Tag Archives: wordpress

Improving Your WebSite Performance

Why is my site slow?
Why is my Bounce Rate so high?
How to improve my site’s performance?

These are some of the questions bothering web masters and site owners all the time,
here are some tools and readme’s that will:

  • test your site
  • find bottle necks
  • measure performance from the outside
  • get tips for fixing the problem areas in your site
  • and knows list of issues every site is suffering from

so lets start with online freeware tools and external web site test tools.

Check if your Google Analytics is working well in your site

Who is watching the watchman?

first thing to check – are you getting the accurate statistics from your site?
is your Analytics account configured well?
are you even really using one?

SiteScan™ is a diagnostic tool from EpikOne that verifies if your Google Analytics (GA)
Tracking Code is installed properly on your website.

sitescan google analytics

This scan will go over each page and verify that the Google Analytics code is embedded correctly to each of your page, this can help you diagnose if your bounce rate is high because the Analytics cant see their next click,
or maybe you should really work on your site design.

How does my code looks like from the browser?

firebug

From the firebug download page:

Firebug integrates with Firefox to put a wealth of development tools at your fingertips while you browse. You can edit, debug, and monitor CSS, HTML, and JavaScript live in any web page..

This is the basic tool to verify your code as it seen from the browser side,
you can click a specific element on your page, and get a list on the right pane window of firebug,
of all the css code that is effecting this element, even if the code span multiple css files.

Why is my page so slow?

the yslow tool from yahoo will go through the elements of your page,
and by using a preset list of rules, it will tell you which parts of the website you should fix,
and what to fix.
yslow

The yslow firefox plugin needs the firefox firebug installed first.

If you want to learn more deeply on the reasons behind each of the testing rules yahoo though about you can read the very informative document from yahoo about “Best Practices for Speeding Up Your Web Site

Feed Validator

Get your rss feed validated

AOL webpagetest

from the AOL web page test:

Pagetest allows you to provide the URL of a webpage to be tested. The test will be conducted from the location specified and you will be provided a waterfall of your page load performance as well as a comparison against an optimization checklist.

aol pagetest waterfall

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Free WordPress Theme Builder

This site: http://www.yvoschaap.com/wpthemegen/ has a simple free wordpress theme builder that anyone can use,
just update the settings via a nice form on the left side,
with the different options like background and sidebars settings,
you can choose if you want a right side bar,
how the left side bar should look, and you can choose which widgets to load to the left side bar.

After you have played with the main look you can generate the files and download a zip file which contains these files:

  • style.css
  • reset-fonts-grids-tabs.css
  • index.php
  • header.php
  • footer.php
  • sidebar.php
  • comments.php
  • searchform.php
  • search.php
  • archive.php
  • page.php
  • functions.php
  • screenshot.png
  • images/bg_overlay.png
  • images/bg_gradient.png

Or you can download each file seperatly.

This gives you the basic structure for a working wordpress theme, from here you only have left to customize as you wish.

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Google and SEO: Matt Cutts videos

google_IO_2009

Anybody writing a blog or editing a web site knows the importance of SEO for its search engine ranking, search engine optimization is second in importance to a good page content alone.
The words are arranged in the site, the headlines, the page title, meta tags and other on page elements can affect the site’s search engine ranking and basically – count for how many people will see the page at all.
Like the old saying – Its not just what you say, its how you say it.

And that’s where Matt Cutts comes into the picture,Matt works for Google search engine group for a long while now and has many insights into how Google ranking works and what to do if you want to be part of the top 10.
These are a couple of great videos featuring Matt, where he explains and shows many examples as he reviews specific sites for the good and bad elements in the sites SEO wise.

Another great lecture from Matt, although a little old – and yet still very relevant is the SEO for wordpress lecture which is really worth the time spent listening to,
In his Blog Matt gives many links to those who don’t want to listen the full hour it takes,
starting with the power point from the lecture, through a full transcribe of the talk, and even a shorter summery for the full lecture.

Basically since I have started to follow these guidelines,
my web site traffic has doubled itself and that’s the best incentive I can offer to sit and watch the 2 videos as long as they are, so go on and watch them, you’ll thank me later…

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Get Better Google Adsense Ads!

For site depending on Google AdSense commercials for income,
it is important to have better targeted ads to your content, n order to get better results from the ads,
an easy way to get better targeted ads on your site is by telling google what are the important parts on the page and what they should take special notice of.

adsense-google_b

You can take a look at the adsense targeting page or read the short version below:

Target area for adsense:

<!– google_ad_section_start –>

<!– google_ad_section_end –>

I think its best to have the whole post between these tags, and I also include the comments section between them,
and you can use more then one section like this on your page.

Make Google ignore a part of your page:

<!– google_ad_section_start(weight=ignore) –>

<!– google_ad_section_end –>

For wordpress you need to edit the single.php and add the tags before and after the post data.

Hopefully this will bring better targeted ads for each page, and higher click rate. good luck!

