Q+A: Why is my site load time slow?

One of the questions we’re asked most often is: “Why is my blog site load time so slow?” After all, the longer it takes to load your site, the more likely a new reader will lose patience and click away, without reading anything. Plus, search engines love to recommend sites that load quickly — a site that loads too slow can definitely be penalized in search engine results. So today we’re sharing a few issues that can contribute to a slow-loading site. Let’s dive right in, shall we?

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Understanding Your Site Analytics (And What You Need For Your Media Kit!)

First, a quick but BIG announcement. Launched just yesterday, <em>press now has a Media Kit template pack available for purchase in our shop! Get all the details here, but in a nutshell: the pack includes three different, customizable Photoshop templates, all ready for editing. Our templates include lots of spots for imagery, and even allow you to create a “no rates” version of your kit with ease. Check it out!

When it comes to creating your media kit, one of the most important things you can include is information on your site analytics. We touched on this in our post about what to put in a media kit, and today we want to discuss in further detail so you know exactly what your site analytics mean and how to make sure everything is set up correctly. After all, your site analytics can tell you a lot about your blog and help you plan for its future — beyond securing partnerships! Understanding your site analytics is key to evaluating what’s working for your site and what isn’t, so you can make the most out of your content. Let’s get started!

How to track your site analytics

While there are numerous options for tracking site analytics, the gold standard is Google Analytics. At minimum, you should install this on your site, whether or not monetization is currently a part of your blogging plan. Why? Google Analytics can only track your site from the time you install it. This means that if your blog experiences significant growth over the course of a year, and you decide you’re ready for monetization, you won’t have a history of analytics to prove your growth rate — and brands will want that information specifically from Google Analytics. Since installing Google Analytics on your site is a pretty simple process (we’ll be going over it in this post!), it’s beneficial to install it now regardless of your current plans. Furthermore, Google Analytics can provide valuable information that can inspire your work in the future, like a follow up to a popular post or an answer to a common search on your site.

As we mentioned, Google Analytics isn’t the only option out there. We also love the Site Stats built into the Jetpack plugin. Your numbers in Jetpack will probably differ from Google Analytics, and that’s totally normal — it’s just a difference in tracking methods. Defer to Google Analytics when it comes to stats for your media kit. But, we love Jetpack for its simple display that integrates beautifully with your WordPress dashboard. Jetpack gives you the most important stats you can act on right away, without leaving your WordPress site.

Another program we love is Inspectlet. As their site says, Google Analytics tells you what, and Inspectlet tells you why. While you won’t need Inspectlet for your media kit, it shows you exactly how people are using your site through recorded sessions. Their free plan includes up to 1,000 recorded sessions per month. Each recorded session shows you exactly what the user sees, where and when they scroll through your site, and where and when they click on something. To install, use the Insert Headers and Footers plugin to paste their provided code into your site. Keep reading “Understanding Your Site Analytics (And What You Need For Your Media Kit!)”

Everything You Need to Know About Plugins

One of our favorite features of WordPress is that you can find a plugin to do pretty much anything you need for your site. In fact, we consider several (free!) plugins to be essentials additions to any blog! But, as they say, with great power comes great responsibility.

We know how it goes: you have a new feature in mind, and you find several in the WordPress plugin repository that just might fit the bill. But you won’t know for sure unless you try it out! So you install a few plugins, play around, get everything to look and work how you want, and move on with your life. Then, one day something breaks — and you have no idea what or why.

Spoiler alert: it probably has to do with your plugins. We’ve seen it time and time again — when something isn’t working as it should, 9 times out of 10, it’s a plugin issue. But that doesn’t mean all plugins are bad! It just means you need to be smart about how you use them. Today we’re teaching you everything you need to know about using plugins on your blog.  Keep reading “Everything You Need to Know About Plugins”