline icons. Flat design is enjoyable to look — it uses vivid colors, easy typefaces, and concentrates on minimalism. Many consumers balked in this tendency — components were too insignificant and also simplistic, which made it tougher for them to understand exactly what to do. Throughout the previous few decades, Flat 2.0 appeared and has become increasingly more popular. Flat 2.0 differs since it utilizes gradients, shadows and highlights to make thickness, utilizing any color scheme as opposed to just bright colors and numerous tints and shade values. By using shadows round a card or button, it signals that the consumer that an action could be obtained. The outcomes are websites that still sense contemporary but do not sacrifice usability. Moving into 2019, we will see more sites with layered elements, shadows and gradients to produce a feeling of depth and weight.

Best Design Concept #4: Videos

Videos may probably continue to control over static vision since they’re persuasive and instantly grab the consumer’s interest. The typical user spends 88 percent longer on a site using movie. The longer an individual spends on a web page, the larger the likelihood they convert and require an action. Additionally, it helps a website’s SEO as time spent on a webpage is among those metric’s that decides your position on Google. It showcases their own employees in a variety of sections and highlights the legitimate diversity of the group members. And of course it is eye-catching and brings you in to find out more and see their stories.

2018 proved to be a fantastic year for web design, and we all can not wait to find out what the year 2019 has to offer. Can our predictions become true, or will something new and exciting flip the web design world over its mind? Stay tuned to discover!

 

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