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How to start learning Linux

If you want to start learning Linux the best advice I can give you is:

Start out as a user first

The simplest way is to download some live CD from the Internet,
for a sample this one:
Centos live CD
or: 
Fedora liveCD
Either of which will boot into a full working Linux distro,
without installing anything on your windows box.
when your done playing with the Linux server, just remove the CD from your computer, and reboot – your windows will come right back.
both the distros I’ve linked to here are very similar – they use the same redhat code, but the fedora is more cutting edge development version of everything and the centos is a stable server environment.
The fedora LiveCD will also allow you to install it to the machine your using from the LiveCD itself – after the boot you will see an install Icon on the Linux desktop.
Start playing with the servers, while reading some linux tutorials,
start as a Linux user and then work your way up to power user and to admin in the end.

Hands On Training Tasks for Linux Sysadmin

After your feel you know your way around as a user:

  • reading and writing files
  • working your way around the file system
  • installing some rpm packages

You can start working your way through some serious hands on training – try to do either of these:

  • Setup A stand alone DNS server
  • Setup Apache server with php and SSL
  • Install MySQL server from sources
  • Setup sendmail
  • Install WordPress or Joomla on your Apache/MySQL and happily see it all working together

Each of these tasks will take a long time to figure out for the first time, and on the way learning to do the task, you will learn a lot more things that you wouldn’t have just by playing with the server.

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WordPress 2.8 and a new Theme

I have upgraded the site to wprdpress 2.8,
and it does feel faster for the admin part,
also I have installed the free Typebased theme from  http://www.woothemes.com/

From my first impression i can see SEO mistakes that need to be fixed, like H2 tags on widget titles like Categories,
ill finish the last updates soon.

Check the site out and tell me what you think !!!

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SEO guides – the best i found on the net

best seo guides

SEO – the art of search engine optimization, is a subject worth learning, and im reading and searching for information and tutorials about it all the time. many sites are talking about SEO and give a lot examples and full guides, but this week i found two really great guides worth reading and applying.

SEO Tutorial

The first guide is from The Dough Blogger which is in interesting site,
it has only 3 pages at all, and yet it has a Google Page rank of 4, which is impressive for such a small site.
The tutorial itself is The Ultimate Guide to Starting a Money Making WordPress Blog,
and you can grab at it here.
Although some of the recommendations in it i didn’t apply to my site, there were other that i did the first thing after going over the tutorial, a great example would be the theme <h2> tags.
In the theme im using here, the right sidebar has widgets in it, and their titles from the wordpress default are <h2>, which makes Google think the important words on my site are pages and categories.
Another point i found interesting is the update Services: when you publish a new post the wordpress software can push that post to different update services, but for that you need to add them to the wordpress config.

Make money online case study

Now this guide left me awake until 4 AM, i couldn’t stop reading it, it was so inspiring and moving.
On the googlelady site i found this guide, with the weekly steps she did to generate revenue from her new from scratch web site.
she started a new fresh site, with no page rank, and on a niche she doesn’t know anything about, and with only 100$ in her budget, and a 3 months time limit.
after 3 months she created 11,000$ from that site.
Its an amazing guide and im still reading it over and over and applying the lessons.

Free SEO Tools

Another good link is for the good guys at gscripts with their Free SEO Tools page,
they have backlink checker – which will also show you the page rank for each link,
keyword density tool for you to count the most appearing words on your site,
and search engine position tool – which helps you find your location on the list for a specific search keyword.

I’m starting to apply these guides now, and ill update when i see results!!

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installing wordpress on windows

installing wordpress on windows image

In my last post i talked about installing apache and mysql on windows for development needs, and now we can add to that install a wordpress blog.

when i do changes to the php code on wordpress i first test it on the local version of the them to make sure its good before going with it public.

1) get the wordpress files

first thing – download the wordpress install file from the website,
the default html folder for xampp is C:\xampp\htdocs so lets create a folder for our blog there: C:\xampp\htdocs\testblog and unzip the wordpress files into that location.

2) setup the MySQL user and database

go to http://localhost/phpmyadmin/index.php and choose the Privileges tab,
find the “Add a new User” link.
fill in a user name – anything you want, and a password.
in the “Database for user” section make sure to check: “Global privileges” press the “Check All” link to give the user all the privileges (this is something you should do only on a development server!!! )

press the Go button.

at this point its best to reload the privileges tab and use the “reload the privileges” link to make sure the user is loaded.

3) edit the wp-config.php file

go to C:\xampp\htdocs\testblog where all the blog files are located and rename wp-config-sample.php to wp-config.php, edit the file and setup:
edit the DB-NAME line and replace “putyourdbnamehere” with the username we created a minute ago,
replace “usernamehere” with the the same user name we just used,
“yourpasswordhere” should be replaced with the user’s password,
and also you have the “Authentication Unique Keys” part where you need to create keys for your blog,
you can use this wordpress.org page which will create the keys for you. copy and paste the keys to the config file.

4) run the wordpress config php

if you installed the wordpress files into “testblog” folder, the install file will be at: http://localhost/testblog/wp-admin/install.php

choose a blog title and an email, and you have your own development blog running.
don’t forget to change the admin password first thing…

you can access your new blog at: http://localhost/testblog/

from here now you can do all the changes and testing you want, including themes and plugins, before you upload them to your live blog.

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